How to Replace a Door: A Step-by-Step Guide

Replacing a door may seem like an intimidating task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward once you know how to go about it. 

By following these simple instructions on how to replace a door, you’ll be able to change out your old door in no time with minimal mess and hassle involved. We’ll walk you through every step of the process, from getting access to the doorway, removing and disposing of the old door, fitting the new door with hardware and painting any trim or molding that might have been damaged by the demolition process.

While the project will take time—about 4–5 hours—it will save you money in the long run, as it will give you more time to devote to making money instead of spending it on paying someone else to do it for you.

Replacing old door

The first thing you need to do is remove the old door from its hinges. This can be done using a screwdriver or an electric drill, depending on the type of hinge that the type of door has. If you’ve got a door having pins inside the hinge, start removing the pin from the bottom so the door won’t topple over onto you. 

You might have to gently tap the pine of the hinge with a hammer in case it doesn’t come off by hand. Make sure to have a helping hand for supporting the door as you are removing the pins. 

Use old door as a template

 The easiest way to replace a new door is by using the old door as a template and cut the new door the size and fit in the hinges as well as the lockset. 

Once the old door is out, remove its doorknob, and hinges to reuse them for the new door. But make sure they’re not out of shape. 

Here I’ll recommend laying a new door on a pair of sawhorses under the old door. Flush the top of both doors as well as the lockset edge. Now try to trace the old door with pencil to indicate the portion of the door to be trimmed. You can use a straight edge or sharp utility knife to avoid splintering while cutting the door. 

Now using a circular saw cut the door along the straightedge as a guide. If the trimmed portion is more than 1 inch it’s better to take half down from the bottom and half from the top. Repeat the process to adjust the width of the new door. 

Hinge mortises

hinge mortises 1

Again check the dimension of the new door by laying the old door above it. Carefully align and flush all the four edges. Now we’ll trace the hinge mortises. Mark the cut lines using a utility knife and make it precise using a pencil. 

Now, try to chisel out for the hinges. You might have to tap the chisel with the hammer to outline the mortise followed by striking the chisel at a low angle to dig deep and complete the mortise. 

 You can test the hinge mortises depth by test-fitting the leaf. It must be flush with the door edge. If not, you might have to again use the chisel to cut more through the wood. 

Fix hinges

Once you’re done with the mortises, we can set the hinge leaf. Simply use a drill and centering bit for drilling pilot holes through the screw holes. Now install the screws through the hinge into the door. 

You can test-fit the door to the rough opening

to see if it closes without binding and have proper clearance at the bottom. If that’s not the case, you have to cut the frame edges again. 

Dealing with the lock set

Dealing with the lock set 2

Now here are two options, you might want to have a new door locket or use the old lockset. The steps will be different from both the cases. 

In case you want a new door locket, you would have a template supplied for marking the position of the doorknob and the latch. For the other case, you can use the old door to take measurements. As a standard doorknob, you can drill the door with whole saw of 2 1/8-inch along with latch’s edge bore with 7/8 inch spade bit. 

If you want to paint or stain the door, it’s the best time for it; otherwise you can proceed with installing the doorknobs. 

Use latch assembly to trace around into the edge bore using a utility knife and chisel out a shallow mortise where you can screw the latch to the door followed by installing a door knob. 

Hanging the new door

Now you’re all set to hang the new door. Take a helping hand for aligning the hinges and inserting the hinge pins. Once it’s fixed, you can test the door to swing smoothly and the latch engaging the strike plate on the door jamb. 

The bottom line

So, you see, replacing an old door is as easy as it sounds. There’s no fuss, no muss. You just have to follow the right procedure and use the right set of tools to avoid much hassle. So, try to understand how the process works and get your home a brand new look without breaking the bank.

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