Door hing---stripped screws by construction crew


One of my interior doors has the top hinge with all the screws more or less "floating in space". It has caused the door to sag a little. This seems odd to me, since the other 2 hinges are solid as rocks, and yet there is enough flex in a door somehow to bend or sag just "enough" to not close perfectly.
Odd.
In *any* case, I am in need of understanding the *right* way a door should have been hung: All the parts, what they're supposed to be screwed to, are the hinge screws supposed to extend into the studs, what parts of the door frame/jamb/whatever are connected to what.
No one I know is "sure", and I would like to know what /your/ opinion of a good website or other source is.
I'm checking the other doors in the house, and am (I must be thick) now wondering if this might worsen or outright /cause/ the strike-plate repositioning I'm always going through.
--
Sometimes life just sucks, and then you live.



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Not really odd at all. A door can hang as little as 1/16" out of alignment and cause hang up problems. Most likely the door was never hung correctly in the first place if this is new construction. You mention that the door has 3 hinges, is that a heavy solid core door? Typically interior doors are hollow core these days unless you have an uppper end custom built home.

No, the hinge screw are not suppose to be screwed into studs. typically they are about 3/4" long. During constructiona 2x4 constructed rough opening is made in a wall to accept a door/door jamb assembly. The door is typically already hung in the door jamb and the installer only has to insure that the sides of the jamb are plumb and that the top of the jamb is level. He uses longer screws to attach the jamb to 2x4 door opening. He uses wedged shims between the door jamb and 2x4 to allow for a tight fit in the opening. Typically the 2x4 door opening can be as much as 1" wider than the total width of the door jamb. If the jamb is not plumb, the door can sag and not close or open properly. The door jamb is rarely attached directly to the surround support studs. these studs are rarely perfectly plumb. The wedged shims seperate the jamb from those support stud. The use of wedged shims enable the installer to insure that the jamb is plumb and square inside a the door opening.
The normal correct solution is to remove the trim from the side of the door that was added by the installer so that you can see the shims and gaps between the door jamb and the support studs. The removable trim is usually on the side opposite from the side that the door swings. After removing the trim locate where the screws or nails are located, check the vertical parts of the jamb to insure that they are plumb and check othe top of the jamb to insure that it is level. Reposition or add shims as needed and rescrew or nail taking care to not over tighten and pull the jamb back out of square or plumb. Replace the trim.

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I set many doors each year and can offer some suggestions. Interior doors are generally not screwed into the jack studs. They are usually held in place with finish nails placed in the area of the hinges and through the areas that have been shimmed. I fasten doors to the jack studs with finish nails on either side of the jamb at 5 places on each side of the door. Top, bottom, and just under the 3 hinges are shimmed and nailed (or the corresponding area across from the hinges). I do not fasten the top jamb to the header, rather just rely on casing to hold it firm. Hinge screws only extend into the jamb, however, hinge to jamb and hinge to door screws often come stripped from the factory. The installer may have stripped them too, but usually the installer doesn't mess with the hinge screws on a pre hung door unless they are loose. In either case, adding longer screws of a similiar finish (2" to 2 1/2" screws are usually long enough) through the hinge and into the jack stud will hold the door where you want it. Most problems you can have with a door can be fixed with just placing a screw in the right hinge. Don't bother with adjusting the strike unless absolutely necessary, it's gonna need adjusting again if the problem is not fixed. --dave
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Thomas G. Marshall wrote:

some toothpicks in glue and jam them into the oversize screw holes. Cut off the toothpicks flush with the mortised jamb (called a hinge gain) and reattach the hinge leaf with the old screws (assuming the heads aren't stripped as well).
There's no need for the screws to extend into the jamb unless it's a security door.
R
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I recommend 1/4 or 3/8" dowels glued into holes centered on the stripped screw holes. Trim flush and reinstall the screws. Much more secure than the toothpicks or matchsticks that are commonly used, and it takes not much more time. Bugs
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Bugs wrote:

Pretty big screw holes to fit a 1/4" or 3/8" dowel. What makes you think that drilling a larger hole and inserting a dowel makes it more secure? A stripped screw hole is 1/16" or so oversize - that's all it take for the screw to spin in the hole.
I'm also not sure how the relative strength of screwing into endgrain would affect the overall strength of the connection. It's probably not be a big deal in this instance, but pull out from endgrain is a lot less than from face grain. Your way is all end grain. Toothpicks/matchsticks preserves as much of the face grain as possible.
Your way works, but there's an extra operation (drilling) and a specific piece of wood is required. The other technique can be used with almost anything on hand. Slivers of wood shaved off some scrap with a utility knife works just as well as toothpicks.
R
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RicodJour said something like:

FWIW, when he previously mentioned this idea to me (for strikeplate remounting) he specified /hardwood/ dowels, even though there is comparatively very litttle stress on a strikeplate mount. Perhaps he meant the same here. Perhaps hardwood would add enough strength. Though I suspect that sidegrain of even cedar might beat the end grain of "hard" hardwood.
Bugs, your idea for strikeplates, at least, worked very well.

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That's a lot of work for a problem that is actually served quite well with just a couple of pieces of toothpick. Toothpicks take all of 10 seconds. I'd venture your approach takes much longer than that and offers nothing that the door really needs. For some things, the less than elegant solutions are just fine.
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I've dealt with the stripped out screw issue by doing one of these:
1. Drill out and insert a piece of dowel. Trim flush
or
2. Fill hole with water based wood putty. Let dry overnight.
Drill pilot hole, then insert the screw again, if it isn't damaged.
I have used the dowel technique in replacing butt plates and recoil pads on rifle and shotgun stocks as well, but there isn't a lot of strain involved there.
Once I simply dipped the offending screw in "Gorilla Glue" and put it back in. Crude, but that worked as well!!
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If the screw is stripped forget about plugging the hole. Put a 3" deck screw in all the way into the stud.
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Leon wrote:

To one involved in the building trades, your advice is even worse than Norm and his "put a few brads in it" or chocolate wood stain on everything. Even if no one else noticed the silver screw head, it would bother me just knowing it was there.
R
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I posted the correct way to repair, With tooth picks or dowels you are screwing into end grain. Its a temp fix.
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Leon wrote:

Hey Leon. How is wood glued in an opening a "temp fix"? As far as the end grain, that is why I counseled against using oversize dowels to make the repair. But with glued toothpicks/matches essentially all of the wood fibers are glued in place. Even if the wood grain is cut, there won't be any weakening of the attachment - glues's stronger than wood, right?
A couple of other points. Your original post had this: "The door is typically already hung in the door jamb and the installer only has to insure that the sides of the jamb are plumb and that the top of the jamb is level. He uses longer screws to attach the jamb to 2x4 door opening. He uses wedged shims between the door jamb and 2x4 to allow for a tight fit in the opening."
An exterior door frequently has several of the hinge screws replaced with longer screws for added security. It is not a standard procedure for hanging an interior door to install the frame with screws, as your initial comment would indicate. Where exactly are these screws located that you're talking about? You mention the door is already hung - are your screws counterbored and plugged in the face of the jamb? Or are you suggesting that existing screws are either removed and replaced, or that those longer screws are hidden behind the hinge leaf? Counterboring and plugging can't be right. Hinge screw placement shouldn't be too close to prevent splitting of the jamb, so it's not a good idea to hide them behind the hinge leaf. If longer screws were to be used the manufacturer would supply those longer, matching screws and leave some of the hinge jamb screws out to receive them - I've never seen that on an interior door. The standard way to install a prehung door, or any interior door for that matter, is with a nail gun, or lacking that, with finish nails and a hammer.
Your description of the function of the shims is also a bit misleading. They are not there to make a "tight fit". The shims are there to straighten out the jambs and, as you did mention, plumb the frame in the opening.
The main issue I had with your later advice was the use of the deck screw. If I saw someone installing one as a replacement in a hinge, my comment would be along the lines of, "Are you #@&!%# kidding me?" Even if the hinge is a satin nickel (which is becoming a more popular finish, but nowhere near as common as a brass finish), why would you use a deck screw? Because it's handy? My chisels are always handy and I don't use them to open paint cans. Use the right screw.
The basic idea of any repair is to make it invisible. Your suggested repair is not. At the least longer, matching screws should be used to replace the stripped ones.
R
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On Sun, 05 Mar 2006 14:25:01 GMT, "Thomas G. Marshall"

[the rest snipped, to eliminate the necessity of top posting, which indexplicably drives some people nuts]
I recently had difficulty with a couple of pre-hungs I got at the borg. Since I had also been hanging a couple of slabs in my own jambsets I had been mortising my own hinges with screws I bought from the same borg.
I noticed that the screws I bought separately were about longer than the prehung screws. I just popped a few of the separates in in place of the prehung screws and everything pulled back in nicely.
The hinge screws--(they're #9--you can't find them with all the other screws) are in bags of 20 or thereabouts near the butts.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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