How to Hang an Exterior Door in an Existing Frame?

| Last Updated: April 12, 2021

How to Hang an Exterior Door in an Existing FrameFixing or replacing an old exterior door is a common event that might appear anytime for a homeowner. The process of hanging a door to that external frame of your house is not very typical. And so, before calling someone else to handle that door, why don’t you try it yourself. Maybe you’ll save some good amount and at the same time learn something useful.

On that Motive, today I would like to discuss how to hang an exterior door in an existing frame.

How to Hang an Exterior Door in an Existing Frame with Simple Instructions.

Now some of you might believe that using an old frame to fix an exterior door could be risky and less fine of an idea. But to be honest this can literally save you a lot of time plus hassle.

One thing I want to clear is that this tutorial is not for pre-hung door installation. Since then, you need to install frame as well and we won’t be considering that. In this writing, we are wholly concentrating on leaf or single door installation.

Taking Out Old Door.

To begin with your new external door, of course, there’s a need to get rid of the old one. Fortunately, this step is not a big hassle and anybody with little instruction and ideas can do it. You simply need to knock out the hinge pin from an old door. Use a suitable tool for that depending on what type of old door you own.

Then, go ahead and lift that old door out from its frame. Sometimes, the door is too heavy to carry for one person. And such trials can also cause serious injuries later on. So, it’s best to have someone with you for lifting and carrying the old door out from frame.

If the hinge pin is too tight then use a hammer and nail. The flattened tip nail will help you to easily knock it out.

Use the Old Door as A Layout for New One.

Now you need to lay the old door next to your new one side by side. While positioning both doors you want to put hinged edges together. This is to simply push the old door’s hinge against new one.

Both of the doors need to be a similar way up. So that both tops of doors are next to each other and not another way. Be attentive to this part or else there’s a chance of hanging an upside-down door.

Marking the Hinges & Required Adjustments.

On a new door, you should have found the position of new hinges. This time simply marks those down. You also need to have a note of adjustments required on the door’s top and bottom sections. Make sure you mark these points by having the old door next to a new one.

To check for a dimensional match, you can also lay one above another. However, you must ensure both are orienting in an identical way. And this needs to be for both fronts to back and top to bottom. To ensure these things before marking adjustments.

Trimming New Door Size.

At this point, you need to use a circular saw. The tool will help you to make new door into right size through trimming. You can make fine adjustments along with the plane for that. You need to place the new door within frame to check again and again. When you feel the fit seems right and perfect, go for final alterations if necessary.

Fitting Hinges.

Let’s move ahead towards fitting the hinges next. If you are using the old door’s hinges for reuse purpose then remove them. And then you need to place those above the markings made during earlier steps.

You want to make sure the hinge and door are orienting correctly with each other. You need to draw around hinges. This template creation will help you. Use a chisel and hammer to put the new hinges. You already know the method. However, make sure you are checking the fit against old hinge recesses in your door’s jamb. You can make any adjustments if there’s a need.

Now the pins for hinge must be out. You need to use a screw for one leaf on every hinge into the door frame. Use the other ones in door’s newly cut recesses. Next, you will carefully place the door onto its hinges. Again, get someone’s help if it’s necessary but make sure to be very gradual and accurate during this step.

Afterward, you need to secure those hinge pins. And your door should be up finally. Close and open it for a few times in a row. Make sure it works fine and just how you wanted it to. The fit needs to right and easy. For any required adjustments, you can use the plane. This will help in removing any extra wood that is creating a problem for the right fit.

Installing Handle & Lockset.

You just need to give the final touch to your new door. It’s regarding installing the knob or handle on door. Also, you need to place the lockset on it. You want to bring the existing latch plate for this. Simply line it up on your new door jamb. Use a pencil to mark down the position for new handle.

Also, you must read those instructions provided with new hardware clearly. Sometimes the instructions may demand different things for proper installation. However, one step should include. And that’s about drilling a hole of two-inch through the door’s front part. Another hole might also be necessary through the door’s edge for fitting parts.

Once you are done with the new handle’s fitting, simply chip out recess. This will help to fit better on the latch plate.

Wrap Up

And that’s how to hang an exterior door in an existing frame. It definitely needs your time and patience. However, after this DIY session, you’ll be smiling brightly looking at the result. Make sure you pay the most attention toward door’s orientation. A mistake here can lead to problematic installation that you don’t want to deal with. Good Luck On That!