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Replacing Doors Can Be Do-It-Yourself Project

May 6, 2008
Door replacement is a task that any homeowner can complete, with basic skills, a few tools and patience. In fact, this can be a wonderful opportunity for the do-it-yourself person to learn a new task and save a bit of money that might otherwise be paid to a professional. The choice of a the correct door design and finish can change the look of a room, attract the visitor to the outside of the home, and also help keep the home airtight.

For basic understanding of this task, there are three types of doors: combination doors (screen/storm); entry doors; and interior doors. Five simple steps can lead the individual through the task of replacing an entry door. As most experienced homeowners know, mastering entry door replacement gives the individual the knowledge to replace interior doors (a simpler version of the entry-door technique).

Replacing a combination door follows the same steps as that for entry doors, but the process can be a bit more complex. Manufacturers generally provide good instructions and suggestions for installing combination storm/screen doors. Following these instructions carefully will usually lead to completion of the project with success (and reduced stress). Professionals at the home improvement center or hardware store can also be an excellent source for tips and suggestions.

But where should the do-it-yourself homeowner begin with installing doors? Here are five basic steps for the process, starting with:

Remove The Old Door

Careful removal of the old door is an important first step. After opening the door, place a wedge under the outer corner to take the weight off the door hinges. Remove the hinge pins and set the door aside. This door can be used as a pattern for trimming the new door if it has not been seriously damaged or if it isn't too badly warped.

Remove Hinge Leaves

The next step is to remove the hinge pieces from the frame. Depending on the desire to use existing hardware, these hinges can be reused or new ones can be substituted. Older hinges can be lightly buffed with fine sandpaper to restore some of the original appearance. Be sure the screws for the new hinges are long enough to reach into the stud behind the door frame.

Trim New Door

It would be wise to use the old door as a pattern for the new one. The alternative is to measure the door opening and allow a 1/8" bottom clearance as well as a 1/16" top and side clearance. The bottom clearance for a carpeted floor will probably have to be 3/4". Trim and plane door as necessary, using a fine-tooth saw and good plane.

Prepare New Door For Hinges

New areas must be carved out so the hinge blades can fit smoothly into the frame and door. Using the old door can help with proper location of hinges. A pencil outline of the hinge is essential for cutting this depression in the wood. Carefully chisel out the wood, with several cuts to the depth of the hinge leaf.

Hang New Door

It is time to put the hinges on, securing them with strong screws. When hanging the door, insert hinge pins by starting with top hinge. With patience and attention to detail, this project can be finished quickly enough to allow time for a bit of relaxation!
About the Author
Concentrating on informating about saw patterns, Jack Blacksmith is writing mainly for http://www.insidewoodworking.com/ . You might discover his abstracts on free scroll saw pattern and saw patterns on his site.
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