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  • Writer's pictureSara Johnson

Doors – Pre-hung or Slab?

Many of our customers want to know which is cheaper and better to purchase, pre-hung doors or slab doors? The answer to that is, it depends. Are you replacing an exterior or interior door?

Exterior Doors

If you’re looking to replace an exterior door it is advisable to purchase a pre-hung door. Why you ask? The main reason is that your door needs to be properly sealed from the elements. If you were to install a slab door you will not get a proper seal and thereby letting weather, dirt and yes bugs into your home.

A Pre-hung door can keep your house energy efficient. A pre-hung door will have seals around the door itself, but a licensed professional will also make sure that the seal around the frame is also sealed. Therefore, not allowing heat or cool air to escape your house. This of course allows you to be able to keep your house at the appropriate temperatures to make you and your guest comfortable (and hopefully the pesky bugs and critters out).

Interior Doors

With interior doors you can choose either pre-hung or slab doors. Which one is right for you and your home? Again, it depends! What does your door frame look like?

If your frame is fairly aligned (it doesn’t need to be perfect), then a new slab door can be fitted to the opening. I emphasize the word fitted because some people don’t realize that unless they are purchasing a custom-made slab door, the slab doors do not come to the exact size of your door. Therefore, it needs to be trimmed and cut down to the correct size of the door opening (we recommend using a licensed professional).

Purchasing Side Tip

If you are purchasing your slab doors prior to consulting with a professional, we advise you to not get the slab doors with the hole pre-drilled in them. More often than not, the pre-drilled holes will not line up with your pre-existing strike plate and the lock will not work.

If your door frames are badly damaged or misaligned, then pre-hung doors are the way to go. How do frames get misaligned or damaged? Over time houses settle which can misaligned door frames or they can get damaged by termites among other things. Getting pre-hung doors are cheaper in these instances because you can get a new frame, door, and new casing which you would have likely needed to purchase anyway.

Is your door frame square?

How can you tell if your frames are aligned? You can of course leave it up to your contractor to let you know, but you can also check ahead of time by measuring the horizontal distance in door opening at three points on the door (top, middle, and bottom). The frame measurements should be roughly the same. If the measurements vary quite a bit, then you know its misaligned and will likely need pre-hung doors.

We hope you found our door tips beneficial. Please subscribe to our blog to get more tips in the future. If you have a question or would like us to come to your home to give you a free estimate, please contact us, we would love to hear from you.


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