Has your doorframe shifted and now you can’t properly lock/unlock your door? It’s really annoying because you have to put some effort into locking and unlocking. The door frame mainly shifts due to two reasons. One is because of the door’s clearance and the second one is a sagging door. We will discuss the solutions to both problems.
Inspect the Opening
- The first thing to do is to inspect the general condition of the opening. You will need to check if the frame opening width is proper from top to bottom.
- If the width is not proper, then the inconsistent gap is due to the wrong frame installation.
- Improper set frames cause severe hardware and door problems.
- This type of situation needs extensive field repair and it may result in removing frames from the walls to gain access from frame anchoring.
- Measure the opening to find where the incorrect clearance is happening.
- Most of the time clearance issues are caused due to loose or missing screws. Open the door and check whether all the screws are properly tightened. If they are loose, and you are unable to tighten them with a screwdriver, then a thread lock material is used to secure them.
- Make sure that all the hinges are of the same size and a heavy-weight hinge is not mixed with the normal weight hinges.
- For heavyweight hinges, ensure that the reinforcements are modified to receive the heavy-weight hinge correctly. You will be required to check the SDI manual or consult the door manufacturer to gain information about changing the standard weight hinge reinforcements to heavyweight hinge reinforcements.
The issue of the shifted door frame can also be corrected with “Clearance Corrections”. In this method, metal shims are put in specific locations.
This method is used when the following happens:
- You find that the door clearance is too tight at the top lock side of the opening.
- You find that the door clearance is too tight at the bottom lock side of the opening.
- The entire door is shifted towards the hinge side.
- The entire door is shifted towards the lock side.
You need to place the shims between the door and the hinge leaf at the middle and bottom hinges. The top half of the door will shift upward.
The following steps are taken when the top lock side of the door clearance is too tight.
- Simply place support or a wooden wedge under the door, this will relieve the tension.
- Start with the bottom hinge, then remove the hinge screws on the door and insert the shim between the door and the hinge leaf.
- After that, reattach the hinge to the door.
- Repeat the same step for the middle hinge location. This will move the upper portion of the door.
- Now remove the wooden wedge or support from under the door.
- Open and close the door and see whether the clearance issue is resolved.
- If not, then you will require additional shims at the necessary locations.
The Door clearance at the bottom lock side is too tight
When this happens, just put the shims between the door and the hinge leaf. The position is top and middle hinges. This will move the lower half of the door to the bottom.
The entire door is shifted towards the hinge side.
When this happens, place the shims between all the hinge locations and hinge leaf. This will help move the door to the lock side.
The entire door is shifted towards the lock side
This issue can be easily fixed by attaching the hinge leaf even further into the frame or door that will move the door towards the hinge side.
- Put support or wooden edge under the door to relieve tension.
- Remove the hinge screws from the door. Start with the top hinge. Remove all the shims, filler plates, or wire spacers that you can modify to push the hinge leaf even further into the door.
- Put the screws into the leaf hinge to reattach the door.
- Repeat this process for the middle and bottom hinge locations.
- Take out the wooden wedge or support from beneath the door.
Open and close the door and check whether the door is still jammed or not.
Here is how you can resolve the issue of the sagging door.
- Tighten the Hinge Screws
With a screwdriver or a cordless drill, you will need to tighten the top hinge. Make sure, you tighten all the screws on the jamb side and the door side. Most of the time, this repair is enough to complete the repair.
- Change the Hinge Spacers
If you can see the hinge spacer, remove all the hinges. Throw it away and replace it with a new hinge.
- Add new Hinges
Normal hinge screws are 1-inch long. When you tighten the hinge screws and they keep rotating, you will need to buy longer than 1-inch long screws. You can buy 1-1/2 inch screws.
- Use 3-inch Screw
Another way to fix a sagging door is to change the top-hinge screw with a 3-inch long screw. This not only pulls the hinge close to the door jamb but also takes the entire door frame close to the underlying stud.
- Remove the three screws from the hinge present at the side of the door jamb.
- With a manual screwdriver or cordless drill, insert the 3-inch screw into the center of the hinge.
- Do the same with the other screws in the top and bottom positions.
Paint can be the problem
Sometimes excess paint under the hinge can cause this problem. Just like removing spacer from under the hinge, just remove the hinge and with a sharp blade scrap the extra accumulated paint from underneath it.
- Tighten the Door Jamb
Even after tightening the door to the door jamb, the door still doesn’t fit, you need to put a 3-inch screw at the top of the door jamb which is on the latch side.