door will not shut properly

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  #1  
Old 06-14-06, 06:57 AM
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door will not shut properly

My main door does not shut properly. When the door is close
to its frame, I either have to push it harder to get it into the
frame or lift the door by the knob to get it to close with less
friction.

This door has small metal lining at the bottom so I cannot
shave a little the bottom of the door. As far as I know, I don't
think I can shave the metal liner.

Any ideas on what I should do? Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-14-06, 07:36 AM
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Shaving the door is probably not the best answer. Close the door and see if you have an even gap all the way around between the door and the jamb.
You'll probably find that the gap is not even, indicating that there may have been some settling and the door is no longer plumb and level. The jamb may no longer be square.
The fix may be as simple as shimming behind a hinge or as involved as rehanging the door.
 
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Old 06-14-06, 11:17 AM
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I agree with Wayne. Rather than shave the door, try to correct the reason it is sagging. With the door open, lift on the doorknob and wiggle the door up and down. If the top hinge wiggles, that's your problem- the screws have come loose from the hinge. Tightening them or replacing them with a slightly larger screw could be the answer.

If the top hinge is tight, then it's likely that the weight of the door has caused the hinge-side jamb to bow slightly, which allows the top of the door to come down causing certain parts of the door to rub when it closes. Usually placing a long 3" screw in the top hinge will fix this problem, because it will go into the framing and pull the hinge-side jamb back inline.

If neither of these solutions work, it may be that your door is sinking on the latch side or is heaving on the hinge side. Hammering a solid shim underneath the bottom of the door on the latch-side, directly below the jamb could help.

I don't highly recommend shimming behind hinges or mortising them deeper as a solution, but if all else fails, you could try removing the bottom hinge from the jamb, and tape a couple pennies or nickels to the jamb, then screw the hinge back in place. That would serve to raise the door on the top-latch side a bit, but it may also make it too tight on the edge-latch side.
 
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Old 06-16-06, 05:47 PM
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I agree with the longer screws in the top hinge. I can't count how many new homes I go into that NONE of the hinges have longer screws installed. Nowadays, there is a big yellow sticker on the hinges telling the installer to "put a 3" screw here" with an arrow pointing to an empty hole. Duh.
Try this and post back letting us know how it worked.
 
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Old 06-17-06, 08:55 AM
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The door has 3 hinges and is a heavy door. btw, here are more
info on the problem.

bottom left of door has 1 mm separation.
bottom right has 1mm separation.
top right has 5 mm separation.
top left has practically none.

Lifting the door has very little effect and I seem to still feel the
friction.

The hinges and jambs seem to be tight. I don't quite see how
the 3 inch screw can help. Can you enlighten me?

Sorry for the late reply, bogged down by work. Thanks.
 
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Old 06-17-06, 11:14 AM
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Remove one of the short screws from the top hinge (remove one of the screws that attach the hinge to the jamb, not the screws that attach the hinge to the door). Remove one of the ones that are closest to the weatherstrip.

Install a long 3" screw in it's place. As I mentioned earlier, the reason this would help is because the weight of the door has probably caused the hinge-side jamb to bow slightly, which allows the top of the door to come down causing certain parts of the door to rub when it closes. Usually placing a long 3" screw in the top hinge will fix this problem, because it will go into the framing and pull the hinge-side jamb back inline.
 
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Old 06-17-06, 11:22 AM
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Do your doors have 3 point locking system and adjustable hinges? I just thought of a customer who had this set up, and all the adjustment was done with an allen wrench at each hinge to ensure proper alignment of the locking cams.
If you have regular hinges, then just disregard the above. I just had the thought, when you said the doors were really heavy. Try the longer screw in the top hinge and post back with results.
 
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Old 06-19-06, 12:33 PM
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I have the same problem.

The thing is, I installed the pre-hung door myself. I removed the old frame and learned that my doorway is surrounded by brick.

Once the new door was in I soon realized the weight of the door bowed in the frame. I screwed in a 1" piece of wood to try to straighten the frame but it didn't work. I have no more space to add more wood to the frame.

There is a 3" gap between the outside brick and the inside layer (solid brick house) and that gap prevents me from securing the frame into the brick!

So I'm running out of ideas. I might try the penny trick but the gap on non-hinge side is perfect along the edge. Only the top and bottom gaps are off.

Am I stuck with shaving the door? Can I shave a metal door?
 
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Old 06-19-06, 04:05 PM
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Badmana,

If the entire prehung door can be removed, would there be enough room in the rough opening to anchor some wood to the bricks? If so, you could anchor a 1x6 or 2x6 , 1x8 or 2x8 etc... (depending how much room you have) to the brick so that you have something for a long hinge screw to hold into.

Otherwise, you might try using a long 3/16" tapcon with a fluted phillips head, drilling a pilot hole into the brick, and using the tapcon as your long hinge screw.
 
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Old 06-19-06, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper
Badmana,

If the entire prehung door can be removed, would there be enough room in the rough opening to anchor some wood to the bricks? If so, you could anchor a 1x6 or 2x6 , 1x8 or 2x8 etc... (depending how much room you have) to the brick so that you have something for a long hinge screw to hold into.

Otherwise, you might try using a long 3/16" tapcon with a fluted phillips head, drilling a pilot hole into the brick, and using the tapcon as your long hinge screw.
I tried exactly that. The brick wouldn't hold the screws. The problem is that the 3" gap between the outside and inside layer of bricks is exactly where I need to secure the frame. I can't hit solid brick through the frame (I have 2 4" cement screws maybe 0.75" from the edge of the brick work, I doubt it's going to hold).

I have attached a 1" thick ( don't know it's overall size since I cut it myself but it's roughtly 4" wide and 16" long) piece of wood to try to strengthen the frame. Didn't work enough. There is no gap on that hinge to try anything else. Of course now that I look back, if I had pressed the non-hinge side closer to that side I'd have many 3" to work with. I decided to place the door in the middle and now I have zero space on the hinge side and a fist sized gap on the non-hinge side!


I might have to redo the door. It was my first attempt and my home improvement book only dealt with wood frame houses! I was totally not ready to deal with a brick-only situation
 
  #11  
Old 06-19-06, 05:36 PM
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Yeah, it's hard to tear a door back out again (demoralizing) but sometimes that's the best thing to do. Hope you have better luck the 2nd time around now that you have a better idea of what it needs. As I mentioned, you might try anchoring some framing onto the brick to make your rough opening closer to the size of the door. Perhaps if you currently have "a fist sized" gap on one side, you might have enough room to make a 3-sided frame out of treated 2x6 or 2x8, then insert that into the opening first, anchoring it to the bricks. Use plenty of construction adhesive to seal it to the brick as well. Then you'll have more of a standard rough opening to install the door into. Being able to shim the sides of the prehung door is absolutely critical to having a door that doesn't sag or move.
 
  #12  
Old 06-19-06, 09:42 PM
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I just used a 2 1/2 inch screw and it did not work. Looks like
I will have to shave it. The screw I took out was about a inch long.

If you guys have any more suggestions, let me know. Thanks.
 
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