Removing an interior doorway can open up a space.

Removing an Interior Doorframe

by Eric Jonas

Whether you’re making way for a brand-new, prehung door or getting rid of a doorway to open up a too-confined space, both renovation projects can make a dramatic impact on the visual appeal of a room. The door frame provides no structural support to the house, so you can pull out an old, interior door frame all on your own. Whether the door is a newer prehung door or an older custom-made frame, they all work according to the same principles and with generally the same parts.

1 Locate the screws on the hinges and note the screw head required to remove them. Use an appropriate screwdriver to remove the screws from the hinges that are inserted into the frame. Since you are removing the entire frame, you don’t need to remove the screws holding the hinges to the door.

2 Remove the door from the frame and carefully set it out of the way if you plan to reuse it later.

3 Place the tip of a metal putty knife between the door casing and the wall and give a couple of light taps all around the door to create a small gap. Pry off the casing using the metal putty knife. If the putty knife doesn’t seem to be sturdy enough for the task, place a pry bar in the gap over top of the putty knife to remove the casing. Placing the pry bar on the putty knife allows the pressure to be distributed over a larger area, and therefore reduces the chance of damaging the drywall.

4 Remove any screws with your screwdriver and get rid of any easy-to-access nails with the claw on the back of the hammer.

5 Cut any remaining nails with a reciprocating saw and pull the frame out of the opening.

6 Remove any parts of nails that are protruding out of the rough opening with pliers.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Pliers

Tips

  • If the hinge pins are not rusted, you can simply knock the pins out; when you open the door, it should easily come free from the hinges. However, if the pin is rusted, you could spend more time hammering it out than you would just removing the screws.
  • If you have broken nails or screws on the floor when you’re finished, a quick and easy method of collection is to use a magnetic sweeper. This will save you from bending over several times and will catch nails you might not have seen.
  • Removing screws and nails can leave small broken pieces of wood or slivers on the studs in the opening. To prevent anyone from accidentally hurting themselves, sand them lightly with any grit sandpaper.

Warning

  • Take a moment to make sure that all of the cut nails and screws from the reciprocating saw have been pulled out with the pliers. The small pieces can be difficult to see, but can cause injury and possible infection if someone leans against them and punctures their skin.

References

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images