Jay's Inside Guide to Rehanging Doors

August 2, 2017

A sagging door that catches in the frame isn’t just an eyesore — it’s also hard to close, and can eventually wear down the door frame. Looking to get your door back in alignment? Here are my insider tips on how to rehang that pesky skewed door.

Identify the Problem

Before you do anything else, check to make sure the hinges are tight, as loose hinges are a common cause of sagging. Daily wear and tear can loosen the screws holding the hinges in place, especially for high-traffic doors in offices, apartment buildings, and commercial properties. We recommend using a screwdriver rather than a drill to avoid stripping the screw holes.

Assess Sagging Doors

If the door is sagging and doesn’t quite close properly, check to see where the door is rubbing against the jamb. Then, remove the center screw on the appropriate hinge (or hinges) and replace it with a predrilled 3-inch screw angled slightly toward the middle of the jamb. The goal is to draw in the hinge, thereby pulling the door and fixing any gapping.

If that still doesn’t work, try “pushing” the door into place using the shimming technique — cut out pieces of thin cardboard and stack them between the jamb and the hinge, so the hinge sticks out slightly. This video can show you how to pull this off in more detail.

Draw in the Jamb

If you can’t fix the gap by adjusting the hinges, driving a long screw through the latch side of the jamb (the door knob side) can effectively draw in the jamb and leave a little extra space around the door. You should only try this if adjusting the hinges doesn’t work, since drawing in the jamb may leave you with a large gap or holes to cover.

Tips for Commercial Doors

Entryway doors in commercial buildings and offices are particularly likely to sag, so we have some special recommendations: instead of relying on several individual hinges, consider installing a continuous or “piano” hinge, which runs the full length of the door and prevents most sagging. Problematic commercial doors may need their pivots or concealed closers replaced, or the door completely removed so the bottom can be sanded down. Call us if your commercial door needs expert help.

Other Tips for Rehanging Your Door

  • Get a helper! Riding solo when you’re rehanging a door can be inconvenient and potentially dangerous.
  • If you plan on removing the door from its hinges, remove the lock and door knob beforehand — it’s much easier to do so when the door is upright.
  • Remove pins from top to bottom, and be ready to catch the door when you remove the last pin.

— The Lockbusters Team

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