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Interrior Door Issue

My husband and I are replacing an old door. We have a 100 year old house with unique door trim, so we didn't buy pre-hung doors. We bought new solid doors and chiseled out the new door ourselves. The new door also require 3 hinges while the old door only needed 2, so we had to chisel a new middle hinge area on the door frame. The problem is, when we screw the door up, it doesn't shut all the way because it's hitting hinge side. We tried using shims under the door hinges, but so far that hasn't really worked. The hinges are flush on the door, so I'm not sure why this is happening. Any suggestions?

Re: Interrior Door Issue

The problem is probably WHERE you placed the hinges on the new door. Easier than explaining, let me suggest you visit a hardware store which sells complete doors and see where the hinges are mounted in prehung doors. I bet your installation is slightly different, not allowing the door to completely close.

A. Spruce
Re: Interrior Door Issue

Hinges have to be perfectly aligned for a door to work properly. As dj1 suggests, checking out a prehung door at the home center may help you to understand the orientation of each hinge not only to the door slab itself, but also to the jamb and to each other.

You should be able to draw a straight line through the hinge pins. The hinge needs to be back-spaced enough so as not to bind against the door stop (trim through the centerline of the jamb. The surface of the hinge should be flush with the surface of both the door and the jamb surfaces.

Again, by looking at how the original hinges were set on the door and looking at a prehung triple hinge door you will probably be able to figure it out.

Re: Interrior Door Issue

You should have just used two hinges.
Door hanging is a specialty, first-timers usually screw up. Just remove the middle hinge for now and see if that solves the problem. Just shim two hinges at a time. Then you can add the middle hinge .
I hope you retained the original hinges. If you mixed old & new, well, there's your problem.

Re: Interrior Door Issue

Doors can be problematic to those with little experience hanging them. It would help if you said exactly what the door is hitting ;) If it the stop molding, the door needs to move away from it or with these built-in-place jambs, it may be easier to move the molding away from the door. With modern 'snap-in' jambs the stop molding is part of the jamb and cannot be moved. If the butt, or thin edge, of the door is hitting the jamb and not the stop, then the hinges are mortised too deep somewhere and need to be shimmed out. This may end up being both door and jamb. All this assumes that the jamb is straight. If it is not and only one place is binding, minor shimming out may help but you may have to either fix the jamb or fit the door to the existing situation by removing wood from the door. You can 'rock' the hinges to create space by shimming only the outer edge of the hinge or close the space, rocking it in by shimming only the inner edge of the hinge. Do as little 'rocking' as possible as this creates a weakness where the hinge attaches. If you can, shim hinges flat and with full bearing.

When you're done what you want to achieve is a solid install, an even space at all edges, all hinges in line with each other in every direction, and with the door closing against all the stop at the same time when you close it. The stop on the hinge side needs a bit of space so it doesn't rub the finish off. If everything is close to being right, hanging a door isn't too tough. But when something isn't right or is out a lot further, it can be exasperating to get it right. I've never met a door I couldn't hang- only what it took to do it varied and some were a real tax on my patience but I got em!

It's a bit too late to say it now but if you encounter this again, begin by checking the frame with a straight-edge, shimming the hinges flush and in a straight line, then removing the door half of the hinges and putting the door in the hole to see how things fit. Hold it with wedges to adjust that fit. Once you're happy with that, use where the jamb half of the hinges are to very carefully mark where the door half will go. Mark the jamb where the door hinge is mortised if there's another hinge. Also notice how much mortising will be needed on the door (and jamb). Remove and mortise, install the hinge halves on the door leaving the screws just a bit loose- not much- and hang the door. Tighten the screws and begin the final shimming adjustments.

There's something of an art to this to do it quickly which is what a pro has to do if they're going to make a profit, but a homeowner can do the same things slowly and get equal results.

The most important part of any DIY project is to think it through thoroughly to the end before doing anything. Understand what a properly done job is completely before you start. Where you can, check as you go along and make everything right as you go along- don't leave it for later since it may affect other things down the line. Go carefully and your handiwork will look and last like that of a pro, and that's as good a compliment as you can get.


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