January checkatrade.com ‘How to’ – hang a door

Monthly ‘How to’ from Checkatrade.com and A Passion for Homes

Our very popular monthly ‘How to’ blog from a checkatrade.com expert continues with:  How to hang an internal door: By Nick Underwood, owner, 1st Choice Improvements heating and plumbing.

‘Sometimes homeowners wish to replace doors inside their homes or hang news ones if they are refurbishing or building an extension. Those not confident in their DIY abilities should call a professional, because although hanging an internal door is not a particularly difficult task, if it goes wrong it will be costly to put right.’

‘However, the DIY-savvy should be able to carry out this task in around three hours. Be sure to have the correct tools for the job. These include:
•    Cordless drill (with flatwood drillbit)
•    Screwdriver
•    Chisels
•    Sandpaper
•    Plane
•    Mallet
•    Saw
•    Tape measure
•    Bradawl
•    Combination square
•    Safety goggles
•    Dust mask

‘Now follow our step-by-step guide…

1. Remove old door and check the floor
Starting with the bottom hinges for safety and stability, unscrew the old door. Ask someone to support or hold the door while this takes place to prevent it crashing down and injuring you. Check the floor is level. If it isn’t the opposite jamb must be trimmed to level the door opening.

2. Measure the door opening, purchase a door and cut it to size
Measure the door opening using the tape measure and purchase a door slightly smaller, leaving leeway for trimming. Position the new door in the frame and see if it fits or use the old door as a template and draw round it onto the new door. Trim an equal amount of wood from the top and the bottom with the plane. If more than 6mm needs to come off use the saw.

There ought to be a 2mm gap between the edges of the door and the ceiling/floor/sides. Remember to allow an extra 5mm – 10mm at the bottom if there is a thick carpet. When sawing or planning wood be sure to wear safety goggles and a dust mask for safety reasons.

Be careful when trimming the edges of a new door. If you take too much it is very difficult to fix. Sand all rough edges thoroughly.

3. Fix the hinges
Doors should open into a room and from the opposite side to light switches for easy access. If replacing a door, check to see if the new hinges fir against the old ones on the frame. If they don’t, use the chisel and mallet to enlarge the hinge recesses. When hanging a new door, mark the hinge positions on the frame and carefully carve the recesses with the chisel and mallet. Screw the hinges to the door frame.

Resting the door on wedges, prop the new door in the frame and mark where the hinges will sit on the door. Lie the new door on its side, remove the hinges from the doorframe and place on the door in line with these marks. Draw around them with the pencil and now use the chisel to carefully cut the hinge recesses (known as mortises) in the door. Providing they fit flush, fix the hinges to the door with one screw per hinge.

4. Hang the door
Rest the door on wedges again and prop it into the frame, lining up the hinges with the recesses cut in the doorframe. Fix the hinge flaps to the doorframe using one screw in case you need to make adjustments. Providing the door opens and closes correctly fit the rest of the screws and tighten.

5. Finish
You are now ready to paint the door and affix the handle.’

Checkatrade helps combat the UK’s rogue trader problem by continuously vetting and monitoring local tradespeople such as builders, plumbers and electricians as well as service providers. The idea was born in 1998 after a tornado hit the small West Sussex town of Selsey. Traders poured in from across the country. Unfortunately, some ripped off the inhabitants of the town. Local businessman, Kevin Byrne, realised there was nowhere to check out the traders’ credentials and the company that became Checkatrade was formed.

Since then, Checkatrade has grown to employ 120 staff with a turnover in excess of £7.5m. It has over 11,800 genuine trade members, growing by an average of 300 new members every month. Over the past 12 months, Checkatrade-certified tradesmen carried out a combined total of £1.4b worth of work, with complaints at just one in 215, compared to the national average of one in four.

Linda Barker, one of the UK’s best-known interior designers and famous for shows such as 60 Minute Makeover and the BBC’s Changing Rooms has teamed up with Checkatrade.com. She said: “Checkatrade.com is by far the best service I’ve found to help keep the good guys in business and keep the cowboys out. The website is updated constantly and allows everyone to share recommendations and warnings.”

For more information visit www.checkatrade.com

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