Door sticking on top when closing


Old 09-11-14, 04:19 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Door sticking on top when closing

I bought a "new" used home (9 years old) and I noticed that one of the upstairs bedroom door stuck to the top of the door frame and would not close. I saw that it was getting stuck at the top on end with the door knob. I ended up sanding the about a 1 inch portion of the top of the door near end with 60 grit sand paper for 5-10 minutes and that fixed the problem.

Fast forward 2 weeks and the door is starting to stick again. This worries me that the frame/something is still moving. I am hoping this is not a bigger structural/foundation problem. However, the bedroom directly in front of it (about 10 feet away, but directly in front) has a door that when opened will slowly close half way then stop.

Any suggestions or ideas on what do to next?
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Old 09-11-14, 04:44 AM
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The first thing I'd do would be to make sure all the hinge screws are tight and maybe replace a few of them with longer screws that will secure it to the stud and not just the jamb. The carpenters should be along shortly with more/better advice for you.
Old 09-11-14, 04:55 AM
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For the one that's slowly closing, remove one of the hinge pins and place it between two blocks of wood and give it a tap with a hammer in the middle to slightly bend it.
Old 09-11-14, 05:06 AM
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I often use MarkSr recommendation on my rental houses when a door is hitting on the knob side top. I remove a screw or two from the top hinge and replace it with a 3" long deck or wood screw. When the screws are snug I test the door and keep tightening the screws a 1/4 turn a test until I get the door where I want.

It is important to notice if the door is actually moving when you tighten the screws. If there is no movement you don't want to keep tightening and strip out the holes. In that case your best option is to plane or sand down the door. If this is your first year in the home I would only sand the minimum to get the door closing. Your house probably goes through cycles and you don't want to take off too much that might leave an ugly or crooked gap.

My office is a 100 year old converted house with a stacked stone foundation. It moves a lot. Every summery two doors hit at the top but close fine in winter and a couple other doors hit in winter but are OK during summer. Odd to think that a house or building can subtly move or change shape.
Old 09-11-14, 09:45 AM
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It started to stick again because the humidity changed. Check the hinge screws & plumb on both doors. That's the plumb on the frame & the door itself.
Old 09-12-14, 07:31 AM
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Thank you all. Will take your suggestions and try them over the weekend.
Old 09-14-14, 11:36 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Update: Very interesting. Got home on Friday and the door was working fine! The weather did change here in Austin, it got quite a bit cooler and went from dry to raining the past couple of days. Therefore, I didn't try anything until the problem comes back.
Old 09-14-14, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Sticky Door

If i read your post correctly. You say the door is sticking at the top on the latch side. Tightening the hinges with longer screws will make this problem worse.

Use cereal box cardboard to make a shim the shape of the hinge leaf which sits in the mortise at the top hinge. Remove the top hinge screws from the jamb and add the shim between the jamb and the hinge leaf. Install the screws. This will "kick" the top of the door out slightly and should correct the problem.

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