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The first mistake some people make when hanging a door is to start fitting furniture (handles, hinges etc) before the door is cut to size. Some older houses will have moved dramatically and one of the first things that twists and bends is the door frames.
Almost all doors have to be trimmed to fit the opening they are to go into and sometimes the opening has been specially made for a feature door. If you are ever in the position of adapting a frame do not be tempted to fit the frame to suit the door or the existing opening.
Depending on the style of your door and the interior design of your home, it is also important that you choose the correct furniture for your door. If you use a screwdriver to tap down the side of the door you will hear the difference when you get to the lock block. The door was placed in position up against the new frame and the inside of the frame was marked on the door with a pencil. This new door was being hung on the opposite side to the old one so the old hinge recesses will need to be filled. Drawing lines and cutting timber in any form can cause the novice a great deal of problems. Hold the saw with your finger down the handle pointing to the work and make sure the timber is totally secure. Whenever you mark a piece of timber, the line you have drawn it the exact size you want the wood. People think it is so easy to grab a saw and start a piece of carpentry but even cutting a straight, square line is a problem until you have mastered it. In this instance, as we had rebuilt the frame, the cut was square, but with older frames you may find you have twists and kinks and it will not be possible to use a saw for the cut down.
There is no regulation as to where these hinges should go with regard to the position on the door or frame but we like to keep the top of the top hinge at 7 inches down from the top of the door and the bottom of the bottom hinge at 7 inches from the bottom of the door. Mark the position of the hinge by opening it at right angles and laying it on the side of the door to be hung.
Using a sharp chisel, cut as shown below, tapping firmly with a mallet to avoid breaking the chisel head. Practice this cut on an offcut of wood for a while this will benefit you greatly if you have a number of doors to hang. Drill pilot holes for your hinge screws and make sure they are in the centre of the hinge holes. With the door in the correct place you can mark the position of the hinges on the edge of the frame.
Take the door away again and using the mortice gauge which is already set to the hinge width, and the carpenters square, you can mark the full position of the hinge on the frame.
Wedge the door in position once again and, if you are on your own, you may find it easier to keep the top of the door in place by pinning the top hinge temporarily in place. Why not take a look at our video sections on hanging doors and using a power screwdriver and watch the films on hanging a door and using this popular power tool. Summary: Information and advice on fitting a garage door and things to take into consideration when installing a new door.


Traditional garage doors were made of timber in two leaves and hung on sturdy band and hook hinges.
Installing a new garage door to an existing or new garage will almost always require the services of two people.
Before starting the installation, the instructions delivered with the door should be studied closely. Roller doors that retract into a internal casing are becoming very popular, and can be made to measure your existing frame. The door height is usually 1981mm or 2134mm (6 feet 6 inches or 7 feet) and in the case of a canopy door, the lower 600mm (2 feet) would project horizontally beyond the face of the garage when installed to form a canopy. This door would normally be installed if there was an obstruction blocking the full entry of the door into the garage such as vertical brick piers or electric or gas meters. A retractable door enters the garage for its full height so there is no projecting canopy beyond the face of the garage entrance. The position of the existing frame should be checked to make sure that it is still in its original position. Most of the first fixing installation work is carried out inside the garage so all tools and other equipment such as ladders and drills should be brought inside before commencing the work. If the existing frame is leaning over or twisted, insert your new timbers upright and square if off. There is a huge selection of styles, colours and finishes available today that will cater for almost every taste you can imagine.
A type of panelled door is shown below and simply means that the door is divided into panels with two side rails, a top and bottom rail and a mid rail. Check the measurement between the front of your frame and your door stop before you start work. Fire check doors should always be fitted to the kitchen and internal garage door and if you have a loft conversion they will be stipulated throughout. These are strips which swell up at the first sense of heat and stop smoke from getting through any gaps.
At the top of a new flush, or hollow panelled lightweight door the word lock will be printed over to one side. As you can see in the images below we had to add timber to the existing frame to get a standard size frame. This can be done with either filler applied in a couple of layers, or you can try your carpentry skills at cutting a timber block down, gluing and pinning it in place (punching the heads of the pins down with a nail punch) and sanding it down to finish flush with the frame. Another easy thing to forget is that the saw has a thickness of about 3mm including the set of the teeth. This may not sound a lot, but should you cut marginally inside the line, you are talking about a difference of 5mm and this is the difference between a good job and a shoddy one. Fully qualified carpenters have had to practice this, it makes sense that you should do so also. This can be done on a variety of hinges but for most doors it is the standard butt hinge that is used. Our particular door frame needed a new door stop which is the last thing to go on (see image above).


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They needed regular painting and despite their solidity they had a limited life because their weight meant they could sag after a while and damage would be caused to the bottom of the door scraping on the ground. These days garage doors are usually the up-and-over light weight type that have a long life and are almost maintenance free. This is necessary not only for the lifting and manoeuvring of the door, but also for the sighting and positioning of the opening mechanism. A decision will already have been taken at the ordering stage on whether a canopy or retractable type of up-and-over door is suitable.
If the new door is being fitted to an existing softwood door frame, the frame should be carefully checked to make sure that it is still structurally sound and capable of supporting the door. A spirit level will show whether the frames are still true vertically whilst the horizontal distances between the vertical frame members should be also examined by taking three or four measurements and these should all be the same.
If it is fitted between the brick reveals and to the underside of the lintel of the garage opening, this would marginally increase the internal length of the garage.
The fixing instructions that will be attached to the product are usually clear and easy to follow. It takes time to learn and a really good idea is to get some basic techniques under your belt before trying major projects. You will also, on the construction of a loft conversion, need to install automatic door closers to arrest the spread of any fire. This means that there is a section of timber fixed inside the frame of the door which is there to allow the door lock or latch to be fitted.
If your body is leaning, the chances are the saw will be leaning too, giving you a cut which is far from square. In years gone by the carpenters apprentice was made to carry an old penny, this was used to make sure the gap all round the door was the precise width. A final check should be made to ensure that the two diagonal distances between the opposite bottom and top of the vertical frames are the same. But if the frame is fitted behind the reveals it would increase the opening width available.
When completed, the opening equipment may need some minor adjustments to ensure trouble-free operating.
The lock block usually extends approximately 200mm up and down from the centre of the door.
If there is a significant difference in any of these measurements it shows that the frame has moved out of position during use and, if it cannot be rectified, a new frame will be required.
Regular oiling and spring adjustments should be carried out to maintain the door’s performance.



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