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We moved into a house with a custom wooden door and surrounding frame, the door is very heavy and has four hinges.

The door won't close properly unless I lift it up and on hot days this doesn't work.

Observations:

  • The hinge side gap is symmetrical top to bottom
  • The top gap is ~3/16th lower on the lock side
  • The door does not rub on the floor or the frame
  • None of the hinges seem sunken or loose from the frame
  • Both strike plates are ~2/16-3/16th higher than the lock

Things I've tried:

  • Hand tightening all of the hinge screws
  • Replacing a screw with a 3" in the top hinge
  • Bending the leaves on the top two hinges

What should I try next?

  1. Moving the strike plates down
  2. Adding shims to the two bottom hinges

#1 seems easier but the door will still sag and it will leave a visible cut out in the frame

Any other ideas?

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  • Did you tighten hinge screws in the door and in the jamb both?
    – Willk
    Oct 18 '20 at 23:33
  • Yup, hand tightened on both sides.
    – nickls
    Oct 19 '20 at 1:53
  • 1
    It seems like you know what you're doing and can decide on your own which fix you want to make. Personally, I owned a house with a lot of screwed up door lock-sets. I fixed them all by adjusting the strikes and lock setups. I didn't want to get into repeatedly backing screws out of the hinges trying to re-hang the doors to plumb in a 70-year-old house where the frames weren't perfectly plumb anymore. I'm sure someone who does it routinely could've gotten it right, but I was not confident in my ability to make the adjustments for decades of settling by myself. Oct 19 '20 at 13:18
  • Sounds like a poor jamb set to begin with. Have you checked plumb and level?
    – isherwood
    Oct 20 '20 at 21:17
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How old is the house? If a newer home, uneven shrinkage in the floor framing may be the culprit. It seem rather than rehanging the door it may be best just to grind the hole in the strike lower rather than having a notch show where the strike is lowered. If you don't like the gap at the top, then resetting the jamb is the way to go, other than raising the door on the hinges and trimming the top.

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Try hinges again?

A heavy door with 4 hinges makes me think the makers of that door anticipated sag might be a problem. When my doors sagged I had to make the holes stronger and the screws longer.

You could try fortifying the screw holes on the jamb with toothpicks (short term fix) or those tap in plastic things (long term fix) and then using longer screws.

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I would use a metal file on the bottom edges of the strike plates, and a wood chisel as needed on the pocket.

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