A.JLC editor Dave Holbrook responds: I had the same problem recently. The weight of an entry door is mostly concentrated on the topmost hinge, which calls for beefy hinges and an unyielding jamb. Prehung door manufacturers usually leave one or two screws out of the top leaf and ship a couple of 3- to 4-inch-long screws with the door, expecting you to drive them through the jamb into the framing. When your closest framing is a foot or more away from the hinge because of the foam-core sidelight, you've got a problem. The hardware stores don't seem to carry #10 wood screws 16 inches long.
I solved the problem with a length of 1/4-inch threaded rod and a tee-nut connector secured in the framing. Installing this rig was a job, though: I had to pull the entire door assembly to install the connector. But when I discovered that one sidelight jamb was rotted, I decided it was worth the hassle. I pulled the whole door frame out,...
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