When You Have a Swing Door That Doesn’t Seem to Operate Properly Anymore

Swing doors are an essential part of any home, or office. They provide easy access to different areas and add a touch of elegance to the overall decor. However, swing doors may develop problems over time, especially when they start to rub or bind against the door frame. This can be frustrating, as it makes the door difficult to open and close. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to fix a swing door that rubs or binds.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

Before you can fix a swing door, you need to determine what’s causing the rubbing or binding. Common causes include:

  • Warping of the door or frame
  • Misalignment of the hinges
  • Loose screws or hardware
  • Settling of the building foundation

Once you have identified the cause of the problem, you can take the necessary steps to fix it.

Step 2: Adjust the Hinges

If the hinges are misaligned, you can adjust them to fix the problem. Start by opening the door and inspecting the hinges. Check if the screws are tight and if any of the hinges are loose. If they are loose, tighten them with a screwdriver.

Step 3: Sand or Plane the Door

If the door is rubbing against the frame due to warping, you may need to sand or plane it down. Start by marking the area of the door that’s rubbing against the frame with a pencil. Remove the door from the frame and place it on a flat surface. Use sandpaper or a planer to remove the excess wood from the marked area. Be careful not to remove too much wood, as this can make the door too small for the frame.

This is a great solution if the problem seems to come and go with the fluctuations in cold and warm weather when wood expands and contracts.

Step 4: Adjust the Strike Plate

If the door is binding against the strike plate, you may need to adjust it. Start by opening the door and inspecting the strike plate. Check if it’s loose or if the screws are tight. If it’s loose, tighten the screws with a screwdriver.

Next, check if the strike plate is properly aligned with the latch. If it’s not, use a chisel to remove some wood from the area around the strike plate until it’s properly aligned.

Step 5: Check the Building Foundation

If none of the above steps work, the problem may be due to settling of the building foundation. This can cause the door frame to shift, making it difficult for the door to open and close properly. If you suspect this is the problem, consult a professional contractor to inspect the building foundation and recommend the necessary repairs.

If there are no other signs of recent or significant foundation or structural settling, you may adjust the barrels of the hinges in opposite directions of each other. For example, if the door is binding at the latch side and there is a large gap between the hinge side of the door and the hinge side jamb, you would pull the hinge pin and slightly bend the door hinge barrels towards the jamb and the jamb side hinge barrels towards the door. When the hinge pin is replaced the door is held closer to the hinge side jamb creating a larger gap between the door and the latch. Be careful not to over bend the barrels as it can cause excessive metal on metal rubbing which may create an annoying squeaking sound.

In conclusion, fixing a swing door that rubs or binds is a simple process that anyone can do with the right tools and knowledge. By following these steps, you can easily restore the functionality of your swing door and enjoy easy access to different areas of your home or office. If you are unsure about performing any of these repairs yourself or just would rather replace the door altogether, schedule a call with us to see what it would cost to have us assist you with the problem.

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