Sticking door

Good afternoon everyone. I am currently an InterNACHI student in the process of becoming a certified home inspector. I am currently on the foundation walls course and I am reading about differential settlement and one potential sign of that being sticking doors.

It got me thinking, the spare bedroom at my moms house has a sticking door at the top, it doesn’t fully shut. If I was to try to determine if this was due to foundation settlement (or if I was to eventually encounter this same situation at a home I was inspecting in the future) what would be the steps I would do in order to determine what was causing it?

Not sure if this makes a big difference, but my mom lives in south FL, don’t know if foundation settlement would really be a big issue down here?

I appreciate your time and expertise.

It could be the door just needs adjustment.however look for cracks above the door and other indication of settling.

You pay attention to how the floors feel while your walking through the home, do you feel leaning, cracks in foundation, and walls, especially above windows and doors. Sticking doors is just one of the potential signs of settlement to take into account.

Thank you. I imagine I also could place a level on top of the door while it is open and see if it is the door itself is not level.

I also suppose I could do this to the top of the frame and if I discovered that was NOT level then that could definitely be a sign of settlement, even if there were no cracks correct?

It being out of level might also be someone didn’t know what they were doing. :wink:

Correction…I inspected one today that had several doors not installed correctly, no indications of settlement issues were observed.

Jack up one corner of the house and see if it gets better or worse.


dollars to donuts Harry Homeowner hung the door wrong. In his defense–it ain’t that easy.

I’ve installed lots of doors, and some are pain in the arse to get right. Not just level, but plumb as well, is the key to prevent binding, sticking, swinging open or closed, etc.

Yes doors have a ton little secrets and tricks when installing, at least 50% of exterior doors and maybe 10% of interior doors I inspect are not properly installed.

Thank you everyone for your input and experience in this situation.

I see you are in the SW Florida area. I am in the SE Florida area. Is settlement in these areas not a very common thing? Or is it something I will actually experience more often than I expect?

Sticky doors require a little thought.

A. Door not installed correctly but in fact I have hung thousands of doors and some I hung crooked on purpose?

B. High humidity can cause that if the frame around the door is tight. When I started we used only wood entry doors on residential, I planed most those doors front to back.

C. Foundation/ slab settling can and usually causes door problems.

On Monday I inspected a 2500 SF home built right by wetlands. Foundation and slab settled, floor trusses were fine but in one bedroom the floor squeaked and sank when I walked over it.

Got a level out and I had 3/4" drop from the center of the kitchen and living room on a 4’ level.
Doors and windows worked great?:shock:

Oops! Friggin thousands…I’ve hung 75 thousand…
Beat that…
No! just jokin!. But I have hung a few hundred. And most likely less.

Did you learn how to hang a door from Little Johnny?

Working for a GC I did a lot of offices and schools when I was starting out. Hang doors for days.

Yep, I think over 35 years I have hung a couple thousand doors.
If you count kitchen doors and I did not that number would be pretty high also.

Houses? Not too many.

Quit high school at 17 and went to work, I’m 65 now. Did lots of stuff.
The sticky door called out by the OP is probably one of mine.