10 Tips For Choosing and Hanging a Door

1. Inside or Out

Interior doors differ to exterior doors by two main factors. The first being the door thickness. Exterior doors are thicker than interior doors typically 1 ¾” 44mm or more depending on style and security requirements, while interior doors tend to range from 1 3/8″ 35mm to 1 5/8 40mm.

Another differentiating factor is the kind of glue used to bond the door’s joints and panelling. Exterior doors are bonded with exterior grade adhesive, which offers greater resistance to moisture and temperature variations.

2. Door Sizes

Doors are manufactured in a range of uniform sizes (see list below). Most doors will permit the sizing down of no more than ½” (12mm) from each side, so choosing the correct size is basic as excessive sizing down of panelled doors will greatly affect their durability and limit lock choices.

– 1981mm (6ft 6in) x 762mm (2ft 6in)

– 1981mm (6ft 6in) x 838mm (2ft 9in)

– 2032mm (6ft 8in) x 813mm (2ft 8in)

– 2057mm (6ft 9in) x 838mm (2ft 9in)

– 2083mm (6ft 10in) x 863mm (2ft 10in)

– 2134mm (7ft) x 914mm (3ft)

3. Security Considerations

Consider the level of security required and the kind of locks you intend using and choose your door consequently. If you intend using a mortise lock in a panelled door then make sure the door-styles (the upright timber on the outer edges) are wide enough to adjust to the chosen lock. observe: a shared mistake is to locate a thorough mortise lock at the door’s center rail point, which may consequence in the cutting away of the complete mortise and tenon joint which holds the two door parts together, consequently considerably weakening the doors structure. Also consider the amount of glass and position in relation to lock/bolt locations i.e. how easy to reach are locks/bolts if the glass is broken by a possible intruder.

4. Fire Protection

Is there a fire regulation in place requiring that the door in question meets stated fire resistance standards? In the UK this is especially applicable if the character is to be rented out. You may wish to give your home additional protection from fire, in which case, discuss it with your door supplier who can inform you of the obtainable options. Fire rated doors are categorized by the length of time they are able to continue integrity in the event of fire. They come with specific fitting instructions which must be followed in order to insure maximum performance.

5. French Doors

When choosing French doors bear in mind that one door will be the ‘Active’ door (the door opened typically without having to undo the hid bolts in the edge of the door style). This door will be used regularly, so when ordering, a choice has to be made as to whether it will be positioned left or right and opened inwards or outwards. You will need to buy locks designed specifically for this kind of door arrangement.

6. Lock Position

Some doors are designed for the lock to be placed on one side only. This is especially applicable in prefabricated hollow doors where a block of substantial wood has been placed in the lock vicinity. The top edge of the door will have some indication as to which side this block is positioned.

7. Marking-Out The New Door

As old door frames are seldom perfectly square the new door will most likely require some shaping. It can be useful to use the existing door as a template. Before removing the old door carefully observe the fit as it may be necessary to compensate for any inaccuracies when marking out the new door.. Place the old door on the new door insuring that its outermost parts fall within the outline of the new door. Using a sharp pencil; mark around the door. Make any necessary adjustments based on your observations of the original door’s fit. Compare the door opening size with your markings. The gaps around the sides and top should be about 2mm.

8. Fitting Adjustments

Once your hinges are fitted to the door, fix it to the frame using one screw in each hinge. This will allow you to make minor adjustments to the door position before making the other screw-holes.

9. Drilling The Mortise

When drilling the mortise for a mortise lock, measure the lock thoroughness against the drill bit and rap a piece of tape around the bit to mark the distance. This will allow you to gauge the thoroughness in order to avoid drilling to thorough and weakening/damaging the door.

10. Protecting The Door Edges

The top and bottom edges of exterior doors should be sealed with paint or varnish to prevent moisture penetration which often results in expansion and decay.

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