While it may not be the first thing you think of, installing a new door can make a big impact on a room. If you are looking to change the style of a room or just update a space, removing the old, worn-out door and adding a new freshly hung door can be just the way to do it.
Installing a new door isn’t hard, but it does require you to follow some steps very precisely. Since a door is a working part, it needs to be attached to the wall safely and correctly so it will function the way it should.
Step 1: Choose a Door
Choosing the right door for a space means finding one that matches the style of the room and home and that has the right features. Start by deciding if the door needs to have any special features, like a screen or special lock.
Then, decide what you want the new door to look like. Colour, style, texture and the material the door is made of will help determine what kind of impact the door has on the room.
Keep in mind that you can also create a custom door by using a belt or orbital sander to sand it, by altering it with paint, a new finish or added features or you can transform a thrift find into something new.
Step 2: Measure the Door and Check for a Proper Fit
The most important step in installing a new door is taking measurements. If you don’t take correct measurements, the rest of the process won’t go smoothly and your door won’t hang right – and most likely won’t look very good.
The first measurement you need to take is the width of the opening. Measure the inside of the opening and make sure you are holding the tape measure straight and getting an accurate measurement. When you choose a door, you will need to use one that is 2 to 2.5” narrower than this opening.
Now you need to measure the length of the door jambs, leaving about 3/4 of an inch at the bottom so the door will clear the floor as it opens and closes. This measurement is important for the look and function of the installed door.
When you have purchased the door, put it into the frame to make sure it fits properly before you begin installing it. There should be a 2 millimetre space between the jamb on the top and the sides of the door. If the door is too tall, saw a small portion off the bottom and check the fit again. It is better to make a few cuts that remove only a small portion of the door than to accidentally remove too much with one cut.
Now is also a good time to make sure the door is hanging squarely. If the jamb isn’t perfectly square, the door may not hang right. You can compensate for this by cutting some length off the bottom of the door.
Step 3: Install the Casings and Fit for Hinges
The next step is to install the casings and fit for hinges. Attach the casings on any one side of the door with a brad nail gun. Then, check to see if the hinges fit the recesses in the old door frame. If they do, you won’t need to make any changes. If the hinges don’t fit in the old frame, you can easily adjust the frame by creating recesses that will fit the hinges.
Use a screw to attach each hinge to the frame and open them, checking to make sure the pivots protrude from the edge of the frame. Lift the door into the frame and use wedges under the door to hold it in place, making sure there is enough space at the bottom of the door.
While the door is open, attach the hinges to the door frame with a single screw for each hinge. Then, use a pencil to mark the outline of the hinge on the door, so you will know where to install it. After you have made the marks, unscrew the hinges from the frame.
Step 4: Attach the Hinges to the Door
Now you are ready to attach the hinges to the door. Lay the door on the floor or other flat surface and lay the hinges on the door, inside the pencil outlines you drew in step three. Use a straight edge to mark the thickness of the hinge flaps on the door.
Now, use a chisel to tap around the outline of the hinge shapes. As you do this, the bevel of the chisel should be facing toward the waste wood so that you don’t damage the surface of the door. Then, cut across the wood where the hinge will be attached, at 5 millimetre intervals, matching the same depth as the thickness of the flap. Continue to cut into the surface of the door to remove enough wood to make room for the hinge’s flap.
When you have removed enough wood for the hinge to fit into, use just one screw to attach each hinge to the door. This will make it easier to make adjustments in the next step if needed.
Step 5: Install the Door
After the hinges are attached, you need to lift the door into the opening again, resting it on the wedges. Use one screw per hinge to attach the hinges, and the door, to the frame. Carefully remove the wedges and check to make sure the door opens and closes easily and that it fits properly. Make any needed adjustments and then finish attaching the hinges by using more screws.
Now that the door is attached, you are ready to start using it! Make sure the door continues to work well for a long time by maintaining the knob, hinges and frame when needed.
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