• Matt Weber

Door Alignment Trick for DIY'ers


Do you have a door that binds against the top corner of the jamb? Or maybe a large gap at the top of the door makes it difficult to seal when closed? This is a common problem because the weight of a door is supported by the top hinge. Over time, the door can sag away from the top hinge and bind at the opposite corner.


Here's a simple DIY trick to correct this problem.

Remove the hinge pins from the top two hinges. You can unseat the pins by driving an 8d nail into the hole at the bottom of the hinge.

Once the top pin is removed, the door will be precariously attached by only the bottom hinge, so keep the door closed where its weight will be supported by the jamb. If you open the door using only the bottom hinge, the top-heavy door can fall, bend the hinge, and tear out of the jamb.

Insert shims as needed between the jamb and the door to create clearance so the door does not bind.

It might also help to use shims at the bottom to help close the top gap and achieve a consistent gap around the door.


A "side effect" of adjusting the door's alignment with shims is that the knuckles of the top hinge will become misaligned. This might also happen to the middle hinge to a lesser degree.

Adjust a Crescent wrench to fit snugly around the hinge knuckles, then carefully bend the three jamb knuckles so they align with the knuckles on the door.

To complete the repair, apply lubricant to the hinge pins and then reinsert them through the hinge knuckles. The door should now swing freely and have a more narrow air gap around its perimeter.


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