The following picture shows how one of my very heavy doors got "skewed" in the door opening. The numbers indicate the gaps between the door and the jambs on the sides. The door used to shut perfectly, but now, apparently as a result of the sagging, the strike of the lock no longer catches the latch.

I checked the hinges and they are super tight. In fact, nothing appears to be loose. Can you help me figure out what moved, how to prevent it from getting worse, and how to fix the damage that's already occurred.

enter image description here

Picture of the top hinge. Perhaps it's part of the problem?

enter image description here

  • 1
    It appears that hinge closer unit does not have the proper size pin, First thing to do is put the proper pin in and then check door alignment.
    – Alaska Man
    Aug 29 '20 at 18:09

Working carpenter; I live with this on a regular basis.

You need long (3") screws in the top hinge. One is adequate, two would be better. That's it. Try to use the holes further away from the hinge barrel.

The underlying reason for this is that the people that hung your door left the short screws in place. (Prehung doors are shipped like this because people would be mad if the hinges didn't have all their screws.)

Oh, and pound the hinge pin down properly on the top hinge. That isn't the root of your problem, but it doesn't help.

  • Thank you. I added a picture of the top hinge. Perhaps it's more of a problem than it appeared to be before. Also, what do you call this hinge with the spring on the outside? I can't find it anywhere online.
    – Wynne
    Aug 29 '20 at 18:05
  • And more thing: the spring action no longer works.
    – Wynne
    Aug 29 '20 at 18:08
  • Oh, since you have a sprung hinge in the middle, you shouldn't need all that stuff on the top hinge. Remove the spring and drive the pin fully. FWIW, I can't name it, except to describe it as a self-closing mechanism. Aug 29 '20 at 18:38
  • 1
    After removing the spring monstrosity from the top, you might need to get the right size hinge pin... From the look of the picture, I'm guessing that it's an undersized replacement. Aug 29 '20 at 18:39
  • We've had this with most doors in our new house. The under warranty fix here is what the trim company did -- quick, easy and effective. The repair person described the issue exactly as described in this answer.
    – Dave D
    Aug 29 '20 at 20:58

This is somewhat disturbing. A heavy door could be considered to be well constructed and as such, would not change geometry. That leaves the door frame, ostensibly attached to the wall and to the house.

It's not impossible to consider that your house has shifted. Our outside garage wall grew cracks during a period of alternating dry and wet seasons, which certainly indicated a shifting of the foundation at that side of the house.

You can measure the diagonals of the door to determine that it is square or not square and less easily, the diagonals of the door frame.

Check the timbers under that portion of the structure for rot or similar failure. Once you can find the location of the shifting, the solution should follow naturally.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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