DIY Installing New Interior Doors


I don’t know about you all, but the interior doors in my house are all past their prime. They are all original to the house. In a lot of cases this wouldn’t be a bad thing because a lot of older doors are absolutely beautiful. However, my house was built in the era where there was no added detailing put in and things were done as cheaply as possibly. With this era, I have plain hollow core slab doors on the bathroom and bedrooms. All of which no added paint can make look good again. I was thinking of adding some detailing to the doors using trim pieces, but sadly the doors are all actually falling apart. Two doors have actually splintered away/cracked where as one door has actually caved in where the handle is. In a nutshell, they really needed to go!

It was actually luck the other day when looking at the flyers that the interior doors were 25% off. I went out right away and purchased 3 of the basic 6-paneled hollow-core slab doors. The doors however do not come pre-bored for the handles, nor do they have the hinges notched out. That is where this post comes into play. Here I am going to give you the step by step on what you need to do to install your own new doors. It is truly not as based as you think!


Tools Needed:









Irwin Door Lock Installation Kit  – (Note: However, Ryobi has recently come out with one as well, that I find is better made and wish I had)






Paint Brush



Measuring Tape



Safety Glasses



Work Gloves


Materials Needed

Interior Doors


Door handles/hinges – You are absolutely able to re-use your existing ones, I certainly did.


The How-To:

1. The first thing you need to do is determine the size of the doors that you need (Usually they are in widths of 28″-30″-32″ x 78″-80″ in length) Once that has been determined you can go out and purchase your doors.

Doors - BEFORE
Doors – BEFORE


2. Now, remove your old doors, and measure and record the location of the the hinges and the door handle. Measure this distance from the top of the door because if you measure from the bottom you can end up with a large gap OR the door not fit into place. (example: My hinges are 7-10″ and 67 7/16″-70 7/16″ from the top and my handle is 44″OC from the top)

3. Now, on your new door you are going to measure and mark off where the hinges are going to be and then chisel it out. You can use one of your hinges as you go along to ensure it is done right. Note: If you have 3″ hinges like myself,  the template that comes with the kit will not be able to be used due to it being for 3.5″ hinges. 


4. Next you need to  determine if your door handles are at 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″ setback. The majority of door installations however will be at the 2 3/8″. In order to determine which setback that you have, you just need to measure from the side of your door to the Center of the hole for your existing door handle. However if you have purchased new door handles for this, it will be noted in the instructions.

5. Once you have made that determination, set your Irwin guide to the particular setting and screw it in place. Using the hole saw bit that came with the kit you are going to first drill out the handle holes, afterwards you can then switch out the hole saws and do the latch side

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6. Now that you have your holes in place remove the guide and put the router latch guide on the side. Next, switch out the hole saw for the router bit and router out the template. Remove the template and use the chisel to remove the excess material, now making it flush.

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7. Next, you are going to paint the doors using more than likely 2-3 coats of paint.


8. Lastly, you are going to attach the hinges and the door handles to the door. Finally, you are now set to re-attach the doors to the frame.



– Michelle



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