Things You'll Need
Scraper or pry bar
Light switches are often placed on the wall close to door frames. If your frame is too close to the light switch after widening, consult with an electrician about moving the switch to a better position.
Widening a doorway also requires that the floor be repaired to match the rest of the floor. Use extra pieces of flooring or replace the flooring for the best appearance.
When sawing into a wall, make sure you do not cut into electrical wiring or plumbing lines that may be installed inside the wall close to the door. Phone lines or cable lines may also be located within the wall.
Part of your remodeling job may be to make a door frame wider to modernize a room or create easier access for older or disabled family members. Widening a door requires some planning and consideration of the practical requirements of both rooms connected by the door. To make a door frame wider, the do-it-yourself should also ensure that the planned construction does not cut into any existing electrical or heating and air conditioning equipment.
Remove the existing door from the frame by unscrewing the screws on the hinges and lifting the door away.
Pry the molding away from the wall with a pry bar, making sure not to damage the drywall around the door. If you remove the side pieces without damaging them, you can re-use them, according to the CSHandymanService website. Discard the top piece.
Remove the wood frame pieces and the threshold.
Choose which side of the door will produce the most attractive opening for the room. This decision is often determined by the door's proximity to perpendicular walls.
Measure and mark the new opening for the door. Use a plumb line to mark a straight vertical line to the floor.
Begin cutting the wall at the top of the door frame. Wear protective eye wear to prevent injury while working. Avoid cutting into the wood top plate above the door. Cut across the drywall to the desired width, and cut down to the floor following the line drawn on the drywall.
Measure the inside of the new edge, and cut a 2-by-4-inch piece of lumber to this length.
Set this vertical length into place on the edge. Level the wood, and nail it into place on the vertical wall framing on the side you just opened using 2 1/2-inch nails. Add wood shims if necessary to connect to the wood frame.
Cut two 2-by-4-inch boards to a height that will extend to the bottom of the header, and nail these into place with 2 1/2-inch nails onto the top plate wood, locating one piece on each side of the doorway.
Cut the horizontal header to fit across the top of the door. Level this piece, and nail it into place with 2 1/2-inch nails against the two vertical pieces you just installed. Add wood shims to fit along the wood top plate to stabilize it, if necessary.
Cut new drywall to fit the new opening, and nail it into place.
Install a new door and casing into the opening and nail them into position.
J. Lang Wood
J. Lang Wood's stories, essays and articles have been seen in journals across the country and online. She is a published short story and essay writer who specializes in travel topics, pets, medical subjects, Florida history, environmental issues, political and business topics. She is the author of the novel "Strays" and holds an Associate of Arts in chemistry from College of DuPage.