I just finished fixing my door to my garage, which would not latch because the door had sagged. The final remedy was to drill the holes in the hinges deeper and put 2" long screws into the frame to pull the door level.

Why do we rely on little tiny 1/2" screws that strip at the lightest insult? Why don't we just start by attaching the door right into the frame and forget about all of this saggy door stuff?

2 Answers 2


Properly installed, at least some of the screws should go thru frame and into studs. The short screws are mostly there to keep everything aligned while a pre-hung door-and-frame set is assembled and shipped. Once it has been hung and shimmed properly, those screws can be replaced with better ones... but aren't always.

  • 5
    Agreed, typically when it is done, at least one screw is removed and replaced with a 2 1/2" long screw of the same finish. The screw closet to the door stop is the one swapped out. The others are too close to the edge of the framing to go into driving it straight in. It can be gotten by driving it at an angle but the screw head may give the hinge trouble closing properly from hinge bind.
    – Jack
    Dec 24, 2015 at 23:01

Rough door openings, the frame into which the door jamb fits—the jamb being the part that the hinges screw into—are usually neither plumbed (i.e., made perfectly vertical)nor squared very precisely. It’s the nature of rough capentry, by which I mean all the wood that makes up the structure of a house and that lies behind the finished surfaces, to be, well, rough. Not terribly precise. It’s the job of finish carpenters to focus on details such as final plumbing and squaring, and they’re the ones who put in the door jambs to which the hinges get attached. And they should be trying to make the openings as plumb and square as possible so that things like doors operate with ease. So the finish carpenters fine-tune the door openings, thereby covering up the rough structure underneath and it is they who screw the hinges onto the wood that nicely finishes the opening.

This way of building has its roots at least partly in the assembly-line style of home construction that arose in this country, wherein a successive groups of workers come in to execute various phases of the building project. Finish carpenters are among the last of the groups on the job site. So that’s why, I think, those half inch screws get used.

Your door is probably a heavy, solid core door—as most exterior doors are. Also, likely rather than making your door “level,” you just made it fit the opening better by adding new screws that bite into the framing. Perhaps your door jamb was warped and/or poorly attached to the door frame underneath. Sounds like the crew that hung this door may have been cutting some corners

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