I have an exterior door that was apparently installed by unskilled monkeys. The gap between the jamb and door when it is closed goes from close to normal (1/4") at the top to large enough to see daylight in the middle (1/2") to close to normal (1/4") at the bottom. The hinge side of the door is plumb top to bottom as is the door. The only thing off is the right side jamb.

Based on some pics I saw on this site, it is a right hand in-swing (not sure if that makes a difference or not).

My idea to fix it is to remove the interior trim on the right side, prying up or unscrewing any nails or screws holding the right side of the door frame to the wall and then shimming the center section out (with flat stock so as not to cause a tilt in the jamb) so the jamb is plumb and evenly spaced from the door from top to bottom. Then, of course, reattaching it, foaming any gaps behind the jamb, reinstalling the trim and voila.

Does this sound like the right course of action? I am pretty handy, I have tools, I have never installed installed a door, but I have seen it several times on TV and once in person. Do I need to remove the outside trim on that side too?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

1 Answer 1


Your plan to fix the gap in the center of the door sounds fine. I might suggest using some shingle shims instead of flat stock however. If you want to just remove the interior trim only, that is fine also. Using the shingle shims, place the thickest end in first and by trial and error, adjust the opposing shim to a size that will snug in nicely and then by gently tapping it in next to the first shim, remove the excess gap. Put a small finish nail through the jamb and shims to prevent them from moving. Drilling a pilot hole will assure not splitting the shims with the nail in inserted. Now just trim off the excess and reinstall your trim. Job done! Good Luck

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