Aligning New Doors
I have some newly installed pre-hung doors in an old house. The doors do not align with the stops. Some touch the stop at the top before they are closed, and some touch the stop at the bottom before they latch closed. I can make them latch, but this involves a fair amount of pressure to warp the door to the stop. Yes, the walls are askew, and the installer claims that there was nothing he could do to install them so that they closed correctly. I think that is nonsense. I don't want to reinstall the doors at this point. Is there any way to adjust the door so that it meets the stops correctly? I was thinking that I just need to move the stops on the top and the latch side. Can you set me straight?
NB from Boca Raton, FL
Yes, you can move the stops and repaint. It is easier than moving the hinges, for sure! It may be possible that the door, and not the frame, is warped. Get a length of string and stretch it between opposite corners of the door on both sides, one at a time. If the string does not lie flat against the door, the door is warped.
As you close the door, watch the hinges. Do they appear to flex and move as the door reaches its closing point. Perhaps the contractor installed the hinge-side jamb slightly twisted. That would require removal of the mouldings and reshimming of the jamb. This is an easy error to make and can make the wall appear to be out of whack when it really isn't.
Unfortunately, it is indeed possible that the carpenter did the best he could. It can be extremely difficult to install a new, straight door and jamb in an older "seasoned" house. The old doors and frames have "settled" into the framing and have bent and twisted to conform with the aging of the house. New doors, however, are not very compliant. I have always warned my clients that this possibility exists so they are prepared for less than perfect results.
© 1999 G.G. ALONZY
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here www.naturalhandyman.com/aitikia
For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links www.naturalhandyman.com
If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page www.naturalhandyman.com/friends
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles www.naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library www.naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop www.naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at www.naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at www.naturalhandyman.com/contest
Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information is located at www.naturalhandyman.com/copyright
Also in Home
- Deck clean-up and repair
- How not to become 'house poor'
- Pricing garage sale items
- Free and extremely cheap sources of mulch
- Creating an outdoor room on a budget
- How to frugally remove a tree
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Top 10 DIY mistakes made by home 'handymen'
- How spring cleaning can save you money
- 4 secrets to budgeting for a home purchase
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Mortgage refinance break-even calculator
- How much money can I borrow for a mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?