Common Door Frame Issues & How to Repair Them

By HomeAdvisor

Updated March 2, 2017

Door Frame Repair

A malfunctioning door, especially if it is a main entry door, can be quite a hassle. Problems involving sticking or difficulty getting the door to latch properly can make coming in and leaving the house a chore in itself, never mind if you’re trying to carry groceries or a small child! Sometimes, the door frame is the culprit in this situation. Instead of sanding down part of the door itself, you may simply need to realign or otherwise alter the frame.

Quick Door Frame Repair

While door frame repair is not always a simple task, in some cases, the fix is a relatively easy one. Binding, for example, is often caused by the door frame settling or an out-of-plumb hinge jamb. To fix a binding door, install a shim under the top hinge, if the bind is near the bottom, or under the bottom hinge, if the bind is near the top. If the door hinge jamb is not plumb, shim under whichever hinge will cause the door edge to hang truly vertical. Built-up paint can cause this problem, and simply needs to be cleaned out.

To install a shim, support the door, remove the hinge jamb screw, and cut thin cardboard to fit into the mortise, under the hinge flap. Replace the screw, driving them through the cardboard into the jamb.

Door Frame Repair or Replacement

If your door frame is old, putting in a shim might not be an effective tactic. Old wood door frames can warp over time and cause the door to bind or swing open when you don’t want it to by hindering latch function. In this scenario, it might be a good idea to simply purchase and install a new door frame instead of repairing the old one. To compare, see the average door installation cost. If this is happening on a newly installed door frame, you may be able to send it back to the manufacturer to have it repaired or replaced.

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Aesthetic Door Frame Repair

Sometimes door frame repair is meant to enhance form rather than function. Removing old door frame trim (sometimes referred to as “molding” or “casing”) and replacing it with a different style can make a dramatic difference in the look of the door, and the room or wall the door occupies. Removing and replacing trim is a relatively easy operation, but requires some patience if you want to keep the surrounding paint intact. If a single section of trim is damaged and you want to replace it, it is likely that you’ll be able to find a matching piece of trim at a home improvement store. Even if the trim you’re replacing is very old, many classic styles are still available. You’ll probably be able to find a matching replacement easier than you think!

Door Frames and Foundation Issues

If you have only one door that is misaligned, chances are that door or door frame repair is going to solve the problem. If you notice, however, that many of your doors and windows seem to be misaligned, you could have bigger problems. One of the classic symptoms of an unstable foundation is the sticking and binding of doors and windows around the home. Though this problem can be attributed to several things, noticing a series of misaligned doors and windows definitely warrants a professional inspection.


  1. mary reed, January 16:

    can you change inside opening door to an outside opening door?

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