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Someone used a pry bar to remove the lower trim of my front door, and accidentally pushed one side of the sill towards the house by inches, but the other side seems okay. The door is now very difficult to close due to the deformation, and there’s a large gap on the top portion even closed. There's another photo showing the back side of the door.

Is the door worth a repair? If yes, how to repair it? I can probably push the sill back, but what else shall I do? How to fix the moved sill back to the vertical jamb and panel again? Will the safety of the door be compromised significantly?

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  • Moving it back should fix it. The problem is why it was so easy to move in the first place, trim should not need that much force to remove. You might be dealing with wood rot. There is nothing left to anchor it.
    – crip659
    Aug 12, 2023 at 23:11
  • @crip659 It's not exactly a trim, as it's about 1.5" thick. It's nailed with the rim joist to support the door together with the subfloor, but the front side is painted as a trim. Please correct me if I used the wrong term.
    – bobby_yan
    Aug 13, 2023 at 0:44
  • It depends more on the use. 1.5 usually is used as a support/structural member, but can be a thick trim piece. Trim pieces usually to hide or decorate spaces, make it look good.
    – crip659
    Aug 13, 2023 at 9:16

1 Answer 1

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As mentioned in the comment there is most like wood rot involved with the problem. Moving it back should be only a temporary fix whether it be weeks months or years, sooner the better.

When moving it back, or better yet, before it is moved back, protect the concrete form the excess of sealant you should run under the sill so when the threshold is slid back, some should get between the subfloor and the threshold (sill). When doors are set in place, the sill is bedded in caulk or sealant of some sort to bond the sill to the subfloor and prevent drafts and driving weather from getting past. It seems there wasn't any sealant in place or it broke free to allow the sill to move.

The other reason it needs to be replaced, is when the jamb is assembled at the manufacturer, usually, the sills are secured to the bottoms of the jambs, typically with screws. I have never seen a jamb not screwed to the jamb. Either the screws rusted completely or the bottom of the jamb has rotted enough to allow the sill to move. On top of that, if the jamb bottom has decayed, it could mean that the subfloor may have a bit of rot too.

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  • As I checked, there was some caulking under the sill, and I added some photo to show that. I will re-caulk it before replacing the trim piece. As one may notice, the sill doesn't sit on the concrete stoop directly, and there was the thick trim piece in between. I also added some closeups of the sill. Shall I replace the door instead of repair it? If not right now, how soon shall I replace it?
    – bobby_yan
    Aug 13, 2023 at 14:27
  • If when resetting the sill, and the door once again acts as it should, I would replace it at your earliest convenience. It will cost a lot. so if it takes a month or so to get to it, so be it, I would not wait another year.. Just a curious observation, the sill looks like it moved onto the finished floor? Usually the sills are set to the subfloor and the finished floor goes up to or near the sill, not under it. Your extra pictures look promising. The one with the notation about the easy screw, still looks a little compromised.
    – Jack
    Aug 13, 2023 at 15:05
  • I'm also curious about that part, I think an extra piece of plywood was put against the finished floor under the sill, as one may find two layers of plywood under the sill from outside of the door, while subfloor usually consists of one layer only. Any problem can be caused by this?
    – bobby_yan
    Aug 13, 2023 at 15:40
  • Not really, it is just an observation. It is one more layer that needs to be sealed from the weather. The apron that was removed to expose that under the door needs to be replaced. if you want it to last as long as possible. All chances of water intrusion must be stopped to keep the rot at bay. That means sealing up the exposed framing from moisture BEFORE applying the new trim piece. It can be as minimal as a coat of paint with the edges caulked around the perimeter where it meets other outside finishes, or better yet, "peel and stick" membrane waterproofing with the edges caulked
    – Jack
    Aug 13, 2023 at 19:28
  • I understand that membrane should be used on the vertical plane (plywood and rim joist) facing the observer under the sill, but wonder if it should also be stuck on the horizontal plane under the sill, or extended to the gap between the house and the stoop as shown in photo 2. The gap is filled with dirt, but is solid underneath.
    – bobby_yan
    Aug 13, 2023 at 22:03

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