I live in an row home and the front exterior door sticks very badly. Requires me to jam it shut and open each time. Is there any option aside from shaving down the door jamb? I’m a rookie and don’t think I can shave down the exterior door.

Pictures and video

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    Check the hinges for loose screws and/or being bent first. Most doors are checked when installed for proper working, but time will be enough for screws to come loose(easy fix) or hinges to be bent/curved out of straight shape.
    – crip659
    Sep 24, 2023 at 19:32
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    It appears that lifting the door (pulling up on the knob while closing it) would be the "less jamming" approach to closing it, given where it's binding - and fits with the usual "gravity induced sag" as the reason doors often bind that way.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 24, 2023 at 19:38
  • I would think all the weatherstriping that is on the hinge side of the jamb is forcing the door out closer the the latch side of the jamb when closing. I would remove that. The door is close to acting the way it should, it will not take much
    – Jack
    Sep 25, 2023 at 4:40
  • Tightening the screws helped a little, but did not fully solve these. I need to adjust the hinges. But the frame is too close to do that. Can I remove part of the frame to adjust the hinges? imgur.com/a/UCyveOX
    – Steve
    Oct 6, 2023 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


Start with tightening all the hinge screws, and if you find that some of the hinge screws spin, rather than tightening, remove those ones, glue in something like a few toothpicks to provide new wood to grab the screws with, and then try tightening the screws again. Or glue in a section of dowel and drill a new pilot hole, depending how badly the hole is stripped out.

Shaving down a door is not all that hard, just requires a block plane or a sanding block and some sandpaper, but it's not the first approach, since the door presumably fit before it sagged into binding. Shaving should really only be needed when first fitting the door.

  • Will give it a go, thank you. What about shaving down a metal exterior door?
    – Steve
    Sep 26, 2023 at 22:23
  • Generally not a good idea, as the metal is very thin over a non-metal core. If you had a solid metal one I suppose you could whip out a grinder, but again, if it fit in the first place, it should not need to be changed later, and it's almost always the hinges sagging.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 26, 2023 at 22:25

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