Metal door frames, more commonly known as hollow metal frames, are used to hang, secure and latch swinging doors. Metal door frames are typically found in commercial applications, though they are sometimes used in homes along with traditional wood frames. There are two types of hollow metal frames, and it is important to understand which type you're working with before attempting removal. If you can see visible screws along the face of the frame, you are likely dealing with a knock-down frame. If no screws are visible, the frame is likely welded.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Pry Bar
Remove any trim or casing from around the frame. Pry it away from the opening carefully using the claw end of a hammer. Remove the door from the frame by removing the screws from the hinges. Place the door aside for reuse or disposal.
Use a drill or screwdriver to remove the screws from the face of the frame. Once all screws have been removed, there is nothing holding the head of the frame in place. Be careful not to let the head fall as you proceed with Step 3.
Pull the jambs away from the wall one at a time. They are wrapped around the drywall and studs, but should no longer be fastened, making removal fairly easy. If the jambs are too tight, use a hammer or pry bar to pry the frame away from the wall. Once the jambs are removed, the head should be easy to pry away by hand.
Remove Knock-Down Frames
Remove door and frame trim or casing so that the frame is easy to access. Use a screwdriver or drill to remove the door from its hinges. Set the door aside for reuse or disposal.
Check for anchors or fasteners. Often, these will be exposed when the door casing is removed. If not, try to pry the bottom of the frame away from the wall using your hands or a pry bar. If it doesn't come loose, remove the baseboards along both sides of the frame to check for anchors.
Remove anchors that were hidden by baseboards or casing. Use a screwdriver or drill, or cut them away from the frame using a Sawzall or grinder if necessary. Once these anchors are removed, you should be able to pry the base of each jamb away from the wall.
Place a hacksaw or Sawzall into the opening at the bottom of the jamb, between the jamb and the stud. Cut away any hidden nails or fasteners, working up the length of the jamb. Repeat this process on the other leg of the frame.
Cut the frame into sections as necessary to remove it from the opening. It is often easiest to cut along each end of the head, and to divide each jamb into two pieces. Use a Sawzall or grinder to complete this step.
Remove Welded Frames
Tips and warnings
- If you find that the bottom of the door frame is embedded in, or otherwise attached to the floor, use a Sawzall to cut through the jambs at floor level. The floor can be patched in this area, or a threshold or transition strip can be installed to cover the damage.
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