You never really think too much about your doors until they stop working, which is when they become really annoying. While you might think fixing your doors is a job for the pros, most repairs are quite simple, so you can do them yourself.
Fix a binding external door
If your door is binding on the frame have a look at the hinges. The screws may have worked loose and a few turns with a screwdriver may fix it. If the screws have stripped the timber and aren’t gripping, you’ll need to add new timber so they can. Here’s how it’s done.
Gather your supplies
Scrap timber for wedge; drill and 5mm bit; exterior PVA glue; 6mm dowel; sharp chisel
Step 1 Use your drill to unscrew hinges and lift door out.
Step 2 Drill out screw holes using a 5mm bit. Using a bit that is a millimetre smaller than the dowel will make it a tight fit.
Step 3 Squeeze PVA glue into screw holes and tap in a short length of dowel.
Step 4 Using sharp chisel, cut off dowel so it’s flush with the hinge housing. Leave glue to dry.
Step 5 Wedge door up in open position. First screw hinges into holes that didn’t need repairing. Drill pilot holes into dowel using hinge as a guide, then screw the door back on.
Resetting a door in a frame
If your front door is binding on the frame but the screws in the hinges are tight, slight movement in the house – which is a common occurrence – has shifted the frame out of alignment. To solve the problem, you’ll have to do a bit of adjusting on how the hinges are sitting in the frame.
Gather your supplies
Wedges; screwdriver; door stands; replacement hinges to match existing (3); pencil; utility knife; chisel; exterior PVA glue; matchsticks; hammer; drill; 3mm drill bit; 1.5mm plastic packers
For you to note
To make door stands, cut two 600-900mm lengths of 70 x 35mm pine, then cut a notch out of the centre of each. You can also buy door clamp or door holder stands from tool retailers online.
Step 1 Support door on wedges and unscrew hinges from frame.
Step 2 Place door in door stands, hinge side up, and drive a wedge to hold it in place.
Step 3 For extra support, install an extra hinge in the centre of the door. Hold hinge on edge of the door and mark around it using a sharp pencil.
Step 4 Cut along drawn line using a utility knife to slice paint neatly.
Step 5 Chisel out a housing for central hinge so it finishes flush with the door edge.
Step 6 To ensure a tight fit for the screws in new hinges, plug old screw holes by gluing matchsticks into holes. In most cases, you can hold 3 matches at hole entrance and tap them in. When they can go no further, they’ll snap off.
Step 7 As the door top is rubbing on the frame, the hinges need to be packed out at bottom and recessed at top. Chisel an extra 1 or 2mm out of hinge housing at door top so hinge sits below surface of door edge.
Step 8 Predrill, then screw new hinges. On bottom hinge, use 1.5mm packers, cut to suit, under hinge to raise it a little.
Step 9 Measure distance from top hinge to centre hinge, then mark and cut a housing for this hinge in jamb. Plug screw holes in existing hinge housings on jamb.
Step 10 Stand door on wedges at front and back, and adjust so height is right. Drive one screw in top, centre and bottom hinges. If bottom hinge is a little deep, add more packers. Test swing of door, adjusting if necessary, then fit remaining screws.
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