Hanging an interior wooden door in a door frame seems like a simple enough task, but doing it incorrectly can result in uneven gaps in the spaces around the door or worse, a door that will not open and close properly. Many aspects of hanging a door can be done by yourself, but if you have limited woodworking skills or are not particularly good at maths, you might like to use a local carpenter in London for some aspects of this job.
In some properties in London, you may well have interior doors which are over seventy years old and are way past their best or you might just fancy a change and want to hang a new door as part of a redecoration project. Irrespective of your reason, the likelihood is that a new door will not fit an old frame because of movement within the structure of the house since it was built, and before you start to hang the door, you will have to plane it down to the correct size.
For this reason, it is often better to buy a door that is a little larger than the frame into which it has to fit. Door sizes generally vary between 6´ 6” and 6´ 8” in height, and 2´ 6” and 2´ 9” in width, so when considering what size to buy, hang plumb lines from each of the corners so you can measure at the bottom how much the door frame has moved out of square, and add this element to the width between the two door jambs.
Planing a door to get it to be a perfect fit is one of those jobs that you might wish a local carpenter in London to do for you. It is important that you get the fit exactly right, so mark the door in pencil where it should be cut, allowing an extra ¼ inch extra all round to allow for a small gap between the upright door jambs and a gap at the top and bottom of the door. Plane (or saw) conservatively at first – holding the door up against the frame at regular intervals so you can see that you are not removing too much material.
Doors should open into a room, and the hinge placement should be such that the light switch is on the side opposite the hinges. So, if as you enter a room, the light switch is inside on the wall to your right, the hinges should go on the left hand side of the door. Place the door on its side, with the hinge side facing up. Make a mark six inches from the top and the bottom of the door – these marks represent the top of the hinge at the top of the door and the bottom of the hinge at the bottom of the door. If you are having a third hinge, this should be marked in the centre of the door.
Open a hinge and place it on the door in line with one of the marks you have just made. Draw around it with a pencil and repeat the process where the other hinge(s) is going to go. This is where you want to make shallow recesses (“mortises”) so that the hinges sit flush with the door, but do not try to knock the recess out in one go – take small pieces out at a time and check regularly that you are not going too deep into the door as this will be difficult to fix (see image).
With each hinge flap in its mortise, mark the screw positions with a pencil. Remove the hinges and use a drill bit that is slightly narrower than your screws to drill pilot holes where they are marked by the pencil. Screw the hinges onto the door and then place the door up against the frame on top of two ¼ inch shims (to lift the door away from the floor) and mark the corresponding hinge marks on the door frame.
After carefully putting the door aside, cut mortises in the door frame in the same way that you did on the door itself. Hold the door against the frame again to test the placement and make sure the hinges are flush. Mark pilot holes on the frame with a pencil and then drill through these marks in the same way you did for the door. Put the screws through the pilot holes to affix the hinges on the frame.
As you can see – hanging an interior door is a fairly complicated job and you could certainly use a second pair of hands – especially when manoeuvring the door in and out of the frame. If there is nobody around to help you, get some quotes from carpenters in London by browsing through our Tradesmen´s Directory or use the “Post-a-Job” facility at the top of the page.