Frequently Asked questions

  1. At what point in my renovation should I buy my reclaimed doors?
  2. Why do I need to buy the doors before the door linings are fitted?
  3. What size is a standard door lining?
  4. What do I do if I can't find a door to suit a standard door lining?
  5. What do I do If I have already installed my lining or I am working with an existing lining?
  6. I have already decorated and fitted my door linings and architrave what can I do if I can't find a reclaimed door which fits?
  7. I want to fit my own door what is the first place to start?
  8. How do I remove the old door stop?
  9. How do I fix the first hinge screw?
  10. What do I do once the door stop is removed?
  11. How do I adjust the hinges?
  12. When do I refit the door stop?

At what point in my renovation should I buy my reclaimed doors?

If you have decided reclaimed doors is the look you want in your house then before you fit any linings source the doors first.

Why do I need to buy the doors before the door linings are fitted?

The reason it is best to source your reclaimed doors before fitting any new door linings is because, reclaimed doors have nearly always been trimmed to accommodate previous owners carpets or flooring. This means that it is becoming very hard to source doors which are tall enough for standard door linings.

What size is a standard door lining?

There are several standard door lining sizes.
27 x 78, 30 x 78, 32 x 80, 34 x 82, 36 x 84 measured in inches these would have been the original dimensions of your door.

What do I do if I can't find a door to suit a standard door lining?

If you have found your reclaimed door and not fitted the lining already then the lining can easily be cut down to accommodate the reclaimed door dimensions when it is fitted.

What do I do If I have already installed my lining or I am working with an existing lining?

1a. Remove the top architrave around the lining.

1b. Pack the top of the lining with a suitable piece of timber sufficiently thick enough to accommodate the reduced door height.e.g. 1 inch thick if the door is 1 inch short

1c.Cut down both side architraves by the same amount as the thickness of the top lining packer. Remember to cut both side architraves at the same angle as they are already mitered (usually 45 degree angle).

1.d Refit the top architrave now 1 inch lower ensuring it is covering the edge of the newly fitted top lining timber packer.

1.e Make good the newly exposed plaster work area above the now lower top architrave with patching plaster or simply redecorate if the plaster is intact.

I have already decorated and fitted my door linings and architrave what can I do if I can't find a reclaimed door which fits?

We offer a bespoke joinery service at Historic doors. We can sometimes add old timber to an existing door and blend this in so it doesn't really notice.

When this isn't possible we can make a new reproduction door to fit your opening. We have ways of aging the door so it looks as close as possible to a reclaimed door. This can involve using old timber or aging new timber to look old.

I want to fit my own door what is the first place to start?

Old doors are by definition old. This sometimes means they are not exactly straight. Very often old doors are used in old houses which also you will usually find are not very straight. A simple technique to fit an old door in an old door frame is to remove the door stop. This is the strip of timber which the original door closed into.

How do I remove the old door stop?

Door stop is usually painted in but is only normally nailed in position.The easiest way to remove it creating the minimum damage to paint work and frame is to score the edge of the stop both sides running along the joint between the frame and the stop with a sharp Stanley knife.

Once the door stop is scored then gently work in a wide chisel bevel side down against the frame and prise the stop away. Working from one end easing it off and loosening the next fixing a little at a time.

How do I fix the first hinge screw?

Once you have cut the hinge slots in the door and they line up with the frame, fix the hinges to the door. Make a 2 mm pilot hole with a 2mm drill before screwing the hinges into the door. This will avoid the timber splitting in the door and ensure the screws go in straight.

Place a small wedge under the opening side of the door and align the newly fitted top hinge with the frame hinge slots. Press the top hinge into the slot. You just need to get part of the top screw in position in order for the door to be suspended off the ground. Use the wedge to support the opening edge and your foot to assist with supporting the hinge edge until you get some of the top screw in position. You don't need it to go in completely at this stage. Just enough to hold the door off the ground.


Mark the screw positions of the other holes and pre-drill
2mm pilot holes in each of the hinge holes. Now you can start to fix the rest of the hinge screws in position. Once you have the top hinge fixed ensure the bottom hinge is lined up and do the same as with the top hinge.

What do I do once the door stop is removed?

Cut the hinge slots. You may be able to re-use either the existing hinge slots cut into the frame and remake the slots on the door.

Top tip. Mark the hinge slots on the door first using a spare hinge the same size as the existing hinge slots in the frame. Usually these are 3 inch (75mm) or 4 inch (100mm) hinges

How do I adjust the hinges?

Do not over tighten the hinge screws when you first fit them. You can come back and tighten them once the door is swinging correctly and looks straight.

If you need to you can pack out the hinges with a thin piece of cardboard if either of the hinge slots are too deep, or the door needs to be pulled out at either the top or the bottom. This is called "throwing" the door.

When do I refit the door stop?

This is the last job after you have hung the door, fitted the locks and closed the door shut.
With the door shut now fit the door stop flush up against the face of the inside of the door so no gaps of light are visible. Use a hammer and nails to fit the door stop. When fitted like this the door stop will fit to nearly any shape door and close to a perfect position even if the door or frame are not completely straight.