Use a Pry Bar to Lift a Door and Hold It in Place

Pry Bar

We’ve been looking at some non-traditional uses for our core tools. Some are legit Pro-level while others just make the weekend a little easier or more fun. Today, we’re taking a creative look at the tougher-than-nails flat bar or pry bar. It’s a demolition tool used for pulling and prying things apart. It literally takes a beating on a regular basis. In this article, we show you how to use a pry bar to lift a door and hold it in place while you fasten hinges. This great lifehack helps when you have no assistant and that door won’t hang itself!

Pry Bar Lifehack: Lift and Hang a Door

There are countless examples of the importance of form and function in carpentry. Perhaps none more than a door. It partitions, keeps us cool, or warm, or safe. It serves as an integral part of a building’s facade. To work properly, it must hang plumb and level in the rough opening.

While you can purchase pre-hung doors, many scenarios require purchasing and hanging a slab. Without a helper, lining the door up to properly mark and attach the hinges often proves difficult.

And therein lies the challenge. Hanging a hollow-core door properly can be tough for one person. Working with a solid, heavy wood or steel door makes the task even more difficult.

A Challenging Problem

When hanging a door you typically need a small amount of clearance at the bottom. However, lifting the door to the proper height and simultaneously sinking the fasteners through the hinges takes a lot of coordinated effort.

It’s like rubbing your head and patting your stomach—if your head weighed 60 pounds and your belly was 6-feet by 3-feet! Ok, that may not be the best metaphorical picture. But the fact remains—it’s tough!

You need a solution that lifts the door, putting it in the proper position, while making the appropriate marks. Typically, that takes two people to do it right.

How to Use a Pry Bar to Lift a Door by Yourself

  1. Locate a piece of scrap 2x and a pry bar to create a simple first-class lever.
  2. Place the uncurved end of the flat bar under the door (consider using a towel between the bar and door if there’s a chance of marring or denting the edge.)
  3. Position the wood underneath it as the fulcrum.
  4. Use your foot to apply downward pressure to the bar. This pushes the door up vertically.
  5. Vary the pressure until the door sits right where you want it.
  6. Make your marks or sink the required fasteners.
use a pry bar to lift a door and hang or install it

Remember to measure twice and mark your installation point to get that first screw in the right place. Once you have that, the rest are much easier.

What are some ways you use a pry bar? If you’re a Pro and you have a pry bar tip, add it in the comments below! Like the pry bar we feature here? Check out our review of the Stiletto titanium flat bars.

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