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?
On 6/20/2008 9:35 AM email@example.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
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.
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute
conversation with the average voter.
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...
The article I was thinking of is at
There are many others on the subject, Gary Katz has written several
other articles as well...
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.
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!
"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can\'t make them THINK"
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.