Internal Door frames - painful and need help

16 Mar 2011
Reaction score
United Kingdom
hello, I am new to this site and am hoping that after reading some of the great tips on this site that someone will help me.

Basically our house was built in the late 1930's and the internal doorframes are all metal, we have lived there for nearly 7 years, the thing is that we have decided the start the decorating, and have decided to remove the door frames in the lounge, which were tied into the brickwork. Now that hubby has done that we are left with a plastering mess (which is easlily sorted) but now we need to install a new doorframe so that a new door can go in - we not purchased the door yet as we not chosen one.

Thing is that I cant seem to find any advice on how to replace a door frame and dont want hubby to cut away into the new one he is about to buy without knowing fully what we are to do!

If anyone out there can help, I would be sooooo grateful!


Sponsored Links
Not really the huge issue that you think - the likes of B&Q etc do frames in kit form that you glue and screw together.
Be advised though that doors aren't always a standard size, although 2'6" and 2'9" wide are most common, both being 6'6" high.
So, measure the hole thats left - assume the door frame is about 1 1/4" thick if you use a kit frame. See what size door will then go into the hole and take it from there.
If you are using a heavier door, a thicker frame could be advisable - things are built so lightly these days! Dead easy to construct yourself, and you use diagonal braces lightly fixed to keep it square.
As for fixing the frame into the brickwork, check out Screwfix 13744 or 15876 for 10mm fastenings that drill straight through the door and into the centre of the bricks. You'll need bits of packing to prevent the frame bowing when you fix it - well worth taking your time to get it right.
A good spirit level and a hammer drill are essential tools here!
John :)
hi burnerman

thanks for the post, it seems that the brickwork that is above the door hole is loose, how would we know if we needed to fit a lintle? and do we fit the new doorframe and secure the brickwork afterwards?

wish I was more DIY - thing is that I am an office worker and the hubby a butcher! the blind leading the blind!!!!
As you have removed the existing door frame, obviously the brickwork was resting on the top part of the frame, and isn't structural. I assume this is a single thickness brick partition wall.
Often the steel window and door frames were stood in place and bricked around, when the house was built.
Therefore the new timber frame, when inserted will do the same job.
However, its a good idea to insert a timber lintel which will span the door frame hole, with an extra 6" or so on either side.
This will allow you to replace or repoint the loose bricks without fear of a landslide!
The brickwork at either side of the door frame must be in good condition to allow you to get a fixing. The door frame doesn't need to be fixed to the lintel, particularly.
If you considered the brickwork above the door to be structural, this is usually supported by a beam or 'needle' passing through the brickwork, and supported with a prop at either side when the new lintel is put in place.
John :)
Sponsored Links
When you go to buy, you want to be asking for an internal door lining or casing and not a door frame. These normally come in two standard widths, or or the same pack can be made up into either size. So check which size you need

You need to sort out the walls first as the lining is fixed to the wall. Repointing wont do, as any loose bricks or blocks will not allow you to fix the lining securely and every time you slam the door the loose wall will get looser

Same thing for the cracked brickwork above, if there is no lintel there now, and you don't fit one, then the plaster will all crack within a few days as it gets looser. A cheap £6 concrete lintel will do
Yes the wall is single bricks, and wall either side of the old door frame is in very good condition, hardly any loose bricks at all, we lost a brick above the door and there are some cracks between some of the exposed brickwork (which can be seen as the plaster has come away).

what is the difference between a door casing and a door frame?

and how many bricks above the existing opening, if at all does the lintle go? and woody you say that I could puchase a lintle for as little as £6 - where can I get one of those from?

sorry for all the questions but this is probably the biggest single thing we have done in this house and dont want to get it wrong at this stage as we have at least 5 other metal door frames to remove!
Concrete lintels are available from builders merchants in a series of lengths - they are very cheap albeit rather heavy!
If you've only a couple of loose bricks you'll probably get away with pointing up the gaps with a sand / cement mix.
John :)
Hi John

Thanks for coming back to me, I hope that it is a case of making good, but if as Woddy suggests I need to put in a lintle, I think I will need one that has rippled edges so that we can plaster over it? does the door casing fit directly onto the lintle? only I dont know how we would renove bricks and them reinsert a row of bricks after as there would be nothing to secure them to?

have I lost the plot:) ??
No need to get too stressed by this - add a lintel if you can, timber or concrete. If its concrete, plaster directly to it - if its timber then nail on some plaster board strips first. A concrete lintel is rough enough for plaster to adhere - but a brush over with pva glue does no harm first!
Your door lining - or casing if you prefer to call it that - is fixed to the side brickwork and not to the lintel which is purely there to hold up the brickwork above and to absorb shock from a slamming door. Any gaps between lining and casing can be filled with cement etc.
Lets say the new lintel is in, but there is a gap above where bricks are missing. Its perfectly ok to push in a layer of cement and then set the bricks to it any way you can - its just done to prevent them coming loose and upsetting any new plaster.
Hope this helps!
John :)
ok, do if I have this straight, I insert a lintle which should span the door opening and beyond by 6 inches either side?

then make good the brickwork above the lintle?

then insert the door casing?

question - does the door casing sit flush against the lintle?
Yes on all counts!
If your new frame doesn't sit tight up to the lintel then worry ye not - you can pack the gap with timber wedges or just fill.
There is no need to fix the door frame into the lintel - chances are it will bow anyway if you do.
John :)
so what stops the top of the door frame from moving? if I dont need to secure the top of the casing to the lintel?
Its a beefy frame which once fixed to the side brickwork and also held there with plaster and timber architrave etc simply won't move.
There's nothing to stop you fixing the frame to the lintel - but if you use a concrete one there will be metal reinforcement bars within which will not be touched with a masonry drill.
If you go ahead, just dont distort the top of the frame, thats all.
Once you've done one, you'll wonder what the fuss was about!
Small tip - if you intend to create your own frame with timber, dont use ready rebated stuff - it just makes hanging the door that little bit more precise....easy enough with practice! You can fit the closing beads when the door is hung.
Choose timber that is the same thickness as what the wall will be including plaster. It makes fixing the architrave much easier and doesn't need filler.
John :)
the lining that we have bought has a rebate already - hoping thats the best way we will brace it before we fit it.

you completely lost me with regards to beading? I understand the architrave bit, cos that the bit that sits on the outside!

can you explain the beading bit please? :confused:
If your door lining has a rebate already machined into it, it has to be hung absolutely square and upright - in every direction.
If it isn't, once the door is hung you'll get gaps appearing where there shouldn't be. This also means that mounting the hinges has also to be spot on....all it takes is lots of luvverly practice :D
A non rebated frame is more forgiving because once the door is hung, the closing beads or laths (effectively the rebate) are pinned in place afterwards, therefore closing any gaps....I must confess, thats the way I prefer to do it because I don't fit doors every day!
Have a go, and enjoy your project and be chuffed with the outcome. Brace the frame so it remains square during fitting and try not to distort the frame with fixing screws....dead easy to do!
Door hanging can't be undertaken too lightly because there's the locks etc to go on as well....and if its an outside door these will need adjusting after a while because they swell with the rain. The list goes on......
You'll know your door is good if it opens and doesn't fall shut by itself, and the hinges don't bind because you've set them in too deeply!
John :)

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links