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Door Hinge Problems


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.

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


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