Can You Replace An Interior Door Without Replacing The Frame?

You may want to change your door for a number of reasons like improving its appearance, added security, curb appeal, or simply because the old door looks worn out or is damaged.

One common question in this scenario is, can you keep the old door frame while installing a new door? Or rather, should you do so?

The short answer is yes, you can replace a door without replacing its frame. However, you have to be really careful about the measurements and make sure that the door can properly fit into the old frame.

This job requires good technical-know how and expertise to be done correctly. If you’re interested in knowing more about replacing a door while keeping the old frame, then keep reading.

We will help you assess if you should replace the frame or not, and share tips about the door replacement process to make it simpler for you. 

Signs your door frame should be replaced

It is usually easy to ignore the issues in a door frame as we are so used to seeing them on a daily basis.

If you are wondering whether to replace your door frame or not, there are several signs of potential damage on a door frame that you can look for:

  • Dents
  • Deep Scratches
  • Warping
  • Condition of wood and wood rot

You don’t always have to replace the whole door frame if you spot these issues. Sometimes, it can be repaired.

However, if the damage is not reversible, or the wood is extremely warped or damaged, your best bet is to replace the door frame and the door together. 

It is usually the doors you frequently use that get damaged over time. Look at the doors you enter and exit the house from and check them for signs of damage.

Can you replace a door while keeping the old door frame?

It is possible to replace the door and keep the frame, in many cases. If the door frame is in solid condition and shape, there should be no major issues.

You should check if the door closes properly and if there are any gaps around the door that should be insulated.

If you see any of these issues, you should take some time to determine whether the issue is stemming from the door or the frame.

To understand how it all works, you should have some knowledge about doors and their components and functions. 

A door slab is essentially a solid piece of wood that is cut in the size and shape of a door. These may or may not have decorative elements and windows on them.

Some doors are pre-hung, which means that the door is already set in its frame. In this case, the hinges, deadbolt, and handle preparation are also already attached.

How to replace a door without replacing the frame

To replace the door and not the frame, having accurate measurements is extremely crucial. It is usually a good idea to buy a slightly bigger door without any precuts in it. This will make it easier to cut it and fit it into the old frame. 

First, you will chisel out the cutouts to prepare them for the hinges in the new door. You should be sure to do it according to the position of the hinges in the older door.

Similarly, prepare the holes for installing the handle and the deadbolt in the right place. This process needs to be done carefully to ensure the door hangs as the original one did. 

Next, comes the door itself. If you have a pre-hung door, you can simply order a door that fits the size of the door opening and frame.

All you have to do is remove the old frame and install the new door in its place. So, replacing a door already mounted in its frame is often the best solution. 

Can I replace my door frame and keep the same door slab?

If you want to keep the existing door slab and only replace the door frame, this is also possible.

First, you need to ask yourself if this is a good idea or not. To make a reasonable assessment, start by inspecting both the door and the door frame.

Usually, both of these components have suffered the same amount of damage and wear and tear. 

You should take a look at the door jamb first. If only one side is damaged i.e. the strike side where the lock and doorknob meet, then you can simply replace the damaged part. This may seem tricky, but it is possible with the help of a professional contractor. 

The key to replacing the entire frame is having the right materials and measurements and making very precise cuts. This will ensure that the frame will accommodate your existing door with a proper fit. 

Signs your door slab should be replaced

Does your door slab need a replacement? It’s okay for the wood to get some scratches and dents over time but you need to take a closer look to determine if there is a bigger issue.

Start by checking the knob and deadbolt and see if they fit securely. Then, check the hinges and hinge pins to how they are attached. 

Ideally, there shouldn’t be any cracks and broken wood near the hinges. Also, look for any loose or stripped screws. 

Also, look at the position of the door and if it is hanging correctly. Sometimes, you can get the door insulated or adjusted.

But if there are multiple issues at play, and the damage has gone too far, you should just get a replacement. 

Final words

Now you know that replacing your door while keeping the old frame is completely possible. It is also possible to do the opposite. However, this requires technical-know how and quite some time. 

You should remember that your door and its frame have endured the same conditions for the same amount of time.

So, it is usually the best course of action to get them both replaced at the same time.

The two components will be pre-designed to fit together which saves the hassle of cutting precise holes. Plus, this will offer better security as well. 

We hope you found this article helpful and that you will be able to make the best decision. Good luck!

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