Door – General Tips

We look at how to install and store a door along with common pitfalls to watch out for. Installing a door is by no means impossible for the average person, but a poorly installed door can cause problems. We look at why you should get an expert to fit a perfectly square door. But first, let’s see the things you need to take into account about your rooms when you’re looking for a door for them.

Expert advice

  • If you want someone to handle the process, many large door suppliers will fit, deliver and install doors for you.
  • Otherwise, it is recommended getting a professional to measure your doorway. Your floor needs to be level, as does the door frame. All the corners need to be at perfect right angles. Whether you’re hanging a sliding door from the top, or hanging a hinged door from the side, the load-bearing structure must be able to hold the door you want to hang. A builder can help you make sure you purchase the right door for the space.
  • Also getting a professional to hang your door as the frame needs to be 100 per cent square is suggested.


  • Look at your existing door, and take its height, width and thickness.
  • A simple tip to check your door is square: measure each of its diagonal lengths. If they’re not the same, it’s not square. Do the same for the door frame itself.
  • If it’s not square then you might have to buy a wooden door that’s slightly larger and trim it back when you install it. Doors generally come with a trimming allowance for this purpose of 5mm – but your trimming must not exceed this.
  • When you take your measurements shopping for a hinged door, you should deduct 8mm clearance – 3mm for the top, 5mm for the bottom.


Get your new door home quickly so that it does not excessively warp or twist. Don’t leave it in the back of a truck, on a roof rack, in a freshly plastered area, or anywhere it might get hot, wet or damp. If you are not hanging your door straight away store in a dry, well ventilated area. Make sure it’s stored flat. Cover your door with a protective sheet but ensure there is ventilation between the door and the protective sheeting. When being moved, doors should be lifted and carried, not dragged. They should be handled with clean hands to prevent any finger marks on the surface.

Installation tips and pitfalls

The most important part of installing any door is ensuring all angles are square and level. You can use a sprit level and square to do this.

Hinged doors

The tricky part about hinged doors is making them fit the door frame.

  • Measure the frame and door, trim if necessary – allowing for clearance top and bottom – and measure again by sitting the door inside the frame.
  • Mark the position of the hinges on the door by measuring the jamb (the side of the door frame it will be hinged to), remembering to allow for the clearance. If your jamb is new, you should install three hinges: 200mm from the top and bottom and in the centre. Chisel out space for them in the door, drill screw holes and attach.
  • Rest the door in the doorway with wedges for support and hang the door. Check that it’s all square before taking it down if necessary to finish painting and staining.
  • With the door hanging in place, attach the handles and other furnishings.
Sliding doors

Installation methods for sliding doors, particularly more complex folding doors, can vary.

  • Generally, the first step in installing sliding doors is to attach the top railing or track.
  • The bottom railing must be located exactly underneath – easier said than done.
  • The door is then attached to the track and clicked into the railing.

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