Adjusting a door

Does anyone know the proper way to adjust a door? I have a 8ft fiberglass front door that was adjusted under warranty when my house was new several times. It is out of warranty now and once again it is dagging on the threshold and the striker for the dead bolt is misaligned. I was told by a carpenter years ago that there are 16 different ways to shim a door. I thought I might be able to purchase shims that would fit behind the hinges but home depot and lowes don’t have them.

Just make them.
Use hinge as a template.
Stick a shim behind the hinges till the door works so you know what size spacers you need.

Do you have long(3inch) screws in your hinges? You do have some adjustment if they are there. Try tightening the screws in the top hinge. If you don’t have three inch or better screws in the hinges going into the frame of the house the door will forever move. you may need to adjust the middle one as well to keep the door straight. Give it a try and keep me posted.
Don,t use those little plastic hinge plates behind the hinge. All they do is make the door bind on the hinge when it is closed!!

I’ve used these for larger doors.

Just make sure you’re placing shims at more than one hinge, largest at bottom and thinner as you get higher.

I would never use them. the door binds on the hinge when you do this and eventually the door frame will crack vertically at the screw location.

hinge adjustment guide

McKee or Cyr McHammer will be along later to correct me ;~))

If dragging on threshold… look at geometry of reveal and find where it’s wrong to determine how to fix it… Most common would be an increase in taper on head/top of door towards strike side reveal, which allows door to bind at the very top on strike side, then binds at threshold. That would likely be fixed by the use of the long screws as mentioned, thru the top hinge.

But, as there are 16 ways to shim a door, there may be almost as many that are causing a repeat problem.

Try this , Gary…it helps me to see it sometimes. :slight_smile:

Tim is correct, sounds like the top hinge keeps pulling away. Have you put a level on the edge of the door ?

Gary ignore this…

Greg if your door is so screwed up that it does this, I think the door should be ripped out and properly installed.

Why do you have to go so far out of bounds with this stuff?
If he can’t fix it with a small shim that does not break the door it needs to be ripped…

I fix doors all the time like this and know when enough is enough.
No binding, no damage, Better than moving the strike plate to fit the out-of-line door is it not?

I agree with the upper hinge screws. Try opening the door and pushing it toward the jamb. See if the door has play in it. Tighten the screws on both sides and make sure you have at least one long screw in the jamb side. Also see if the hinge pin in worn if there is still movement after tightening the screws.

I just stumbled over this thread.

Barry was right on with this problem, which doesn’t surprise me. ha. ha.

Since this was an exterior door, you would have to assume that it was installed properly using the 3" screws supplied with the initial installation and it would also have wedges between the frame and the door frame so you can’t move it in either direction. The gap between the door frame and the framing would also be filled with insulation and/or spray foam that would make it impossible to gain extra width or pulling the door frame closer to the framing.
The only way is to either shave the door or roll the hinges. The butt hinge can be rolled to push the door towards the strike plate or to roll it away, move the door up or move the door down.
Using these shims, below makes that possible.
But now that Stanley no longer sells these, you can make your own with the box the butts come in with or the equivalent.



The perferated strips adhere to the frame or hinge and roll the hinge one way or the other. Installed close to the door stop, the door will pull away from the strike and pull it up off the threshhold when installed on the top hinge. The three hinges all come to play when shimming depending what you want to do with the door.

Hope this helps the handy man.

Out in the field of inspections, call me or a Qaulified Carpenter. :mrgreen::twisted:

The screws in the upper hinge are sometimes loose. Longer screws or jamb some wood toothpicks into the hole before inserting the screws. Sometimes the door should have had 3 hinges and only has 2. Cut shims out of a cardboard cereal box and use paper. Build up layers. You can be very accurate that way.
Sometimes the jamb was not nailed adequately and the hinge screws don’t reach the trimmer. Wedge the door to the proper height before using screws to screw into the trimmer, pulling the hinge and, if necessary the jamb back into place.