Exterior door installation problem


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Old 04-26-09, 04:21 PM
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Exterior door installation problem

I just intalled a steel Reliabuilt door from Lowes today and am having a problem with it locking. The locks are hitting a little low and I can get them to set by lifting up a bit but obviously want to get this right. Everything is plum and level but the gap at the top is just a hair wider on the lock side. Any hints on how to recitfy this problem? Thanks
 
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Old 04-26-09, 04:51 PM
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Everything is plumb and level. Can't be, or the door & frame were built out of square.
Check your level! Every swing door (EVERY DOOR, arched, round, figure eight or otherwise) is built with the assumption of being square and plumb. Odd shaped doors use one or more spring lines for level and plumb assumptions. Either you're wrong, or it's defective.
 
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Old 04-26-09, 04:55 PM
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My first guess would the that the door is not sitting level, and that the hinge side jamb needs to be pryed up. Not questioning your ability to tell what level is, but many levels aren't accurate to begin with, so often it's more about the level itself than your ability to read it. Try setting the level on the sill... then turn it 180 degrees and see if it reads the same. If it does, then it's level. If not, and you can still insert a shim under the hinge side jamb, try that. It will raise the door enough that it should latch.

Another thing that will raise the door slightly at the latch is to replace one of the top hinge screws with a long 3" screw that will draw it tighter to the stud. The jamb may be plumb, but the weight of the door can cause it to sag slightly. The long screw will raise the latch side of the door, but will also increase the gap between the door and the jamb near the top.

It could also be a combination of the two.
 
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Old 04-27-09, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by baker545
The locks are hitting a little low and I can get them to set by lifting up a bit but obviously want to get this right. the gap at the top is just a hair wider on the lock side. Any hints on how to recitfy this problem? Thanks
Sure no problem. First of all forget the level thing here no need at this point. A door only needs to be parallel to its frame to work. I need you to look down at the top of the hinge.

There are 7 ways to shim a single hinge. This would really work better if you had an old hinge and laid that up against a board looking straight down on it.

1. If you shim the ( jamb side) of the hinge leaf the width of the hinge the whole hinge moves out which moves the whole barrel of the hinge out and the door from the hinge.

2. If you half shim the leaf ( jamb side) closest to the barrel you move the door away from jamb and change the swing angle for an off set jamb to jamb.

3. If you full shim that leaf furthest from the barrel the hinge leaf barrel moves closer to the jamb you move the whole door towards the jamb.

4. If you half shim that hinge leaf on the (door edge) side close to the barrel the door moves towards the jamb.

5. If you half shim that same leaf furthest from the barrel then the door moves away from that Jamb.

6 If you full shim both sides of the leaf then the hinge and door moves away from the jamb a lot.

SO theres 6 ways to shim one hinge. and 6 for the bottom hinge. Thats 12 ways for two hinges.

7. Is to shim top and bottom hinges to show a good parallel to hinge side of jamb and header and strike/lock side. Now it basically square you can add more shims equally if you need to move the whole door over to strike jamb

When I say jamb thats still om the hinge jamb only.

So simply put, to raise a door latch/knob shim the bottom hinge. To lower shim top hinge

Shimming a door is becoming a lost art. Do it for a living
 

Last edited by 21boat; 04-27-09 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 04-28-09, 03:47 AM
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I agree with 2000. If it fit at the factory, it should fit in your opening. Shimming the hinge is the LAST thing I would do. Ensure all is plumb and level. Make sure there is a 3" screw driven into the inside hinge holes at the top. That will afford slight lift as needed. Oh, I do it for a living, too.
 
 

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