How To: Tune-up your door

To begin the job, step back and survey the fit of the door from the hinge side. Too tight a fit or house settling problems (like diagram one) may require some wood shaving. If your door fits like diagram two, you can make improvements. Prepare by making some shims, (see box).

2014SS HowToFix2Start at the lower hinge. Loosen the three or four screws on the jamb and pry the hinge-barrel out to insert the shim in the crack between the jamb and hinge-leaf (see photo 1). Now, tighten the screws. This small shim will move the door
in the desired direction and straighten out the
door somewhat. 

Now, look at the top hinge. Usually the weight of the door is pulling it away from the hinge jamb. The hinge needs to be pulled tight to align the door.

There are three ways to accomplish this:

1.  Simply tighten the top hinge jamb screws.

2. Remove one or two of the top hinge jamb screws and insert longer screws through the jamb and into the framing (See photo 2).

2014SS HowToFix33. Remove a layer of wood from behind the top hinge and reattach with original or longer screws (See photo 3).


With these adjustments, the door should fit better in its jambs and not rub on the top of the latch jamb or drag on the threshold. The latch may line up better, too.

If the door is still dragging on the threshold, try tightening down the threshold screws. If that doesn’t work, the door may need to be trimmed.


NOTE: Information about how to trim a door, apply a sweep and add weather stripping will be covered in a future article.

Grand Openings LLC specializes in door and window repair and restoration. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit here.