Front Door Problem

Old 01-07-03, 01:52 PM
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Question Front Door Problem

Our house is six years old, and we have lived in it 3. When we got the house the door opened just fine. Now it sticks (at the bottom) so badly that I need to tug on it three times to get it to open. I think that the door may be out of square. Is there a way to verify/fix this or would we need to replace the door/framing? My husband was thinking of sanding down the wooden threshold; however, since we have a wood floor entryway, I don't think this will look very nice. Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions!!
Old 01-07-03, 04:28 PM
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Could be a number of things going on here, but I wouldn't sand the threshold.....that would only be working on the symtoms and not the problem.

First thing I would look at are the hinges....are the screws tight ? May be something as simple as loose screws.

Look at the "margin"...the small gap where the door meets the frame when closed. Follow it with your eye from the hinge side the handle side of the door along the top.....Does it appear bigger on one side or the other ? If so the door is not square the frame...If the gap is bigger on the handle side, top, then you might try taking out one of the hinge screw on the frame side of the hinge and replace it with a longggg screw that will reach back into the stud, pulling the door and frame slightly back toward the top hinge side. Doors often come with these screws to help secure the door frame to the stud back in behind it, but sometimes they DON'T get installed.

Last, and hopefully NOT your problem, is the floor or house could be you notice any hairline cracks in the walls in or near the door ? IF so, you may need to get somebody that knows home construction to look closer at your house.

There is some info to start with.
Old 01-07-03, 04:37 PM
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There could be one (or more) of several things causing the problem. Before you attack the problem, find the cause so you are fixing the right thing.

First, very closely inspect the door jambs and casings, inside and out, and the gap between the door and the jamb on both sides and across the top. The casings (trim) you are looking for any signs that it has pulled away from it's original position (cracks in the caulking would be an indication of that). The jambs, look carefully at the hinges -- are any of them loose? The gap between the door and the jambs should be an 1/8" to 3/16" all the way around.

If none of those things appear to be the problem, then look at the door itself. Is some part of the framing falling apart, causing it to stick on the threshold?

If you have located the problem and need advise on how to fix it, reply to this post. If all of those things appear normal, reply to this post, and we will go on from there.

The only reason hubby wants to sand off the threshold itself is if he can see that it has swollen out of shape. Otherwise, he will just be creating another thing to fix once he gets the door's problem cured.
Old 01-07-03, 04:54 PM
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The most likely thing is the screws on the top hinge into the jamb. Tighten them. If any will not tighten (stripped), take them out, go to hardware store and get same size at least 1/2 inch longer. The originals are usually to short anyway. In a six year old house most likely just loose.
Old 01-07-03, 06:44 PM
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If the door can get wet along the bottom of the stiles, it may have swollen a bit so that it scrapes. It should dry out and work fine or need to be sanded a bit on the bottom of the door where it binds. Paint the bottom of the door. Try to keep water off of the door.

I had one that turned out to have this problem.
Old 01-09-03, 06:43 PM
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One way of doing a quick fix is to pull a screw out of the top hinge on the jamb closest to the doorstop. Tighten a 3" sheetrock screw through hinge into the framing until it raises the door off the threshold. A heavy duty screw gun is the easiest tool to use but a manual screwdriver and some grunting will also work. You can predrill with an 1/8" drill bit to make it easier to turn. If this works you can tighten or loosen the screw to get the correct reveal.
Good Luck, AL

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