DIY Guide – How to Hang a Door

If you’re renovating an old property or replacing your front door, you need to know the best way to hang it. Calling in a professional to hang internal oak doors can be expensive; with this easy DIY guide you should have no trouble hanging a door. As with any other job, it’s much easier to hang a door if you have the tools that you need ready beforehand.

What You Need

You need a sharp pencil and tape measure a hammer and two chisels one three quarters of an inch and one an inch wide, you also need a smoothing plane. You need a decent cordless drill, wood drill twist bits, a screwdriver and bits. In addition to the above you also need the following:

  • A combination square – this is used for finishing off and has an adjustable sliding ruler so you can mark out a parallel line along the top or base of the door.
  • A marking gauge is great because it fixes to the edge of the door and this helps to make marking off a lot more accurate
  • A saddle and block – this is designed to make door hanging easier, it keeps the door edge off the floor, which helps to prevent damage and holds the door in place while you’re working on it.

Steps for Hanging a Door

1. Make sure that the door lining or frame is properly prepared, which means it needs to be square and level.  You need to assess whether the door swings in or out, if it’s a room off a hallway or landing, the door usually swings inwards. If you are replacing a front door with one of the sturdy external oak doors available, that would normally swing inwards as well. Next, fit your combination square to the door’s edge and mark lines at each corner of the frame, about 3 inches up from the floor and 3 inches down from the top.

Bang in a nail about halfway between each mark, this holds the door against the frame so it won’t fall. If you don’t want to damage a heavy door then bang in pieces of wood to hold it.

2. Establish which side the latch and handle block is on; the block markings are usually on the top of the door. Next place the door in the frame with the block on the side for the handle – this ensures you’re hanging the door the right way up.  Use a block to hold the door up so that there is only a gap at the top of 2/3mm. You need about 18mm gap at the base to allow for floor covering.

3. At 150mm down from the top mark the frame and door for the top of the door hinge and 230mm up from the bottom for the end of the low hinge. Make sure the edge is market so the hinge goes on the right side. Take the door down and put into the saddle and block with the hinge side uppermost. Setup the marking gauge and draw the hinge width into the edge of the door. Do this for all the hinges. Using the gauge and square for marking hinges makes it much more accurate.

4. Chisel out the bottom and top of the hinge and cut in at intervals of 10mm, keep inside the lines and sand the edge then screw the hinge leaf to the door with your drill, ensuring the screws are flush.

5. Take an electric plane and trim the bottom of the door then sand off any pencil markings that remain.

6. Take the door out of the saddle and block and screw hinges to the frame leave some spaces in case you need to adjust hinges. If you think the door is fitting properly, screw in the rest of the hinges and you are done.

Crispin Jones wrote this post for UK Oak Doors the specialist supplier of external and internal oak doors. Crispin enjoys the challenge of interior design and DIY.