Fixing a Sagging Door in 3 Simple Steps

Doors can sag after they’ve been hanging for some time. Their weight causes the door jamb to twist and lose their function. Trimming the door is one way to fix this, however, before considering this option there are other solutions you can try. The common problem in most cases is that the fasteners that are supposed to hold the door in place can’t support its weight anymore. Handyman Connection of San Mateo shares three steps you can take to fix your door.


Tighten the Screws

Over the years, the screws on your hinges can work themselves loose. So if your door rubs on the top or is in contact with the floor, you can use a screwdriver to tighten them. Using a drill means you’re likely to overtighten them and strip the screw holes. If you’ve conducted an inspection and found a screw that’s already stripped, we recommend replacing it with three-inch screws. These run straight through the jamb and into the framing behind. This helps secure your door into the framing.

Adjust the Hinges

While door hinges aren’t completely adjustable, you can still tweak them to improve their performance. You can reposition the door by driving a long screw into the wall framing, bringing the hinge and jamb closer to the framing. Make sure that you drive the screw exactly where the door rubs against the jamb to readjust your door’s position. To check the fit, close the door and continue tightening until the door doesn’t stick anymore. Be sure to keep any eye on your door trim while tightening. You should stop if you notice gaps forming at the trim joints, as this means that the jamb is already tight against the framing.

Plane the Door

If none of the steps above work and your door still sticks, then it’s time to plane it with a belt sander. Start by scribing the areas that rub against the sides or top of the door jamb. Afterward, remove the door and begin “planing” it. A belt sander is an ideal tool for this, as it can remove wood fast. When “planing”, remember to keep the sander moving to avoid creating any holes. If you have to sand around the mortise holding the door latch, chances are you can end up with a protruding latch. Deepen the mortise with a sharp chisel to avoid this. Lastly, round any sharp corners and edges using a 120-grit paper. Re-hang the door on its hinges and check the fit. Continue sanding and planning until there’s a ⅛ inch gap between your door and the jamb. Apply a coat of paint or stain the sanded edge for a beautiful finish. Additionally, applying varnish helps limit shrinking and swelling as it slows moisture movement in the wood.

With a few simple steps, you can have a door that’s good as new. You can also turn to our crew at Handyman Connection of San Mateo for a more comprehensive and professional service. Contact us to learn more about door maintenance and repair. You can also get a free estimate.

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