How To Fit Internal Doors

This article will teach you how to fit internal doors. You will learn how to fit a new, internal door in the same space as your old one. This is assuming you already have an existing door frame. One important thing we learned from having to buy internal doors is that they don’t come with ‘door furniture’. You have to purchase things like hinges, latches and handles separately, so budget for all these, as some of them can be pretty expensive. Beware that they come in separate packages, so make sure you have all you need before you leave the shop. See other useful DIY tutorials at this page.

Time frame: Fixing a door will take you about 2 hours to complete.
Difficulty: 6 out of 10

Essential Tools you will need to fit internal doors:

Butt hinges



Tape measure

Wood plane


Drill and drill bits

Spirit level

Latch and handle


You may need a doorstop too.

Method of fitting an internal door


1. Purchase a new door which is the same depth as the old one, or you may find yourself having to remove and replace the door stop. If the new door is slightly bigger, you can always plane it down a bit. Remove your old door, leaving your old hinges on the frame if they’re still in working condition. If not, remove them and replace them with new hinges in the same place as the old ones.

2. With the door standing upright against the existing frame, make sure that there’s a 3mm gap between the two. You can use your existing hinges to measure this space on the hinges’ side of the door, by just leaning the door against them.

3. On the opposite side – the latch and handles’ side – measure a 3mm gap between the door and the existing frame and draw a line from the top to the bottom (on the door). Then measure that there’s a 3mm gap from the top and the bottom of the door frame. This means your door should be 3mm smaller than the middle part of your door frame, (which is the door stop) on both sides and on the top and bottom.
4. Take the door outside. Put it on its side and plane it evenly from top to bottom, until you get to the pencilled mark.
5. Bring your door back inside and place it in the door frame once it’s all planed out. With your pencil, draw a line at the bottom and top lines, of where your hinges will be. If you’re putting on new hinges, you can put the door on its side and use the hinges to mark around the place it should be.
       image. Where to mark door for hinge. See pencil mark on front of door.

6. With your chisel and hammer, cut a space into the door for your hinges.  Be careful not to split the wood. You’ll need to make several, little horizontal cuts into the wood between the two pencilled lines. Remember to make the cuts the exact depth as the hinges. To help with this, it may be a good idea to put a little mark on your chisel so you know your far to cut. Stop cutting when you get to this mark. When you’ve done this, use the blade of the chisel sideways (from the front of the door) and shave off the cut, little pieces of wood, making a bed for your hinge to fit into.

cut space for door hinge

image. Cut a space into the door for your hinge, with a chisel and hammer.

7. Place the door against the hinges and pre-drill holes for the screws. Fit both your hinges.

Fitting the latch on your internal door



door latch

Door latch image

1. To fix your door latch, close the door and place the latch on the front of it. Line the latch up with the existing plate (this is the part that the latch locks into when the door is closed) on your old door frame, and mark around it. Take this mark all around, from the front of the door, round the face, and the back.

fitting door latch

image. To fit the latch, mark position on door first.

image. Draw a line all around the door, in the position of the latch.


2.Draw a vertical line in the middle of the door face as in the picture above. Now measure the latch and mark this on the door. Also, measure the distance between the end of the latch and the hole in the middle of it (picture above). Mark this on the door too. Get your flat drill bit and measure the length from the end of the latch to the hole that’s in it. Mark that distance on your drill bit because you don’t want to exceed that when you make the hole.

3. Place the drill (with the flat drill bit secured) on the vertical line you made on the face of the door, and drill to the mark you made previously. This is the point at which the hole is situated on your latch.
4. Also drill a hole (at the spot you marked -where the hole is on the latch) on the back and on the front of the door. Do this carefully, as doors are usually made with material that split easily.
5. Carefully push the latch into the hole you’ve made on the face of the door. Make sure that it’s straight. Draw a line around the latch (on the face of the door) like in the image below. (The hole which is supposed to be at the front of the door is absent in this picture). Remove the latch and put it to one side.

draw line for door latch

image. Draw a line around the door, where the latch is going to be placed.


6.Carefully chisel your way around the line you marked for the latch. Remember to chisel the right depth (according to the latch) into the wood. When this is done, replace the latch and screw in securely. The latch should sit smoothly on the surface of the door face. There should be no difference in depth between the two.

7. Place your spindle through the hole in the door, and through the latch you’ve just inserted. (You should’ve been given a spindle with the pack when you bought your door furniture. It looks like this:
If your spindle is slightly long, it can be cut down to size with a suitable saw. After this is done, put your handles on, making sure they’re fitted in the right place. Screw in your handles with a hand-held screwdriver to be on the safe side. Close the door and make sure it locks properly. If not, you may have to remove the plate on the door frame and readjust it slightly to fit.


Get rid of your old door responsibly and enjoy!  And for door fitting supplies, check out sliding doors at Barrier Components


Please share How to fit internal doors on your social networking sites if you’ve enjoyed or benefited from it. Find more DIY tutorials on the linked page. 
Thanks for sharing this article Facebook Twitter Delicious StumbleUpon Digg


About Anne

Anne Lyken-Garner, the owner of DIY Projects is the published author of the inspirational memoir, Sunday's Child (available on Amazon). She's also a freelance writer, blogger and editor. She writes for, and manages 4 blogs. See how Anne can help you with editing your site at the Hire an Editor page above.


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

, , , ,

17 Responses to How To Fit Internal Doors

  1. James December 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    I am very interested by all the posts that you have shared and i have read almost all of them.They are quite interesting because they are all practical implementations which are discussed.The things that you have discussed are an advantage to learn and it can definitely be helpful.Thanks for sharing this post.

  2. Peter December 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    After reading your post I have got some idea to fix doors.I have never tried this before but i am surely going to fix my doors.I want to learn interior work because it is very expensive to hire someone to get the work done.Thanks for sharing this post.
    Peter recommends you read..Atlas Copco WarrantyMy Profile

  3. Jack November 27, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Thanks for detailing everything so clearly and also thanks for sharing the pics.I just wished that if you could show a video then it would be great.After reading this post i have learned some basic lessons about fitting a door.Thanks again for your efforts to detail everything clearly.

    • Anne November 28, 2012 at 10:29 am #

      I know, Jack. A video would’ve been perfect. I still have to find my way around filming DIY projects I’m doing around the home. This is a barrier I still haven’t been able to jump over.

  4. Anthony Spence November 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Anee, you are wonderful person. I really appreciate your work!!

    • Anne November 28, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      Thanks for your kind comment, Anthony.

  5. Thomas November 16, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Hey Anne,
    i am always amazed reading your article because i always wonder how do you incorporate all the details and thanks to you that i have learned so many basic and important things.I really want to try this out once but nowadays i am very busy with my business.I will surely try out this some day.
    Thomas recommends you read..One happy customerMy Profile

  6. Thomas November 15, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Great tips on DIY door fitting. I just referred to the link which you provided to Keith. Turning a garage into a mind-blowing living den is not an easy task. I must say you are an excellent home makeover expert. Recently, I came across your blog while I was searching for ways to fir internal doors. I am quite bad in doing DIY jobs but your blog really makes it easy for me. Thanks a ton for sharing such informative home renovation articles.

    • Anne November 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

      Hi Thomas, it was a huge job (renovating the garage), but it was so well worth it. I’m so proud of the finished room.
      Thank you so much for your kind compliment.

  7. Steve November 9, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Hi Anne,
    Thanks for sharing this great post.I must say that whenever i read your post and whichever they may be i always found one thing in them.The things you discussed are always very detailed enough for anyone who would like to implement the things you discussed.Thanks again.

    • Anne November 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

      Thank you, Steve. I’m glad that is evident in my posts. I hope I’m getting the balance right. I don’t want to over-simplify, but I want to explain the tutorials so that people who’ve never done them before can get the gist of them.

  8. Peter November 7, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    With your step by step guide, fitting an internal door seems so easy and I can save money. Labour is too expensive here and if I keep a note of this post, I can fix my doors myself. It will take more time than usually the professionals take but I can still be able to do it. Thanks.

    • Anne November 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

      Hi Peter, fitting a door is really not as difficult as it seems. I’m sure you can do it. AS you said, it’ll take you more time than it would, a professional, but it’ll still get done – and you’ll learn something in the process! 🙂

  9. TN3 SEO November 1, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Well Anne you have given all the details one needs to have to start fitting an internal door,I don’t think there is anything else to be known about this but I somehow feel I won’t be able to do it successfully. I don’t know but I have always been a bit fussy about doing these things, maybe I don’t want to do them, however your post is quite informative, thanks for sharing.

    • Anne November 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      Well, I suppose there are other things to learn about fitting internal doors that I didn’t cover here. However, with these details you should be able to fit a door – no problem.

      The thing about DIY is that you become more confident, the more you do them. It’s mainly about learning on the job. You can’t really prepare. You just have to get in there and give it a try.

  10. Keith October 30, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Hey Anne, with your posts I am becoming more of a household carpenter each day. I wonder how you get to know so much about all this and with the minutest of details. Be it a wall or a door, your post comes to my rescue. I don’t need this advice for the time being as all my doors are working fine but if I ever have a problem I know where to go for help. Thanks for sharing the post.

    • Anne November 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

      HI Keith, that’s super to hear.

      How I know so much about DIY? Hmmm… Look at this page to see all the work I’ve done on my own home. As I said in a previous comment, it’s a lot about just getting in there and trying things at first. I’ve been doing this sort of thing for years – on several different houses, so I guess I’m used to them by now.

Leave a Reply

This blog uses Comment Love Premium which kindly allows you to put your keywords with your name. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of [1]) All spam - and this includes comments with links - goes straight into my spam folder and deleted. They never get looked at.