Hanging a Door

| April 9, 2015

Hanging a Door is one of those DIY jobs which sounds easier than it actually is. Almost anyone can hang a new door, but hanging it properly and avoiding common problems takes a bit more time and thought. There are several reasons why you might need to hang a door, from simply wanting to change the style of your room to replacing a rotten or warped existing door. Luckily, doors are available in a variety of styles and for almost every budget. You can pick up a brand new solid wood door for around £100 and a moulded wooden door for as little as £30. Whichever style of door you choose, the basic rules for hanging it properly are the same.

Tools You Might Need
– Tape Measure
– Try Square
– 19mm Wood Chisel
– Wooden or Rubber Mallet
– Surform Plane
– Panel or Tenon Saw
– Drill
– Screwdrivers
– Workbench

How to Hang a Door

1. Choosing a Door
The first thing you need to do is measure your existing door (the door to be replaced) or the internal dimensions of the door frame. Many houses will have standard sized door frames, but some might have non-standard frames and doors. The standard size for a door is 6’6″ x 2’6″ (1982mm x 762mm) but various sizes, both bigger and smaller than this, are widely available. If you can’t find a door to exactly fit your frame, buy one slightly larger. Solid and moulded doors will have around 20mm all the way around which is safe to trim off. If you are not reusing the existing hinges, try to choose hinges of the same size so that you do not have to mess around altering the hinge recesses in the frame.

2. Measuring and Marking The Door
When you get your new door it might have protective strips of timber along the bottom and top edges. Remove these and hold the door up against the frame. If fitting a Flush Door, check that the structural blocks for fitting the hinges and handle are on the correct sides (the blocks will be marked on the edge of the door). Cut some slim wedges of wood raise the door up off the floor and make sure it is positioned centrally to the frame. If you are very lucky, your door will fit exactly and you can skip on to the Hanging the Door section. If not, ask someone to hold it into position and lightly mark where you need to trim. Remember to include the 3mm gap all the way around the door when you mark for trimming.

3. Trimming The Door
If there is more than about 5mm to trim off, use a Panel or Tenon saw to cut off the excess close to your marks and then finish off with a Plane or Belt Sander. Clamp the door in a workbench and if using a plane, follow the grain so that the shavings are removed smoothly. When planing the bottom and top edges, work from the edges into the middle to avoid splintering the edges. When you have trimmed off the excess down to your marks, hold the door in place and check that it fits. It is also a good idea to plane or sand a slight slope along the edges of the stiles (the long edges running the full height of the door) where they will touch the doorstop on the frame. This helps to ensure the door does not stick if it swells slightly in wet weather.

4. Hanging the Door
Hold the door in the frame, using the wedges to raise it up into the correct position, and transfer the position of the hinges from the frame to the door. Mark both the top and bottom position of the hinge recesses. Hold the hinge in position on the new door and mark around it with a pencil or trimming knife. If you are using a Cranked Butt Hinge, the knuckle (the rounded side with the pin) should project out fully from the face of the door and frame. If using a Cast Butt Hinge, the centre of the knuckle should be in line with the face of the door.

hanging a door

Mark the thickness of one flap of the hinge on the face of the door (use a Marking Gauge if you have one). Using a sharp 19mm Chisel and a mallet, carefully mark around the mark you made for the hinge recess to roughly the depth required. Now make a series of cuts across the hinge recess about 5mm apart. You can now start to pare away the excess wood one section at a time. Dividing the excess wood to be removed in this way helps to avoid paring too much wood away if you slip with the chisel. Once the hinge recess is ready, place the hinge into it and screw it to the door. Only use one screw for each of the three hinges at this point.

With the door held in place, in an open position and propped up on wedges, screw the hinges on to the door frame (if you have been accurate with your marks they should line up with the existing hinge recesses in the frame) using only one screw again. If you are screwing into existing holes in the frame, you may find that your screws do not tighten very well. If this is the case, remove the hinge, drill out the screw holes and insert a piece of glued dowel the same size as the hole. Let the glue dry, and then try screwing in the hinge screws again.

Check that the door swings and shuts freely before screwing in the rest of the screws for each hinge, on both the door and the frame. Once this is done, all you need to do is fit the handle and the latch, or lock if required.

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Category: Carpentry Guides

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