Sagging door

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Forum topic by BJODay posted 09-12-2014 02:36 AM 1211 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BJODay's profile


526 posts in 1937 days

09-12-2014 02:36 AM

Hey all,

Some years ago we replaced the doors in our home. I regrettably purchased pre-hung doors.

Most are okay. Three are sagging. They lean down from the hinge side. The clearance at the bottom hinge is 1/8”. The clearance at the top hinge is > 5/16”. So the top corner of the door rubs on the latch side. I have planed this edge, but this was a temporary fix. The hinge screws go through the jamb and into the shoulder stud. So the screws are not pulling out. The jamb is not splitting.

I am wondering if the hinges themselves have deformed slightly. Does this make sense? Am I spitting in the wind. I am thinking about removing the jamb hinge and placing it in a vise and bending the tabs to pull the door closer to the hinge side.

Can anybody give me some feedback on this. It is quite frustrating and I’m hoping for a viable fix.


10 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8187 posts in 2571 days

#1 posted 09-12-2014 03:04 AM

The hinges sound like they’re worn.

When the door’s open take a cats paw and put it on the floor and
toggle the door about, if it has a lot of play I’d suggest changing the hinges.

Good luck now.

View mxb236's profile


1 post in 1347 days

#2 posted 09-12-2014 03:28 AM

Is there play in the hinge going into the door itself?
How far are the screws going into the king stud from the jamb side?

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3335 days

#3 posted 09-12-2014 03:43 AM

waho has a good check for the hinges

simple first trick – cardboard shims

at the bottom hinger
loosen and insert a strip of cardboard
(like cereal box thickness)
in the front of the screws
either jamb or door or both
it will move the door over away from the jamb slightly
how much shim you do is determined by the movement as you go
(i have done 1 , 2 , and 3 (folded)

at the top hinge put the hinge behind the screws
they will make the door move closer to the jamb
(until the hinge leaves touch at the back
then they are ‘bound’ and can’t move anymore)

the combo (or whatever variation of this)
will move the bottom of the door over
and the top back to the jamb
the door face top edge will rise back into place

you just need to keep the shims front or back
(like 1/4” to 3/8” wide)
or the hinge leaf’s will just move the whole thing over
the idea is to ‘twist’ the hinge pin
to bring it closer or further from the jamb

the middle hinge will sometimes be ok
or might want some but not as many shims
you will know when you work it

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2262 days

#4 posted 09-12-2014 03:44 AM

what are the doors made of?

View jerryminer's profile


923 posts in 1435 days

#5 posted 09-12-2014 06:09 AM

Hi BJ—-I’m an ex-finish carpenter and have dealt with about every door problem there is.

First, examine a couple of things: Are the screws tight? If you open the door a couple of inches and lift up on the knob, do you see lateral movement at the top hinge? Longer screws might help, but on a hollow-core door, there is not much purchase for the hinge screws in the door leaf. You may need to give them some purchase (glue in some wood matchsticks or something)

Try a long (like 3”) screw into the jamb at or near the top hinge (if the jamb itself has moved)

Yes, you can bend the hinge knuckles (often done “in situ” with a small Crescent wrench—-but be careful not to strip out the screws)—-often the cheapest and easiest fix.

Or, you can mortise the top hinge a little deeper (paper shimming the back edge leads to hinge binding pretty quickly. Usually better to deepen the mortise, IMHO)

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View frosty50's profile


46 posts in 2341 days

#6 posted 09-12-2014 03:07 PM

door is hitting the jam at the top on the latch side of the door. Easiest thing is to take a 3 or 3 1/2” screw and pull the jam back against the shims between the frame and studs. If that does not help, remove the hinge and put it in a vise or lay it flat on floor and beat the hinges back together (the 2 sections of the hinge should lay flat against each other). If the 2 thing above don’t fix the problem, remove the door and fill the screw holes in the upper hinge with match stick, golf tees or like material, wait a couple of hours and re-hang the door. The problem is typical on doors, even if they are hollow core. I normally put a long screw in the hole of the hinge closet to the center of the on the jam. I’ve hung or repaired thousands of doors this way, and it 99% of the time in works. Don’t rush if you have to plug the holes on the door, get the glue time to set up properly. Be careful not to crack the wood in the poor, trim the plug to fit snuggly.

-- frosty

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2952 days

#7 posted 09-12-2014 03:34 PM

Frustration can lead to short-sighted repairs that can be more of work than repair. No offense intended, of course. I find that in situation such as this I will back off and start all over. Check every aspect of the door frame first, floor level included, as without it being correct the door will never fit correctly. Then take and remeasure your door. If it is square, then you should easily enough be able to refit it. Hinges can fail, but that can be seen easily enough when the door is off. Take a breath, have a cup of whatever you like, and just give it another go with a clear mind. You’ll get it fixed.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View BJODay's profile


526 posts in 1937 days

#8 posted 09-12-2014 04:51 PM

Thanks for the responses. Lots of good ideas to check and try.

These are 6 panel solid core doors but they are oak veneer over a particle core. I tried shimming under the bottom hinge of the worst door without much improvement. I will look to see if anything has loosened up.

Tomorrow is Saturday. I’ll work on one door until I can solve the problem. I’ll check plum and squareness on both jamb and door. Then I’ll do the same to the other two.

I’ll post if I find a solution.


View BJODay's profile


526 posts in 1937 days

#9 posted 09-13-2014 06:58 PM


I thought I had used longer screws on these doors but I was mistaken. I used them on doors that aren’t sagging.

When I replaced the short 3/4” screws with 2” screws to reach the stud they pulled the doors very slightly. They are not perfect but they no longer rub. I also shimmed the lower hinge on 2 doors. While working on this I noticed one jamb had split. So the screws were snug, but not tight.

Patron: I didn’t have to do any fancy shimming, just flat. But thanks for the tip. It may come in handy one day.


View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1313 posts in 1929 days

#10 posted 09-13-2014 07:02 PM

Glad you figured it out. We used to shim huge hollow metal doors at the hospital with pieces of paper. Crazy, but it worked

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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