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I'm trying to figure out the best approach for this issue I ran into. So I have a door jamb that sits at 79.5" wide and the actual frame is at 79.25" wide.

I have 3 options:

  1. trim either the hinge or doorknob side down. Cons: Weakens either the hinge frame side or the passage latch will have to feed into the wall stud in the frame.

  2. trim the frame entry, Cons: harder to do, chances wont be a clean cut, thou can be hidden

  3. take 1/4" off the top of the door frame and door itself

I cant decide which one I should do. Would love some advice on what you thoughts around this are.

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I could give you some easy tips on adjusting the door and jamb but I would only do that if there wasn't the option to - make the frame bigger (rough opening).

You can plane off 1/4" on one of the sides in about 5-10 minutes and you won't be messing with the integrity of the door you bought. You can plane sloppy and with shims you are still good to go.

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    I agree, and I'd set a circular saw to 1/2" depth and make cross-cuts every half an inch. A few taps with a chisel and you have a nice flat plane again. – isherwood Mar 26 at 21:19
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    @isherwood - yes have done that too. But I can only get the electric planer out a few times a month and with the ability to use it and not have to be perfect I would rather play with my toys but good alternative for someone without a planer. – DMoore Mar 26 at 21:20
  • Yeah, most folks won't have one, and that's actually quite a bit of material to move with a planer. You'll have a heck of a gerbil habitat when you're done. – isherwood Mar 26 at 21:24
  • Mine does 1/8" on highest setting - that is just three swipes. 5 minutes if there are no nails in the way. If I can see the nails I use a nail setter to dig them in deeper and run the planer through and repeat. When sawing the nails sometimes just get cut and sometimes they become a huge hassle. Also if you do bump a nail on one side you can go to the other side when planing or take of 3/16" on each side or whatever. – DMoore Mar 26 at 21:31
  • I didnt think of using a chisel, thats definitely an option and I most likely going to use. I guess if integrity was a bigger issue, I could just take off an 1/8th on each side. But this is way more consumable than other options – Aaron Bakker Mar 26 at 21:44
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If it were me, I would trim off the latch side of the door, and reduce the width of the jamb appropriately. There are ways that can reinforce that part of the door if needed, but it would be more difficult to reinforce the hinge side which is where most of the forces are.

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Best bet is to trim the door on the hinge side. Why? Why the door and not the frame? Easier, cleaner, can remove the door to work on, much harder to work on the frame in place or reinstall the frame. Why the hinge side and not the latch side? For the very simple reason that the door latch is not adjustable and set by the distance of the hole for the knobs. If you trim that side of the door, the latch will be in the same place and 'proud' (sicking out) of the new door surface. Moving the drilled hole is a very difficult proposition to say the least. On the hinge side, all you have to do is deepen the hinge pockets the same amount that you trim the door. And you have the existing hinge pocket edges as a guide. And if go too far, it's easy to fix with shimming. And it's in an relatively hidden area.

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If u have a solid hard wood door trimming from the door would be the easiest way to go but if it is not one solid piece of wood by all means go for the rough opening.

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