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Hanging a new door DIY vs professional installation

Moved in to your new home or renovating your current home? The list of home improvements and interior decor tasks are endless, but one that should be at the top of your list is to make sure all your doors are in place, not just for aesthetic reasons, but also for privacy and energy-saving benefits.

Moved in to your new home or renovating your current home? The list of home improvements and interior decor tasks are endless, but one that should be at the top of your list is to make sure all your doors are in place, not just for aesthetic reasons, but also for privacy and energy-saving benefits.

If you’re not sure whether to tackle the job alone or hire a professional, our handy guide will help make the decision a little easier.

DIY door hanging considerations

  • Time: Is there enough time? A professional will need about a day to hang a new door. For an amateur, it takes as long as it takes. This is fine, albeit inconvenient when hanging internal doors. For external doors, you can’t afford to leave the job unfinished.
  • Unexpected errors: Some jobs lend themselves better to DIY than others. For example, if you damage a roll of wallpaper or a tile, you’ll have spares. If you damage your new door by over-planning or cutting in the wrong place, you will need a new door (and they don’t come cheap!).
  • Opportunity cost: Considering the scope for unexpected and costly errors, are there any more suitable DIY tasks you might tackle in the time you’d take hanging a door? Why tackle a door if you’ve got shelves, painting or grouting to do elsewhere?

Common DIY errors when hanging a new door

  • Will your door be able to open? It may seem silly, however, you would be surprised how many people forget to assess if their door will be able to fully open. Make sure to check the length of a door before you buy it, to see if it can fully swing out.
  • Does it measure up? Measuring your door and frame is one area of door fitting that requires the utmost precision. People often make the mistake of measuring the frame and not the door which is being replaced, ending up with incorrect measurements.
  • Over trimming a new door. If you have never fitted a door before, you will soon realise it is quite a tedious job. You may be tempted to quickly trim the bottom of your door, if you do this, you may end up with a very short, and unattractive door. We recommend very slowly trimming your door to ensure the best fit.
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Thinking of taking the DIY approach to hanging new doors?

Here’s what you’ll need to think about:

Competency with tools

If you own some power tools and know-how to use them, DIY’ing a new door installation could be a fun weekend project for you. However, if you are not comfortable using these tools, you will be better off hiring a professional. If you do not own this equipment, you can rent the tools. It is wise to practice using power tools or any tools before you take on the new door installation.

Here’s some basic equipment you will need:

  • Hammer
  • Heavy duty drill
  • Hand saw
  • Wood planedoor being installed

Some of this equipment may be hard to rent as it is industrial, so you have to consider buying this equipment, but the benefit of hiring a professional is that they already have it all.

DIY door hanging risks

Plan and plan again

Installing a door by yourself can be a very tedious job. A small human error could leave you with a sticking door, an entryway that doesn’t retain heat effectively, or a door that doesn’t fully shut. If you don’t have time to concentrate and meticulously plan hanging your door, you could be left with a low-quality finish. This will be particularly difficult to fit in around a full-time job and other commitments.

Lack of technical knowledge

Hanging a door also requires technical knowledge and a knack for troubleshooting any problem that arises during the hanging process. You will need to have a base-level understanding of architecture, wall materials, and the implications of your door’s thickness.

Added complications with external doors

Hanging an external door is much more complicated than hanging internal doors. External doors are considered a ‘controlled fitting’, meaning they have to be fitted in line with Building Regulations. If you are carrying out a DIY external door fitting, you will need to arrange for an accredited inspector to visit your property and assess your external door fitting. Failure to receive a sign-off on an external door fitting could void your home insurance and affect your home value. However, if using a professional, they will be accredited so you don’t have to worry about this.

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Hiring a professional

Achieve a high quality, secure finish

A professional door fitter will be able to hang your door safely and efficiently the first time around. If you’re not experienced, you could waste a lot of time and energy on a project that would take a professional less than a day to complete. Whilst DIYing an internal door may be slightly more feasible for a beginner, external doors are integral to the outward appeal of your home. Whilst it is important that external doors are aesthetically pleasing, they also must be strong, secure, and properly fitted. Investing in professionally hung doors will ensure they stand the test of time and keep your home safe.

Compliance with regulation

In line with current regulations, at least one door inside your property will need to be a fire door. Building regulations require fire doors in certain parts of new homes, particularly if your home has a door leading to a garage. If you are hanging your own internal doors, you will need to consider this. Whilst you can DIY an internal door fitting, installing a fire door is a more complex process and will require someone with specific training. It also may be best to consult a professional on the placement of your fire door to keep your home in line with building standards.

No need to source equipment

A professional will have all of the necessary tools to hang a door already, saving you the hassle of hunting down each bit of kit. Hanging doors can be quite a time-consuming task, as there are many small hooks and hinges you need throughout the process.

If you do the job yourself, you will need:

  • Hinges
  • Handles
  • A doorknob
  • Linings
  • Frames
  • Locks
  • Screws

All of these materials also must be the correct shape and size for your door for the hanging process to be successful.

Still considering DIY?

If you have your heart set on attempting to fit your own doors, our how to install a door guide may be of help to you, or alternatively, take a look at our door installation cost guide for an indicator on costs.

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How much does it cost to hang an internal door?

The average cost to install an interior door is £200.

How much does it cost to have someone install a front door?

As an external door requires more technical skill and building control, it can cost between £450 for a wooden door up to £1,300 for a composite door. These figures will vary depending on the type of door you’re getting installed. Find out more in our front door cost guide.

Can I fit a new door?

Unless you are a DIY enthusiast, we recommend hiring a professional. Fitting a door alone can be quite a difficult task, as doors are heavy and cumbersome. Installing a new door usually requires two people, it is definitely not a one person task.

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