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yod 09-15-2010 08:26 AM

Reducing the size of the door frame
Hi guys,

I have a new place and there is a closet in the bedroom. There is currently no door on that closet and I want to put a white folding door (24" x 80") there.

The frame of the door, however, is a little too large (26 1/2 x 82) and it would look weird to have that much space on each side of the door.

I want to reduce the opening of the door by about 1 inch on each side and 1 inch at the top. How would you proceed?

Thanks and best regards,


Nestor_Kelebay 09-15-2010 10:56 AM


Considering this is going to be a long term installation, I would nail or screw clear fir 1X4 or 1X6 lumber onto the inside of the opening you have now, and stain and varnish (if you want the wood to show).

You'll have a gap behind the 1X4's or 1X6's, but you can use shims in that gap to ensure the top lumber is horizontal and the sides are vertical and the correct distance apart. Then, use whatever wood molding you want tacked to the edges of the 1X material to cover those gaps from showing. A folding door is light and fir 1X4s or 1X6's are plenty strong enough to support that kind of a door.

If you prefer to prime and paint, you can opt for a lesser grade of lumber, but I'd stick with fir or pine because they're both a lot stronger woods than spruce.

Where I live, the grades of fir lumber go as follows:

1. Clear - no knots or defects at all. This wood is only used where it will be seen, such as for wood moldings or furniture.

2. Export Grade - This is the highest grade of wood that you can get without paying a lot extra for Clear. We sell it to help support our economy, and it has to be good to compete successfully with lumber available from other countries.

3. Select Structural - has fewer defects than construction grade lumber

4. Construction Grade

Typically, you can buy Clear and Construction Grade in any major city. However, you may have to phone around to get Select Structural, and typically Export Grade will only be used for export and won't be available within Canada.

Then, it's just a matter of cutting the wood down to size by either ripping it on a table saw or planing it to the exact size. Probably your best bet would be to rip it to 1/16 to 1/8 inch oversize, and then plane it down to the final size to get the smoothest finish. Any of the hardware stores/lumber yards that cater to the woodworkers in your area will have a plane and can do this for you. And, every lumber yard will stock or will be able to order clear fir for you.

yod 09-15-2010 11:10 AM

Thanks Nestor_Kelebay!

I will probably do that and put mouldings (the same mouldings I have around the other doors & windows in this room) around the door so that the line between the current opening and the newly painted lumber is not visible.

Nestor_Kelebay 09-15-2010 03:54 PM

To do a Cadillac job, take a look at how the moldings that go around your other door frames meet the baseboards, and, if possible, do it the same way. Typically, the door casing (the molding around the doorway or closet) will extend down to the floor, and the baseboard will butt up to the back of the casing on each side of the closet.

astin 11-03-2010 05:23 PM

If you have a salvage yard near you, you could also check with them for used doors and find a perfect match for not much money at all. And the bonus is, you don't have to install the sides or the headers. Just hang the door and enjoy.

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