Pre hung door problem

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Forum topic by BobD posted 02-26-2010 08:21 AM 4637 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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52 posts in 3411 days

02-26-2010 08:21 AM

Topic tags/keywords: pre hung doors

I installed 8 Masonite pre hung solid core doors. Although difficult to install (my first time), they look very good-plumb, square and consistent gap. However, one door does not want to stay in the open position. It wants to swing close. A level indicates it is plumb but it was one of the more difficult doors to install. What could be wrong and how do I fix it? Thanks in advance for your replies.

-- Bob, San Diego

15 replies so far

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3469 days

#1 posted 02-26-2010 08:36 AM

plumb both directions?

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3674 days

#2 posted 02-26-2010 09:23 AM

If the house isn’t haunted, you’ll probably have to knock it out of plumb a fuzz.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3690 days

#3 posted 02-26-2010 10:39 AM

you will find the frame is not plumb and as the rest have said fit it off plumb

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


706 posts in 3272 days

#4 posted 02-26-2010 12:02 PM

I’d venture to guess that your wall is out of plumb.

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Adam's profile


46 posts in 3152 days

#5 posted 02-26-2010 03:44 PM

If its not too bad you can put a slight bend in the hinge pins. The added friction will hold the door open. Start with one pin and see if it helps.


View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3199 days

#6 posted 02-26-2010 04:01 PM

Plumb bob time. Like everyone says its out of plumb. Either the door frame or the wall.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3479 days

#7 posted 02-26-2010 04:04 PM

I agree with Adam. You could try bending the hinge pin slightly…this might work.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 3053 days

#8 posted 02-26-2010 04:07 PM

I’ve heard statues really help, but, probably not permanent. :-)

--, Making design and application one. †

View gagewestern's profile


308 posts in 3349 days

#9 posted 02-26-2010 04:24 PM

adam is right if the trim and jamb all look good them i would use that fix . plumbing the jamb on an out of plumb wall usaly means gaps in trim somewhere which means caulking ok if painting , stain is another story.

-- gagewestern

View BobD's profile


52 posts in 3411 days

#10 posted 02-26-2010 04:56 PM

Well, here is the rest of the story. I had the door totally installed, putty in screw holes and painted. The door hung perfectly and did not close by itself. Here was the problem….when installing the door molding there was a 1/2” gap between the jamb and the molding that I could not close up without a big ugly swath of painters caulk, and the door did not close evenly with the door stop (appr. 1/2” gap at top of door, bottom of door was tight against door stop). So I cut the screws off the latch side of the frame and the top screws on the hinge side and squared the jamb in the rough opening. This helped the door molding problem and the gap between the door and the door stop, but now it wants the swing closed by itself. The door is very plumb one way (the edge side of the jamb) and slightly out the other way (the face side of the jamb).
Should I totally remove the door and jamb and start over?

-- Bob, San Diego

View RickB's profile


48 posts in 3139 days

#11 posted 02-26-2010 06:18 PM

Your problem is your opening is not square and your walls are not plumb. I know, I’ve been there. If you plumb the doors perfectly, then there are big gaps between either the casing and the jambs or the casing and the wall. Sometimes both.

So, the easiest solution is to bend a pin or two. But your hinge might squeak. If it does start to squeak and you can’t stand it, then you need to rehang the door and make everything plumb and square. There are a lot of articles available on the web as to how to hang prehung doors. It isn’t hard.

But what these articles don’t tell you is how to case out the door when the jamb faces aren’t flush with the door. What would be ideal is a jamb which is about 6 inches wide. Then , when you hang the door, you can cut and plane away anything that is proud of the face of the wall. But you don’t have that. So, what you will need to do is build up the width of the jamb to cover the gaps. You’ll need to cut strips that you have scribed. This is beyond what I can write here. Maybe try a google search on “scribing casing” and see what yo ucome up with. If you ain’t good at picturing things in 3d in your brain, scribing things to fit can appear to be black magic. But it works.

Good Luck


View JimF's profile


144 posts in 3292 days

#12 posted 02-26-2010 06:23 PM

I’m far from an expert on hanging doors, but I do own two houses with lots of doors. Look at it from the consumer side. What does the customer want. I know for me it is “plumb, level and square”. You can’t rebuild the house, but I think you should do what it takes so your part of the work is “plumb, level and sqare”.

-- Insert clever tag line here

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3674 days

#13 posted 02-26-2010 10:47 PM

Will a bent hinge pin possibly start squeaking? Then the lube to stop it lessen the friction to where the problem returns?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3272 days

#14 posted 02-26-2010 10:50 PM

if your hinges arent put on perfectly square they could cause that problem

-- M.K.

View williams's profile


53 posts in 3015 days

#15 posted 02-27-2010 06:05 AM

Self closing door can be a feature too :-) Some people buy hardware to do that.
I would worry causing more issues. If it looks good, go with it way it is and install a magnetic door stop.

-- William, Brighton, MI

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