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How To Fix A Door That Is Sagging Or Hitting The Door Frame

If your front door, bathroom door, bedroom door, storm door, screen door, or entryway garage door does not shut properly, something is loose, has settled, or out of alignment. If when you shut the door, it hits either at the top or bottom of the door frame, it is sagging and needs to be repaired.

A sagging, crooked, or door that does not shut properly can be a pain when you try to shut it as the top or bottom portion of the door will rub, hit, or stick to the door frame and make it difficult to close or open. Here we will show some simple ways to fix this yourself.

fix sagging door

First, make sure that the hinges are not damaged and that the screws that hold the hinge to the door frame are not loose. There will usually be 3 hinges on your door with 3 wood screws in each hinge. Get a screwdriver and make sure the screws are nice and tight. If any are loose then this may be the reason your door is sagging. If all the screws are tight and the hinges are not damaged in any way, then you may either have a cracked door frame (jamb) or you just may need to shim the door to make it level and stop sagging.

make your front door open perfectlyFollow our procedures below to fix your sagging door!

Before you proceed with any of the tips below, remove at least one screw from the door hinge and make sure it is not too short. If the screw is very short, then this may be your issue. Go to the hardware store and purchase at least 2″ wood screws. Replace one screw at a time so your door does not fall off!

Tools & Materials Needed (Some are optional):
1. Replacement Door Hinges
2. Box Of 2″ Or Longer Wood Screws
3. Bottle Of Wood Glue (Gorilla Glue Is Best)
4. Wood Or Cardboard Shims
5. Wood Clamps If Door Frame Is Cracked
6. Screwdriver Or Cordless Drill
7. Sandpaper
8. Touch Up Paint
9. Rags To Wipe Excess Wood Glue
10. Wood Chisel
11. Drill Bits

names for parts of a doorAn average door consists of the casing, jamb, stop, hinges,
sill, bottom rail, lock stile, mullion, panels, and a top rail.

If you discover that your door frame or door jamb is cracked, you can fix this yourself also. First, remove the door and the hinges from the frame. You will then need to fill the crack or cracks with wood glue making sure to get deep into the crack with as much glue as possible. Once the wood glue is deep in the crack, wipe off any excess that may be dripping. Next, put a few wood clamps on the door frame to squeeze the cracked frame back into place. Use cloth on the clamps so it does not damage your door frame further. Give it a few hours or so for the glue to dry. Once the glue is dry you can remove the wood clamps. At this point you may need to sand down any bumpy areas (dry glue) on the door as you will most likely be touching it up with some paint once you have fixed the door.

screw hole repair kitIf the holes in your door frame are damaged, buy the Mr. Grip Screw Hole Repair Kit

Once the crack is fixed from using the wood glue and clamps, reinstall the door. It may be best to use longer wood screws then you had previously. A 2″ or 2.5″ wood screw is usually the standard for door hinges. Test the door and make sure it closes properly and there is no sagging. If there is still sagging see the next method below for fixing your door.

Add cardboard shims to door hinges to stop saggingAdd a few cardboard shims under the door hinge to stop sagging

If your door has no cracks on the frame and the hinges are in good shape and the screws are tight and the correct length, try the next method. This is super easy and will fix your door from sagging and hitting the frame. This is called the FIX YOUR SAGGING DOOR WITH CARDBOARD SHIMS METHOD.

EZ-Shim-Door-HingesIf you do not want to use cardboard, buy these EZ-Shim Door Hinge Shims

First, get a cardboard box or any cardboard you have around the house. Use a box cutter (on a hard surface) and cut a few pieces of the cardboard to the shape of the door hinge. Make them around a 1/4″ smaller than the actual door hinge so no cardboard protrudes from behind the hinge. OK, now you need to make the holes in the cardboard that match the holes on your door hinges. Make one template and then if needed use that to make many more cardboard shims.

make a cardboard shim to fix your sagging doorMake a cardboard shim to fix your sagging door

Next, you need to figure out which hinge needs the shim. You can simply take the screws out of one hinge without removing the complete door. Just remove the screws, pull the door out VERY CAREFULLY just enough to slide your cardboard shim underneath it. Once the cardboard is in place, screw the hinge back on with the shim underneath. It helps to have someone assisting you at this point to hold the door steady.

Lifting a Sagging Door : Door Installation & Maintenance
Lifting a sagging door is something you can do easy by replacing the screws with longer ones

If the top of the door (above where the lock and door handle are located) is hitting or rubbing the top edge of the door frame, then you need to add a cardboard shim to the very bottom hinge. This will make the door push slightly outward from the bottom meaning the top will be pushed slightly inward. If you have the perfect shim or shims thickness, your problem will be fixed.

If the bottom of your door (below where the lock and door handle are located) is hitting or rubbing the bottom of the door frame, then you need to add a cardboard shim to the very bottom and possibly the middle hinge also. The solution to this is to push the door outward from the lower hinge therefore squaring it up and stopping the sagging.

Once you have the cardboard shims in place, make sure the door has stopped sagging. If not, you may need to add more cardboard behind the door hinge to push it outward even further.

NOTE: Usually your door will be out of alignment or sagging by just a few fractions of an inch. So you may NOT need thick cardboard. You can use a piece of thin cardboard from anything in your house including a cereal or instant rice box or similar.

Replace door hinges to fix sagging door, latch alignment, lock not working
Sagging door that causes lock strike alignment problems, the lock strike does not align to strike plate hole.
The cause here is worn brass hinges the solution is simple hinge replacement without removing door from frame.

Since we are on the subject of “Sagging”, here is a way to fix sagging drawers
Shows you how to fix a sagging drawer from a chest of drawers

If you have other easy quick ways to fix a sagging door, please leave a comment below to assist our other readers having door issues.

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9 thoughts on “How To Fix A Door That Is Sagging Or Hitting The Door Frame”

  1. Christopher,
    A little more info would be helpful, but here is basic help:

    To repair a broken door jamb at the upper mount bolt, first remove the security door and any related hardware.
    Clean away splintered wood around the damaged area using a chisel.
    If the break is clean, apply wood glue and clamp the pieces together until dry; for more severe damage, you might need to cut out the damaged section and replace it with a new piece of wood.
    Secure the area with long screws that penetrate into the wall stud for added stability.
    Finish by filling any gaps with wood filler or epoxy, then sand, paint, or stain to match the existing jamb.
    Reattach the door and hardware once the repair is complete and the paint or stain has dried.

  2. Christopher Till

    My security door has broken the door jam at the upper mount bolt. Looking for guidance on how to fix it. Any advice?

  3. Penny Schroader

    our spare bedroom door won’t close and is not hitting anywhere. When we first moved in we just had to lift up by the doorknob a little to make it catch. About a year ago, I went to close it, it didn’t shut as usual but when I lifted up, it still wouldn’t shut. When I looked as I was trying to lift, the bottom of the latch is about an inch lower than the strike plate. How do I fix this?

  4. I have a 19th century baltic pine(?) where the actual door appears to have sagged, giving it a dropped on the no hinge side look.

    Tightening the hinges won’t cut it and is just a temp fix.

    How do you repair the joints of an antique door?

  5. Another possibility is that the timber or wood of the door has swollen from absorbed moisture.
    Remove door – Plane the bottom of it – Seal it with paint and replace.

    If carpet has been replaced with a thicker pile or underlay, then this could also be a cause for lack of clearance. Planing the bottom of the door will also help here.

  6. Using a cardboard shim would be incredibly simple. I will have to try this technique on my dad’s door at his house. It hangs down low on one side, and so it’s really hard to close. I think I have a box in my storeroom I could use for the job.

  7. I thought that repairing a sagging door would be kind of tough, so it’s good to know that it’s actually easier than I thought. Making a cardboard shim to prevent my door from sagging seems really easy. The bottom of my door hits the bottom of the door frame, so now I know that I’ll need to install a shim not just to the bottom of the door, but also to the middle hinge. I’ll be sure to try that to see if it will push my door outward enough to stop it from sagging.

  8. Even after replacing the hinges (which made an obvious improvement on the door sagging) we still had problems with the lock aligning properly. I’m starting to wonder if it is possible that the very door frame has changed shape, but it became clear that fixing the sagging wasn’t going to be enough. We’re probably going to need to replace the whole frame and install a new lock.

  9. This is really helpful advice for some basic door repair! I’ve been struggling with a sagging bathroom door lately, and this seems like it might help. It would be great if I could fix it this weekend! Unfortunately, my front door is also having issues. Given that it’s a real security risk, I’m thinking I should call a professional for those sorts of problems.

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