Your Opinion Please

Recent inspection:

20 yr old brick two story house (POS)

Door to master bedroom on second floor will not stay open.:roll:

Door frame and jamb are plumb and square, no visible cracking in walls around the door. There is a hallway below, with a closet on the first floor The bedroom door is right above the closet at right angles to the closet opening.

There no visible cracks in the closet either.

Any ideas as to what is causing the door to swing closed all the time?


Do you have pictures. Hinges spring loaded?

This may seem silly, :smiley: but is the wall that the jamb is in plumb. Or even sillier was there a small spring mechanism in the hinge. :smiley: Tough to say when you’re not there scratching your own head.

No springs in the hinges-- hinge side of the door is on the outside wall and it was plumb as well. Sorry no pix

Oh yea–closet extended into the garage

The only two thing that I can think of that would make a door close on its own.

  1. The wall that the door sits in is out of plumb.

  2. The hinge gains in either the door or the jamb are not equal, usually compensating for something. This usually shows up in how the door lines up against the door stops.

Are there two hinges on the door or three?

I agree with #2. Common after the door or hardware has been replaced by Harry. The hinges are not equal/aligned correctly. I see this alot on kitchen cabinets after the hardware has been replaced. Same issue, different scale.

If a door is swinging open or shut then the door, jamb or walls are out of plumb, that simple… its called gravity.

If all is as you say, douglas; i could only think it is hinge related. Something is out of whack, and if the frame and walls are all plumb and square; what else could it be? A simple adjustment on the hinge setback should correct the problem.

I agree with the answers given. Sounds like a deal killer issue.

True. That is what we are getting at. Either the wall is out of plumb, leaning toward the push side of the door, or the hinge gains are different. I heard them referred to as set backs in another post. In this case the bottom hinge gain would be less (shallower) than the top hinge.

If there are two hinges on the door, a bow or warp in the door can create this situation. This is very isolated and rare though.

Simply take a 6 ft level or plumb bob, and drop a line on both the hinges, door and jamb…that will tell you what the problem is in about 10 seconds.

A warped door will show by the reveal of the door stop… but even then a warped door is not going to cause it to open or shut without one of the other axis lines being out of plumb.

Personally a plumb bob is the most reliable method of checking something. I still use them when I am framing homes as well as checking the accuracy of my levels.



I have read the post above and are all accurate in describing points that cause the door in self-closing.

A couple were left out I believe that could also contribute to this problem.

An interior door can be installed in a plumb wall and still have that problem in closing by itself.

The door can be installed with the hinge bound affect that keeps forcing the door to close by itself.

The door can be installed in a plumb wall, but the hinge side of the door jamb out of plumb slightly in the direction of the wall and still be square and functional and without seeing a marginal discrepancy under the door margin to the floor.
Not something I would write up, just a solution to the causes.
If a client wants it fixed, there will be other things that he wants to fix also.
I might just note that the door does not remain open and can be repaired by a qualified Carpenter.
Not really a defect, just poor quality of installation.
It would be called out in a New Construction build.
In a 20 year old house, I would not get to excited about the problem.

Thanks to all for your opinions.
Client was just curious, as was I
However Barry Adair offered a quick fix and I let the client know
Everyone is happy now


Sure… go behind our backs!!! :stuck_out_tongue:

Care to share what Barry offered?

Jeff, I am sure Barry as usual gave some good advice, but would be curious also, just so I could attempt to keep up with him. :mrgreen:

Got to stay on your guard with these silent advisors. :twisted::wink:

Yes, agree. Barry, like yourself, is a wealth of knowledge. Respect his decision, but wish he would drop in here more often.

Jeff, how’s that saying goes, “he is a lot smarter than the clothes he wears.” :mrgreen::wink:


I’m sure Barry won’t mind… He sent a PM
"Remove the middle hinge pin, put it on a hard flat surface and wack it with a hammer to bend it a bit then put it back :shock:

Causes a bit of a bind in the hinge that keeps the door from swinging closed.

Thanks again Barry


Strike two for you, Doug!:stuck_out_tongue:

You didn’t ask us how to correct, you asked for opinions on the cause!!:twisted:

Well, fooey to youey!!!:wink:

Yep, sounds like my friend to come up with that. :mrgreen:

That provides the friction required to hold the door open. And he is right, will promote a little bind in the door, but will stay open.
My trick is to use these:



Loosen the hinge and shim the bottom hinge near the pivot if the gap between the door and jamb will allow it and it will kick the bottom of the door out to prevent it from swinging close.
It also allows the door to move forward, so if the gap will not allow it at the top or sides, chisel out behind the hinge at the top and the same action will work.
Us old dogs like Barry and I and a few others have been down that road. :mrgreen::wink:

I think they call it Road Knox. :wink: