interior door not closing properly

jimyyzAugust 15, 2009

before i paint it, i am trying to fix an interior door that doesn't close properly.

it seems to be the middle hinge that is causing the problem. because it wasn't flush with either the door jam or the door i removed the hinge and chiseled out a little more material. the hinge now lies flush with both, however, it did not solve the problem. the door still hits the jam when being closed and must be "forced" to close.

do i just need to move the hinge backwards away from the door or is it something else i am overlooking?


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Where is the door hitting the jam? Look at the gaps around the door,do they look even? From your question I am going to guess that its hitting in the middle of the door. If so take a long screw, install it through one of the holes in the striker plate. That should pull the jam toward the 2x4 and should eliminate the interference.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 6:33PM
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the inside edge of the door on the hinge side, presses against the small 1.25" strip of wood/moulding that sits right in middle of the jam. normally the door would sit just behind the middle moulding but not really touch it.

i tried extra long screws but they wouldn't grip into the wood for some reason.

i ended up loosening the hinge screws for all 3 hinges on the jam side and moving all of them slightly back, away from the jam. it seemed to help. the door no longer hits when closing.

thanks for the help

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 1:35PM
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That strip is attached to the Jam so it could be removed reset for clearance and caulked. You can also sand the edge to remove some material.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 8:05AM
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Before fooling with the hinges, it would be good to check with a long (6'-7') straight edge to see if the jam is really straight from top to bottom. Incorrect adjustment of the hinges can result in loosening of the screws over time or other problems if you don't know exactly what you are doing. A problem in the middle of the door will not usually be corrected by setting in the middle hinge further because the door is too rigid to bend in the middle. I don't know what you did exactly, but this problem may recur.

Re-setting hinges may be the solution, but often they are ok, even if they are not all set flush due to variations in the jam or door on the hinge side. Seasonal conditions can cause a door to swell a little and bind, and often the best solution is to plane a little wood off the edge of the door where it's sticking. Keep in mind that properly installed doors are typically already planed so that the edge that first meets the jam is beveled in a little so that it clears, and the back edge is a little wider so the gap does not look too big when the door is closed.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 12:54PM
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A followup on the screws not holding. The rough door opening should be an inch wider than the finished door size. That means that a gap of
1/2 gap should be between the jam and the 2x4 on each side once the door is installed. Most likely that jap is much larger. Not a major issue with the type of problem you have. The jam is approximately 3/4 of an inch and the gap is 1/2 so the screw has to be at least 2/1/2 inchs long.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 7:25AM
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