farmhouse door made to measure in france, bespoke doors for french farm houses

How to Hang a Door? [Tutorial] Part 2

(Part 2)

Are You Fitting a New door into a New or Old Frame or Lining?

We will get to the nitty-gritty further on but for now, we must go through the process. This process of defining what system of door and frame you are looking for.

Throughout this blog, you will be presented with a series of questions. Some are relevant and some are not to your scenario.

You Need to Make a Choice?

First of all, you need to understand that making the right decisions for you has to be your first priority. We all love the look of a wooden door for outside installations but for some, a PVC option may be more practical although ugly in my opinion.

The wooden door is certainly beautiful. Strong and secure especially when you are considering Wallybois doors obviously am a bit biased.

We Recommend Oak Doors for External Use but Fir is OK

Oak is a fantastic timber although can be hard to work by hand or machine. Oak is very hard and certainly makes a durable door, unfortunately, it can be expensive. This is true but also not as the durability of Oak is substantial. Oak weathers very well and can last a lifetime with some simple care. The initial cost of choosing hardwoods like Oak can be offset by the fact that they will last forever.

You can use a variety of varnish finishes or Sadolin but In my opinion, I love to use Danish oil or other Tung oils.

Internal Doors are Protected so only  Cosmetics need to Apply!

Internal doors do not suffer from the usual problems associated with external doors. Rot is rarely a problem unless you have Dry rot or a gaping hole in your roof!!

So whether you choose a Composite, Oak, Pine, Fir, Poplar or Chestnut wooden door your own taste will have an influence.

Are You Fitting a New Door in New Frame or Door Lining?

This is often a preferred scenario and should be your first choice. By choosing a new door and frame you are in control and have limited problematic scenarios other than the fitting itself.

  • twisted frame
  • Non-standard sizing
  • Out of square
  • Rebate depth
  • Caked in paint!

hand planing door frameAre You Wanting to Fit a New Door in an Existing Door Frame or Door Lining?

This scenario could be a little more complicated as the size of the frame will dictate the thickness of the door. If the Existing door was installed within a door lining you could carefully remove the door stops so then the thickness of the door is not a deciding factor. You can reinstall or replace the door stops once the door is installed(hung).

QUICK TIP: How to Check For Square?

So you are faced with an old door frame or reveal where you want to install a new door. You need to check for square. What I mean by this is that all corners are at 90 degrees.

Method of Checking for Square?

  • Take two measurements diagonally corner to corner and corner to corner. If both measurements are the same then the frame is square. A few millimetres inaccuracy is ok but when you have 10mm or more then it could cause problems.
  • Another way to check for square is to use a 600mm metal framing square. This method can be a little inaccurate as the frame could be bent.
Another Issue with Fitting a New Door in an Old Frame!

If you are considering keeping your old frame which is likely to be in an old house then the frame could be ‘Out of Square’. This will cause you additional problems when fitting a door.

When you commission a new door or buy one from a builders merchant it will be square. Have you tried to put a square peg in a round hole?

Did the Old Door Stay Closed or will the Door Not Stay Open?

Yes, this is a good indicator that the door frame is not plumb and what I mean by that is that the verticals are not vertical. If the door is hung to a frame that is not plumb then the door could be influenced to open or close on its own. ‘Newton’s Second Law’ plays here and the gravity makes the door open or closes without our intervention.

QUICK TIP: How to Check For Plumb?

Method of Checking for Plumb?

  • Plumb from the French Plomb which is nicknamed plumb bob, or plummet is a weight that also uses Newton’s Second Law. How it works is that the weight on a line is heavy and uses gravity to place the line at 90 degrees to the earth. The name Plumb is from the French translation for lead ‘Plomb’ which is traditionally the material used to make the ‘Plumb Bob’. Many words in English come from French. The line will give you a vertical reference line.
  • You could also use a standard spirit level. Ideally, two-spirit levels. One short to check the head of the frame for level and one long to check the frame verticals or stiles for plumb. If you only have a short spirit level then acquire a straightedge to lengthen the short spirit level. The straight edge will also aid check for trueness.

Now You Have Found That Your Old Frame or Lining is Too Wonky!

So you have done the checks and have now decided to renew the old frame with a new door lining or frame. The benefits of fitting a new door lining or frame are obvious and put you back in control.

When fitting a new door lining you can be sure that the lining is plumb, level and square. When your door lining or frame is square and plumb you will have a much easier time installing your new door.

Ripping Out The Old Door Lining or Frame

Removing the door lining is easy and some care may be needed to prevent damage to the plaster. But don’t be too concerned as making good the plaster and other trimmings is easy once the door is hung.

Tools Needed to Remove Old Door Lining or Frame tools for hanging a door

Sometimes a simple pry bar or crowbar will be enough to prise the linings from the wall. In an event that the lining is stuck between the head and floor. You may need to bring out the arsenal in the form of a panel saw ( 7 PPI is fine for this job) and cut through the lining diagonally so you can release it.

The diagonal cut is important so the lining does not bind on it, the blade of the saw or itself when using a pry bar or crowbar.

An old lining will likely be nailed using cut nails into red brick or if the wall was built with the lining in situ there could be metal tags placed into the brick joints as the wall was built. If the lining is fitted into a stud wall then it is likely that wire nails were used.

A rebated door frame will be harder to remove than a door lining. (PIC)

A door frame is heavier such as a frame carrying external doors. These frames will have morticed corners so they are more solid. Also, the timber is of a bigger section as it will need to hold the weight of a heavy door. This is why it will be fastened to the wall with more substantial fastenings for strength and safety.

The same methods as the door lining can be applied but more brute force will be needed and a hefty crowbar. Because there is less flex in the frame.

QUICK TIP: To Not Blunt Saw Edge?

You have just bought that nice new Sandvick panel saw and want to keep it in good shape. The purpose of the saw is to release stubborn frame members by cutting through the frame at an angle. Unfortunately, it is easy to accidentally cut the brick or plaster of the wall.

To prevent this you should drive a wooden wedge between the frame and the wall to hold the frame away from the wall. In the gap place a piece of sacrificial wood. This is where you should make your angled cut. The wooden scrap will protect your saw from hitting the hard surface of the wall when you finalise your cut.

So You Did It You Got That Stubborn Frame Out?

Now you can see the “Wood from the trees” so now it is time to inspect the hole where you will be installing the new frame. There are a few things you will need to consider and some improvisation could be needed.

  • Is the edge of the wall sound?
  • Do you need to make repairs to the wall?
  • Is Hole Square? (quick tip above)
  • Is the Hole Plumb? (quick tip above)
  • Are there any electric cables and if so get a competent Legal Electrician?
  • Is there anything that should not be there or could be dangerous?

Which Side to Hang?

This decision is very important as it is something that is difficult to change later and will require making good if a mistake is made.

You will need to either check over your original plan if you have one or make a conscious decision.

  • Do you have a light switch? If so you will need to hang the door on the opposite side otherwise the light switch will be covered by the door
  • Are there any obstructions?
  • Is the floor flat or will it prevent the door from opening?
  • In a Hall entrance if the door is left open will it cause interference with the main entrance door?
  • When the door is open will it obstruct the stairs?

Have Your New Doors a Face Side?

Not all doors are identical on both sides like a ledge and braced door which has the framing in the back. Deciding on what side you which to be your face side is something you need to decide on.

That cheap cardboard cored doors or sometimes called egg box or egg crate generally are the same on both sides. Just make a good creative decision. As an example, lounge doors would be installed so the face is facing into the room. If the doors are coming of the hall then you need all the door to be facing in the same direction.

Okay, You are Ready for the Installation So let’s Start by fitting Door Lining First!

You have a Hole and that hole needs filling but you first need to fit a wooden door lining. The lining is easy to fit but there are a few things that could make hanging the door easier.

Tools and Fastenings Required for Fitting Lining within Stud Walltools for hanging door

Be Care if Buying Tools

Buying a tool can be expensive but also too cheap! I have some experience in buying tools as I am an addict! You too would benefit from being an addict? Only kidding but some desire to do a good job will bear some comparison to the tools you hold in your hands.

Sometimes You Can Blame Your Tools?

Not true as if you bought them then it is still your fault you now have a door that won’t close. You don’t necessarily need to own Lie Nielsen Tools but a good ‘middle of the road’ selection is always a good idea. Brands that will last are commons well-known makes such as Stanley or Bahco.

I personally choose to use a variety of tool brands that suit my needs. I do like old tools which I refurbish, I choose these classic tools as I like steel. If you buy or acquire any tools that have a sharp edge such as a Chisel you will need to learn how to sharpen these tools. There is no magic trick other than just learning the skill.

Tools and Fastenings Required for Fitting Lining within Brick Walltools for hanginging door in brick 01 01-1200-678

If the house you are working on is old you might find that the old linings were originally installed with noggins or winding plugs.


‘Noggins’ are pieces of wood added to the brick course in strategic places for the purpose of nailing into thus fixing the lining with nails within a brick / Masonry wall. (PIC)

Winding Plugs

The winding plug or wedge is a wooden wedge with the opposing corners trimmed. These fasteners were driven with a mallet into the joint of brick but primarily used on loose stone walls. Once driven then can be nailed into or in the 21st century grad a Dewalt battery drill or similar.


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