How To Hang A Door


Doors are an important and vital part of any home, not just because they offer us privacy but also for their design elements. If you feel your current doors are out of order, you might want to replace them. Replacing a door is a major home renovation that can seem like a complicated job to take on. The majority of people do not know how to a door and trying to do so without the know-how can leave you with shaky doors that may not open or close easily. It is vital that you learn how to properly hang a door before trying it out. With this guide, you will learn tips on the process of properly hanging a door; you don’t need to worry about loose hinges, rough openings, shins and spacers. If you have no idea what those terms mean, you don’t worry! You will learn all that you need to know with this guide.

Learning how to hang a door and actually hanging the door takes a lot of precision and patience. As long as you can handle the basic tools, you should be able to hang a door. Doors usually come in two forms, either pre-hung or slab form. The pre-hung doors are usually used for new construction jobs or major remodeling jobs where the walls are being brought down. Pre-hung doors come with already attached hinges.

However, a slab door is just a door without the frame, but it usually comes with pre-drilled holes where the doorknobs will be inserted, but it does not come with insets where the hinges will be placed. The insets are known as mortises, and they are vital in the doors ability to shut fully.

Equipment And Tools Needed To Hang A Door

There are different kinds of tools that will need to hang a door; they include a cordless drill with a drill bit set which is very important. You cant hang a door without using this tool; they are used in putting in the screws that hold the door to its frame.

Other important tools that you will need include a hammer and handsaw, they are used in the general setup of the door because they are used in more than one instance. The tools used in ensuring that all the areas of the jamb and frame are set up neatly include a jamb level and a set square, if the frame or jamb of the door is not placed orderly, you may not be able to open your door properly. To make fine adjustments, you will need a tape measure and utility knife. The most vital tool you will need is several 33-inch screws; they are what holds the hinge and jamb securely to the door.

Other tools and equipment you will need include a wood chisel, speed square, pencil, prybar, two spring clamps, power plane, smoothing plane, wood drill, a combination square, a marking gauge, and a sharpening stone also known as a whetstone. Materials you will also need include; a door slab, doorknob and hinges if needed.

How To Hang A Pre-Hung Door

Most doors usually come as a large sheet of wood that has no hinge or frame attached. However, pre-hung doors come with the door attached to the frame, which means you don’t have to make any careful measurements to ensure that the door and frame fit properly. What you must do is attach the door and its frame to the unit in your wall. This is a separate process that you need to make sure that you are doing properly.

After ensuring that the floor underneath your door is even and that the door will fit into the provided space, then you can start fitting the door. Do this by raising the door into the opening in the wall and gently nail the hinges into place. You want to loosely nail the door in place, and after ensuring that it fits properly, you can then firmly secure the hinge in place through the shims and trim stud. Using similar nails, nail the other side into place and start to work with the top jamb.

The top jamb usually has two parts. Push them into place from the bottom to the top and then use a nail to put them in place, nail them 18 inches apart. After you’re done with that ensure that everything is firmly in place and then you can move on to the final step. Follow the included instructions on how to attach the latch and then you can check your work to ensure that everything is in their right position. Check the door to make sure it can open and close properly. If you find a rough opening on the door with a scrape, you may have to adjust the hang a bit. If the door is moving properly, then you have completed the last step, and you’re done with the task.

Where Door Hinges Should Be Placed

It is vital to know the proper place where your hinges are meant to be placed. If the hinge is placed in the right position, then it won’t develop any rough openings and saggy door problems later in the future. The majority of doors come with three hinges placed on the hinge side. The first one should be placed 10 inches away from the bottom of the door; the second hinge should be placed 5 inches away from the top of the door while the third hinge should be placed between the first and second hinges.

How To Hang A Door In An Existing Frame

It is much easier to hang a door in an existing frame rather than setting up a new frame, but it depends on if the old door frame has the right trim and if it has a straight jamb. If the existing frame is wonky, you will need to change the frame if not you will end up with problems when opening or closing the door.

To place a new door in an existing frame, all you have to do is raise the old door out of the frame and ensure the hinges on the new door lines up with the hinges on the existing frame.

Tips For Hanging Doors

We will be stating some of our tips on how to properly hang a door, you might know some of these tips, but there will be a few things you may not know yet. It is vital to follow the steps and ensure you use care in order to get a smooth opening door.

Take Off The Current Door

If you are replacing an old door, you need to remove the old door carefully; you can achieve this by unscrewing the door from its hinges. After that, take off the hinges from the door frame. When removing the hinges, be careful so that you don’t strip the holes in the door frame.

Match Both Doors

Place the new door and old door side by side, with the sides that have the hinges facing upwards. Ensure that the two doors match in their tops and bottoms, if there is any difference, the new door may not function properly. Hold them together using spring clamps and ensure that they do not fall over.

Make Marks At The Mortise Cut Areas

Use a speed square to transfer the measurements of the old mortise to the new door and mark them with a pencil. The mortise needs to be placed the correct way which is vertical (as if the door was already in place) and the distance must be measured horizontally.

Cut The Measurements Of The Mortise

This is done using a chisel. If your chisel is blunt, use the whetstone to sharpen it. To get good quality results, the chisel has to be very sharp. Use the chisel to tap along the border of the mortise marks. Make sure that the mortise is as deep as the thickness of the hinge plates.

Clear The Mortises

Make a series of parallel lines along the length of the mortise, ensure that the lines are ¼ inches away from each other. Then turn the chisel so that the part resting in the door is the angled side and chip out the ¼ sections. When you are done with this, use the chisel to flatten the area. You might have to re-sharpen the chisel before you do this.

Install The Hinges

Using a drill, drive in the screws through the holes in the hinges in order to mount them against the side of the door. If the door and door frame are made out of MDF or softwood, you may be able to drive in the screws without needing pilot holes, but if it is made out of hardwood, you will need to start by making pilot holes.

Check The Hinges

Ensure that the hinges are in perfect inserted in the door frame and are flush with the door. If you end up cutting the mortise too deep, you can remove the hinges and add a bit of cardboard to lift the hinges until they are in the right position.

Mount The Door

When it comes to this step, you will need someone to assist you. Place the door in a vertical position and move it towards the doorframe. Use the pry bar to raise the door by placing it underneath the door to act as a lever; this allows the hinges to reach the holes on the door frame. Screw in the hinges and remove the lever to ensure that the door swings properly.

Install The Doorknob And Strike Plate

Insert the strike plate into the door frame, or you can leave the old one in place and also install the doorknob into the new door.


Hanging a door doesn’t have to be a daunting task, but you should always be careful while doing it. Take your time to ensure that you do everything right so that you do not end up with a terribly placed door.

When you are hanging a door, ensure that you wear the right protective safety equipment such as safety goggles, dust mask and earplugs. If you follow the tips above, you should be able to hang a door without any hassle.

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