Door Replacing Tips
We have already discussed door maintenance, door repair, and the last resort, door replacing. While certainly not rocket science, if it has come to this final route, then you might enjoy some of the following tips and strategies for making your DIY door replacing job a little easier.
Tips & Tricks
- A wood door may require an initial sanding down after the fitting stage. Always work with the grain when sanding wood to obtain a smooth finish.
- Remember that a heavier door may require a third, central hinge to support the weight.
- If you are replacing a door and decide to put it on the opposite side for any reason, the door hinges will need to be filled in using a few layers of filler or by cutting a timber block to size and sanding it down.
- When replacing doors you may want to replace the frame as well to ensure that the frame can hold the new door, that they fit each other properly and that your door and frame are within the same style category. A new frame also assumes better security and a stronger insulating seal. This will help to prevent drafts and heat loss, thereby making a new frame more energy efficient.
- Unlike we tell our kids, we don't want you to cut on the lines. Instead, we want to leave those lines when cutting a door, and remember, allow for the thickness of your blade when making your final equations.
- Hinges should be placed approximately 7" away from the top and bottom of the door (i.e. the top of top hinge should be 7" below the top of the door and bottom of bottom hinge should be 7" above the bottom of the door).
- When drilling the holes for your hinge screws, drill pilot holes and center them properly to avoid marginal errors that can create larger problems later on.
- Position the door in its place, propping it up using whatever is the appropriate width to give an accurate positioning. Then make sure the gap is uniform all around. Mark the hinge holes onto the frame and remove the door. After you've drilled the pilot holes into the frame, you will need to prop the door back into place. You can either get someone to lend you a hand or you can nail the top hinge into place temporarily while you secure the bottom hinge into place.
- Work out the recesses for the hinges carefully. Do it gradually, working in 3/4" sections to avoid splitting the wood beyond the hinge perimeters. Also remember to drill your pilot holes for this same reason.
- Screw in one screw on the bottom and one for the top hinge. Then test the door and make sure it is hanging properly. Check that it swings, opens and closes smoothly before adding the other screws to the hinges.
Read more about door replacing, door maintenance and door repair with our extensive series on interior and exterior doors. Keep your home looking great inside and out with simple DIY techniques that will take hardly any time at all to implement.