Hanging a door is reasonably straightforward when you know what you are doing, but it pays to be well prepared and forewarned of some of the pitfalls. Here is a guide outlining the tools and preparation necessary for the job, and the sequence of steps you should make in order to achieve a perfectly attached interior door. All going well, you should be able to get the job done in a matter of hours.
Tools for the job
Apart from the door itself, make sure you have the necessary hinges and screws. You will need a tape measure and a pencil for taking and marking accurate measurements. For cutting the door and hinge recesses you will need a plane saw, a narrow and a medium-sized chisel. For attaching the door to the frame, you will need a hammer and a battery drill kit with drill bits. You should have sandpaper and wooden wedges, as well as supports to rest the door on while you are cutting it down to size. For your safety, you should wear goggles whenever you use a saw, chisel or drill. Plus: it is good idea to have another person to help at certain points, so that they can keep the door in position for you.
Before buying the door, measure the door opening. You want the opening to be exactly the right size, or even slightly smaller than the new door. Use pencil marks to apply the measurements to the new door, and leave a little space between it and the frame. The recommended clearance is 2 mm for the top and sides and 6 mm for the bottom. By sawing or planing up to the pencil marks, trim the new door to the right size.
If you are using a plane, it is a good idea to plane inwards from each edge to avoid chipping out the corners. Then, sand the edges until they are smooth. Test to see if the door fits in the frame by placing shallow wedges at the bottom of the frame and putting the door in position. If you are satisfied that it is a good fit, your door is ready to be hung.
Fixing hinges to the door
Doors usually open inwards into a room, so you will be positioning your hinges on the right hand side of the frame as you walk in. Take your door, and place it on its side, with the hinge side up. Make a mark 15 cm from the top and bottom of the door – these marks will represent the top of the upper hinge and the bottom of the lower hinge respectively. Open a hinge and place it in position on the door, and then draw a line around it with a pencil. Do the same for the other hinge.
You will now need to cut recesses into these marked areas so the hinge will lie flush with the rest of the door. Use a chisel to do this, and don’t forget to wear goggles. Next, places the hinges in their recesses and mark the screw positions with a pencil. Remove the hinge and, using a drill bit which is slightly narrower than your screws, drill pilot holes into the door. Put the hinges back in place and screw them to the door with either a screwdriver or your drill.
Now, get somebody to hold the door with the hinges attached to hold the door in position while you mark the hinge positions on the door frame. Put shallow wooden wedges at the bottom of the frame so that the door is in exactly the right position. Then chisel the hinge recesses in the frame. Again, get someone to help you hold the door so that you can check the hinges fit neatly into their recesses on the frame.
When you are satisfied the position is perfect, mark and drill pilot holes into the frame and, with the door supported on wedges, screw the hinges in. It is a good idea to only drill one screw in each hinge at first, so you test the doors height and whether or not it swings satisfactorily. If you are happy, continuing drilling all of the screws and when you have finished, your door is hung.
If you are hanging a door to a new frame, you may need to fix a door stop, to prevent the door from swinging through – you can do this after you have hung the door. If you are going to paint the door, make sure you always follow the wood grain, so that you get a smooth finish.