When reforming your own place, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start. This is especially true if you don’t have prior reforming experience. There is a general order of construction that should be followed to a certain degree for the finished product to come out looking halfway decent. In my experience, the most important element – in terms of the interior construction – to set in stone before any serious building should commence, is your door and window frame dimensions and placement.
Planning out your window and door frames often involves you going and actually buying or ordering them. The idea here is to ensure you know exactly what kind of window and doors frames you’re dealing with, and their sizes, so you can plan your walls around them. And the only way you can actually ensure it’ll all come together according to plan is to physically have them on hand, ready to install (you don’t want to take chances with them not being available for some reason).
In this article I’ll be referring mainly to interior door frames and walls.
There are different ways one can go about fitting door and window frames, but I’ll outline the tried and proven method I’ve been taught. There are 2 basic components to a door unit — the frame, and door itself. Interior frames usually come in pieces which you assemble on site, and in some cases, come longer then needed to allow minor size adjustments.
Windows and doors for the peripheral walls on the other hand, are designed differently, as they face the exterior. It’s safe to say that the exact placement for these should be well planned beforehand due to their proximity to vital structural columns. Exterior frames are typically aluminum or some other corrosion-resistant material, and often come preassembled and ready to fit.
Some frames nowadays have adjustable hardware on the vertical or stud-side to account for small gaps between frame and stud. This allows for a small margin of error to account for studs and columns that aren’t perfectly plumb. However, not all frames come with these gadgets attached to them! So for those that don’t, you have to either get your studs and columns more or less perfect, or you’ll have to add shims accordingly.
In either case, calculate your wall framing so it forms an opening slightly bigger than the outer dimensions of the door frame. This is important to get right, as if you don’t, you’ll have a painful “adjustment” job that will involve either removing the present framing and redoing it, or the equally tedious job of adding framing to decrease the size of the opening. The latter option is only available if the opening was too big.
And there are yet other kinds of interior door frames that are designed so that they “cap” the drywall 5 or 10 millimeters. This makes the job of the drywaller easier as it’s not a big deal if the drywall doesn’t quite make it to the frame edge. What this also means is that the drywall is typically hung first, and the door frames are fit afterwards (another reason to make sure you don’t mess up on the size of the opening).
It also means your frame’s outer dimensions will change, as you’ll need to factor in the overlap. In the case where drywall butts up against the door frame, the door frame obviously needs to be fit first. Check for plumb and level, and you should probably hang the door itself as well to make sure everything’s ok (go ahead and remove it after as it will get in the way). Because once the drywall is up, you won’t be able to adjust the frame without removing the drywall.