Loose Door Jamb/Door Frame

kim64November 2, 2008

Our exterior door jamb (??) door frame is loose. The entire frame along with the threshold moves every time the door is closed. How can this be repaired? It gets worse and worse every time the door is closed...(And my kids go in and out alot and tend to slam it).

THANKS in advance for any advice!

Kim

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lucy

Do you know how it is now fastened on - with nails, screws, glue, what? If it is any of those, it probably just needs retightening, if not, you need to find someone who can tell you about it by looking, unless you can afford to just get rid of it and get a new one put on, but be careful who you choose to do it as it needs to fit precisely, especially in winter.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 6:30PM
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kim64

Thanks for your reply. My husband stripped all of the old caulk off and it appears that is all that is holding it in across the threshold. Is that possible? We dont see any screws or nails along the bottom. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:30PM
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joed

Take the trim off.
Insert some shims between the frame and the stud.
Drive some long screws through the frame, the shims and into the studs.If you di it right behind thehinge you can replace one or two of the hinge screws with longer ones and no will notice any extra screws.
Do it on both sides of the door, not the top.
Replace the trim.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:43PM
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justnigel

joed might be right, but I have to ask first: is the hinge side of the door against a sidelight (window)? If it is, you need to be careful.

If it isn't, and you want to try something less obtrusive than pulling off your trim, replace one screw per hinge with a 3" long screw. (Preferably the hole that's closest to the center of the wall.) Do the same with the lock-side strike. You may still have to pull your trim and shim (as above), but there's a good chance this might work.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:05PM
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shadetree_bob

It is entirely possible, practically guaranteed as a matter of fact, that the threshold is not screwed or nailed. Normally the installer will put a couple of large beads of calk across the bottom and set the threshold in that and screw/nail the sides. also nothing in the top except trim nails.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 11:26PM
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joed

The threshold is normally only connected to the frame. If the frame is moving then of course the threshold will be moving.

If you don't use shims you could distort the frame by installing screws.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 8:12AM
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kim64

Thanks to you all for your suggestions.

And yes, justnigel, the hinge side of the door is against a sidelight. It seems the entire thing (door and sidelights on either side) is all one piece...so I am thinking longer screws might not work. It seems the outer casing (not sure of the correct term) of the sidelight is what needs to be anchored better to the wall...but there is no where to anchor it without removing trim, etc...

Any suggestions??

Thanks again for all of the help!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 9:42AM
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joed

Remove the trim. Investigate and re-anchor the door/sidelight unit. It sounds like what ever anchors were in there before have rusted or broken or were never installed properly.
Removing the trim is not that difficult. If it was painted cut the seams with sharp knife first. Use a putty knife and a flat bar to get behind it and pry it very carefully off. You only need the side trims off not the top.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 2:09PM
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justnigel

Hmmm, I could've sworn that I already acknowledged joed's correction, but either the computer ate it or I dreamed it.

Anyway, joed noted that screwing through hinges (or anywhere in the door/window frame, for that matter) that don't have shims behind them could distort the frame, and he's absolutely right. In a perfect world, there are shims behind each hinge, but there's no guarantee.

In this particular case, if the join between the door and the sidelight is loose, you want to keep screws short enough to miss your sidelight in case you hit the glass or puncture the sealed unit.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 7:57AM
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