Installing a new door is a great way to update your home. It can add value and improve the overall look. The process of installing a door that is not pre hung can be a little more work than you would likely expect. The good news is that you can hang the door on your own. You just need to set aside a day where you have the time to do it and gather the items below. Once you have everything and you have your door ordered you are ready to get started!
Step 1: Removing The Old Door
First, you need to remove the existing door. To do this you need a hammer and a nail. Place the nail on the bottom side of the hinge pin. Lightly strike the head of the nail with the hammer to push the pin up. Once the pin is almost out you can carefully remove the pin the rest of the way. If the pin seems to be giving you trouble you can try placing a screwdriver beneath the pin to push it the rest of the way out. You do want to be careful with the removal of the existing door as you want to be sure not to damage the jamb or any other parts that you are not replacing. When you have removed the door you are ready to continue.
Step 2: Checking The New Door
With the old door off, you now need to check to see if the new door is going to fit. Lift the door and place it against the opening. Make sure that the bottom will clear when the door is in place, you don't want to scratch up your flooring with a door that scrapes as it opens and closes. Once you know that the door will fit it is time to get started working.
Step 3: Mark Where The Hinges Will Go
With the door standing up, just like it was installed, you will use your hammer and two wedges. Place the wedges on the underside of the door and use the hammer to tap them gently until the top of the door is around 1/8” from touching your ceiling. Now, on the side opposite the door hinges, you will need to tap in two more wedges. Be sure that you hold your door tightly against the opening. Check to be sure that the spacing is even all the way around your door. If it is not even then you should adjust your wedges until the perimeters are even. The perimeter of the hinge side is going to be slightly bigger by 1/8”.
Now with the door even you can trace the locations of the hinges on to your door using a pencil. There should be plenty of hinge area sticking out from the jamb to where you can run your pencil around the hinge. Do this for all the hinges that are attached to the jamb.
Now take the door and place it across the top of a couple of sawhorses. Take the hinges off the jambs using a screwdriver. You should make sure that you put all the tiny screws together so that you don't end up losing them. With the hinges off the jamb, you can place them on the door on the side that you will be installing. You now need to align the hinges with the marks that you made earlier and then trace around it to complete the hinge tracing. Do this for all hinges.
Step 4: Making The Cut
With the marks in place, you are now ready to start the process of making the cut out for door hinge to set in. To do this you will first want to set your utility knife to 1/8 inch and use it to cut around the tracings that you made. Once you are finished you need to get the chisel and hammer. Place the chisel at an angle of 90 degrees on the door's side at the opening to the tracings that you made. Tap on the end of the chisel using the hammer to drive the chisel into the tracings. You want to cut the tracing out flat at the bottom with a depth of 1/8”.
Tip: It Is Better To Take Off Too Little And Need To Remove More Than To Take Off Too Much. So Keep This In Mind As You Chisel. You Will Also Find That Gently Rocking The Chisel Backwards And Forwards Using Your Hand Can Help To Shave Out The Bottom So That It Is Flat And Even. Also, Try And Remember The Importance Of Safety Glasses When You Are Working With Wood
When have the bottom even and flat you can place the hinge against it to check that it fits correctly. At this time any adjustments that need to be made should be made. Continue to chisel the corners, high spots, and the side of your tracing until it is sitting snugly into the tracing. You need to repeat the chiseling process for the other hinges, making sure not to go too deep on the door.
Step 5: Installing Hardware
You want to make sure that your hardware is already on the door. If not now is the time to install it. You need this now so that when the door goes up you will be able to ensure that the strike plate lines up as it should, as well as ensure that the door functions properly.
Step 6: Putting On The Hinges
With the cut out complete it is now time to install the hinges on the door. To do this you want to screw the hinges on using your screwdriver or drill. Now place the door at an angle of 90 degrees into the opening. Move each hinge plate over and adjust the door down or up, right or left, until the plates that are on the door match up with the cutouts that already are present on the jambs. Now you can tap the plates that are on the door into the jamb hinge cutouts.Once you have the door in place you can screw on the plates to your jamb by using a drill. You may need to use the wedges again, they will help you with supporting the door while you work.
Finally, try opening and closing the door. If the door shuts and opens with no problems then you have finished the installation of a door that is not pre hung. If there is a problem then you should address the issue and then try again until the door fits just the way that it should.