Installing or replacing door hinges can be quite easy or a bit difficult depending on the type of door hinge you will be using as well as muscle strength as this has to be done manually. A worn hinge makes closing a door difficult or it may not close at all since sagging will occur. The instructions below will take you through the steps of installing new door hinges.
- Know the different types of good hinges. If you want the door installed to the left of the door jamb to open out, you have to use right-hand reverse hinge and use left-hand hinge if the door is to open inwards.
- If the door will be mounted on the right side of the door jamb, the reverse is to be followed. A door that has to open outwards will need left-hand reverse hinge while a door that will open inwards need to have right-hand hinge installed.
- Stand the door under the door jamb. You will need help in holding the door while you measure the clearance on the top and bottom of the door. It has to be exact. Place pieces of wood under the door to get the exact clearance right. Mark the distances at the top and bottom of the door on the door jamb. Use a pencil so you can erase the mark later.
- From the top of the door measure five inches down. This will be the mark for the top of the hinge. At the bottom of the door measure ten inches up to mark where the bottom of the hinge will be. The third hinge should be marked off center, more towards the top to counter the weight of the door.
- If you are using surface-mounted hinge you do not need to cut a recess on the door jam and the door frame. Make sure that the hinge opens in the right way before you mark and drill holes.
- Align the top of the hinge to the mark you made on the top of the door frame. Lightly trace one leaf of the hinge and mark the holes. Repeat the process for all the three hinges. Drill straight pilot holes into the door frame and attach one side of the hinges to the door frame.
- Put the door upright and align it to the allowance marks that you have made earlier. Prop the door or get someone to hold it for you as you take measurements. Open the hinges and lightly trace it on the door jam and mark the holes. Make sure that the door is aligned straight on the door jamb and the clearances on the top and bottom of the door are observed. Also make sure that the part where the pin in the center of the hinge leaves are protruding from the edge of the door correctly. Remove the door and drill the pilot holes for the screws on the door jamb.
- Align the door against the door jamb once again and attach the hinges, starting at the top. Check if the door swings freely and closes snugly without any part bumping against the door jamb. Adjust the tightness of the screws without damaging the slot. Sometimes a few taps with a hammer will do the trick to position the door correctly.
Drill pilot holes using a smaller drill bit than the screw so that the grooves on the screws will bite into the wood. When tightening screws, do not tighten them one at a time. Drive one screw down until it is almost flush against the surface of the hinge, move on to the next and do the same. Follow the pattern if there are three screws per hinge leaf. This will ensure that the hinge lies flat on the wood. Tighten the top then the bottom screws before tightening the middle one to ensure that the force is evenly distributed.