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How to adjust your front door

If your front door is more than a few years old, you might find that you encounter common door problems such as sticking in the frame, hanging off the hinge or sagging which can cause issues when opening and closing your door. These are all problems that can occur as part of your door’s natural wear and tear, but they can make it look worn and affect its security and thermal performance.

No matter which material your front door is made from, the best way to fix these issues is often to adjust your front door. In this guide, we will provide more information on how you can easily adjust your front door without the help of a professional.

Identifying the problem

There are a number of common problems that may lead to your front door requiring adjustment. Knowing what the problem is can help you to adjust the door properly and understand why your door might not be closing or hanging properly.

Weather-related shrinking or swelling

The weather can have a huge impact on your door’s ability to open or close properly, depending on the material it’s made from. This is particularly true for wood and uPVC doors, as these materials can expand and contract when exposed to warmer and colder temperatures. On the other hand, this is not something that will usually occur with aluminium or composite doors.

During the summer, for example, an untreated wooden door can swell in its frame and become too tight to open, leading to sticking. This is because wood is very sensitive to humidity and absorbs moisture from the air, causing the material to expand. On the other hand, during the winter when the air is drier, a wooden door can lose moisture and shrink. These seasonal processes can be slowed down by various wood treatments and finishes.

Incorrect original fitting

If your door wasn’t fitted properly when it was originally installed, the alignment will be off and you will need to adjust the door to make sure it opens and closes correctly, without sticking.

Misalignment

A door can become misaligned as a result of loose screws at the top and can mean that it will drop or not hang properly. A misaligned door will not fit into the frame correctly or open and close properly. This can cause draughts and provide an opportunity for intruders to gain access to your home. Adjusting the door can make sure it fits back into the frame properly.

Incorrect door alignment can also mean that your door doesn't line up with its locking mechanism properly, which can make it difficult to lock and unlock your door. Making sure you adjust your door will help to keep it as secure as possible.

Problems with the door hinges

If your door hinges are worn or not fitted properly, the door may not hang straight and you might find it difficult to close it properly. Over time, the screws in the door hinges can come loose. This can affect the way the door hangs and provide a weak point for intruders to take advantage of. This can be rectified by adjusting the door and making sure the hinges are in place correctly.

Adjusting your front door

If you encounter any of the problems listed above, your front door can be adjusted to make sure it sits flush in the frame, closes any gaps and ensures that your home is as secure as possible. Being able to adjust your front door allows you to keep it in great working order and prevent further problems with easy maintenance.

Follow these easy steps to adjust your front door or fix possible problems.

Step one

Diagnose the issue with your front door and work out where it is misaligned or if there are problems with the hinges or screws.

Step two

Tighten the screws. Over the years, screws can work themselves loose. If your door is dragging on the floor or rubbing near the top of the door frame, use a screwdriver to tighten all of the screws in the door itself. Make sure you tighten the screws between the hinges and the door jamb as well. Avoid using a drill as this could flatten the heads of the screws and you will need to find replacements. Check the alignment of the doors to make sure the screws are tight enough and that the door still functions correctly.

Step three

Another method for adjusting the hinges of your front door is to pull out one of the screws in the middle of the hinge that connects to the door jamb. The screw in the hinge should be replaced with a brand new screw that can connect with the door jamb more efficiently and help to keep your door in place.

Step four

Fit the new screw into the hole using a screwdriver or drill. A drill will help to drive the screw fully into place and make sure it’s tighter than you can achieve with a manual screwdriver. This will help to pull the door back up into the door frame.

Step five

With the door back in place, the last step is to close the door as normal, standing back to ensure that it slides into the frame as it should. You want to see that the spacing all around the door is now even. For external doors, this space will help to prevent air filtration and keep your home protected from exterior draughts.

For information on how to adjust your front door or buying a new front door, contact our expert team.