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How To Hang A Door | An Easy DIY Guide

Posted by Skirting World on 4th Aug 2021

How To Hang A Door | An Easy DIY Guide

It's hard enough to choose the style of door for your home let alone hanging a door! Or so you might think.

In this easy DIY guide, we're going to show you how to hang a door perfectly - just like a carpenter would!

Before we jump straight in, let's take a look at everything you need for door hanging.

Tools & Materials Required

To fit a door, you're going to need the following:

  • Door (obviously, check out our internal doors)
  • Combination square
  • Tape measure
  • Mallet (if not, a hammer)
  • Pencil
  • Chisels (various sizes)
  • Wooden wedge
  • Marking gauge
  • Plane (smoothing and power)
  • Drill (and drill bits)
  • Screwdriver (or screwdriver bits for drill)
  • Door holder (alternatively, someone to help and hold the door for you)

If you've got all of these to hand, let's quickly go over another important (and often missed) step.

Hanging A Door - Which Way Does It Go?

Without the appropriate diagram or prior knowledge of the door, it can be difficult to figure out which way the door is intended to be hung.

Don't Hang The Door Upside Down

Make no mistake, it is easy to hang a door upside down. Lets try and avoid that!

Now you'd think it would be obvious, but that's not always the case. With some doors, you can tell which way up they need to be hung just by looking at the design.

For instance, four panel and six panel doors the bottom horizontal stile will be taller than that of the top.

6P Six Panel Textured White Primed Internal Door showing bottom horizontal stile is thicker than the top

Another traditional door style (much like our DX 30's Style White Primed Internal Door) features three slim vertical panels below a single square panel.

If it's a hollow core door that you're hanging, pay attention to where the lock block is situated.

The lock block is a solid piece of timber that is used to secure your latch and lock handles to. It is normally marked on the top of the door but if it is not, there is another way to check.

Simply tap the door with your knuckle. If it sounds hollow, this is your hinge side. If it sounds solid, this is your latch side. This is important to find out before you take steps to hang the door.

Which Way Should The Door Swing?

When it comes to which direction to hang a door, you'll often find that there is only one way for it to open. If it's not clear at first, you need to determine which way the door will swing before hanging it.

More often than not, the door will swing into the room if it is joined to a hallway.

Also, consider where the light switch is situated. If possible, you want to avoid this being covered by the door when it is opened.

If you're still a little lost after reading the above tips, simply pop the model of door into Google Images - you should quickly see which way up the door should be hung.

Without further ado, let's hang your door!

Hanging Doors - Step By Step

Here's the guide that you're here for. You'll have your doors up in no time!

Step 1 - Prepare Door Frame / Lining

Firstly, you'll need to prepare the door frame (or door lining)

If these are newly fitted, make sure they are clean and free of debris. If the walls have been plastered, ensure that any lumps stuck to the frame are removed using a blunt chisel.

If you are fitting new doors to old door frames, it may be best to remove the door stops and sand both stops and the frame to ensure they are nice and smooth.

Not only will this allow you to pop the stops into the correct position for your new doors, it will also make decoration easier.

An exterior frame will more than likely be rebated already. However, be prepared to rebate the bottom of the door over the weather strip if needed.

You'll need to use the combination square and pencil to mark the thickness of the doors edge if your frame doesn't have door stops already (this is usually 35mm or 44mm thick).

Once you've set the square to the correct thickness, use it to mark a line in from the face of the frame at each corner. Make sure the lines start approximately 3 inches away from the top and bottom of the frame as to avoid the hinges.

On these lines, tap in a nail around halfway. This prevents the door falling through during marking up and also keeps it nice and flush.

If you're hanging an Oak door (or something very expensive) and don't want to risk a nail denting it, use a small offcut of timber (or even door stop). Nail this so the edge sits on the line - you're far less likely to damage the door this way.

Step 2 - Mark Up Using The Door

Now, ensuring that the lock block is on the side where the handle is to be fitted, put the door in to the frame.

If the door size needs to be reduced in order to be hung in the frame, plane the door down where necessary using a hand plane or and electric plane (depending on how much material you need to remove).

Once the door has been planed to suit, pop it back into the frame. Now raise the door up (using a wooden wedge) so that there is only a 2mm or 3mm gap between the top of the door and the frame.

To ensure consistency when hanging multiple doors, use cardboard or cut a spacer.

If you are hanging the door without carpet or flooring already down, make sure you leave a suitably sized gap at the bottom to allow for this. As an example, you should allow approx. 20mm when planning on fitting carpet and underlay.

Step 3 - Marking The Hinges

If you are hanging the door on an existing frame that already has hinge position, simply mark these out on the door. Then skip some of the information below until we remove the door from the frame.

If it's a new frame, use the below instructions.

Using your pencil and tape measure, mark a line (on both the lining and the door) that starts 150mm from the top of the frame. This marks the top of the top hinge.

Do the same for the bottom, but mark the line 230mm from the bottom of the frame this time. This marks the bottom of the bottom hinge.

Tip: mark an 'x' with your pencil on the side of the line where you want the hinge to be (do this on the door and frame). This way you're less likely to remove material from the wrong side of the line!

If it's a fire door, hardwood or heavy exterior door that you are hanging make sure you mark out a third hinge in between the top and bottom hinges.

If you're happy with the markings you've made, remove the door from the lining. Place the door in the door holder hinge side up (alternatively, have your helping hand hold the door in this position for you).

Using the square, square off all of the pencil lines that you made. Make the lines clear but faint - this makes them easier to remove later on.

Now you can place the hinge on the door and draw around it to mark the hinge position.

Ensure that the the whole rectangular plate of the hinge is touching the door and is parallel.

Measure the thickness of the hinge plate and mark this on the door to - this is so you remove the correct amount of material. You want the hinge to be sitting flush in the door for the perfect fit.

Step 4 - Cut Out The Hinge Spaces

When chopping the hinges out, make sure you use a sharp chisel.

First, cut the top and bottom line of the hinge horizontally and to the depth of the hinge thickness (the marking you made earlier).

Then, at intervals of 5mm to 10mm, cut 45 degree angle lines between the top and bottom cuts you just made. Again, ensure that these are the depth of the hinge.

Keep within the lines and gently remove the excess material with the chisel. This will be particularly easy with a sharp chisel.

Once you have removed the material, you should be left with the perfect space in which to sit the hinge. Repeat this for the remaining hinge spaces.

Make sure you remove any remaining pencil lines once all the hinges have been cut out.

You can also drill pilot holes for your screws at this point. Simply hold the hinge in position and drill a small hole in the centre of each screw hole. Make sure that the drill bit is thinner and shallower than the screws you plan to use.

Now you can screw the hinges to the door! When screwing the hinges on, make sure the screw heads finish flush with the hinge.

If you're not ready just yet, it may be because there's still a little more left to do. Check out the following steps before you screw the door on.

Step 5 - Trim The Bottom Of The Door

You may find that you need to plane the bottom edge of the door.

If this is the case, use a handheld plane for small amounts or and electric planer for larger removals.

Step 6 - Leading Edge

It may be necessary to apply a leading edge to the door. This is to prevent it from hitting the frame when closing.

Step 7 - Hang The Door!

You should now be in a position to finally hang the door, step back and admire your handywork!

Lift the door into position and angle it so that the top hinge can be screwed in first. Screw in the top hinge with just a single screw. The reason we're not using all the screw holes at this point is just in case anything needs adjusting.

With the single screw holding the door in position, pivot the door down and you should now be able to screw in the middle hinge completely and then the bottom hinge.

Once these are screwed in and you are happy with the fit, you can complete the top hinge too.

You've Hung A Door!

Congratulations! You should now be standing proudly in front of your newly hung door.

Now it's time for you to get the handles and latch fitted so that the door is complete.