How to Install a Swinging Door

A close shot of multiple two-way spring hinges one a white background, with screws.
  • 3-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 150-400
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Paint or stain
Two-way spring hinges

Swinging doors look great, are easily accessible from both directions, and installing one is typically easy. The difficulty of putting in a swinging door varies depending on how well the new door was made to how much experience you have in installing them. Having a helper can make this project easier so it’s not awkward having to holding the door yourself while installing hinges.

Step 1 - Find the Right Doorway

Finding the right doorway for a swinging door is imperative. It’s best to choose a place where the door will not damage anything while being opened in either direction. It also needs to fit snugly to prevent injury to anyone, so once you’ve decided where you’re going to put it, mark down the measurements you’ll need.

Step 2 – Buy a Swinging Door

Unless you’re an experienced woodworker with the right tools, it will be much easier for you to just buy a swinging door or have one made by someone with experience. Make sure the door fits the measurements that you took of the existing frame.

Step 3 – Customize

It’s best to do any optional adjustments to the new door now before you attach it to the frame. The door cannot be hung until everything else is done, so it’s nice to do any painting or staining before starting the rest of the work, as the project will have time to dry while you continue.

Step 4 - Drill the Holes

It is time to drill the holes for the hinge screws. First, you’ll want to approximate the weight of your door so you can anticipate how many hinges you’ll need to hold it up. The heavier the door, the more hinges and screws you will need.

Space your hinges out appropriately on the door once you have how many you will be using. For example, if it’s only two, they should be placed near the top and the bottom. For three, put them on the top, bottom, and middle.

Mark on with your pencil where the hinges are going to go. Then, lay them over the top of the area and mark where the screw holes will be. It is very important that the screws be placed in the right areas so the door can flow perfectly back and forth with no problems.

Set the hinges off to the side for now and begin drilling.

Step 5 – Secure Door Hinges

Take an electric or manual screwdriver now—flat head or Phillips depending on the screws that came with the hinge—and secure the hinges using the holes you drilled. While screwing in the screws, take time to make sure that they aren’t in too tight so you don’t damage the door or the hinges themselves.

Step 6 - Hang the Door

This should be the easy part, but it can be difficult to do by yourself. Make sure you have a partner present to help you set the hinges where they need to be in the doorway and hold the door up as you finish securing it to the frame. Make sure to inspect the door after you’re finished just in case anything needs to be fixed.