Hanging a door is a DIY job that really needs to be done properly.

It’s not for the faint-hearted, but with these simple steps, and proper tools and materials from Home Timber and Hardware, you’ll soon get the hang of it. To help you do a proper job, print this project and refer to it throughout the process.

Materials Required

  • New door
  • Door hinges (if replacing)
  • Wedges or packing strips
  • Cardboard
  • Block and sandpaper
  • Pencil
  • Door furniture (if replacing)

Tools Required

  • Measuring tape
  • Straight edge level
  • Electric or hand planer
  • Circular or hand saw (if required)
  • Power drill with screw attachment
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Dust mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Hearing protection
  • Door furniture installation kit (if replacing)


Measure the door frame for width and height (pic. 1a).

Ensure that you also check the door frame is square by measuring the frame diagonally (pic. 1b).

At your local Home Timber and Hardware look for a door of the right size. You probably won’t find exactly the right sized door, so it’s best to go for one a little bigger that can be trimmed.

Measure and mark your trim lines, measure twice and cut once. Allow a 5mm gap at the bottom for floor covering (pic. 1c), a 3mm gap for the top and sides.

measure width

Pic 1a.

measure it's square

Pic 1b.

measure door gap.

Pic 1c.


Ensure that when cutting, planing or sanding timber that you wear correct safetly equipment such as dust mask, goggle and hearing protection (pic. 2a).

If there’s less than 6mm to be trimmed use a hand planer or electric planer. Clamp the door, hinge-side down, to your workbench and plane with the grain. On top or bottom edges, plane in from the edges to the centre to avoid splintering (pic. 2b).

If it’s a solid door with more than 6mm to trim, use a handsaw or circular saw. Ensure that you do not exceed the height and width trimming allowances. Give the edges a light sanding.

Pic 2a.

Pic 2b.


Position the new door into the doorframe and mark the hinge recesses (pic. 3a). If it is a new door going into a new frame, mark the top hinge 175mm down from the top of the door and the bottom hinge 280mm from the from the top. If a third hinge is needed, place it equally between the top and bottom hinge.

Open the hinge and hold it in place on your mark, with the pin hard against the face of the door (pic. 3b). Using a pencil, trace the outline of the hinge onto the door timber. Repeat at the other end.

Pic 3a.

Pic 3b.


Using a sharp chisel, make a series of cuts along the pencil line. Chisel the recess out until the hinge fits flush with the door’s edge (pic.4a).

Mark and drill your screw holes (pic.4b), then screw the hinges into place. Place the door at right angles to the opening. Adjust the height with wedges under the door until it’s approximately 3 millimetres from the top of the frame (pic.4c).

Reposition the door again and attach each hinge with one screw only. Close the door and check your clearances all-round (pic.4d). Adjust if necessary by lowering or raising your wedges, or packing under the hinges with thin cardboard. Insert the remaining screws. If you also have to fit new door furniture, follow the manufacturer’s instructions using the door installation kit.

Pic 4a.

Pic 4b.

Pic 4c.

Pic 4d.


External Doors

As strength and security are important, choose a solid construction panelled door at least 40mm thick. Due to their weight, they should be hung on three 100mm brass butt hinges. If they’re not already sealed, exteriors doors should be covered with 2 coats of paint, varnish or sealer.

Internal Doors

Internal doors are normally 35mm, hollow core and hung on only two butt or flush hinges. Be sure to locate the lock before hanging and attach the hinges to the opposite side of the door.

Tips from the trade

NOTE: Ensure before trimming the door to size that you follow the manufacturers instructions regarding the door trim limits.