# How do I level a door so it doesn't swing on its own?

I have a normal door, and left to its own devices it will simply rest about 20-30 degrees. It won't swing shut on its own, nor stay open on its own. It hangs a bit in the middle. Convenient enough to catch you elbow when you're not looking.

I'd like the door to stay put wherever we leave it.

I've heard idea such as slipping cardboard in to the hinge to rebalance the door, etc. but no guidelines as to the thickness of that cardboard, or which hinge to change to move it in which direction.

I would hope you can appreciate how I'd rather not make this a task of trial and error and continually removing the hinge and putting it back on, etc.

I've also heard something about lightly bending one of the hinge pins, but not sure how I should go about that, or "how much" to bend it.

So, I'm looking for some tips on how to fix this (and other) door.

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 How far out of plumb is the door frame and how much space do you have between the door and the frame on the side opposite of the hinges? The easy solution is a magnetic doorstop, and the proper solution is to rehang the door, but there is some work you can do with the hinges. – BMitch♦ Oct 24 '11 at 10:57 I assume the reason to bend the hinge pin is to cause friction. If that's the case, you need to bend it so it'll rub, but not so much that the door won't move or you can't get the pin back in. (ie, trial and error, most likely) – Joe Oct 24 '11 at 20:12

The door isn't plumb - which means either the frame or the hinges aren't set perfectly perpendicular to gravity.

There isn't a magic formula to answer your question because the answer depends on how badly the door was hung. Ie: How badly out of plumb is it? Is it at least square? Etc.

The best solution is to re-hang the door. Fiddling with the hinges will be a trial and error process and likely won't work unless you actually reposition the hinges to compensate for the non-plumb door, and that means drilling holes right by other holes which is nearly impossible to get right.

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Sound as if the door only moderately moves, I typically remove either the top or bottom pin, place it on a flat hard surface, like concrete, whack it with a hammer once or twice, reinsert and door no longer moves.

Easier than rehanging a door, for sure.

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 Upvoted back to zero - This is not such a bad thing to try - it's quick, easy, and doesn't hurt anything. – dbracey Aug 21 '12 at 0:23 Heck of a lot less work than re-hanging a door if all you want is to stop the door from swinging open/closed on its own. Done this several times... – Peter Ritchie Aug 21 '12 at 3:19

It's pretty intuitive once you catch the vision for why the door is coming to rest where it is. So think of it this way: Imagine your door is hanging from a vertical pole. (as in the hinges are screwed into something like a light pole) If the door always comes to rest in a certain spot, it's because that pole is leaning toward that spot. To correct that, you would remove the lean and make the pole plumb. (perfectly vertical)

So in your case, you wish to adjust the placement of the hinges in such a way as to "remove the lean from that pole." So either the top hinge needs to go towards the jamb and slightly inward, (making the hinge mortise deeper) or the lower hinge needs to move away from the jamb and slightly outward. (putting a shim between the mortise and the hinge) Or some combination of the two.

Since cutting the mortise deeper is way harder than the shimming, I'd try a bit of a shim behind the lower hinge and see if it helps. Perhaps 2 or 3 thicknesses of cardboard from a cereal box? Of course you're limited to how much shimming you can do before the door strikes the opposite or top jamb, but that's the general approach that you'll need...

Hope it helps.

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