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Troubleshooting Door Installations: Why Some New Doors Come With Problems

It’s a real headache when things don’t go right, especially when what’s not going right is something that’s brand new.  You’ve got your new door hooked up and all, and if it doesn’t quite work right, it’s just going to bug you until you can get it fixed.  Here’s a list of the most common things that can go wrong with a newly-installed door, and how to identify them.

Door out of plane

If the door isn’t able to fit to the door stop, or the door contacts stop unevenly on the latch side, then your bottom wall plates are most likely out of alignment.  Verify that both door jambs are on the same plane.  With a hammer and a block of wood (to prevent damage to the frame) try moving the door jamb sides in the direction that the door is sticking out.

Uneven door

If you see an uneven gap across the top or bottom of the door, then the door is either out of plumb, or the floor is not level.  If the floor is uneven, the door will have to be reinstalled with the door jambs off the floor, leaving a gap between the floor and the jamb to bypass the uneven floor.

Door out of plumb

A door is out of plumb when the door swings open and closed on its own.  This happens when the hinges are a little loose; the situation is fixed by adding resistance to the hinges.  This can be done by adding some masking tape to the hinge pins and reinserting them between the hinges, or by deforming them slightly with a hammer, causing a bend in the hinge pins.

Screws always loose

This happens when the screw(s) you’re using to screw in the hinge(s) is/are too small for the hole you’re screwing it into.  The easiest solution is to use a longer screw; with a long-enough screw, it will eventually bite into wood and secure the hinge in place.

Squeaky hinges

The obvious solution to squeaky hinges is to oil them, but not all people know how to properly oil them.  Using a nail, push up on the hinge pin until it’s half-exposed.  Apply oil to the hinges, and also to the exposed part of the hinge pin.

Door rattles when closed

If your door knob rattles when you close the door, then chances are you installed a wrong-handed door knob.  If the door knob you installed isn’t a universal door knob for both right- and left-handed doors, then you might have bought the opposite one for your door and installed it upside-down, causing the rattling.  While a wrong door knob can be adjusted to fit properly with your door, the easiest solution is to purchase the correct type of door knob.

Sliding door doesn’t slide properly

If your new sliding door isn’t sliding properly, then check the tracks for debris.  If the tracks are clear, then you most likely need to adjust the height of the door on the rollers.  Adjusting screws are most often found near the wheel assembly.  Turn the screws clockwise or counter clockwise, adjusting the height of the door until it slides smoothly.

Just because there’s a problem with your newly-installed door doesn’t mean the problem is with the door itself.  Take a step back and examine the situation.  The solution might be easier than you think.


Author Bio:

In his more than 20 years in the home improvement industry, Dan Hedman has worked with some of the top names in the business and has earned numerous awards for his skills at team management and his work on improving the customer experience. Read more blogs of Dan on Renewal by Andersen website.


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