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
Thanks in advance for your help!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
"I suspect your discription of his actions are greatly exaggerated.
That is the normal and quite approved method of fixing that problem." -
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Bending the pin slightly to increase friction is a
standard fix; but smashing and bashing sounds a
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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