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Install & Replace

Installing a door where one has been before

I live in a 50-year-old house that once had a door between the hall and kitchen. The outside hinges and hole/plate for the doorknob are already in place. I want to buy and install a door. What and where do I need to measure? Do I need to take off the old hinges and totally replace them with new ones or just use the other half of the new hinges? Can the plate for the doorknob stay in place or do I need a new one? How do I mark the door for placement of hinges?


My preliminary measurments indicate that it is a standard door size, not a specialized one.


Thanks for any help you can give me. I've replaced a doorknob and fixed a hinge before, but this is the first time I've needed to install a door.

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Posted 2011-01-25T21:46:24+0000  by AnnMcG AnnMcG

Hey AnnMcG, welcome to the Home Depot Community!

Installing a new slab door should be a fairly straightforward process.


I would measure at 3 spots, (both ends and the middle) for both width and height.  You are looking for the minimum size of the door frame, to ensure that your new slab will fit.  Because your house is 50, I would also check the frame for straightness with a level. If it’s not pretty close you may be better off taking out the trim and getting a pre-hung door.

If it's fairly square, then onward to the next step.


Take your measurements to your local Home Depot millwork department and pick out your new door.  It should be a 1-3/8 thick interior door slab.  Pick up a pack of shims to set the slab on in the doorway so you can center it by height and mark where the lock set and hinges should go.


You will also want one of these inexpensive door prep kits:


The full description at is here: LINK

This kit comes with a hinge marking plate and chisel as well as the door knob guide and drilling tools and complete instructions.  You should be able to reuse your old hinges if you want to.  Using the same strike plate in your door frame just means that height determines where you drill your lock set hole.

I hope this helps.



Posted 2011-01-25T22:56:24+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

Thank you, Newf! I would never have thought about the replacement kit. I'm leaving the message open because I may have more questions as I get closer to the process. Have a great day!

Posted 2011-01-25T23:03:54+0000  by AnnMcG
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