How to Build an Exterior Door Jamb

By: Contributors  | 
A young woman holding a bottle of water unlocks the front door of her house.
The door jamb is the vertical portion of the frame that runs along the sides of the door. The door jamb plays an essential role in making your house burglarproof. Images By Tang Ming Tung / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • Building an exterior door jamb involves measuring the door, cutting wood studs for the frame and jambs, and assembling them with nails.
  • Ensure the door opening is slightly larger than the door for a proper fit, and use wooden shims to keep the jamb level.
  • After constructing the frame and securing the jambs, mark hinge placements, screw the hinges in place and hang the door, checking for free movement and proper spacing.

A new and attractive door can make a world of difference to your house. The door jamb plays an important role in making your house burglarproof. One good kick and your door will fly open, so it's important that you have a strong door jamb to protect you and make it difficult for thieves to break into your house. The door jamb is the vertical portion of the frame that runs along the sides of the door. If you have to replace or repair a door jamb it's most advisable to build an entire new door frame. Installing a new door frame is not a difficult task and can be learned by understanding the simple steps involved. Let's have a look at those steps and instructions.

Materials needed


  1. Wood studs
  2. 2 door jambs
  3. Electric saw
  4. Electric drill
  5. Hammer
  6. Tape measure
  7. Nails
  8. Pencil

Here's what to do:

  1. Measure the height and width of the door using the tape measure. Since the door opening must be bigger than the door in order for the door to fit, add a few inches (centimeters) to the opening on each side.
  2. Cut two studs to the height that you measured, using the electric saw. Set them upright on each side of the door opening.
  3. Cut one stud to the width of the door and place it on top of the door opening. Nail this header (top piece) to the studs that you put on the side. You now have a frame.
  4. Nail one door jamb to the wood frame you built, on the hinge side. This is where you'll hang the door. Wedge thin wooden shims between the frame and the jamb so everything will be level.
  5. Nail the other jamb to the wood frame.
  6. Mark the places for the hinges with a pencil.
  7. Screw the hinges in place.
  8. Hang the door by attaching it to the hinges.
  9. Make sure the door swings freely and has space to open and close [sources: Caldwells, Tipdeck].


Frequently Asked Questions

What materials are best for building an exterior door jamb?
Durable hardwoods or treated wood are ideal for exterior door jambs to withstand weather conditions and potential wear and tear, offering strength and longevity to the door frame.
How do I ensure my exterior door jamb is weatherproof?
To weatherproof an exterior door jamb, use weather stripping and sealants to protect against moisture and drafts. Additionally, ensure the wood is properly treated or painted to resist water damage and rot.