replace a door
Whether it’s cracked, moldy, or merely ugly, a door that needs to go is a nuisance every time you pass through it. It’s enough to make you feel unhinged. Close the door on this unfortunate chapter by replacing the door altogether. It’s a relatively simple process, but it requires a number of tools, some planning and a fair amount of space to manage it. See the steps to DIY below:
SIMPLE AND COST EFFICIENT WAYS TO REPLACE AN INTERIOR DOOR
- Have a room with a lot of space to open and close the door you want replaced
- Have a standard size door (80” height) with easy-access hinges
- Have a garage or other area for safe cutting
- Only replace door, keep existing jamb
MEDIUM ROOM DIFFICULTY
- Have a door with door that stops at 90 degree angle because of obstacles
- Non-standard doorframe size
- Broken or hidden door hinges
- Obstacles and walls that prevent movement of and around door
- Old, extra thick (> 1 3/8”) door
- Need to replace jamb, frame and door
- No garage or outdoors space for cutting
Step-by-step guide to replace a door
Measure your doorUse a tape measure to take down the dimensions of your door. Make sure to note if it varies from the standard height (80”) and the standard thickness (1 3/8”), as this may make it difficult to find a replacement door template.
Purchase your desired new "blank" doorFind the door you would like to occupy the soon to be empty spot, known as a “blank.” A “prehung” door includes the jamb, which you won\’t need for a standard door replacement. Try to find it in the color you want so you don’t have to spend a step painting.
Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing a Door
Remove your old door from the jambStand on the side of the door with hinges facing out, and working from the bottom to the top, remove the pins from the hinges. If they are swollen or stuck and can’t be removed by hand, use the hammer to gently tap the screwdriver into it to loosen it. Have a second person steady the door when you’re removing the final pin at the top.
Trace the old door’s measurementsRemove the doorknob and hinges from your old door – if you’re reusing it on your new door, make sure you remember how to put it back together. Lay your new blank door across two sawhorses, and then gently lay the old door on top of it. Trace around the old door onto the new blank with a pencil – your new door should have 1/8 inch clearance to the door jamb on the top and sides, and 5/8 inch to the bottom. Once you’re happy with your pencil lines, carve them slightly with a utility knife all the way around, to help guide your saw. Set the old door aside for now.
Cut the door with a circular sawWith your new door still on the sawhorses, use a straight edge to guide your circular saw and cut the door to fit your jamb. If you’re removing more than an inch from your blank, make sure you do half on top and half on the bottom so you can maintain symmetry of any design or features of the door. The same goes for the sides.
Mark where your hinges will goGently lay your old door back on top of your freshly cut blank. Line them up so that all four edges are flush. Use a combination square and a utility knife to match up where your hinge mortises will be on the new door, and carve the outline. It’s important that this matches up, so that you can actually open and close your new door, once installed. You can place your old door to the side – you will no longer need it.
Carve space for your hinge mortisesStand your new door on its long side on a protective pad, with the marked hinge sites facing up. Make several close cuts with a chisel parallel to the outline cuts, just as deep as needed to fit the hinges. Then, with the chisel at a low angle, tap it lightly with a hammer to slide it along and remove the sections of wood you pre-cut. Don’t dig too deeply.
Attach the hingesTest that your cut-outs for the hinges are deep enough by laying the "hinge leaf" (the flat part of the hinge) into it. It should be flush with the edge of the door it’s on. Make any corrections, then with your leaf in place, drill holes into the door and screw the hinge into the door. With some help, test the fit of the door into the jamb, making sure it closes with 1/8 inch of clearance to the sides and the top. If it doesn’t, plane the edges of the door.
Drill space for the locksetMark where the strike plate (the place on the jamb where the lockset touches) meets the door edge. If you’re using a new lockset, position the included template on this mark, and mark the doorknob and latch placements. If using the old lockset, take measurements from the old door. Use a 2-1/8 inch hole saw to drill the doorknob hole from the front of the door to the back, and cut the latch hole with a 7/8 inch spade bit into the side of the door leading into the doorknob hole. If you’re going to paint your door, this is the easiest time to do it, before you’ve inserted your lockset.
Assemble the locksetWhen ready, insert the latch assembly into the hole on the edge, then trace and chisel out a small shallow rectangle for the latch plate. When you’ve ensured that it lies flush to the edge, screw the latch to the door, then install the doorknob.
Hang your new doorWith another person’s help, line the door up with the jamb and insert the pins into your hinges. Make sure it opens and closes smoothly, and that the latch plate slides easily into the strike plate on the jamb.
Estimated Time4-6 hours
- Tape measure
- 2x Sawhorses
- Utility Knife
- Safety Glasses
- Circular Saw
- Straightedge guide
- Combination square
- Floor pad
- 2x hinges
- Power drill
Common projects and their price
At Pro.com, we’ve helped thousands of people complete their door replacement projects. We’ve got a pretty good idea of how much certain parts of the project should cost. Check out the most common projects we’ve seen people do, and the average cost to complete them nationwide.
Replacing standard height interior door
Replacing irregularly sized or shaped doors
$223 - $235
Replacing the doorframe, jamb and door