Until recently, an expression such as “major renovation” has caused an allergic reaction in many people. Today, the availability of practical and functional solutions that will help us refresh the interior is just huge. If you are facing the choice of buying new doors and considering the option of mounting them on the old door frame, make sure to read our guide and find out how to properly measure the door for the old frame.

New door, old door frame

External and internal doors are, apart from windows, definitely the least frequently replaced elements in our houses and flats. Sometimes, however, it turns out to be necessary, as the door leaves are damaged, do not match the new interior design, or simply show signs of long-term use. In many cases it is not necessary to replace the door leaf together with the door frame. Many professionals are able to install a new model on the old door frame, saving us money, time and additional finishing work.

Installing doors on old frames – a mini-guide

Deciding to replace the door with a new one and installing the leaf on the old door frame, we need to carry out some necessary works that will allow us to work effectively. As a rule, the new model is not matched to the old door frame, so it would be good if a professional made appropriate modifications. If we are not able to make the adjustment ourselves, a competent person will do it quickly and efficiently. What is more, hiring a specialist in this case is really worthwhile. However, before we decide to replace the door with a new one and leave the old door frames, it is worth asking for advice of someone experienced. Sometimes the time spent, unforeseen difficulties and costs generated are not proportional to the effect and it will be more profitable to replace the whole door frame.

What should we pay attention to before deciding to leave an old door frame? First of all, we need to meticulously determine the condition of the old door frame. Damaged door frames, poorly performing their function should be replaced with new ones. A wobbly door frame will not be able to withstand the load of the door and as a result we can destroy each element of the door woodwork. We should also check the width of the rabbet, i.e. the indentation that enables us to precisely place the door in the door frame.

How to measure a door for an old door frame?

Measurement work should begin with an accurate measurement of the door frame, including the aforementioned rabbet, the width of which varies depending on when the door frames were fitted.

Buildings from the 1980s have a rabbet with the width of 25 millimetres. In the case of older buildings, this value reaches 20 millimeters. The dimensions of the door opening are usually approximately 2 meters (hight) and 90 cm (width), unless the previous door was custom-made and has non-standard dimensions.

Another very important measurement is the distance between the hinges and the distance of the hinges from the edge of the door opening. These dimensions should be compared with the dimensions of the door leaf. In this case, it is worth using the catalogue of the door manufacturer.

Overlapping door frame – the last resort

What if the new model of door we have bought does not fit the old door frame? In such case, we may use an overlapping door frame, thanks to which we can avoid time-consuming chiselling of the wall and possible measurement errors.

This solution has many advantages. This model is mounted on the old door frame, so it effectively masks the unsightly door frame. Such type of installation will make the door opening narrower, but this should not affect its durability and functionality. The possibility to replace the door with a new one, without having to replace the rest of the door joinery, is undoubtedly a milestone in giving the interior a new face, without having to conduct a total renovation.