Saggy doors and sticky locks

If your locks are tight to lock or your door won’t stay latched but the door operates smoothly otherwise, we can fix this as well! Basically for one reason or another the latch on your door isn’t lining up with the jamb. There are two ways to fix this. First and most commonly we can expand the hole on the jamb with a rotary file. This leaves a nice clean appearance while giving you a smooth action. In more severe cases we can also move the hole and the strike plate over it.

If the door is hard to open and close you may have a sagging door. With a sagging door the door is rubbing on the top at the jamb and on the bottom edge away from the hinges. You want to correct this as soon as possible to prevent hardware damage from heavier use. This not only can damage the knob from pulling harder but the latches themselves. Sagging also makes the door difficult to secure.

To diagnose this first eyeball the edge of the door you want to see if the gap all the way around is even. It may help to use a the tip of a pen to gauge the gap. If the gap is narrower at one point there is going to be a condition causing the door to be misaligned. You can also check for rub marks on the edge of the door, jamb, and floor. Next open the door grab each side of the knob and lift up and down in a shaking motion. If the door wiggles up and down you likely have loose or worn hinges, you can tell by looking at the screws to see if there is movement. If the gap is tight all the way around and there are extensive rub marks on length of the jamb it’s possibly a swollen door. If the door is swollen call a carpenter to have the door planed. If the gap is even and it’s only rubbing on the bottom you need your threshold anchored down. We can help with this!

If the hinges are loose put a wedge under the bottom of the door and on the side away from the hinges this will lift the door so you can tighten the screws. If they are tight you may need to replace the hinge or have the door adjusted. If the screws turn freely and don’t tighten you will want longer or wider screws.

Another option which is great for high traffic commercial doors is to install a pivot. This is a large hinge that mounts on the outside of the door on top. Basically it mounts to the door and the header providing additional support. What’s nice about this is that the top hinge will often wear first causing the door to sag the additional support coupled with getting the top hinge to tighten will ensure the door works smoothly for a long time to come. It can also be used as a more cost effective fix if the hinges cannot be tightened any further due to extensive wear on the hinge screws.