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I'm trying to figure out how to fix the alignment of my front door. Sorry if I get the terminology horribly wrong, but here goes.

Three of the four corners of the door line up almost perfectly, but the top corner on the strikeplate side of the door sticks out (into the house) by about half a centimeter. The spacing between the door and the jamb is roughly equal all around (so it closes nicely), yet this one corner sticks out far enough to look funny and to prevent the weather stripping from making contact, leading to a noticeable draft. I'm not really sure what other information would be useful, so I'm just attaching some pictures in hopes that somebody can either identify what adjustments are needed, or tell me what further information I can provide to facilitate a diagnosis.

These images show the problem area: strikeplate side, top whole top

  • was the door "Flat" to start with? – Trevor_G Jul 1 '17 at 17:45
  • The house is 20 years old, and we've lived in it for about 2.5 years. Since we moved in, the door always stuck out in that one corner. It used to be crooked and rubbed in the top corner, so I stuck a shim behind the bottom hinge and some longer screws in the top hinge, which make it close nicely. But that top corner still sticks out. I had some extra weather stripping as a make-shift way to seal the gap, but I took it out because we were painting the door, which made me realize how poorly it sits. – zappa Jul 3 '17 at 2:27
  • The door is not visibly warped. I noticed today that if you just push it closed hard (and hold it in place), it sits nicely. I am wondering if just moving the strike plate back half a cm would be enough to make it seal nicely? – zappa Jul 3 '17 at 2:29
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If three corners match but the fourth is off like you describe then it means that either the door jamb is not a vertical flat plane of that the door itself is warped. It is most likely to be the door because presumably at one time the installation of the door frame/jamb and the door matched up.

The most normal fix for a warped door like this is to replace it with a new one. And if you are going into that level of work it is totally a good idea to carefully evaluate if the door jamb should be replaced at the same time. Sometimes a new door will fit and work better with a new jamb because the opening can be cleared out all way to the rough opening framing. Then the new jamb can be properly plumbed, checked for square and shimmed on installation.

If an old door is a particularly unique period piece that you would like to try to preserve it may be that it could be worked on to eliminate warpage. This can be labor intensive and end in no hope for recovery if the wood of the door styles is already twisted. On the other hand an antique door may have come apart in the joints and allow the door parts to move around. In this case it may be possible to strip the whole thing back to bare wood and see if it is possible to re-glue the joints. Sometimes this can also be achieved by attaching surface mounted brass plates on both sides of the door at the bottom or top.

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