Some home improvement projects are fairly easy to complete on your own. For example, nearly anyone can successfully hang large outdoor wall clocks or tree branch wall decor. Many homeowners are even adept at installing tile or renovating a kitchen. Larger project like these take some pre-planning and a good understanding of how to methodically complete the project. Installing a door frame in a masonry wall is the kind of project where advance knowledge and research are required and the information included here will help you successfully complete this installation.
When you have a wooden door frame, it is easy hang a door; however when a wall is constructed from masonry block, you will need a metal door frame. Masonry walls tend to hold moisture and a metal frame resists rotting and stands up to moisture much better than wood does. It also handles temperature changes far better than a wooden frame can. Generally when you are installing a metal door frame, it is put in place and the block wall is built around it. However, when you need to replace one, the wall is already built, and you will have to anchor the new frame to your block wall. After the frame is in place, hanging the door is no different than it would be for a wooden door.
Locating a Steel Frame
Before you install your door frame you will have to find one that is appropriate for your block wall. Most steel doors that are made to work with a block wall have a four inch header, which is required so that the door frame aligns properly with the block wall. You will have to measure the thickness of the walls, because the door jamb needs to match the thickness of the walls. You also need to select the proper size for the door frame; it should be about a half an inch smaller than the width of the door opening and about a quarter inch shorter than the height of the door. With these measurements, the door frame will properly fit the wall. The door frame should already be formed, dimpled and punched from the manufacturer; you will install the door frame with wall anchors.
Setting the Frame into the Wall
To install a steel door frame, you will have to line up your drill holes on door with the block wall. Measure the height of the frame’s dimpled opening, so that you can easily drill your holes to match in the masonry wall. Mark the location on the block door opening, and install a masonry bit in your drill before you begin drilling. After you have drilled your masonry holes, line them up with the door frame and use and expansion bolts for each of the dimples in the frame. This is how you connect the door frame to the block wall and have it securely seated. Since there are many different types of expansion bolts, make sure that you use the proper ones as indicated in the manufacturers instructions. Some expansion bolts are designed to be put in place with an impact gun while others are designed to be hammered in.
Installing a Frame in a New Wall
If the walls are not yet constructed, you may install your door frame first. Begin with a frame that has a jamb that is the same depth as the wall being built. Look for T-strap anchors or a wire on the metal frame, and refer to the building plans for the correct location of the door frame. Make sure that your frame is level, and if you need to adjust it you can use wooden shims. At the base of the jamb you will find sill anchors, which you can use to connect the door frame to the floor with bolts. If you need to brace the frame so that it can hold its position, then do so, and once the walls have been constructed you can use the T-straps to anchor the door between the blocks in the wall to make sure that it is held securely in place.