Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I had a contractor come in and finish my basement. He done a decent job for the price but now a couple months later my doors wont shut. They worked perfectly fine before but now it seems the top part it getting caught on the trim. My first thought was to sand the top portion so it will close but not sure if that would be a long term fix. It seems to be about 1/8 inch off at the top. There are two doors like this.

I tried to take the door off and put it back on thinking it may not have been set correctly.

share|improve this question
Has the humidity level increased in the basement? – Tester101 Jul 2 '14 at 15:10
How much clearance is bellow the door? – Handy Man Jul 2 '14 at 16:03
pretty decent amount of clearance on the bottom. Its the top right portion that hits the trim – chadpeppers Jul 2 '14 at 17:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would bet the doors were dryer than they are now. Most basements are more humid than the rest of a typical home, especially in the summer. In the winter they will shrink again, but it will be needed to trim a little here and there to get them to work in the summer.

share|improve this answer
+1 for why doors might be sticking now. – Tester101 Jul 2 '14 at 16:24
Do you suggest I just sand the portion down thats hitting the trim? – chadpeppers Jul 2 '14 at 17:03
Yes if that is what you have to work with, but if it is hitting the trim and not the jamb, it will take a lot more than sanding to get it down where it will close properly. I scribe the door at the jamb, remove the door and hand plane the top. It will take much less time than sanding, lots cleaner too, IF you have a sharp plane. If the door is too far out, it may be best to remove and reset the door. Do you know if it is a split jamb? – Jack Jul 2 '14 at 17:10

I had two doors that would stick, a hand plane was much more effective then sanding.
If you do not have one buy an Empire Pocket plane, they are around 10 dollars and just as effective.

share|improve this answer
A plane may not work well on some hollow core doors. – Tester101 Jul 2 '14 at 16:26

Your doors will fluctuate and if your contractor made them snug then during the summer they will need to be "adjusted". Just installed two doors in my basement snug this past winter knowing they would stick. They are currently sticking - barely close. So I will pull them off hinges and hit them with a belt sander on the non-hinge side.

share|improve this answer

Painting the doors probably would've helped. Moisture penetrated through the unpainted top of the door and bottom.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.