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How to Hang a Door

Hanging a door evenly isn't easy, and if you screw it up, you'll probably have to start over with a brand new door. Master this skill, however, and save a bundle in installation fees.


  • Step 1: Measure Measure the size of the doorway, then subtract a quarter of an inch from each side. This is the size of door you'll need to buy.
  • Step 2: Check the size Hold the door up in the doorframe to make sure the size is right. If there are any tight spots, use a circular saw to cut them down, then sand and varnish the sawed area. Go easy -- you can't add back if you take too much off.
  • : Using a circular saw can result in serious injury. Follow all safety precautions carefully.
  • Step 3: Measure the notches Measure the height and width of the notches for the hinges. Also measure how far the hinge will hang over the edge of the doorframe, because the other side of the hinge will have to hang the same distance over the door.
  • TIP: Use shims — thin pieces of wood or metal that help make things level — on the bottom of the door and on the side that will be opposite the hinges to keep the door steady as you measure.
  • Step 4: Outline the hinges Using your ruler and a pencil, outline where each hinge will be attached. Don't forget to account for the length that will hang over the edge.
  • Step 5: Cut grooves Trace the outlines with a utility knife. Once a decent groove has been created, use your hammer and chisel to cut away a layer of the door inside your pencil marks. This should create a notch for the hinge that’s equal in size to those notches in your doorway.
  • Step 6: Mark screw locations Place a hinge in one of the three notches you've made. Mark with a pencil where the screws need to go. Repeat for each notch in the door, then drill holes for the screws. This will make it easier to attach the door later.
  • Step 7: Attach the hinges Sand the notches until they're smooth before attaching the hinges. Use a manual screwdriver to put on the hinges; this way, you won't damage the screws or strip the holes.
  • Step 8: Hang the door Use shims to hold the door in place. Once it is evenly set in the doorframe, attach the door by inserting the door pins provided by the manufacturer and manually screwing in the hinges.
  • TIP: Make sure the door swings on the level and closes securely with equal space around the edges.
  • Step 9: Install the knob and lock Following your manufacturer's instructions, install your doorknob and lock set. You're done! Now don't let the door hit you on the way out.
  • FACT: The largest doors in the world stand 456 feet high and are at NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center.

You Will Need

  • A circular saw
  • A sanding block
  • Varnish
  • A combination square or ruler
  • A pencil
  • A utility knife
  • A hammer
  • Chisel
  • A screwdriver
  • Shims

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