I've got a patio door was installed 20 years ago, and in that time the house has settled strangely and the door is no longer situated correctly in its frame. The right-hand side is fixed, left-hand side is hinged. There are no obvious screws, nails, or adjustments on the right-hand side. How do I adjust this door? I thought about shimming the bottom hinge (and to a lesser extent the middle hinge) but I don't have a lot of clearance on the left side.

Overall look at the door

Looking at top edge

Close-up of top left corner

Is there any way to move the right-hand (fixed) door? It seems like if it was more level, the left-hand (swinging) door would be much closer to the correct location

Left edge of right-hand door

  • 1
    You don't really show the fixed panel's right edge. By your commentary it sounds like there's a corresponding gap between the fixed panel and door casing at the right. If so, then a picture would be helpful.
    – popham
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 23:22

1 Answer 1


You're between a rock and a hard place on this.

I have a similar, but much more long-lived issue on a bathroom door where one corner of the house has sunk over time [well over a century].

You have a choice to plane the top left side of the door [as we see it in the picture] just to clear the frame or the top right side to correct the hinges & level up the top.
Shimming the bottom right won't really work so well, as then both top & bottom of the left side will start to wedge on the frame. Planing the top right will correct the widening gap at the top - up to a point. If it keeps moving you can keep doing this until you start to be able to see light at the bottom left of the frame.

Depending on whether the frame is out of plumb or the top out of level might influence your decision. If the top is out of level, you could shift the architrave a little to try visually balance it up.

On my own door, it had already been re-jigged so many times by previous occupants that correcting the top was no longer an option, so I continue to plane underneath to keep it clear of the floor, as the uprights are still plumb, just now different heights… leaving this…

enter image description here

The slight apparent curve in the top architrave is actually caused by the wide lens I'm using. It's actually straight, just miles out of level.

  • In my case, since I've got the right-hand (fixed) door, is there any way to adjust it? I feel like if I could do that, the left-hand (swinging) door would be mostly in the right place. (Added EDIT) Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 20:17
  • I didn't realise the right-hand door was fixed, I'd assumed it was a bifold, but really either way your issue is that the doors as a pair are drooping in the frame. The fix, really, is to start from the top of the right hand door & swing them upwards, as a pair. From what I can see, the fault isn't at the hinge between the two.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 8:40
  • I agree, the problem isn't with the hinge between the doors, it's just that's the only obvious place to make an alteration. I don't know how these doors are assembled, do you know how I can make a change to the right-hand door? The right-hand door doesn't have any obvious nails/screws/adjustments Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 15:29
  • I can't see enough detail to make any other suggestion - unless the right door also has a slight gap at the bottom you might be able to wedge. Risky, though, danger of cracking the pane.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 15:31

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