Adjusting an exterior door?

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  #1  
Old 09-21-15, 07:24 PM
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Adjusting an exterior door?

I bought my house 4 years ago. The front door was difficult to close. I filed the strike down until is closed easily. But then it didn't make solid contact with the weather stripping.

Last year we had a mudroom installed in the garage, which required moving the door to the garage. At first it wouldn't close, but the contractor adjusted something and now that door is good.

It took me a year to connect the two; if one door can be adjusted, maybe the second one can be.
Steel door with Therma-Tru hinges. I don't see anything adjustable (I also have some Anderson doors and they can be adjusted up/down and sideways with an allen wrench; but these have nothing)

So, any idea how I go about getting the door to close properly?
 
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Old 09-21-15, 07:44 PM
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Face it. The door fit the frame at the factory, so it should fit your opening. You moved a key element rather than adjusting the door. Often doors sag due to their weight. More modern doors come with missing screws in their hinges. This is so the installer can drive 3" screws into framing to prevent such sag.
 
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Old 09-21-15, 07:48 PM
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The steel doors I've installed came with adjustable strikes. There's an outer piece and an inner piece. They have a series of interlocking grooves that lock them together, but if you loosen the mounting screws a bit, you can slide the inner piece toward or away the stop. Closer to the stop will compress the weatherstrip more, but be harder to close. Perhaps your garage entry door has such a strike.
 
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Old 09-21-15, 07:55 PM
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Oops, sorry. Missed the metal door thingy. Is it a steel frame, too?
 
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Old 09-22-15, 09:02 AM
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Garage door has a steel frame; the front door is a wood frame.
Neither has adjustable strikes.

The front door is a bit closer to the frame at the top than at the bottom; so perhaps it has sagged.
It has three hinges with 4 holes each. NOW... the top hinge only had two screws; the other two were never installed.

Presumably I should try putting in the two missing screws? What size? Pilot holes?

Any good reason they didn't put them in 10 years ago?
 
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Old 09-22-15, 10:05 AM
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3" long screws through the top hinge and into the stud. It will pull the door over and raise the latch. Use the holes closest to the weatherstripping. There really should be a shim behind the jamb to keep it from being pulled over too far.
 
  #7  
Old 09-22-15, 10:56 AM
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Okay, I put a pair of 3" screws in the top hinge. They were the holes nearest the weatherstripping. If anything changed, it was small.

My wife insists on hanging stuff on the inside and outside of the door, despite the obvious damage the hangers do to the pain. The door is noticeably further away from the weather stripping at the top than the bottom; I thought maybe the hangers were at fault. But when I took them down, nothing changed. Could long term use have warped anything>

Could I put a shim under the bottom hinge/frame? Maybe a couple pieces of manila folder material?
 
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Old 09-22-15, 03:25 PM
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If the head is not level, a shim under one leg of the jamb would level it... possibly under the hinge side leg (lay shim on floor). But you would need to remove screws or trim... maybe cuting it loose to get it to slide up.
 
  #9  
Old 09-22-15, 05:37 PM
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Metal doors (well, all doors) can warp a little; often they come a little warped. I think you should start from the beginning and use a level to see if your frame is plumb in both directions and the head jamb is level. You should also check that jamb is in plane. An easy way to do this is to stretch a string from bottom left corner to top right corner and another string from the other corners, to form an X. They should just touch in the center of the X. To see if the door slab itself is warped you can stretch a string from corner to corner, doing each pair of corners inside and out one pair at a time. This only works on flush doors unless you use a spacer to clear any protrusions on the door. If the slab is warped, when you do the high corners the string will be off the surface of the slab in the center section.

If the slab is badly warped, no amount of fussing with shims, etc, is going to get it to seal well all around. If replacement is out of the question, and it's a wood frame, you can reset the stops to compensate somewhat for the warp.

If the jamb is not plumb, you can either cut it loose and fix it, or you may be able to shim the hinges to compensate a little. Let us know what you find.
 
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