I recently remodeled my bathroom and my father-in-law helped me install a new door to the bedroom. At the time it was installed the door would open and shut perfectly. But now that the wall and trim have been finished the door is now binding on the latch side of the frame and I have to apply quite a bit of force to it to get it to open and shut. It seems that the opening for the door has become narrower through the process of installing sheetrock and trim. Is there any solutions to adjust the door frame permanently without romoving the sheetrock or cutting the door?

  • @isherwood, I added some more detail. I'll get a picture added tonight when I get home.
    – Preston S
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 15:16
  • If it's just a matter of the casing having pushed the jamb over, Try tapping on the jamb with a hammer using a wood block as a pad.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


Very often the change of seasons and corresponding temperature and humidity changes result in the house and woodworking moving around.

The usual fix is to inspect the door frame and door hinges to see of they are secure and installed correctly. If all appears to be in order then the next step is to study the door itself and see just where the binding is and how much. Mark the binding locations with some of the colorful type of painters tape and then demount the door via the hinge pin removal.

The binding areas are normally handled by taking material off the door via sanding, planing or even trimming with a saw. (Note that this applies for wood material type doors - not steel jacketed doors).

Next is to re-hang the door in the frame and test for fit. Sometimes it will be necessary to make several iterations of trimming the door to get the correct fit. The final fitting should be followed up with a fine sanding to get a finish surface.

The final step is to re-finish the parts of the door where the trimming occurred. This may be a primer/paint job or possibly a stain/finish job depending on how the original finish was applied.

  • Thanks for the answer. Do you think there would be any benefit to trying to "spread" the frame and add additional fasteners by using a reversed trigger clamp before I resort to trimming the door itself?
    – Preston S
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 15:34
  • @PrestonS - I cannot comment about your specific case because I cannot see it. If the door jamb is properly installed it will be plumb on the sides and square to the top on both upper corners. The side rails of the jamb would also be nice and straight and solidly mounted to the underlying framing. If you find the door frame does not meet these criteria then it may be wise to look into correcting those problems before attempting to trim the door,
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 16:44
  • I resolved my problem by removing the trim from the latch side and prying out the shims that were in the area where the door was binding. Either expansion or shifting caused them to shim the frame too much. Replaced the trim and the door closes fine now.
    – Preston S
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 21:40

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