Hanging or replacing doors yourself is a very useful DIY task. Properly fitted new doors will enhance the appearance of your home considerably.
Types of Doors
While doors come in different materials including plastic and metal – and can be operated in different ways sliding, folding, revolving even – most doors are made from wood and hang on hinges. The most common types of doors are flush and panelled doors.
For exterior door hanging use strong hardwood doors. These are more hardwearing. Exterior doors should always be painted or treated with a suitable protective coating.
Remember, replacing an older, battered or cheaper looking door, especially a front or back door, with a new hardwood version can vastly improve the exterior of your home.
Measure your door carefully before you start hanging. Hold it up and check it is going to fit into the frame. If you have to plane the door for it to fit correctly then always work the plane along the grain. Use a spirit level and right angle tool. Mark it with a pencil if necessary to act as a guide. Continually check you are gaining a straight finish. If you do not keep checking you could be left with a wonky door!
If your door is too small you may have to adjust the frame with additional wood. Better still you may be able to extend your door with a strip of wood glued to the side. You will have to sand it down to create a smooth finish and then paint it to conceal the join.
Older door frames are something else which often needs attention because they are loose. If you find your door frame is loose then drill new holes and re-attach it to the wall.
Another good tip if you have a slightly loose door is to fit a foam draught excluder around it. This will fix loose fitting doors and also insulate your room or hallway better.
- Use three hinges on heavy doors.
- If your door is warped on the hinge side you may be able to cure it by attaching a third hinge.
- Ensure the hinge side of the frame is vertical before hanging.
Step By Step
- Fit the hinges to the frame first. These may go in an existing space or you may need to create a new recess for the hinge.
- Mark hinge positions with a pencil using a hinge itself to trace the dimensions and hole positions.
- Use a sharp knife to mark the area for the hinge. Then chip out the recess. Always take off small amounts of wood at a time.
- Drill pilot holes in the door for the hinge to fit. Use countersunk screws of the same material as the hinge.
- It’s best to have someone helping you for the final stage of fitting your door. A wedge under the door can also help to fit the door.
- Lift the door into place and carefully mark the side of the door through the screw holes on the hinge.
- Put one screw into each hinge to check the door fits neatly.
- If required remove the door and deepen the space for the hinge on the frame with a chisel and then refit. Do this gradually.
- When you are satisfied the door is hanging neatly you can fix the remaining screws onto the door. Ensure all hinge screws on the door and frame are tightly fitted.
When you hang double doors or French windows the technique is exactly the same as for a normal door. Most double doors come in standard sizes which is a great help. Always try and match a standard door to a standard frame size to make life easier. Finally, it’s best to have any glass fitted to your door after you have hung it. Fitting the door to the frame will be much easier if you add the glass later.