Interior house doors drift shut

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Some of the doors inside my home won't stay open. They drift shut and I have to prop them open with a door stop. Others won't close because they rub the door frame and can't be pulled tightly closed.
I know this probably occurs from the house settling. I had a handyman come in to fix them but all he did was whack and smash the door hinges with his hammer. He smashed a hinge and bent up the pin on another. I had to stop him. I also had to go buy replacement hinges and pins.
There must be a better way to fix this problem than to smash the heck out of everything. I could have done that myself. I'd like to fix both the doors that drift shut and the ones that will not close because they hit the door frame. So how can I fix the doors in a way that is not destructive?
Thanks in advance for your help!
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Pulling the hinge pin and tapping it in the middle on a cement surface to slightly bend it is common way of stopping doors from closing. Never heard of hammering the entire hinge. Slight removal of wood behind the hinge plate often cures doors difficult to close.
wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net wrote:

Correct. That is the usual fix.
I might add that when initially hanging a door it is possible to intentionally set the door so it will close against the wall or the latch. This will keep the door open with out assistance and keep it from opening if not tightly latched. Others like to have the door totally plumb so it will stay where put without gravity moving it. However the second option is often defeated by the home settling as the OP has noted.
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snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net wrote:

Yes, and I HATE that kind of hack slob's approach because it gives the door an unatural draggy feel when you move it by hand.
The RIGHT way to keep a door from drifting closed is to install a magnetic or a "spring loaded grabber" door stop. There are lots of colors and styles available. Here's one:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)

And if that doesn't do it, take the door down and plane or sand off the parts which are rubbing, then refinish them.
Jeff
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Slightly bending the hinge pin is not a hack job. If you feel that much drag then the hinge pin was bent too much, and that's just as easy to fix - pop the pin out and straighten it a little bit and put it back in.
If you must attribute hackster status, the correct recipient would be the person that installed the door in the first place, or God for letting the damn house settle.

So instead of a virtually unnoticeable amount of drag spread out over the entire swing of the door, you prefer all the drag to be at the start of the swing? Your way also limits you to two positions, fully opened or fully closed, and I find that life rarely works out to be binary/digital. Particularly if you're married or have children. And you have to buy and install additional hardware - possiblly in a location that isn't convenient (door has a cabinet behind it and can only open 90 degrees instead of folding all the way back against the wall, etc.).

Which is probably unavoidable with doors binding in the frames.
To the OP - from your description the guy does sound meat-fisted and bending the entire hinge is a hack in anybody's book. A hack can use the right technique and still screw up a simple job. Keep looking for another guy.
R
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RicodJour wrote: <snipped>

In those situations your points are entirely valid. I'm guilty of thinking mainly about doors which open 90 degrees and when open rest "against" a wall, where a door stop can also be handy to keep the doorknob from marring the wall.
Peace,
Jeff
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Actually the "right" way in my opinion is not a mechanical device but rather gravity. You can hang a door in such a way that gravity will do the job.
However in many cases the owner wants to be able to have the door stay part way open all the way closed or anywhere in-between. The bent pin procedure work great for that.

I have not either. I think I know why it might be done, but it would sure not be my first choice.

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marybeth wrote:

I suspect your discription of his actions are greatly exaggerated. That is the normal and quite approved method of fixing that problem. Anything above that you are talking about a major expense as the only real fix is to pull the doors and reset them. That calls for an experienced carpenter or handyman and they ain't a gonna work cheap.
Harry K
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"I suspect your discription of his actions are greatly exaggerated. That is the normal and quite approved method of fixing that problem." - --Harry K
Well Harry you must be a suspicious person, right? Now why would you call me a liar and say that I greatly exaggerated? Were you here Harry? Did you see the bent over hinge pin or the twisted hinge or how about the mashed hinge with the brass color knocked off of it?
So smashing things is the approved method of fixing things hu? Approved by who? Not approved by me. Guess I'll get my hammer and come fix things at your house. Oh don't worry it's all approved! I don't work cheap either Harry.
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marybeth wrote: ...

My cat could knock that brass color off those cheap hinges.
We can see what was done, but what was described was totally normal standard practice.
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marybeth wrote:

No, I didn't call you a liar. I pointed out that bending the pin is a standard fix and it doesn't take "smashing it with a hammer".
If your "handyman" did do it as you describe you have a pee poor handyman and a very stupid person for hiring him.
Harry K
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Hi Marybeth,
Sounds like a few men can't stand a woman who uses common sense. I worked successfully in industrial fastener sales for years and have found that some males just assume anyone with ovaries doesn't know what she's talking about. You just have to pat them on their tiny empty heads, wish them well, and move on. ;-) Good luck on your repairs!
Erika
Harry K wrote:

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Harry K wrote:

"Harry", did you wake up on the "wrong" side of the "bed" or what? It takes a "special" person to make such "assumptions" and then get "upset" when "those" "assumptions" turn out to be "wrong". Maybe "you" should "lighten" up a bit.
"R"
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

You can try a cardboard shim under the bottom hinge. This will move the bottom of the door out slightly and might cure your problem. The doors that are bad enough that they won't close will likely have to be planed.
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marybeth wrote:

Bending the pin slightly to increase friction is a standard fix; but smashing and bashing sounds a little excessive.
There is a better way but it takes more work. Shim the top or bottom hinge (cardboard between the door frame and the hinge) to make the door vertical. That only works if the door is only slightly out of vertical. If it is really out of vertical, the frame trim has to be removed and the frame adjusted.
You can fix doors that hit the frame by shaving wood off the door with a plane to increase the space between the door and the frame. But first, you want to adjust the door as vertical as possible before removing any wood.
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The proper way maybe to re-inforce and jack the floors. If you have major problems with doors, it is best to check what is going on and correct it now cheaply, rather than after other damage occurs.
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Hi all,
THANKS to you for your help!
Thank you Jeff for suggesting the magnetic door holders.
My post was intended to be about the doors, and not about the handyman, who was mentioned only so you knew the history and what method had not resolved the problem. Thanks to you Jeff and to Nospam, and to George, and to RicodJour, and to everyone who realized that the handyman's bashing and smashing was not appropriate. I appreciate your replies as opposed to those who felt a need to attack me in order to defend the handyman, or to make light of the damage he did.
Just to clarify, - He did not remove the pin to "lightly" bend it. He pulled it up and while still in the hinge, struck it so hard that it bent over and he to hit it again, and again to try to straighten it. He repeatedly struck both the hinge and pin. All that did was bend the hinge and loosen it from the door and the frame. He used a screw driver inserted in the top and then the bottom of the hinge as a pry bar, to open up the hinge to let the bent pin drop in. That only loosened and twisted the hinge even more. The pin didn't fit back in so it was left sticking up about an inch, while the pins in the other hinges were flush. The hinge was bent, twisted, marred, and looked bad. I don't think that is the approved fix. I don't want my new home to look bad and a guest should show more care.
The house is fairly new and the doors are probably affected by settling. It sounds like I need to check the doors with a level and then try the cardboard shim suggested by George, and maybe use a plane or sander.
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Nobody else mentioned it, so I will- make sure the hinge screws are in tight. Mainly a problem on heavy exterior 3-hinge doors, but can affect builder-grade interior prehungs as well. And don't just check the doors for level, check for plumb on both sides of opening, and within the plane of the wall. Then, check them for square with a framing square. (If you don't have one, buy one- useful for all sorts of stuff around the house.) With a straight-edge or eyeball, make sure both sides of frame are a straight line. Gap around door slab should be consistent. Most household door problems I have found and fixed over the years are due to improper shimming and installation. If door is sticking and hinges are tight, frame is usually out of square or bowed, or was installed with too few nails/screws, and is floating apart. Prehung interior doors can usually be pulled and reinstalled with only minor paint touchup needed, with careful use of a utility knife to slit the paint, and a stiff putty knife and Stanley mini-wonder bar to non-destructively pull the trim on the applied side.
aem sends...
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snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

And, if anyone has difficulty visualizing why a slightly out of plumb doorframe will make the door "swing by itself" just think of a kitchen breadbox with a hinged lid. Picture in your mind how gravity would make the lid swing if you turned the breadbox on its side and then tilted it in different directions.
Jeff
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I haven't seen a breadbox in a generation or so....
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