Whether you're replacing your old door or just doing some renovations, sometimes removing a door is part of the job. Many doors feature removable pins that let you pop the door off easily without removing the hinges, but other models without removable pins require a little more work and finesse to get the job done by removing the entire hinge from the frame.
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Removing Hinge Pins
If your door uses removable pins to keep it on the hinges, your job should be fairly easy. Start by closing the door so it doesn't fall when you remove the pins. Having a plastic zip-top bag or bowl near your work area is a good idea, so you can put the pins inside as you work to prevent losing them.
Look underneath the bottom hinge. If you see a small hole on the bottom end where the pin is, you can insert a 2-inch common nail through the hole and tap against it with a hammer to force the pin up and out of the hinge. You should be able to pull the pin out with your fingers when it's sticking about an inch above the hinge. If not, you can pull it out with pliers.
If you don't see a hole on the bottom side of the hinge, you'll need to take a different approach. Wedge a flat-head screwdriver between the head of the pin and the hinge. Tap the screwdriver with a mallet or hammer to dislodge the head. Increase the angle of the screwdriver, and keep tapping to force the head up. Pull out the pin with your fingers or pliers.
If the hinge has been painted, you may have to score around the head of the pin with a utility knife before you can remove it. Repeat the process with the top hinge. Put the pins in a safe place if you plan to reuse the same hinges. Open the door carefully, and lift the door off the hinges. If you're doing work on the door frame, you can remove the entire hinge from the door.
Removing Hinges From the Door Frame
Sometimes it's necessary to remove the entire hinge when removing the door. When you're dealing with spring-loaded hinges, you need to unscrew them from the door frame instead of just removing pins. Just like the removable pin process, spring-loaded hinges are easier to remove with the door closed to keep it from falling on you.
Unscrew the screws holding the bottom hinge to the door frame using a Phillips screwdriver. Spring-loaded hinges are always spread out like a butterfly and mounted flat on the outer frame. Unscrew the top hinge from the frame. Open the door to carefully remove it. Lay the door on a flat surface, and unscrew the hinges from the door. Put the hinges and screws in a safe place.
If you're removing the hinges from an interior door, you'll need to open it to expose the hinges. Use a piece of folded cardboard under the bottom edge of the open door to keep it from moving. Unscrew the screws from the bottom hinge first, followed by the top hinge. Move the door out of the way.
Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker and Family Handyman.