There are wooden strips stapled to the bottom of my exterior, prehung door. They extend beyond the jamb so I assume I have to at least trim them, but should they be removed entirely? They seem to be holding the sill to the frame.

Right side:


Left side:


Close up of bottom:


  • 1
    I've always assumed those were to be removed.
    – Glen Yates
    Oct 6, 2021 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


They are to be removed right before you install the door -literally right before so keep them on when moving door around. They are there to keep the door square and in place until the install. If you remove them early you chance one of the base plates/jamb coming loose and throwing off the square of the door.

Additionally the bottom sill plate - metal - can be adjusted. There are some instances where you can leave it and it works right but in most cases this is meant to be fully removed and installed as kind of the last step. Also it is very likely that this comes loose after you remove the shims... perfectly normal. (But when this comes loose don't be tugging the door all around hold it tight and square - makes your install easier.)

  • I keep them on until after I've picked and marked my shims (except for the top).
    – JACK
    Oct 6, 2021 at 19:50
  • Additionally, the metal sill is often held to the wooden jambs only with staples. Those can pull out if the door is moved a lot prior to installation without the board across the bottom.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 6, 2021 at 20:30
  • 1
    @Jack - me too. Actually for most doors (this picture they look thick) its just a thin sheet of plywood... or maybe doors I get. So if this fits snug into my framing... then it is perfect because I know once I take this bottom piece off I can easily shim the top.
    – DMoore
    Oct 6, 2021 at 20:46
  • @FreeMan - I added a piece for that... I remember in my early 20s doing my first door... and thinking I jacked things up when the sill came loose.
    – DMoore
    Oct 6, 2021 at 20:47

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