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How to hang expensive doors

PUBLISHED: 14:53 03 August 2016 | UPDATED: 14:53 03 August 2016


Changing the doors in your home is never an insignificant job. A door, no matter how much it costs, quickly becomes an integral part of any home, so if something is wrong with it or the way it’s hung, it’s always going to be noticeable.

The stakes are inevitably raised when you’ve spent a bit extra on the perfect door. Your new door must not only do its job properly, you’ll need to be certain it’s fitted correctly to avoid any additional costs.

It sounds quite simple; the door needs to close tightly and quietly, and stay shut once it’s there. You don’t want a door that springs open of its own accord or one that squeaks and scrapes any time it moves. The solution to both of these problems lies in its correct hanging. 

Measurements are key

If you’re planning on spending extra money on your door, or you already have, you’re not going to want to start planing it down and altering it to make it fit. Make sure you know the exact measurements of the doorway you want it to fit into so that you don’t end up having to make alterations which might compromise the quality of the door; you can always trim a door down but you can never reattach the wood. ‘Measure twice and cut once’ is the old maxim… and it’s true.

Bear in mind, if your door is too big for the frame or the space you have for it, extra costs will be involved for cutting the wall to make the door fit. If you do find yourself needing to trim the door down, always start at the bottom, never from the top.

If there’s an existing door in place, the easiest thing to do is to measure that, provided it opens and closes without draughts, creaks or other problems. This will ensure that the new door will fit nicely into the current frame. Make sure you leave around 2mm at the top and sides and enough space at the bottom to accommodate carpets.


Make sure the doorframe is in good condition

The state of your doorframe will also impact on the costs of the installation of the door, as well as the hanging itself. Make sure it’s not rotting or needs any other maintenance, as this will affect the amount it will cost to install the door. The doorframe should only need replacing if it is damaged or does not fit with the new door. Save an extra expense by ensuring these things before installing your door.

Another thing to consider is the shape of the doorframe. If the frame is not quite straight or is warped then it will be necessary to plane the door down to fit. This will detract from the quality of the door. It can be easier to replace the doorframe in cases like this. An uneven doorframe can also cause the door latch to sit unevenly resulting in a door that either doesn’t open and close or that does things by itself.

Check the hinges

If you’re fitting a door into an existing frame, chances are there’ll already be hinges attached. If they’re in good condition it’s as simple as fitting the door to those hinges. If they’re not, then you’ll need to attach new hinges to the doorframe before attaching the door.

Determine where you want the new hinges to sit on the doorframe and line these up with the door. Once you’re sure about the correct placement of the hinges chisel out small recesses in both the door and the frame for the hinge flap. Attach the hinge to the door first, making sure they lie flush. Attach the hinges to the door frame with one screw and double check that the door swings freely before securing all the hinges.

It’s good to remember that heavier doors, like ones made from expensive wood, will require 3 rather than 2 hinges. Bear this in mind, especially if the previous door was of a lighter material. Using the correct number of hinges will ensure the door moves properly and is securely supported on the doorframe. 

Some tips to remember

• Handle expensive doors as you would a piece of furniture – handling damage isn’t factory damage and will be your responsibility.

• For expensive wood doors, such as walnut, make sure you wear gloves when handling to ensure the door doesn’t become soiled by dirt or oil.

• Never drag a door along the floor – moving a door should always be a 2 person job to prevent drag marks and chips.

• Make sure the door is fully acclimatised to its environment where it will be hung. Doors will expand and contract slightly depending on temperature and humidity.

• An accurate spirit level is an essential tool when hanging a door – most of the time, door problems occur when the frame is not level with the floor so make sure you test this first. 

Doors are a significant investment in any home, and it’s crucial that they work correctly. Fitting or replacing doors shouldn’t be a job that needs repeated attention, as long as it’s done right the first time. Nutshell Construction are committed to great customer service so for advice on hanging doors, any other construction related queries or to see what they can do for you, contact on 01903 217900 or


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