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I have a door that opens right to left into a room. I want it to instead open left to right out of the room. In other words, flip the door.

Is there a way to do this that preserves the existing frame? What tools do I need? I've never installed a door frame.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If it's a pre-hung door, meaning the frame came with the door as (relatively) one piece, the process would be:

  • pry off the mouldings/trim on both sides of the door frame
  • Get a sawzall and cut through all of the shims and nails between the door frame and the wall framing.
  • pop out door and frame, flip it around, nail/shim it back in and put trim back

If not:

  • take the door and hinges off
  • you now have two options: 1) leave the frame in place. Chisel out the mortices for the hinges and the strike plate on the opposite side and flip the door. Then fill in the old mortices. 2) Do pretty much the same as you would with the prehung (flipping the frame) but you'll likely have to do it piecemeal since it won't be one connected frame.
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If you flip the frame from open in to open out, it still will open right to left, just on the other side. The entire frame needs to rebuilt as the stop jams are displaced wrong (as currently installed) and hinges are on wrong side of frame. – shirlock homes May 5 '12 at 11:06
In many older homes the jambs become out of square as the house settles.The easiest solution was to plane the doors.If you leave the casing inplace and remortise the hinges the door may not fit.Check the opening first to see if it is square. – mikes May 5 '12 at 12:57
The house is only a few years old. I'm guessing it's pre-hung, but I'm not sure how to tell. I was thinking left to right relative to the same room. – Rob May 7 '12 at 12:40

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