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How to hang doors on existing frame by yourself?

October 17, 2018

How to hang doors on existing frame by yourself?

Getting the right door:

You probably still have your old door which is going to make this process a lot easier. Use your old door as a reference point for your new door. Measure its height, width and thickness and note it down!

We advise you to round off the measurements to the nearest highest dimensions. This gives you some room for error as well.

Example : If you measured 1978mm (high) x 757mm (wide) x 44mm (thick), rounded up, the nearest standard door size would be 1981mm x 762mm x 44mm.

Measuring your door

Tools Required :

Now, since you have chosen to hang your own doors, you are going to require the following tools at your disposal :

  • A Measuring Tape
  • A Sharp Pencil
  • A Wood Plane ( Manual or Powered)
  • Hardpoint hand saw
  • A 25MM Chisel (1")
  • Hammer or Wooden mallet
  • Drill
  • 2mm & 3mm HSS drill bit
  • Workbench
  • Wooden wedges

Materials list:

Here are the materials you are going to require to set up your door in an existing frame

  • Wooden wedges
  • Internal door
  • 2-3 suitable door hinges
  • Screws

Now that we have got all the materials and tools sorted, let's move on to the actual process. Here is what you have to do to ensure that your door is hung properly.

Step 1 - Measuring the new door to size

If the old door was a good fit use it as a guide for the new one. Lay the old one on top of the new one and pencil mark around it so you can see where to cut any excess of the new door. If you don't have the old door to use as a guide or perhaps the old door fit terribly, you'll want to use the frame to measure the fit of the new door. For this, it's easier to have two people - one on each side of the door. Hold the door up against the frame and run a pencil line down the door against the frame on the lock side to mark the trimming line.

PRO tip #1 - Holding the door up when measuring against the frame

The door needs to have a gap beneath it - keep this in mind when measuring the fit. Simply insert two wedges or screwdrivers underneath to keep it in place.

PRO tip #2 - Measuring the gap around the door

Ideally, there should be a 2mm gap around the top and sides of the door. A flat two pence piece is a good way to judge this measurement.

Step 2 - Cutting the door down to size

The sides of the door are unlikely to need much excess removing, therefore, use a hand or powered plane to remove equal amounts from each side following the lines you marked. Keep checking the fit until its right. Smooth sharp edges with abrasive paper.


PRO tip - Cutting down the height of the door


If you have to remove a large amount of excess wood from the height, cut from both the top and bottom of the door, measuring equal amounts, so you keep the symmetry of the panels. Keep checking the fit of the door and use a plane for finer cutting and Smooth sharp edges with abrasive paper.


Step 3 - Measuring the hinge positions

Once your door is trimmed to size, it's time to measure where the hinges go. Hold the door up in the frame using the wedges and 2 pence piece to make an equal gap around it. Draw pencil lines at the top and bottom of both existing hinge recesses.

Step 4 - Chiselling the hinge recess in the door

Hold one of the hinged flaps on the side of the door in-line with where you marked your hinge lines (previous step) and draw around the hinge flap with a pencil. With a chisel and a mallet, tap around the outline you've just drawn. Make sure the bevel (sloped edge) of the chisel is facing towards the waste wood. Next, make a series of cuts into the wood, horizontally across the width of the hinge recess to be cut out, at 5mm intervals to the same depth as the flap. Then knock out the excess wood using the chisel lengthways against the cuts you've just made. This process can be seen clearer in the video found immediately after these steps. Check the hinge fits flush with the door and then screw the hinges into the place.

PRO tip - Fitting the hinges to the door

Use one of the new or existing hinges to mark where the screws are going to go. Hold the hinge in the correct place and pencil a mark where the centre of the screw holes are, then simply drill a shallow hole using a drill piece that's slightly smaller than the screw diameter.

PRO tip - Fitting the hinges to the frame

If you're using new hinges that are a bigger size than the original, then you may need to enlarge the hinge recess in the frame. Simply hold the new hinge up to the frame, overlapping the recess, and draw around the hinge end where the excess needs removing. Remove the excess wood using a chisel and mallet.

Step 5 - Hanging the door on the frame

Make sure you complete step 4 and fit the hinges to the door. Hold the door up to the frame using the wedges. To begin with, only fix one screw into the top of each hinge. With the first screws in place, check the door opens and closes easily and fluidly, so it doesn’t stick or resist, and if you’re happy, fix the rest of the screws in. Now everything's in place, check again that you are happy with how easily the door opens. If the door is not hanging correctly and is rubbing around the edges, try loosening the screws a little, as the tightness will effect the door movement. If the door looks like it's spaced evenly in the frame, except in one area where it catches, you may need to remove the door again and plane or sand off a bit more wood to resolve the issue.

I hope this post will help you fit your door properly! Contact us if you need any help.

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