Should I Put Hinges on the Door Frame First? - K & J Windows, LLC

Should I Put Hinges on the Door Frame First?

Posted by in Door Replacement Options and New Door Installation

Should I Put Hinges on the Door Frame First?Door hinges are an essential part of our daily lives because they support all of our doors. In addition to protecting the family within, external door hinges provide protection from the weather. New or replacement door hinge installation is a simple task that can be useful to many homeowners, especially those who prefer to handle their own home improvement projects themselves.  

So, when installing a new door, should you put hinges on the door or frame first? Read on to find out.

How to Install Door Hinges 


Start by Taking the Right Measurements 

When installing door hinges on a brand-new door, the top hinge is generally installed five inches from the top of the door, and the lower hinge ten inches from the bottom of the door. Measurements are crucial when installing a door, so make sure you check them twice before cutting or drilling anything. 

The new door should match the rest of your home’s decor, so take dimensions from surrounding doors and use them as a guide. 

The pre-existing hinge locations on the framing should be used for the new door’s hinge placement if you’re replacing a pre-hung door. 

Recess the Hinges

You should place the hinge on the side of the door where you intend to attach it first. Use a pencil to mark the outside edge of the hinge. Score the area within the traced edge with a chisel and hammer. You’ll get the best results if you use a chisel that’s roughly the same size as the piece of wood you’re trying to remove.

Starting with the chisel, carve away the wood until the appropriate depth has been obtained, depending on the hinge’s thickness. For the hinge to seat properly, the cut must be level and even.

It’s important to have patience and an eye for detail when it comes to this task, as the door may not close if the recess is too deep or too shallow.

Attaching the Hinge to the Door

Should I Put Hinges on the Door Frame First?Set the door’s hinge in the correct position so that it can open and close smoothly. Mark where the screws will go with a center punch or an awl. Then, make a mark in the middle of each hole to ensure the screws are positioned correctly.

After removing the plate, drill pilot holes for the screws you intend to use. Tighten each screw one by one as you reinstall the hinge until it is secure and tight. Instead of tightening one and then moving on to the next, evenly tighten them all progressively.


To install, replace, or straighten a door, you need to know how to install the door hinges correctly. The majority of stock doors aren’t sold with a frame and aren’t ready to be installed. Because these doors are designed to be universally installed, they can be configured to open in any direction. Installing door hinges correctly is critical to hanging a door properly. Failing to do so could turn a simple DIY project into a costly headache.

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