How to change an existing door

Replacing an old, worn-out door with a new one doesn’t require the skills of a seasoned carpenter. However, changing an existing door can make a world of difference to the look and feel of your home.

The right tools and a few carpentry tips – paired with our range of internal and external doors – can help you get the best possible results.

We’ve put together these tips below, to give you a helping hand!

Gather your tools

It can be quite a hassle to remove your old door and finding out that you’re not equipped with the necessary tools and supplies to replace it with a new one, can put a dampener on your project. Make sure you have some handy tools in your kit before you commence.

Here’s a list of tools we recommend for the job.

  • Hammer
  • Chisel Set
  • Combination Square
  • Power Drill with Driver Bits
  • Spade Bits and or Hole Saw Kit
  • Spirit Level or Straight Edge
  • Power or a Hand Planer
  • Hinges and Screws
  • Timber Wedges
  • Ear, Eye & Dust Protection

Check measurements

Before you order a new door, measure the old one to ensure a perfect fit. Choosing a door with the same measurements as your old door will make the replacement process a lot more straightforward. For tips to measure your doorway correctly, refer to image below.

Measure door frame

Transfer all the measurements

Once the new door has been purchased and the old door has been taken out, remove all packaging and lay the new door right on top of the old door and clamp them in place. You need to be sure that they are perfectly aligned and that all four edges are flush. An accurate level is the key for a successful installation.

Once both doors are in position, mark any excess on the new door and trim it to match the size of the old door. Don’t forget to mark the locations of the hinges as well, chisel them out and screw them in place.

Test fit the new door

Place the door inside the frame opening to make sure it fits properly and swings smoothly. If you encounter any problems at this stage, fix them now. There’s nothing worse than having a new stylish door you can’t use because it doesn’t have enough space to open and close. 

Prepare the new door

Half the fun of a new door is choosing the paint colour. Ensure you have picked a paint type that is suitable for where your door will be used. Exterior doors obviously need a paint that is a lot more robust! Follow the instructions on the paint can and be sure the top and bottom of the door are sealed with undercoat and two coats of paint, as you will not be able to get to these areas once the door is in place.

The door installation

 Now that you’re sure your new door will fit well in your existing frame and the paint is dry, lift the door and install the hinges on the jamb, attach striker plate and drill the holes for the door knob or lockset, making sure to following the instructions that come with the lock.

Do the final check

The last step is to do the final check and make any adjustments. A door that’s incorrectly installed will likely have uneven gaps along the jamb or may not even latch. You might need to check and ensure that the door frame is plumb and not twisted, and the door threshold is level.

You can always download the instructions that come with the new door if you’re not confident with the result, check out the specifics on our website. And if you’re looking to purchase your door, we have a wide range of doors to select from. Just visit your closest distributor to make your choice!