Getting the Hang of It: A DIY Door Installation Guide

Getting the Hang of It: A DIY Door Installation Guide

View more related buyers guides

Published by TOP4 Team

Your home needs some attention but you’re not up to renovating? It’s good to know there are few simple DIY projects that will improve the appearance of your home for less time, money and mess than a big job.

For example, a good paint job can make the world of difference to your home. Something less obvious but equally effective is hanging new doors. This may not sound dramatic, but wait until you actually replace the doors and see the difference it makes. Simply swapping a flat out the door for one with classic recessed panels can give your decor a refreshing lift.

Speaking of panels, a lot of people make the mistake of buying a door and then hanging it the wrong way round. Panelled doors are designed to be hung with the larger panels at the top and the smaller panels at the bottom.

You can choose from a variety of shapes and designs, to suit your taste and home style, from a door supplier or hardware store. Once you’ve chosen your new doors, hang them the easy way by following these five steps.

Check the dimensions of the door opening.
Most doors are approximately 820mm x 2040mm, but they can vary in size. You’ll need two hinges for a hollow-core or three for a solid-core door, plus a handle that matches both the style of your home and the metal of the hinges. Most people choose a passage set for a bedroom and a privacy set for a bathroom. Entrance set is available if you want to tackle the front door.

Remove the old door and match the checkouts.
To do this, place the two doors side by side and mark the position of the old checkouts on the new door. Lay the new door on its edge and use one of the new hinges as a template to mark the size of the checkouts. Use a sharp chisel, about 25mm wide, to chisel out the recesses so that each hinge will fit snugly.

Place the new door in position.
Wedge something underneath it, like your chisel, to get it to the right height, so the hinges drop into the checkouts into the door jamb. Screw the hinges into the door and the door jamb. Remove the wedge and close the door. If it closes with an even gap, you’re now ready to attach the handle.

If the door jams or won’t close properly, don’t panic. Close it without forcing it, then use a pencil to mark where it’s jamming. Unscrew the hinges and take the door outside. Use a power saw, hand plane or electric plane to take off excess timber along the line you’ve marked. It’s best to take off a fraction more to allow for the gap between the door jamb, and for swelling in humid weather.

Unwrap the handle and spread out all the pieces in front of you.
Most handles come in kit form with a template to mark out the position of the old striker plate in the door jamb. Find the centre of the plate, mark this on the door and line up the template with this centre mark. Then follow the kit instructions from beginning to end. With the handle fitted properly, the door should fit the greatest of ease.

Your new door closes and everything now works the way it should, but you’re not quite finished.

Take the door down one last time and remove the handle to prepare for painting.
If you paint the door first and then have to plane it down, you’ll have to go over the planed parts again. Finish the door with a matt or gloss paint in your choice of colour. When it’s dry, re-attach the hinges and the handle mechanism. Hang it for the last time and see what a difference a door makes.

If you need help from the professionals, call in the door installation experts in Australia today.


#DIY door installation
#door painting
Top4 - Made in Australia with Love
Stay In Touch