My exterior door is sagging slightly and won't close as tight as it should. To fix this, I want to tighten the door hinge. Problem is, the screws are as tight as they can get. I can't tighten it any further. Any ideas how to fix?

  • 1
    The top of the jamb (what the hinges screw into) may be pulling away from the frame. Before doing anything make sure you have correctly diagnosed the problem. There is no undo in carpentry! Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 5:39
  • 2
    As you may have noted, the comment (above) and answers below are making some assumptions and guesses about how to solve the issue. If you were to provide clear, well lit, focused pictures (over all of the door, then some details of the hinge(s) in question), it would help us eliminate guessing and provide you a more accurate answer.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 13:21

3 Answers 3


TL;DR Use Bigger Screws

You can use longer screws, if the frame is deep enough for them, or thicker screws, or screws that are both longer and thicker. Take out one screw and, if you don't have a good collection already, take it to a hardware store to find appropriate, bigger, replacements.

There is also the old toothpick trick - stuff a bunch of toothpicks in the existing holes, with some glue to help them stay put. After the glue dries, chop off the ends so that the surface is level with the frame. Then put the screws back in.

There is also the possibility that the frame is rotting or otherwise simply incapable of holding any screw very well. But unless that's the case, longer or thicker screws should do the job.


Depending on exactly how the door has shifted and what the clearances are in the frame, you can shim the bottom hinge to pick the door up if the top hinge is fully tight.


This problem is all too common and is usually caused by the top hinge actually bending.

The temporary solution is to remove that top pin and bend the hinge back.

A better solution is to replace the hinge or all hinges with one made of stronger metal.

The best solution is to convert to a 4-hinge door with strong hinges to begin with. It's practically irresponsible that manufacturers don't do this by default, especially for heavy exterior doors!

I recommend watching this video to properly diagnose the problem before taking the wrong action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcDj6g2UODw

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