How To Take a Door off the Hinges
It's a one-person job that's not hard at all.
A few minutes
$0 to $10
Struggling to fit a big item through the doorway? Want to refinish your doors? Learn how to take a door off the hinges for tasks like these.
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Nail set or long nail
- Pry bar
Laying new carpet, stripping or painting a door, sanding down a rubbing edge — there are any number of reasons to take a door off its hinges. And although it looks simple enough, it can turn into a finger-pinching hassle, especially when you’re dealing with a heavy, solid-wood door.
Doors vary in size. So if you’re planning on replacing your current door, you’ll need to know how to properly remove the existing one, since it will serve as a guide to ensure the new one fits perfectly.
Here’s how to remove a door quickly and easily, without chipping or denting the door or trim. This is an essential homeowner skill that’s easy to do once you get the hang of it.
Before you start, gather all the necessary tools. It’ll save you time and frustration.
Project step-by-step (6)
Remove hinge pins
With the door closed and latched, remove the hinge pins by tapping on the bottom of the hinge pin with a nail and hammer.
Free the pins
After pins pop up an inch or so, try pulling them free with your fingers. If they’re stubborn, just drive up on the underside of the knuckle with the flat-blade of a screwdriver.
Protect the floor
Slide a piece of cardboard under the door to protect the floor before you wrangle the door free.
Remove the door
Remove the door from the hinges by lifting slightly at the knob with one hand and under one of the hinges with the other hand. If the weight of the door makes it difficult to separate the hinges, wedge a pry bar under the door.
Put the door back
Before re-installing the door, make sure all hinges are in good working order, with nothing loose or broken.
To put the door back on the hinges, grab the door at the center and tip it slightly toward the top, engaging the knuckles of the top hinge. With the weight of the door hanging on the top hinge, work the other hinges together.
Push a hinge pin into whichever hinge lines up first, then tap in the remaining pins. Close the door most of the way and hold it firmly for this step. If needed, pry the door in, out, or up to line up the hinges until all hinge pins are reinstalled.
How easy is it to take a door off its hinges?
Very, if you have the right tools and knowledge. However, it’s critical to consider the type of door and hardware used, exercise caution and seek assistance when necessary.
Are some door hinge pins not removable?
Yes. While typically removable for easy maintenance and repair, certain types of pins are not. These are commonly found on doors that require extra stability or high levels of security.
How do I know if my hinges are removable?
Here’s an easy test: Open the door fully and examine the hinge closely. Look for a small hole or depression at the bottom of the hinge barrel. If you see one, it indicates the pin is removable.
Use a small screwdriver or punch to gently tap on the bottom of the hinge pin. If it moves upward, then it’s removable. Keep in mind, many exterior doors and nearly all security doors lack removable pins.