I have a closet door frame that is off - specifically it is not the same width all the way across at different heights. I’d like to know what might be causing it, everything from benign to concerning.

Here are the widths at different heights: Bottom - 29 3/16” Middle - 29 1/8” Top: 28 15/16”

Should I expect that the widths be the same all the way? What could the inconsistent widths indicate?

In the picture, you can also see clearly notice the gap between the door and frame also varies. On the hinge side, the gap is wide towards the middle top, but almost non-existent at the bottom.

picture of door

  • If the door opens and closes easy, it is just looks.
    – crip659
    Mar 2 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


Simple. The door frame was not installed with the proper shimming to ensure a uniform gap. The door casing can be removed and the door frame shimmed to fix this issue. However only you can determine if the work is worth the result.


The gap on the left side isn't consistently tapered, but with it being tight at the bottom, and the gap is larger on the right, that gives room to shim the hinges at the jamb. Add 2 pieces of cardboard like shoe boxes are made of or cereal boxes. It only needs to be at the hinge pin side of the hinge. Cut a 3 1/4" length about 1/4" wide and loosen the hinge enough to insert it between the jamb and hinge. Do the same with the middle hinge, but use only one layer.

While doing this, keep the screws a little loose on the 2 lower hinges to make room ot insert the cardboard. After both hinges are shimmed, snug al screws back up.

  • The casing on the left also appears to have a slight wiggle. Hard to tell from a pic though—OP might have to get a straight edge on it or something.
    – Huesmann
    Mar 3 at 14:27
  • Good observation, but all that really won't matter. The bottom line is, the gap is tapered at each side to allow the door the be shifted in the opening by shimming the hinges as I suggest. It will open up the tight side and tighten the side that is too big
    – Jack
    Mar 4 at 3:31
  • True. I'd argue, though, that unless there's a problem with the door opening or closing (interference), that shimming is kinda a waste of time. Unless it's just an OCD problem.
    – Huesmann
    Mar 4 at 13:08
  • That's my thought too. There is no mention of the door sticking , just the irregular gap. Shimming the gap is the simplest way to fix the gap, a 1/2 hour spent, no trim pulling and repainting. If it were me, and I am a little, (maybe a lot) OCD, would correct the gaps by shimming. Doing so would make the wavy jamb on the left not so noticeable..... maybe.
    – Jack
    Mar 4 at 16:20

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