How to Hinge a Door

Setting the hinges into a new door and hanging it in a doorway isn't the easiest home project you could pick, but it's not as hard as you might think.

Hinge a Door
Mostly it's a matter of knowing where everything is supposed to go, and how to attach it. Make sure to buy reversible door hinges, which simplifies the project because you don't have to figure out whether you need right-handed or left-handed hinges. .

Stand the door on its narrow front edge, so the back edge is facing up at you. Place one of your hinges on the edge of the door about six inches from the top, with the pin barrel sitting off the edge on the side that will be the interior (meaning, the direction in which the door swings). The top of the hinge pin should be pointed at the top of the door.

Use your pencil to outline the shape of the hinge plate on the edge of the door. Take off the hinge and use your hammer and chisel to carve out an indentation deep enough for the hinge plate to sit level with the surface of the wood, generally about 1/8th inch deep.

Set the hinge back into the indentation. Drill pilot holes through each of the screw holes in the plate and into the wood of the door. Then sink hinge screws into each of the holes. Repeat the process for the other two hinges, putting one in the center and one six inches from the bottom.

Hold the door in place in the doorway, in the open position, and set the hinge plates where they will go on the door jamb (the flat vertical span of wood that faces the inside of the doorway). The hinge barrels should sit just outside the jamb line, on the interior side. Mark around the hinge plates as before, putting their shapes onto the jamb. Chisel out the wood and drill the pilot holes as before, and secure the hinges to the jamb with hinge screws.

Things You Will Need

  • Three reversible door hinges
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Drill
  • Pilot bit
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Hinge screws


  • Wear eye protection when using a chisel or a screw gun.