Installing a Replacement Door

Instructions on Installing Replacement Doors

By Mark J. Donovan

Is your current door showing signs of age? Does it have rot along the bottom of it, or is the wood or metal surfaces checked or rusted? If so you might want to think about installing a replacement door.

Before running out and buying a replacement door first examine your existing door and take some measurements. Measure both the height and width of the door.

Replacement doors are normally sold in common widths such as 2’-6” or 2’-8” and heights such as 78” and 80”. Write down the measurements of your old door and then visit your local home improvement center. Note that when buying a replacement door it is important to find the right type of door for your situation, e.g. an interior or exterior replacement door.

Once you have your replacement door on site, remove the old door from its hinges. You can do this by tapping out the hinge pins that hold the door to the door frame.

Installing a Replacement Door Steps

Next, to determine if you need to trim the new replacement door, place the old door directly on top of the new replacement door. Use the top and hinge edges to line up the doors as this will help you to determine which of the replacement door edges need to be trimmed.

Use a pencil to mark the edges of the replacement door that need to be trimmed. Then use a fine tooth saw or a jack plane to trim the door edges. In addition, sand the trimmed edges lightly.

Next, with the old door placed and properly aligned over the newly trimmed replacement door, mark the location for attaching the hinge leaves and the latch plate. Use a chisel to create the hinge and latch plate mortises so that the hinges and latch plate lay flush with the surface edges of the door.

Now attach the hinge leaves to the replacement door.

Next, install the replacement door onto the doorframe by aligning the hinge leaves and inserting the hinge pins.

Finally, install the door knob, and lockset if required, and test the newly installed replacement door. Make sure the new replacement door does not stick on any of the edges. If it does stick remove the door and use your jack plane and sandpaper to trim the door a little more. And that’s all there is to it for installing a replacement door.

For information on how to install interior door trim, see the “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook from  The “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook provides step-by-step instructions on how to install interior door trim. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

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