Poorly Framed Door, Can it be fixed?

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by RickR, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Dec 6, 2010 #1

    RickR

    RickR

    RickR

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    Now that it's starting to cool down here in TX, I set out to beef up the seal on the back door. I was having a hard time figuring out why I couldn't get it sealed when I stepped back and noticed...

    The top of the frame was built wrong. Both sides and the bottom are plum/level, but the top drops over 1/4" from left-right over the ~32" width.

    Is there any way I can bring down the top corner without completely re-framing my door (which I am completely NOT comfortable doing on my own)? Because the other 3 sides are good, I can't shim the bottom hinge to bring the opposite corner up. If I raise all 3 hinges, I'm afraid of causing binding at the low side and still having sealing issues on the high side.

    Any help or ideas would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
    -Rick
     
  2. Dec 6, 2010 #2

    TheDoorGuy

    TheDoorGuy

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    Hi Rick,
    A picture would help to understand situation.
    Does the head and threshold check out level now?

    Can you shim under the threshold on the hinge side to bring door up to head?
    Alternatively can you shim head jamb down on latch side? How about
    a combination of the two?

    I have worked with a number of units over the years that actually have one
    jamb side longer than the other. In these cases you can remove and rebuild
    unit or use the shimming technique above to compromise on level to get
    a decent reveal (gap) around the opening.

    Do you have proper weatherstripping around the opening?...More important
    than even reveals for keeping out the cold?

    I hope that helps.
    Richard The Door Guy

    Door Guy-Services-Exterior-Interior-Doors
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  3. Dec 6, 2010 #3

    handyguys

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    Door guy has it right on. Sounds like the left and right jambs are plumb but the top jamb is not level. That would lead me to believe the threshold isnt level too (if a prehung door). So, as Doorguy said, try motivating up, or down, either the right or left jamb. You will need to remove the trim to do this. Perhaps even cut some of the nails/screws holding that side and then re-set it.
     
  4. Dec 6, 2010 #4

    RickR

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    You are right. I went ahead and removed the seal on the bottom of the door and can see that the threshold is indeed not level. In order to move the left jamb, don't I need to also loosen the top and bottom? And for removing the trim, do I need to remove the inside and outside, or can I just remove the inside?

    Here are my pictures with the door completely closed & daylight still shining through.

    Back Door pictures by Rick - Photobucket

    Sample:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Dec 6, 2010 #5

    handyguys

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    Its hard to say - That door/trim looks pretty old and it may not be a pre-hung door. You would probably need to remove both inside and outside trim. Do it carefully and re-use it. Pull the old nails out from the back of the trim and you will have less damage. Unfortunately I think you may end up having to almost re-hand the entire door, that goes beyond what I think I could describe here.

    Perhaps the better way to go is to buy a new, pre-hung door and replace the old jambs and door. You will have better weatherstripping and insulating qualities and it may be easier in the long run.
     
  6. Dec 6, 2010 #6

    TheDoorGuy

    TheDoorGuy

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    Hey Rick,
    Thanks for the pics...Helps alot.
    HandyGuys, please check out picture #5 especially....
    Looks like that jamb was prepped for qlon (kerf style) weatherstripping, doesn't it?

    If so, you could go to a door shop or lumber yard (probably not a box store)
    and buy 3 pieces of that product. Pemko and some other companies make it.
    It installs into that kerf like these pictures:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Remove the existing weatherstripping and install the qlon.
    Make sure the latch is holding door tight against it.

    This won't solve the aesthetic problem of the uneven reveal
    but it might help keep you warm this winter!

    An added benefit is that it won't stick to your paint the way
    your current weatherstrip does.

    Does that make any sense for your situation?
    The Door Guy

    Door Guy-Services-Exterior-Interior-Doors
     
  7. Dec 7, 2010 #7

    RickR

    RickR

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    You nailed it. I found that while I was looking at the current weatherstripping closer there is actually kerf-style on the hinge side UNDER the other weatherstripping. I picked up a strip of the nylon-covered kerf they carry at home depot to check it and *voila* it fits and does a much better job. Still not perfect at that top corner where there's such a massive gap, but the rest of that side seals much better. I'll be going back to replace the rest of the seals before anything else. Is there much difference between the q-lon you suggest and the "kerf seal" HD sells?

    Thank you so much for all your help!
     
  8. Dec 7, 2010 #8

    TheDoorGuy

    TheDoorGuy

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    Glad you solved it Rick,
    Those products are all pretty similar...
    The Qlon is more flexible than some others. I just like it better.
    I didn't realize that HD sold those items separately.
    The store near us has a pathetic selection of weatherstripping
    so I don't look there.

    Regarding the top gap: If you are up for a little woodworking you
    could add a new piece of wood to the head as a larger door stop.
    I have done that in the past and cut a little notch in the new piece for the qlon
    to be squeezed between the old head piece and the new stop.

    The Door Guy
     
  9. Dec 7, 2010 #9

    handyguys

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    replacing the weatherstripping is a great temporary fix for sure. Sorry I didn't look at the pics in photobucket, I only looked at the first one.

    How about a simpler additional temporary fix? Instead of "adding a new piece of wood to the head as a larger door stop." how about adding a sliver of wood to the top of the door? It might be easier. Just a thought.

    I still think I would eventually go with a new pre-hung door. ;)
     
  10. Dec 7, 2010 #10

    TheDoorGuy

    TheDoorGuy

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    HandyGuys say:
    "I still think I would eventually go with a new pre-hung door. "

    I agree completely that new prehung door would certainly be the best way
    to go for long term function and aesthetic appeal. I was just suggesting affordable quick alternatives. :)

    The Door Guy
    Door Guy-Services-Exterior-Interior-Doors
     
  11. Dec 8, 2010 #11

    RickR

    RickR

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    If the door is steel or fiberglass, can I still screw a piece of wood to the top of it without causing problems?
     
  12. Dec 8, 2010 #12

    TheDoorGuy

    TheDoorGuy

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    Yes indeed....The residential fiberglass and steel doors
    have wood or composite frames around the outside.
     
  13. Dec 8, 2010 #13

    RickR

    RickR

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    oops, I meant to the top of the door itself so I don't have to worry about putting a notch in the new wood. Eventually I'll have get a new door put in, but in the meantime I do want to seal as best I can.
     
  14. Dec 8, 2010 #14

    TheDoorGuy

    TheDoorGuy

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    Poor choice of words on my part, Rick....
    The frame that I was speaking of is the outside edge system of the door.
    It has top and bottom rails and side stiles that are wood or composite
    construction. Either one is easy to nail or screw to.

    Sorry for not being more clear in my earlier post.

    TheDoorGuy
    Door Guy-Services-Exterior-Interior-Doors
     
  15. Dec 9, 2010 #15

    RickR

    RickR

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    Oh, cool! Thank you so much!
     

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