How To Square Up A Sagging Door

Few parts of a home take as much of a beating over the years as doors. As time goes on, they naturally start to sag--until finally they end up scraping the floor each time they're opened or closed. Yet getting a door back into shape isn't as hard as most people imagine. If your home has some doors in need of attention, read on. This article will teach you how to straighten out a sagging door.

Sizing up a problem door.

The most common cause of sagging has to do with hinge screws that have come loose from the door jamb. Begin by inspecting the gap between the door (in a closed position) and the jamb. In a perfect world, this gap would be around 1/8" all the way up and down. Yet a sagging door will usually have an uneven gap--one that is greater above the door handle, and virtually non-existent below it.

Tightening up the top screws.

If you look at enough sagging doors, you'll start to notice a pattern: it's usually the screws in the top hinge that come loose. Even if you're not a door expert, you can test if this is the case by lifting the open door upward, while standing in a position that allows you to see the top hinge. If you noticed a little wobble, then it's time to tighten those screws.

Recruit a helper to hold the open door at the correct height--in other words, one that allows for an even gap between door and jamb. With your helper keeping the door in this position, mount a step ladder and use a screwdriver to tighten the screws of the top hinge. In many cases, this is all it will take to get your door squared up once more.

Troubleshooting stripped screw holes.

It would be nice it the simple solution worked in all cases, but in reality it doesn't. There's a good chance you'll find that those top screws can't be tightened, because the holes have become stripped, and are now too wide to hold the screws. Thankfully, this problem can be easily remediated with a dab of wood glue and a handful of toothpicks.

Here's what you do. First, squirt a generous amount of wood glue into the stripped holes. Then push toothpicks in as far as you can. After allowing them to dry thoroughly, trim away the protruding ends. Make small pilot holes with your drill and then install your hinge once more. You should find that the toothpick filled holes now grip the screw strongly enough to support your door.

If these tips haven't helped or your doorframes are more severely damaged, contact a company like Active Doors & Mouldings Ltd.