shimming doors


  #1  
Old 12-12-03, 05:50 AM
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shimming doors

How do you shim a door? My doors are sitting just crooked enough that they don't rub at the top, but I can see daylight at the bottom (on the side of the door that isn't hinged).

For some reason I thought you could put something behind the hinge on the part that needs to be pushed out. Then, I saw a door installation on television and they shimmed the door in the framing before hanging the door and moulding.

Is there a that I can do this 'rigged' until I can afford to have someone come out and do the job correctly?

Thanks,

Kay

Ps. I can't seem to find anything online or in my home repair books on realigning doors that are already hanging. Only new installs.

K.
 
  #2  
Old 12-12-03, 10:59 AM
brickeyee
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Small corrections to installed doors can be accomplished by shimming behind the hinges. Old playing cards, the cardboard from pads of paper work well. Not corrugated, it compresses to much.
The door was probably shimmed at installation, but has moved from settling since then.
 
  #3  
Old 12-13-03, 02:50 AM
L
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Or you can remove the casing from both sides of the jambs and use cedar shims between the door jamb and the stud to get it aligned right. That's a fix that will be permanent. Playing cards behind a hinge works, and it will last a long time. But I wouldn't go that route if it needs more than 2 or 3 cards to make it right.
 
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Old 12-13-03, 07:05 AM
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Could replacing the hinges be a solution?

When we moved in the house a couple of years ago, the doors weren't like this. Ive had to replace door knobs on one of these two doors because my children would be talking to their friends, with the door open and leaning on the doorknob; or on the knob with the door closed.

I've even caught my youngest boy standing on the doorknobs and his friend swinging the door with him on it.

The one door that I'm afraid I'll have to have someone do for me is the the back door. It appears to be two doors, but one is just really a matching window.
The hinges are attached to that.

Another reason I'm asking about the hinges is because to securely lock the back door I have to take a large screwdriver and pry upward from the bottom of the door before the deadbolt will fully engage. At that point there is little airflow around the door from the outside and I can no longer see daylight around it. We use the door a lot, so we leave it partially locked. It secures the door, but I'm not sure how well against an intruder. We do have an alarm system so hopefully that would send someone running if they choose that door to enter the house.

Kay
 
  #5  
Old 12-13-03, 03:10 PM
brickeyee
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Check the screws in the hinges and make sure they are tight. Having to pry a door up to get a latch to work usually means the screws have worked out part way. At least one screw going into the jamb should be at least 2 inches long to reach into the stud. If you cannot tighten every screw on the hinge, take a screw to a hardware store and get the same diameter but at least 3/4 inch longer.
 
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Old 12-13-03, 03:35 PM
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Kay,

It's POSSIBLE that the kids bent a hinge by using the door as a swing, but not likely. Hinges are 1/8" steel. USUALLY the screws will pull out of the jamb long before the hinge plate bends.

Follow brickeye's advise and check the screws first. Replace any that won't tighten with longer ones. If you still have the problem, hinges are a couple bucks each. It won't break the bank to replace a few of them!!

If the playing cards, a couple dollars worth of screws and $5 worth of hinges don't cure the problem, THEN you're just gonna have to bite the bullet and reshim the door. (A bundle of shims is less than $10) You're probably into this thing for less than $20 -- but it might take 4 days to correct the problem!! (LOL!!)

Mike
 
  #7  
Old 12-25-03, 06:25 PM
LBruce
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Kay:
If you haven't already repaired your doors; here is another solution that might work.
Example: On the door that you have to pry up to get the deadbolt to engage; try this:
Remove the pin from the bottom hinge and the middle hinge (if there is a middle hinge) with the door shut and the deadbolt engaged. You may have to remove the pins before you actually raise the door with your screwdriver because I am sure the hinges are in a bind. Once the deadbolt is engaged and the pins removed, look at the two hinge leaves. Probably, you will notice that the two leaves don't line up evenly. You will need some vice-grips for this next part. Look at the circular part (where the pin goes) on the door side and tightly clamp the vice-grips onto each part and bend until it lines up with the jamb side. If there is much difference you can bend some on the door side and the jamb side (of course, in opposite directions) until both the door side and the jamb side line up.
At this point, I would put the pin back into the hinge on the bottom and then take a look at the middle hinge. Repeat this same procedure for the middle hinge if necessary. You will find that even with new hinges the swag of the hinges will vary.
You can move a door anyway you want with this method. The only drawback is that you scratch the hinges with the vice-grips but you have to look close to notice.
Let me know if you try this and if you have any success.

Bruce
 
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Old 12-26-03, 06:03 PM
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Bruce,

I did a shim with playing cards, but don't think I did it correctly. There is less air coming in around the door, however the dead bolt still doesn't lock and I noticed that the door is now 'out' further than before (not flush in there).

It hasn't been terribly cold here but when the wind decides to calm down a little I'll try what you recommened and post back with the results. This will be easier than trying to install new hinges since these are different styled hinges than I have in the shop.

I will post with my results, and thanks!

Kay
 
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Old 01-18-04, 09:43 PM
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I haven't forgotten about posting the results, just wanted to let you know that I haven't had a chance to even try realigning the hinges yet.

Kay
 
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Old 02-07-04, 03:52 PM
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We tried realigning the hinges and it has helped A LOT. Still needs to be shimmed in the frame I guess. That one will have to wait until it gets much warmer outside!

It has stopped a majority of the drafts coming in around the door but I still can't lock the door completely without having to pull up on the door itself. At least now I don't have to pry it up (door) with a screwdriver to get it to lock all the way.

Thanks everyone!

Kay
 
  #11  
Old 02-08-04, 11:21 AM
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Enlarge the hole in the jamb slightly that the dead bolt goes into. You might need a file to enlarge the hole in the strike plate.
 
  #12  
Old 06-12-04, 07:26 AM
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Hello again everyone! Now that many months have gone by I finally attempted to actually shim my doors. I did one of them!

I took the trim off and saw the principal behind the shimming, etc. I shimmed the bottom corner and it straightened the door out inside the frame, but the top of the door still stuck out further than the frame. That's when I realized the the frame of the door (that comes with the door) was not equally flush around the cut out in the wall. I enlisted some help of a neighbor and we backed the nails out, realigned the frame as it should be and nailed it back into the door frame of the house itself. I'm not sure I named the parts correctly, but it worked and I'm thrilled! No more daylight coming in around the door and the room is already so much cooler than it has been since we moved in here 2 years ago!

I didn't even break up the trim when I removed & replaced it for this project.

I will attempt the back door later (the one I realigned the hinges on earlier this year). I may need some help with it since its a double door (one doesn't open - just for looks). I believe that now we just need to check the flushness of the frame that came with the door, and if that's not it I will post pictures since it will require something else because its hung next to and one the other door that doesn't move.

Thanks again!

Kay
 
 

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