I had a contractor come in and finish my basement. He done a decent job for the price but now a couple months later my doors wont shut. They worked perfectly fine before but now it seems the top part it getting caught on the trim. My first thought was to sand the top portion so it will close but not sure if that would be a long term fix. It seems to be about 1/8 inch off at the top. There are two doors like this.

I tried to take the door off and put it back on thinking it may not have been set correctly.

  • 2
    Has the humidity level increased in the basement? – Tester101 Jul 2 '14 at 15:10
  • How much clearance is bellow the door? – Handy Man Jul 2 '14 at 16:03
  • pretty decent amount of clearance on the bottom. Its the top right portion that hits the trim – chadpeppers Jul 2 '14 at 17:02

I would bet the doors were dryer than they are now. Most basements are more humid than the rest of a typical home, especially in the summer. In the winter they will shrink again, but it will be needed to trim a little here and there to get them to work in the summer.

  • Do you suggest I just sand the portion down thats hitting the trim? – chadpeppers Jul 2 '14 at 17:03
  • 1
    Yes if that is what you have to work with, but if it is hitting the trim and not the jamb, it will take a lot more than sanding to get it down where it will close properly. I scribe the door at the jamb, remove the door and hand plane the top. It will take much less time than sanding, lots cleaner too, IF you have a sharp plane. If the door is too far out, it may be best to remove and reset the door. Do you know if it is a split jamb? – Jack Jul 2 '14 at 17:10

I had two doors that would stick, a hand plane was much more effective then sanding.
If you do not have one buy an Empire Pocket plane, they are around 10 dollars and just as effective.

  • A plane may not work well on some hollow core doors. – Tester101 Jul 2 '14 at 16:26

Your doors will fluctuate and if your contractor made them snug then during the summer they will need to be "adjusted". Just installed two doors in my basement snug this past winter knowing they would stick. They are currently sticking - barely close. So I will pull them off hinges and hit them with a belt sander on the non-hinge side.


Painting the doors probably would've helped. Moisture penetrated through the unpainted top of the door and bottom.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.