Front door is a little out of square - Advice?

The front door of my house is out of square. The top of the door slopes down from the hinge side to the lock side leaving a gap. Do I need to shim from the bottom? TIA
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Is the door out of square or you mean the door opening?
It's also possible the hinges are worn/loose letting it sag.
Not enough to know for sure what is the actual cause; therefore, can't say what is proper remedy.
Unless somebody has trimmed on the door or it's actually failing, it's more likely the opening isn't square or hinges, not the door itself.
That can be it was originally framed out of square, there has been settling of one side, etc.
What's the gap on all sides at top and bottom and hinge/latch side?
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On 6/20/2008 9:35 AM snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com spake thus:

Yes, but here's the deal on shimming the door: If you shim at the bottom as you propose, you'll have to redrill the hinge holes to move the door up towards the top. If the gap (and therefore the amount the door must be moved) is at least 1/4", this *might* work, but it'll be difficult if the distance is less, since the new holes will be right next to the old holes. (In this case, you'll need to *completely* fill the screw holes, by drilling them out and gluing in dowels, then drill the new holes.)
The alternative is to keep the hinges where they are and shim at the top, which will be a lot easier but more noticeable.
Here's what I'd do:
1. Make sure hinges are fully tightened. If any screws are stripped in their holes (very common), use the old toothpick-and-glue trick to make them hold. You want to make sure that none of the misalignment is due to loose hinges.
2. Measure the gap at the top on the lock side. This is the (approx.) size of the shim you'll need, assuming the bottom of the door lines up OK.
3. Shim the door and re-plane the top to match the jamb.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Before he goes shimming, need more info...
I'd also beyond previous notes recommend he read the article in a fairly recent FHB on fitting doors--don't recall author's name now but know it's been in the last few issues. It goes into detail on fixing problems in a more systematic fashion...
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On 6/20/2008 11:17 AM dpb spake thus:

Good advice. I concur. And those Taunton publications are the best.
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David Nebenzahl wrote: ...

The article I was thinking of is at
http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/how-to/departments/building-skills/adjusting-door-hinges-for-proper-fit.aspx
There are many others on the subject, Gary Katz has written several other articles as well...
--


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He said the door is out of square and that it sags to the lock--side, most likely its tight in height, at the hinge side at top so it cant and should not be raised your "at least 1/4". [ where you ever got that figure from!] Now he may likely have the normal tolerance at the hinge side. So sure he could push out the bottom hinge with a shim, and do nothing more and get it square, [without plaining] maybe you need another Chemist for a "primer" on door operation.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Is the door out of square or is the house settling making it look like it's out of square?
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On 6/20/2008 6:02 PM evodawg spake thus:

Hardly matters, dontcha think? The door is out of square with respect to the frame.
(Unless you think you can rectify this by jacking the house and squaring the door frame ...)
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

The proper fix does indeed depend on the source of the out-of-squareness, yes...

Rarely necessary but have done so on occasion (but not for a "small" problem), but certainly I have rehung poorly hung doors many times to square them up...
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Well I would think you would want to know why it's not square. But I guess if I were you I'd just tackle the job without a clue.

I'd think again if the house is settling and causing door problems, you'd want to know. But I guess if I were you I'd just wish it away. And of course shim the door. So I could shim it again a year later!
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wrote:

How old is it, my 80 yr old hinges are worn thin and allow a similar sag, it is common. If you have exact same hinges inside your home take off a bottom hinge and use it on top. even changing the bottom to top might help a bit. A new hinge is best if you are lucky enough to get the exact size and hole pattern. I will use a hinge off an interior door some day to fix a similar issue. I dought a shim would work since your pin and hole on top is worn larger, so it sags.
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wrote:

Ok, here's some more info and some pictures... hope it helps....
Gap is as follows:
Across Top: 3/8" @ latch side, 1/8" @ hinge Down Latch side: 3/8" Down hinge side: 1/8" @ top, less than 1/8" @ bottom
http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.ainbinder/FrontDoor?authkey=ixsc9CH9pWk
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Is the casing plumb? That's a pretty good size gap. I'd pull the trim off the hinge side and shim the bottom out if in fact the casing is not plumb. Whats the gap at the bottom look like?
Rich
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That's a massive gap on the latch side. It looks more like 1/2". This is a more serious problem than the top. The misaligned top is cosmetic. Upside: The gap is nice and straight. Downside: The latch is barely catching.
The top is out of square, but I can't tell if it's out of level. I'm guessing that the door frame is racked down a little on the hinge side.
Somebody once applied caulk to the top hinge-side corner of the casing, which tells me that corner separated once upon a time. That makes me think the house has settled some. It's not terrible settling, or you'd have cracks in the wallboard running up at an angle from the door corners.
If you hired me, my best solution would be to rehang the door. That's about a four- to six-hour job. It's not hard, just time-consuming: remove the casing; cut the door out of the wall with a reciprocating saw; rehang the door; reapply the casing; caulk; paint.
My second-best solution would be to put shims behind the hinges to close up the gap on the other side. I wouldn't try to do anything with the gap at the top, because it would require pulling the door out of the wall.
I like to have about 1/8" gap at the top, bottom, and latch side, with 1/16" at the hinge side. You might not be able to get that with the door and frame you have. The door might have been replaced once upon a time, and replacements are never as good a fit in the frame as a pre-hung door.
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Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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Well, it doesn't show in pictures but, the gap at the top and the side are allowing light and air from the outside to enter the house. So, it's a bit more than cosmetic. We are the first owners of the house this has been the only door. We did have the warranty tech out to attempt to resolve this issue... no luck. The house is not in warranty any longer.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

From the gap at the latch side, and the apparent tilt of the top, I'd say settling and/or a piss-poor installation job, with inadequate shims or fasteners. Is the floor level right there? Is the threshold level? Have you checked the frame for square (in the corners with a framing square)? I'd say Steve has it about right, unless the house is out of square- find a competent finish carpenter to carefully de-install the whole thing, and put it back in correctly. Pay attention while he works, so you know how to do it yourself next time. It's ain't rocket surgery, but experience helps.
Don't feel like the lone ranger- I've got an outside garage access door with similar problems, but since I never use it and the frame is rotted, it isn't real high on the list. A concrete block holds it shut okay. One of these days, probably right before it comes time to sell, I'll pick up a new one and spend an afternoon putting it in.
-- aem sends...
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