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Pamela Hege asked:

Jan 13, 2015
Should I be worried that external doors in my home are shifting to a point that I can't lock them without lifting them up?
When we first moved into the house we noticed that both the front door and the back door had slight open area at the top of the door and locking them required a little fiddling. Unfortunately the gap at the top of the door (especially the back) has grown wider and it's near impossible to lock the door without a lot of work.
Feb 4, 2015

Each Home should follow a system and be adjusted with an annual maintenance check list conducted.  Door adjustments are part of the process and common.  Always have a professional look at the issue although it could simply be a small adjustment.

Billy Gavigan

Dec 30, 2016

The fact that you can lift the door to get it to latch tells me that it is likely the installer did not install long screws through the top hinge into the 2" x 4" or 2" x 6" that creates your opening in your wall. Often installer rely on nails to support the weight of the door, but nails will allow the door to sag over a period of time. Verify that there is at least one, but preferabbly two long (2" at least) screws through the top hinge. If not, you can use a cordless drill driver to run the screws in. This usually easily draws the door back up to where it belongs. This is rarely caused by a foundation issue, or cause for a new door.

Michelle Slowe answered:

Jan 13, 2015

Hello Pamela, 

We at NEWPRO suggest you have a professional examine your doors. Not only do these gaps create energy loss from within your home, but also pose a security issue. Without actually inspecting your doors, it would be difficult to pinpoint the precise cause. Circumstances we have run into that sound similar to yours have been caused by the door being warped, the jamb being bowed, or simply that the hinges have become loose or sagged.

I hope this helps!

~ Michelle Slowe


Jan 30, 2015

It would be a very good Idea to have your foundaton looked at. Unfortunaly in this area foundation shifts area a big problem. Find someone that will provide a free estimate and check with your home insurance to see if they are able to help offest your cost. Make sure you get a copy of your vendors insurance certificate before you pay anything or have any work done.

Good Luck !!

Mary Redwine

Mary's Handymen LLC

14919 SW Fwy # 301-205

Sugar Land TX 77478

While sometimes this is a door installation issue, It is often from seasonal temporary weather changes affecting your homes foundation, or other settling issues. Dry spells and winter freezing cause the soil to shrink and pull away from the foundation and can cause movement that will cause the problem you describe. I would  inspect the trim on the frame and look for signs that the frame has moved. This could happen if a door is not shimmed properly. Also inspect the hinge screws, strike plate, and hardware to make sure that nothing has loosend up and moved. If all appears tight, close the door and look at the space around the edge of the door, this is called the reveal or margin. You will see this gap from the interior on an inswing door. The reveal should be somewhat consistant around the edge of the door panel and the door frame. If the reveal is tight at the top and gaps at the bottom on the latch side of the door you will likely need a carpenter to reset the door or adjust the strike plate that engages the hardware into the frame.  I would wait until the next season if you can, as sometimes it will move back with the seasonal weather change. If the condition persists or worsens to the point that it will not lock, or affects multiple openings, you might have a foundation shifting or other structural problems and should consult a foundation expert or structural engineer before spending money to fix the door. Good Luck, I hope this helps. If you are in Kansas City, Call us- We do house calls!

Doug Bennett, President All- Weather Window, Doors & Siding Inc.

I would be concerned... sounds like you have some sort of issue if the gap is gettting larger.

I definantely would contact a local professional door installer.

Bruce Wiegan of BNW Builders PRO answered:

Apr 18, 2015

What year was the house built?  How old are the doors?

Apr 27, 2015

I had a similar experience. It would be better if you replace your door before it get harder to close your main door. I had replaced the doors from a window firm in Ottawa.

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