Front (exterior) door needs realignment

Old 02-07-04, 06:45 AM
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Front (exterior) door needs realignment

My front door has 'sagged' a bit and I can't engage the deadbolt without lifting up on the doorknob. Looking at it from inside, I have to 'rotate' it about 1/8" - 1/4" or so clockwise within the frame.

Longer screws into the top hinge may not work as there's only about 1-1/2" in the jamb to the side windows.

Has anyone had any success with installing a round head screw under the bottom hinge? Having it protrude ever so slightly above the mortise to help **** the door?

Thanks for any help.
Old 02-07-04, 02:20 PM
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Trying to kick the bottom out may make things worse. Try this first.

1. Open the door and wedge it so it doesn't drop.

2. Remove the screws from the top hinge

3. Use a 1/4" drill to enlarge the screw holes

4. Glue in pieces of 1/4" dowel flush with the surface of the mortises. The dowel pieces need to be at least as long as the screws.

5. When the glue dries, use a Vix bit to drill starter holes and replace the screws. The Vix bit is a self centering bit that will perfectly align the screw pilot holes with the hinge holes.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 as needed for the other hinges.
Old 02-07-04, 06:30 PM
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What Dave said is a good fix only if that is your only problem.
1 Are the hinges wore out?
2 Has the framing moved or shifted?
3 Was the door properly installed?

If all else fails remove one of the upper hinge screws on the jamb and drive in a 3 or 4" screw.

Mark / Armstrong Woodworks
Old 02-08-04, 06:52 AM
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Thanks Dave & Popeye, I'll try Dave's suggestion once I find a Vix bit!

However, I have no idea if the hinges have worn out. How do I know that? The house isn't even 10 years old. I'm guessing there's been a little shifting but not much. I'm not a builder/carpenter so I can only guess that it has.

If they have, and I go to replace the hinges, isn't that a much, much bigger job?

As far as proper's only as proper as a builder - large Atlanta builder - can make it, if the super on the job doesn't watch over the subcontractor who doesn't watch over the actual crew who installed the door in the first place!

While waiting for any responses to my original post, I tried both 1-1/2" screws on the top AND a small screw on the bottom pushing the hinge out a bit. It seems to have helped substantially, but I now note that the bottom hinge, as I look at it from the inside, looks 'sprung.'

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