My doors don't close evenly

hi!
I have two doors that I recently installed that don't close perfectly evenly. They fit squarely this way:
---------- | ------ | || || ||h || || || ||h || || o|| ||h || || || | ------ | ----------
and the hinge line is level with gravity.
but the bottom of the door closes before the top of the door. when the door is latched, there is a ~1/4" gap at the top corner, opposite from the hinges.
i want the door to seal tightly against weatherstripping for sound blocking reasons, but it doesn't make a good seal. i installed both doors. one is a prehung door and i had to do a lot of work to get the swing parallel to gravity. i don't want to undo previous work or reseat the hinges because the gape is at most 1/4" and the house is very crooked so i'd be hard pressed to do much better.
can i adjust the door by
1. loosening the middle hinge so it doesn't affect swing of door.
2. adding a small shim to the inside (hinge side) of the top hinge.
3. adding shims to middle hinge so it fits naturally.
thanks for any advice!
eric
ps. if i can't get the door to shift, i can fix the problem by adding extra weatherstripping. does anyone have suggestions for making this reliable (so the weatherstripping doesn't loosen and peal off.
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Two things are possibly wrong. 1. Either side of your door jam is not plumb or your door is warped.

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the door and reasonably high quality and testing indicates that it isn't warped.
i'm pretty sure both sides of my door are not plumb. there really isn't anything for them to be plumb to since the wall is pretty warped.
but they should be plumb to each other. so i want to know if i can effectively plumb the hinge side of my door by adding shims directly underneath the hinges.
and if so, what is the formula for adusting (i.e. adding a shim to the barrel side of the top, door facing hinge will push the top, swinging side of the door to close earlier.
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That does not prevent the door from being warped although it is probably unlikely.

You plum the door jams to a Level, not the wall. Close the gaps between the jam and wall with moldings and or caulk.

Plum to each other????? Maybe parallel to each other but plumb is measured with a level as bieng perpendicular to the ground not a wall or each other.

I suggest you rehang the door jam and use a level, not the wall.
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snipped-for-privacy@sub-zero.mit.edu (Eric Prebys) wrote in

Your going about it backwards.
1) Pull the trim moulding off of both sides of the door. You can usually do this without damaging it. When you are done you put it right back up.
2) Find a friend with a saw-zall. When prehung doors are installed they are shimmed in place then finish nails are driven through the frame, through the shims and into the 2x4 that the rough opening is framed in. What you want to do is run the saw-zall with a metel cutting blade between the door frame and the rough opening to cut the nails. Do this across the top and down the edge with the door handle. Now the door frame is loose and held in the rough opening by the hinges.
3) Get new shims and re-adjust the door frame so everything is square and flush. Nail the frame back in.
4) Put the trim back on.
5) Touch up.
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Joe,
I'm not familiar with this type of door but aren't the hinges removed before you do the Sawz All bit. It seems to me that the hinge screws should be biting into the 2x4 framing. If you run the Sawz All you'll cut these screws. I think Eric needs to go to the library and read a home repair chapter on door hanging. From the symptoms he describes it sounds as if he did not hang these doors correctly and needs to redo them in much the manner that you suggest. There are how to books in his local library which will give him the step by step procedures and the tool list that he needs.
Dave M.
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If you want to completely remove the frame then Yes. But I only want you to cut the top and other side loose. This leaves the door still mounted in the opening.
To me it sounds like the door is hung fine. But it isn't in the correct relationship to the frame. So one of two things need to happen. Move the door or move the frame. Doors are a pain because they are heavy and move. Frames are easy.
Once the frame is loose in relationship to the door it is easy to move things around. ctually I guess it would be best to not cut the frame completely loose. If you left 1 nail in place along the open side of the frame the the frame can be tweeked to get everything lined up then some new nails added.
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Normally the hinge screws are relatively short. When you buy the doors prehung including the heavier exterior doors, the screws are not sticking out past the jam. Occasionally the exterior doors will include 2 or 3 extra longer screws.
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Sounds familiar.
You know what a plumb bob is?

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I had the same problem on some doors in my house. I opted for cutting thin wedges of maple on the angle sled of my table saw and discreetly adding them behind the moulding if it wasn't obvious. The best way is probably to replumb the jamb but it's a tough call, depends what you willing to live with really.

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You might try posting your question on alt.home.repair as well.
-JBB

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How about putting a small rubber bumper at the bottom of the frame (knob side)? By holding the bottom out further it might allow you get the top in closer once the latch catches. You may have to press on the upper part of the door (knob side) to get the latch to catch.
This might work for interior doors but I'm not so sure about insulated doors. -- Jim
snipped-for-privacy@sub-zero.mit.edu (Eric Prebys) wrote in message

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snipped-for-privacy@sub-zero.mit.edu (Eric Prebys) wrote in message

Hi.
Beyond the already stated advice that the jambs, the door (and then the stops) must be plumbed (perpendicular to the earth's surface), let me suggest one other thing- how the doors are sealed. (I assume you're talking entry door here.)
You can have the door edges butt up against seal strips- this was quite common, but is subject to various distortions as humidity changes.
Later seals involve the door, or a seal strip on the door, sliding some short distance along a seal strip on the jamb. So you have zero or very little clearance, with flexibility. You can get stick-on teflon seal-strip which accomplishes the same along the sides and top of the opening very effectively, at very little cost. I've used this to seal 1/4" gaps in some very poorly hung doors at work, tightly. And teflon is extremely durable.
HTH, John
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