What to do about hinges
Using existing hinges
We strongly recommend replacing the existing hinges with new ones. However, if you wish to utilise your existing hinges only do so if they are relatively new and their condition and operation is perfect. To confirm their suitability check the following:
1) That the mounting screws are all solid and can be tightened fully in the existing carcass
2) That the spring is closing the door effectively i.e. that the spring is still strong.
Replacing hinges with the horizontal mounting shoe
If your existing hinges use a horizontal mounting shoe on the carcass then it is likely they are very old and we would strongly recommend replacing them. Current hinges utilise a vertical plate which is screwed onto the carcass with 2 screws and most replacement carcasses can be manufactured with these holes pre-drilled. As can be seen from the 4th photograph below the new plate is vertically mounted and will usually cover the existing holes left by the old mounting shoes. If this is the case measure accurately the position of the existing hinges in the door and request the replacement door be drilled for the hinge in the same position as your current doors
Tip - Existing horizontally mounted hinge brackets will either be metal or plastic. If metal they can simply be unscrewed. If plastic, however, they are usually not screwed but have 2 barbed plugs moulded as an integral part of the mounting plate. This means that they have to be levered off often resulting in damage to the surrounding carcass wood. We recommend these are removed with a sharp chisel, as shown in the photograph. You will find that the brackets should just shear off without damaging the carcass at all. The new plate should perfectly cover the holes.
Replacing hinges with the vertical mounting plate
If your existing hinges are vertically mounted but have come loose in the carcass, first check if the screws can be tightened or if the board has disintegrated around the screw. If the mounting plate cannot be tightened then its position should be moved, up or down, so it can be mounted onto good board. Measure the existing hinge position on the door then add or subtract the amount you have moved the hinge.