• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to replace an interior door.

    1 Close old door and measure up 12 inches from threshold and mark the door.
    2 Pull hinge pins and take down old door.
    3 Unscrew the lockset from old door.
    4 Lay old door on top of new door; keep tops and hinge edges flush.
    5 Find 12-inch marks on old door and measure down 11¾ inch; mark new door.
    6 Transfer hinge and lockset locations from old door to edge of new door using a combination square.
    7 Cut hinge mortises using hammer and chisel.
    8 Screw hinges into mortises on door edge; pull pins to separate hinge leaves.
    9 Cut door to height using circular saw and straightedge.
    10 Screw remaining hinge leaves to mortises in doorjamb, inserting shims if necessary to make hinges flush.
    11 Screw hole-boring template to door for drilling out the lockset holes.
    12 Bore the doorknob hole through the face of door using a 2-inch hole saw.
    13 Use a 1-inch hole saw to bore latch hole in door edge.
    14 Use hammer and chisel to cut a shallow mortise for the latch.
    15 Install new lockset.
    16 Hang door with hinge pins and check swing and closure.
    17 Remove door, prime top and bottom to block out moisture, then paint.
    See products and services from this episode
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Patience and careful layout is required to trim the door and cut hinge mortises
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • 100-foot tape measure
        Measuring tape
      • combination square
        Combination square
        for transferring hinge mortises from old door
      • chisel
        for chopping out hinge mortises
      • flathead screwdriver
        Slotted screwdriver
        used to tap out hinge pins
      • hammer
      • drill
        Drill/driver, combination drill bit
        used to bore screw pilot holes
      • straight edge
        used as a circular saw guide
      • circular saw
        Circular saw
        for trimming door to proper height
      • 1-inch and 2 1/8-inch hole saws
        for boring lockset holes

      Shopping List

      1. Interior door

      2. Butt hinges, use same size as hinges on old door

      3. Lockset

      4. Lockset hole-boring template

      5. 1-inch drywall screws, for attaching template to door edge

      6. Cardboard shims, necessary if doorjamb hinge mortises are too deep for new hinges

      7. Sawhorses, to support door

      8. Canvas drop cloth, for protecting floor

      9. Primer and paint

      10. Paintbrush