How To Hang a Door

It may seem like hanging a door isn't all that difficult, which is true - it isn't. But it is not very difficult to do it wrong, either. If a door is hung incorrectly, there will be uneven gaps between the door and the frame, the door may not open or close properly, or may not latch correctly. 

However, by enlisting the help of a friend, and carefully following the steps listed below, you will be able to hang a door quickly, easily, and correctly the first time. 

  1. Measure the door opening - make sure to write this down!
  2. Buy a door that will fit into your opening. (The clerks at the hardware or home improvement store should be able to help you with this, because you will need to allow for a little bit of space so that the door can open and close properly.)
  3. Check to see if the door fits by placing it in the frame, with shallow wedges beneath it. Have someone else hold the door up so it fits correctly, while you check the size. If the door doesn't fit, you will need to trim and sand the edges to the right size.
  4. Decide in which direction the door will open (usually it will open into a room), as this will determine hinge placement. Then, lay the door on its side with the edge where the hinges will be placed facing up. Measure (and mark) 6 inches from both the top and bottom of the door - these marks indicate where the top edge of the top hinge, and the bottom edge of the bottom hinge, will rest.
  5. Open a hinge, place it on the appropriate mark (top or bottom), and use a pencil to draw around it.
  6. Using a hammer and chisel, create mortises (very shallow recessed areas) for the hinges. Be very careful not to make these too deep - the hinge should be flush with the wood. If you are uncertain about this step, examine a door that is already hung to get a better idea of what it should look like.
  7. Screw the hinges to the door. You may need to create pilot holes first.
  8. Have someone hold the door in the exact position you want it to hang when it is open, with the hinges parallel to the frame. Use a pencil to draw around the hinges on the frame, and set the door aside.
  9. Create mortises for the frame hinges using the same method as you did for the door.
  10. Again, have someone hold the door in the correct place while you screw the hinges into the door frame.

Conclusively, this is a simple procedure, but requires time and proper measurement. A little attention to detail goes a long way when it comes to hanging a door, and if you do it right from the beginning, you'll save yourself a lot of headache.


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