Door sizes are standardized to the three most common widths, which are still exact in imperial terms: 2ft 3in (686mm), 2ft 6in (762mm) and 2ft 9in (838mm). If you have a non-standard doorway, you may need to have a new door specially made. Most off-the-shelf doors will be a very tight fit in a standard door frame, and therefore only need a small amount trimmed off their height and edges in order to fit them exactly.
There is usually a limit to how much you can trim a door (around 10mm in total), so check instructions before you start. You should always remove equal amounts from both sides of a door.
Changing internal doors will instantly revitalize a room, however, the job will be considerably easier if you use the same sized hinges as before, and can, therefore, use the same hinge positions that are already on the door frame. This is the technique shown in this leaflet. If the frame (door lining) is also new, simply measure off hinge positions on the lining also, and cut out using the same principles as shown for the door edge.
If you do not use the old hinge positions as guidelines for hanging a new door, the standard positioning for hinges on a door edge is 15cm down from the top and 22.5cm up from the bottom. For a heavy door, a third hinge can be placed equidistant between these two.
There are many ways to finish your new door, from paint to the huge range of easy-to-apply natural wood finishes that are now available.
Handles and latches are normally not included with an off-the-shelf door. This allows you to choose your preferred style.
Favorite handles may be reused on a new door, but make sure that the latch works smoothly. If it doesn’t, they are inexpensive to replace. To remove an old door, you may need to use a screwdriver to loosen old paint around the hinges and in the slots of the screws. Use a hammer to tap the handle of the screwdriver with the slot end positioned on the screw heads. A couple of taps will usually break the paint seal and make unscrewing the screws possible.
The latch plate and doorstop (thin batten of wood inside the door frame that stops the door) may need slight adjustments when a new door is fitted. Much will depend on the new door being the same depth as the old, and whether you position the handle in the same position as for the old door.
Take care when using chisels, always follow three rules:
- Keep hands behind the cutting edge
- Chisel away from your body
- Always secure the timber you are working on with a clamp or vice