Door Hinge Problems

By Robert Robillard on Home Repairs And Remodeling


Door Swings Open or Shut On Own – quick fix



I’ve worked on a lot of old houses, and a few new ones, where the doors refuse to stay open or open by themselves when closed and not latched.

Usually this problem can be traced back to loose hinges screws or an out of plumb door.

Stop A door From  Swinging Open or Closed On Own

Doors that open without touching them usually need the bottom and center hinge screws tightened.

Stripped Screws

Doors that close need the top and center hinges tightened.

  • If you run into screws that do not tighten then remove the screw and fill the hole with a wood plug, toothpicks and glue.
  • Shave the plug flush with a chisel
  • Pre-dill a smaller pilot hole.
  • Re-install the screws.

Out of Plumb Doors

For doors that are out of plumb there are two ways to remedy this.

The first and best method is to adjust the hinges by shimming, mortising or relocating the screw holes until the door is plumb. [Level required – at doors edge]

The second, although simpler, is not my first choice. If the door frame is out of plumb you can stop the door from opening or closing on it’s own by putting a slight bend in the hinge pin.

This method involves removing one hinge pin, usually the top or middle, and put a slight bend in it. By bending this hinge you are creating friction that will helps keep the door open or closed but will not be noticeable to you operating the door. [photo below]

To bend the hinge, place it on a hard flat surface, like a driveway, and lightly hit the center of the pin with a hammer. Reinstall the hinge pin and test. You may need to do it again or bend a second pin if the door is heavy.

Oil the hinges while your there. . . Have fun!!

~ a concord carpenter

Door Hinge Problems


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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