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Fitting a new internal door

Cost: Difficulty:

Preparation

Position the new door against the frame to determine the fit. Use a pencil to mark any overlap if the door is larger and requires cutting. To retain the pattern in the door, remember to cut from the top and bottom and from each side when cutting. This is particularly important on a panel door to keep the panels central.

Use a plane to smooth the edges, working from the ends towards the middle to avoid any splintering at the edges. If a larger section needs cutting off, use a circular or panel saw to make the cut. The door should fit the frame with a gap of approximately 2mm all round the edge.

Fitting interior door hinges

If you are using a hardwood door, brass fittings are recommended.

Using existing hinges If you intend to use the existing hinge recesses in the frame, the positions need to be marked on the doorframe. Position and support the door in the opening at an angle to the upright and mark on it where the tops and bottoms of the hinge recesses are.

Using new hinges

The positions need to be marked on both the frame and the door. Interior doors should be hinged between 125½-150mm (5-6 inches) from the top and 175-230mm (7-9 inches) from the bottom of the door. Use either brass or steel butt hinges, sized 75mm (3 inches) or 90mm (3½ inches).

Chisel out the recess carefully and fit the hinges to the door. Make pilot holes first for the screws to avoid splitting the wood. Make sure they fit flush and lie neatly in position. Support the door in position in the doorway and fix the hinges to the frame, using one screw in each hinge. Before completing the job, check that the door opens and closes correctly. If there are problems, remove the two screws and correct by making minor adjustments where necessary to where the hinge sits in the frame.

Repeat the procedure, test open and closing and secure the hinges completely. Decide on the lock or latch most suitable for your door, perhaps with locking in mind or a match to the other internal doors.

A paneled door

The old door could be a flush door covered with hardboard, which once removed could reveal a paneled door beneath. The weight of the door will determine whether there is a wooden inside to the door. However you may not be that fortunate, but decide to replace the existing door with a paneled one. You may wish to visit a reclamation yard, where you might find an old but suitable paneled door. Otherwise panel doors are available from most DIY stores and are competitively priced.

There are different panel designs available ranging from 6 wooden panel doors to 15 glazed panel doors. Finishes are usually in pine, interior hardwood or primed white. You need to decide whether the door is going to be painted or stained and varnished. Consider the decoration of the wood surrounding the door location. Is the skirting board and stairway painted or stained and vanished? Are other doors painted or stained and varnished. Try to visualise different finishes in relation to other furnishings before deciding on the best course of action.

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