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Msupsic 11-02-2010 11:26 AM

Newly Hung door sagging
I just installed an exterior pre-hung door a few months ago. The frame was installed level, flush and plumb and ostensibly should close perfectly.

Our house's outer walls were built onto with 1" poly insulation board and aluminum siding. The long screw that you use in the top hinge, to pull the door true, falls exactly where the foam siding is, and just spins freely. In other words, there is no "meat" for the long screw in the top hinge to grab onto.

So, even though the frame is level and even, the door itself has a slight sag to it. Any solutions to pulling it more true, without using screws to pull it from the hinge area?


inspectorD 11-02-2010 01:24 PM

Install the new screw right next to or behind the weatherstripping. I usually just pull it off to install the hidden screw. Or put the screw behind the hinge. Not many options left.
Good luck

TheDoorGuy 11-28-2010 05:32 PM

Great suggestions from InspectorD...
One other option perhaps:
Find a long screw that is one size smaller than the stock hinges screws.
Remove one of the back hinge screws. Plug that hole with a dowel.
Drill a pilot hole at a steep enough angle to catch the stud.
Drill out the jamb portion of that pilot hole a little larger than the new screw.
Drive the new screw in with power driver until you get close to the hinge.
Hand tighten the last few turns of the screw to pull the jamb back to where
you like the reveal when the door is closed.
The slightly smaller screw should seat ok on the angle in the hinge countersink.

I hope that helps!
Richard The Door Guy

Msupsic 11-30-2010 07:42 AM

Sounds like a plan...
Yeah I was thinking something like this could work. Just gotta catch some meat somewhere in the frame for that screw to pull everything into place. The dowel is a good thought.

Thanks. I'll let you know how it goes.

Another alternative is to chisel the top and center hinge beds down a hair to skew the door back up a little. Any thoughts?

TheDoorGuy 11-30-2010 10:23 AM

Hi there,
Before you chisel, try adjusting the hinge by putting paper shims
behind them. To move the door closer to the hinge jamb put the
shims behind the "back" portion of hinge. Use thick paper like
the material that hinges come in (coincidentally!) and put a dab of glue
behind the paper so that it stays put until you secure the hinge.
Tighten the "front" (towards the inside of the house) screws first.
Depending on how much you have to move it you might have to
double up on the paper thickness.

Another easier, "down and dirty" solution is to bend the top and center hinge
with a crescent wrench. put the jaws of the wrench on the barrels of
of the leafs that are attached to the door and bend that portion towards the latch side of the door.
That will pull the door towards the hinge jamb.

A couple words of caution about this second trick:
1. If the screws are loose or small you pull can them right out of the door
using this trick. Check them first and perhaps install some long screws
before this adjustment.
2. Using the wrench will mar the finish on the hinges...Not too noticeable
but definitely there.

Good luck!
Richard The Door Guy

Msupsic 11-30-2010 11:00 AM

Sounds even better...
That sounds like a better alternative, using the shims first. Non-destructive. I would probably go with the shims first and if they don't work, then try the dowel method.

Considering the door already closes and locks, but just sags a bit so that the deadbolt won't work, I've got nothing to lose. Anything should be an improvement.


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