How to Change a Door in Your Home

You’re a savvy homeowner (you are a House Hack Tips reader, afterall), so there’s no doubt you enjoy a DIY project – especially one that not only ups your home’s aesthetic, but also increases its value. You already know it can be done with a fresh coat of paint, and even a few updated bath fixtures – but have you ever looked at your doors? 

Just as your home’s front door can boost curb appeal, and therefore boost your home’s value, your home’s interior doors can play a role in how much equity you have in it, too. But thankfully, if your interior doors are old, worn, damaged, or just a little outdated, swapping them out is a fairly easy weekend project you can add to your homeowner to-do list. 

So, how many homeowners does it take to change a door in your home? Knock, knock jokes aside (pun intended – we couldn’t help ourselves!), the answer is only one or two! Follow these six simple steps and you’ll be a door-swapping pro in no time. 

Why Change Your Home’s Interior Doors? 

If you’re looking to upgrade your home’s interior design, a new door can instantly update the aesthetic, and value! Better-built and more stylish interior doors generally increase your home’s equity, and resale value, because they provide a more up-to-date look and a high-quality “feel.” How much they increase your value, though, depends on the rest of your home’s design, your location, and current home value. 

On the other hand, old damaged or worn out doors can negatively affect your home’s value, and can make it tougher to sell (or earn top dollar if you decide to sell!). Thankfully, changing out your home’s doors is a relatively easy project.

Step One: Gather Your Supplies

  • Your new door – remember to measure the current door you’re replacing to ensure your new door will fit.

    Note: If the frame of your door is damaged or the wood has rotted, you’ll need a pre-hung door
  • Door knob and latch
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Clamp
  • Chisel
  • Pencil
  • Friend or housemate 

Step Two: Remove Your Door

Using your drill or screwdriver, remove the hinges on the side of the door. If you have a friend helping you, they can hold the door in place as you unscrew it to ensure it doesn’t come crashing down. 

Laying the door flat, unscrew the current latch and knob. 

Step Three: Mark the Hinge and Latch Placements 

Lay your old door on top of your new door and clamp them together in place. Using your old door as a guide, draw markings (with a pencil) to match up where the hinges and knob and latch go. 

Next, trace the outline of your hinges and latch onto the new door for easier measurement.

Step Four: Chisel the Hinge Mortises 

Photo Credit: Family Handyman

Score the mortises of wood from your hinge outlines and knob and lock, removing a thin layer of wood. 

Step Five: Screw the Hinges in Place

Using your drill, screw the hinges onto your new door.

Step Six: Secure the Latch and Knob

Using your drill, screw your door knob and latch securely in place.

Step Seven: Screw the Hinges into Your Door Frame

Finally, match up the hinges and latch them onto your door frame. If you have a friend helping you, ask them to hold the door in place as you use your drill to screw on the hinges, working from the top down.

Give your new door a few test swings and be proud of yourself – you knocked this project out of the park! 

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