Asked on Sep 30, 2017

How can you make a door square without replacing it?

Chubby58WilliamLin Collins
+18

Answered

New Deadbolts and door knobs won't work in old holes on the door frame. I think it's because the door isn't squared in right. The old hardware was chiseled out to make it work but we don't want to do that to the new hardware.
q how can you make a door square without replacing it
You can see the deadbolt hole on the frame (kind of) in the background...they don't line up. We can physically lift the door and it will latch...we just don't want to keep doing that.
q how can you make a door square without replacing it
Deadbolt opening..
q how can you make a door square without replacing it
Top of the door gap.
q how can you make a door square without replacing it
The Bottom of the door is closer to the frame than the top of the door...is there a simple fix? I think that would allow the deadbolt to fit right if we could square up the door.
10 answers
  • Chubby58
    on Sep 30, 2017

    Check to see if you door frame is level on all sides. You may have to undo the hinges on the door, just tap the long bolt out slightly on each one and see if you can't adjust the door that way. We had the same problem with our bathroom door and it worked for that.
  • Lin Collins
    on Sep 30, 2017

    If you're able to lift the door that means the hinges may be your only culprit. It may just need tightened all around. But that would be too easy. Is it an older house? With settling and age things become very unsquare. Pretty much your only option is to plane the door to fit the opening and redo the holes for the latch etc.
  • William
    on Sep 30, 2017

    First tighten the screws on the top hinge. You can also replace two of the screws with longer ones on the top hinge into the jamb not door.. You will need to shim the bottom hinge on the door jamb not the door. A piece or two of cardboard placed behind the jamb hinge and tighten. Will push he bottom of the door out and close the gap on top a little.
  • Chubby58
    on Oct 1, 2017

    Try the bottom one first, then go up if no results from that. It won't hurt to have all three tapped out a little so you can jiggle the door. I see that gap between the top and bottom. Sometimes doors shrink and expand as well, and frames shift, but I believe this might work, it's worth a try before you have to call someone in.
    Just remember, anyone can put a door up but not everybody knows how to hang a door. Trust me, it's an art to know how to properly hang a door.
    • Kim Kimbrough
      on Oct 1, 2017

      What do you mean by tapped out? I'm sorry for seeming ignorant but I've never done anything like this before...do you mean placing cardboard beneath the hinges on the frame side starting at the bottom?
  • William
    on Oct 1, 2017

    Twenty years is not old! Anyone can hang a door. Nothing special. If your door has three hinges you will need to shim the bottom and middle hinge. Try two pieces of stiff cardboard in the bottom one and one piece of stiff cardboard in the middle hinge. Make sure you place the shims on the door jamb and not the door. Also replace two of the short screws on the top hinge with at leas 2" screws on the door jamb side.
  • Lin Collins
    on Oct 1, 2017

    If the door isn't square with the opening it's supposed to fit into then you have to do something to make it work. I'm not trying to be rude here, seriously. If it is not working, well . . .? You have a door which is either sagging or the house is settling and at only 20 years old its probably not the latter. Only you can accurately evaluate what needs to be done. You need to stand back and look at it and decide.
    It's not a matter of what you want to do but what needs done.
    Good luck
  • William
    on Oct 1, 2017

    Let us know how it works out.
  • Chubby58
    on Oct 1, 2017

    Sorry, I didn't explain very well. Sometimes I get carried away with my answer. Get a hammer and take a screwdriver and put the screw driver pointed end up to the bottom of the bolt and then tap it with the hammer until the bolt starts to come out. You could use a nail set(which is a tool used with a hammer to push nails down into wood a little further than the surface). Most people don't just have one laying around. I've included a picture of what to do. As you can see my bolt is raised up a little bit, each one is like that so my batodor door will close without having to lift it when I close it. Hope this helps.
  • Chubby58
    on Oct 1, 2017

    I meant bathroom door.
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