Relieve Doors Of Their Stickiness With The Turn Of A Screw

If you’ve got a door that sticks when you try to close it, there are better ways to deal with it than slamming it in anger or cursing at it when it refuses to close all the way. You could go the textbook route and remove the door, sand it and remount it, or you could just try a simple trick that could save you all that work.

An old Yahoo Voices post recommends loosening the top screw of the top hinge a quarter turn. By giving the door a little extra wiggle room, it just might shut normally without protest. If the turn doesn’t work, you can try the same thing with the next-lowest screw.

If your door still sticks after loosening the hinges a bit, you can also try tightening them to see if that adjusts the angle well enough to eliminate the problem.

Fix Your Sticky Door with a Screwdriver [Yahoo Voices]


Edit Your Comment

  1. winnabago says:

    I must have opened the wrong page this morning… or consumerist seems to be redirecting to This Old House…please fix, thanks.

  2. az123 says:

    OR, rather than just playing around with things you could spend 30 seconds looking at the door and determining where it is sticking and perhaps what would fix it correctly in the first place.

  3. MichaelRyanSD says:

    JUST STOP PHIL, we are on what now, the 45th “How to”. Maybe you can post a “how to” to block certain articles on consumerist

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Or “How To” write an informative, well cited blog post that delivers more than just common knowledge.

    • Cat says:

      Oh, I don’t mind a good “how-to”. This is not good.

      Also, “How-To” posts should be about things that aren’t common knowledge, and that we haven’t already covered in the recent past.

    • Velifer says:

      Try my anti-Phil Greasemonkey script.

  4. Cat says:

    ” If the turn doesn’t work, you can try the same thing with the next-lowest screw, continuing until all screws are loose, and the door falls off, killing your dog”.

    Just fix it RIGHT.

  5. AtlantaCPA says:

    Yea, so this is advice aimed at people too lazy and/or inept to fix it right, and we’re telling them to starting loosening screws. This can only end badly.

  6. BlueHighlighterNextToACoozie says:

    Or you could replace “remove the door, sand it and remount it” with lay a sheet, get on step stool, sand and vacuum if needed. Tough!

  7. May contain snark says:

    Next Philler article: How to properly crack an egg.

  8. Emperor Norton I says:

    I’ll play along with Phil.
    If you have a door that won’t stay open & just swings closed by itself, there’s an easy fix.
    Just remove one of the hinge pins, lay it on on an angle & give it a whack with a hammer to put a slight bend in the pin. Replace the pin & the door should now stay open when you want it to.

  9. Billl says:

    ummm…. loosening screws increases the stress on the screws (as they wiglle to accomodate the non-fit) and soon you are left with a door falling off the hinges. I like the previous commenters ideas….FIX IT RIGHT!

  10. rickir says:

    Keep in mind that sometimes sticky doors are due to changing weather/humidity conditions and you might not want to start shaving parts of the door. Loosening a screw might be the right solution in some cases.

  11. Rick Sphinx says:

    Keep in mind, when you give wiggle room with this screw technique, your latch to keep the door closed may be affected. As mentioned earlier, it puts more stress on the screws as well. Better off fixing it right, sand and/or Plane it down a bit. If the door sticks when the humidity goes up, you need to seal all 6 sides of the door. (front back, and edges), I would even paint/seal inside the door knob hole, and under the hinges, any moisture getting into a wooden door can affect it’s size, obviously do this after a few days of very dry conditions. Sealing all exposed wood will also keep it from warping.

  12. Daggertrout says:

    Ok, but how to do I fix my doorframe that’s sagged down 3/4 of an inch on one side?

  13. Gravitational Eddy says:

    A blacklist for Phil’s posts?

    • Gravitational Eddy says:

      No Phil, in retrospect, I wouldn’t do that to you.
      You are a voice here as well,
      and I know you can’t help it if it’s a slow day….

  14. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i prefer to stick a spring washer under each of the bottom two screws on the bottom hinge if the door is sagging and sticks or sagging and won’t latch properly.

  15. mmbb says:

    Condensed for your convenience: fiddle with the screws until it works.

    This advice is applicable to multitudes of other problems, too!

  16. mmbb says:

    Condensed for your convenience: fiddle with the screws until it works.

    This advice is applicable to multitudes of other problems, too!

  17. GrandizerGo says:

    Screws are metal rods with built in stress fractures.
    I am pretty sure it is rarely a good idea to loosen the screws.
    If the door has worked properly in the past, it is time to figure out what has changed?
    Settling of the house? Probably in a lot of cases.
    My slanted roof over the front door is a perfect example. If there is too much snow / ice piled on it, anymore then 4 inches of heavy dense snow, will cause the front door to not open and close properly.
    Fix does not include dismantling the door or loosening the components meant to hold it in place. It involves pulling out the snow removal shovel and removing the snow.

  18. akronharry says:

    If the door sticks because it is out of square and loosening (or tightening) a screw does not work, I have ONE POSSIBLE FIX. Unscrew the upper or lower plate on the door jam until you can jam a small piece of cardboard (or thin piece of wood) in and retighten.
    Just a suggestion that MAY fix the issue.