Doors not closing properly

Old 05-07-08, 08:21 AM
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Doors not closing properly

I've got multiple doors in my house that don't close properly. The house is under 15 years old but I believe it's settled over time on the south side which has led to some of this.

Right now I'm most interested in the Bedroom door - 6 panel door that closes but doesn't latch - it can easily be pushed open without turning the knob. If you lift up on the door it will close. An eyeball check shows the gap between the frame and the top of the door is greater on the door handle side and decreases as you go back towards the frame. Can I shim this somehow to fix this? Thanks.
Old 05-07-08, 09:17 AM
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First, check to make certain all the hinge screws are tight.

If the door has 3 hinges, remove the bottom hinge from the frame and slighlty loosen the middle hinge.

The bottom hinge can be shimmed with folded paper or a matchbook cover. Retighten the bopttom hinge and try the door.

If this works, shim the center hinge appropriately and tighten all screws.

If there are only two hinges (most likely) just loosen the screws on the bottom hinge enough to insert a shim, retighten and check the door.

You may want to consider replacing all the screws that are now in place with 2" or 2-1/2" screws. These will penetrate to the framing of the wall and add stability to the door.
Old 05-07-08, 10:22 AM
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Besides checking the hinge screws to make sure they are all tight, the simplest thing to do is usually to remove one of the short screws from the top hinge (jamb side) and replace it with one that is 3" long. Usually what has happened is that someone didn't install the long screws when the door was installed and the weight of the door has pulled it down slightly. I've found that the bottom hinge is usually fine and doesn't need any adjustment.
Old 05-07-08, 03:12 PM
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I think I'll cast my vote on settling, since several doors are concerned. In relation to all the doors, are they mostly located along the middle of the house, along the hallway? Do you have a basement? If so, what is used as a center support for the house? If it is adjustable lally columns, I would measure from ceiling joist to floor on opposite walls, and then from the floor to the joist where the lally column sits. If there is a difference, a correction is in order.

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