How to Put Hinges on a Door

Updated February 21, 2017

Hinges are pieces of hardware that allow a door to swing open and closed. They connect the door to the frame, and are usually used in sets of three or four, equally spaced along the edge of the opening. While many homeowners choose easy-to-install pre-hung units for do-it-yourself projects, some people still prefer doing things the old-fashioned way. This article includes determining the hinge locations, routering the recesses on the door and installing the hardware piece by piece. Using basic tools, this project can be complete in less than an hour.

Choose correctly sized hinges. Measure the ones on the existing frame and choose ones that are the same size so that you do not have to adjust the preps on the frame. Typically, you will find they are either 4 inches by 4.5 inches or 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches. Wide or tall doors may have special hinges, so measure before making your purchase.

Measure the hinge locations on the frame to determine where they will go on the door. Typically, hardware is measured from the top of the frame to the top of the hinge. Deduct 1/8 inch from each measurement to determine the hinge locations on the door. This 1/8 inch will provide clearance and allow the door to swing correctly.

Use a pencil to mark the locations on the door as they were determined in Step 2. Make your marks along the edge of the door, not on the face. Trace the entire shape of the hinge, including top and bottom marks for each, and mark the width.

Chisel out the areas you marked on the door where the hinge will be installed. A butt marker can help you measure depth as you chisel. You will need to remove wood to the same thickness as the hinge so that the hardware will be recessed.

Screw the hinges into the routered-out spaces, using a drill or screwdriver. Use the screws that were provided with the hinges for best results. You are now ready to install the door by tapping the hinge pin into place, connecting the door to the frame.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape Pencil Hinges Wood chisel Butt marker Screwdriver or drill
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