Wow! You got a great deal on a really nice house. So okay, you have to squint a bit to blur out the holes that have been kicked in a couple of the doors and the poorly patched drywall. (The door ripped completely off its cabinet door hinges doesn't look any better unless you completely close your eyes.)
As you open your eyes again, you briefly wonder if gorillas had the previous mortgage on the house. Confirmation seems to look up at you in the stain-covered carpet. But hey, it's all fixable, right? You aren't a professional remodeler, but you have used a screwdriver and drill successfully for years. That should qualify you to at least replace the doors.
Well, yes. Nevertheless, you should arm yourself with a little bit of data before you go shopping for new doors or the salesperson may think you've overestimated your screwdriver-and-drill experience. Show them that you might even qualify for a real tool belt by being to answer a few questions about your doors.
For your doors, one thing you need to consider is if you want to order them pre-hung. Pre-hung doors are already hinged in their frame to hang square in the frame. This is probably your best choice for both ease and quality. Remember, the gorillas ripped one door off its hinges. That frame is probably damaged.
Another way to tell if it is a good idea to replace your doors with pre-hung replacements is if the rest of the doors already can't in their frames. You can square them yourself, but if you are planning to replace these doors, go for the pre-hung. They take much less time to replace and come in pre-finished or raw wood.
One last thing, is your door a left- or right-hanging door? Hmmm...you think for a minute. Nope, you are sure you haven't heard that one. Don't worry it's easy.
When you are buying any type of hinged door; storm door, entry door, and even cabinet doors, OR when you are buying hinged door hardware; hinges especially and sometimes latches, the salesperson will eventually ask you whether it is a right- or left-hanging door. The way you figure it out is, when you pull open the door; does it open to your left or to your right? Whichever way it opens is the answer.
Another related lefty-righty question is: Does it really matter if you mix up right- and left-hanging cabinet door hinges? Not usually. Most door and cabinet door hinges can masquerade as each other if you rotate them 180°. The pins will drop in the same way and everything. In rare cases, the pin only goes in one way, the cabinet door hinges plate is shaped or decorated to only look right on its right (or left!) side. If in doubt, ask a contractor or cabinetmaker.
Tip: If you are going to take your old doors or cabinet doors off, refinish them, and put them back on, I suggest labeling each of the cabinet door hinges as you take them off. In your kitchen for example, the top left-hanging hinge on the first cabinet on the east side of your kitchen could be marked: TLE1. That way everything will line up exactly as it did before you took them down.
Good luck with your remodel. With your newly acquired knowledge, you should have complete privacy in your bathroom behind your new door in no time!
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