If your home needs a new door, there’s no need to hire a pro to replace it. With some basic tools and supplies, you can install a new door yourself. Replacing a door in an existing frame is a project suitable for DIYers of all skill levels and will only take you about two to three hours.
Here’s what you’ll need:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Circular Saw
- Utility Knife
- Combination Square
- Hand Planer
- Cordless Drill
- Door Lock Installation Kit
- Wood Shims
- Door Hardware
- Paint Brush or Roller (if you plan on painting your door)
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
Remove old door. Starting at the bottom, remove the hinge pins on your old door, then carefully remove it. If you plan to reuse your hinges, remove them from the old door.
Measure and cut. If your old door fits the frame correctly, measure the old door and trim your new door accordingly. An easy way to do this is to lay the old door on top of the new door, then mark the measurements of the old door on the new door. If you’re trying to get a better fit with your new door, measure the door frame, then subtract one fourth of an inch on each side of your new door to allow room for it to open and close. Use a circular saw for cuts larger than one-eighth of an inch. Use a hand planer for cuts less than one-eighth of an inch.
Test door fit. Using wood shims to hold it in place, position the door in the frame to test its fit. Check for tight spots, marking them for any necessary trims.
Mark hinges. If you’re installing a solid door, you’ll need to attach three hinges. Hollow doors only require two. First, mark the door at the top and bottom of the hinges. You can do this by laying the old door on top of the new door, then use a combination square to transfer the hinge alignment, or simply place the new door in the frame, then mark hinge placement. This is also a good time to mark the handle and lock placement so it will line up with your existing frame.
Chisel hinge mortise. Take half a hinge, and line it up with each mark, leaving one-eighth of an inch from the edge of the door. Draw around the hinge as shown, then score around the line with a utility knife. Chisel out enough wood so the hinge is flush with the side of the door.
Drill door lock. Using the door lock installation kit will make drilling the holes for your door lock simple, clean, and easy. Align the guide on your new door with the marks made earlier for the lock. Using the required hole saw size, drill through the door. Do the same at the side for the lock.
Paint door. With your new door cut and trimmed to size, and all necessary holes cut out, now is a great time to paint your door. Use a brush or roller to prime and paint your door.
Install hinges. Pre-drilling helps wood from splitting and makes fastening easier. Pre-drill holes for your hinges, then screw them into place.
Install hardware. Drill the holes you need to install your new door’s hardware using a door lock installation kit. Make sure the hardware lines up with your door jamb strike plate.
Install door. Line the hinges up so they lace together and install the pins. Then install the doorknob according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Your new door is now installed, and you did it on your own.