I have a few doors in my house that tend to stick when you try to open them. A few of these I was able to fix by tightening loose screws or repairing stripped screw-holes, which got the hinge plates to sit flush against the frame.

However, there are still a few doors that stick. I've noticed all of them have a larger gap on the hinge side than the latch side, as seen in the photo below:

(Click for larger image)

In all cases, I have confirmed that the hinge plates are flush and properly secured to the frame and the door. I have also noticed there is space between the hinge plates.

How do I go about fixing this?

  • 1
    It depends on where it sticks. Top? Bottom? only one side of top or bottom? along the latch edge? Top or bottom of that side? How tight?
    – bib
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 10:41
  • The hinge plates are fine. Go look at ones that don't stick.
    – hortstu
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 16:37
  • It sticks on the latch side, about 1/3 of the way down from the top.
    – tghw
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 17:02

3 Answers 3


Short of reframing the door, I'd suggest taking a belt sander to the side of the door that sticks.

  • Is there no way to adjust the hinges to take some of the space from the hinge side for the latch side?
    – tghw
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 4:29
  • @tghw with the door closed, do the plates of the hinges contact each other? If so, no, there's nothing you can do on the hinge side. If they don't meet, then it sounds like they may be bent. You could replace all the hinges--though that'd likely be more work than just hitting the sticky part with the sander.
    – DA01
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 4:33
  • Sorry, I should have added that. The plates of the hinges do not touch.
    – tghw
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 6:16
  • Sounds like they are bad hinges/bent? Can you take a photo of a close-up of a hinge? I still think sanding is the easier/cheaper option, but maybe you can swap out the hinges.
    – DA01
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 6:17
  • Added hinge photos.
    – tghw
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 7:02

Close the door but don't force it. mark where it contacts the jamb. Use the electric planer or sander to take it down to where you think it will close nicely. Repeat until you have it closing nicely with an even reveal all the way around. Then paint the door. Good as new.

sanding block or hand planer will work but will be much more labor intensive. I imagine you might be able to find a video on youtube on this.


If there is a gap on the hinge side and tightening the hinge screws does not close the gap, then swap one of the hinge screws for a longer construction screw. The construction screw will be long enough to grab the 2x4 behind the frame of the door and will close the gap. Just be slow to tighten it just enough to fix the door and not pull the door frame apart.

I recommend trying before using a planer.

The door fit at one time, so it should not need to be made smaller.

  • Houses twist over time, and things that fit well initially may not after settling -- or simply after humodity changes.
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 4:25
  • This is also a great answer and should probably be one of the first trys because it's the least amount of work.
    – hortstu
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 9:04

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