How to Install a New Door in an Old Jamb Part 3

You do not need to be a professional to install a new door. You just have to have the skill and precision and if you do, these steps will help you do it yourself.

Materials Needed:

  • hinges
  • screws
  • 1 tape measure
  • 1 pencil
  • 1 panel saw
  • 1 plane
  • 1 narrow chisel
  • 1 medium-sized chisel
  • 1 hammer
  • 1 screw driver
  • 1 battery drill kit with drill bits
  • sand paper
  • wooden wedges
  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves

Step 1 - Safety

Ensuring your safety is the first priority. Use protective gears such as work gloves and goggles.

Step 2 – Remove the old door

Remove the old door first by removing the pins on the hinge using your screw driver and hammer.  After that, hold both sides of the door. Then move the door a bit in all directions to free it from the hinges. Lift then you set it aside.


Step 3- Measure the jamb.

Use your tape measure to measure the height and width of the door opening to guide you in buying your new door.

Step 4 – Fit the new door

If the new door does not fit, you can make adjustments. Cut the excess portion of the door from below before you scribe the top of the door in order to assure that the door does not go beyond the jamb. Make further adjustments through sawing or planing up to your pencil marks. Sand the door until smooth once trimming is done. Tip: When using the plane, work inwards from each edge towards the centre to avoid chipping out the corners.
Step 5 – Position the new door in the old jamb
Pull the new door against the old jamb. Tip: Positioning will be easier when you stand on the opening's stop side.

Step 6 – Position and mark the hinges

Place the door on its side then position hinge side upwards. Then, you measure 15 cm or 6 inches from the top and bottom of the door then place a mark. This will represent the bottom of the hinge at the bottom of the door, and the top of the hinge at the top. Once you are done, open a hinge and place it on the door in line with the mark. Draw around it using a pencil. Repeat this for the other hinge.

Step 7- Mortise hinges

Cut along your pencil outlines. Now chisel out a shallow recess for the hinge. Keep on fitting the hinge. Be careful not to chisel so much because if you do, it will be very hard to fix. Stop when the hinge lies flush with the door. Repeat this for the other hinge.

Step 8 - Mark and drill pilot holes

Position each hinge flap in its recess and mark the screw positions using your pencil. Now select a narrower drill bit than your screws and secure it to your drill. Drill pilot holes for the screws of the hinges. Tip: Keep the bit horizontal and square to the door edge when drilling.

Step 9 – Place the door

Place the door and check if the holes line up. If not, you will have to drill new holes. Place the door on the topmost leaf and drive the pin in. Open the door and drive the screw into the bottom hinge. Repeat this to other hinges.

Step 10 – Ensure door alignment

To ensure the door alignment, open and close the door. Make some adjustment if not done correctly.