Fix it forever
1 of 2
This is the culprit.
2 of 2
Replace short hinge screws with long screws
when the screw holes no longer hold. Angle
the long screws toward the studs to make
sure they catch.
One day the door closes smoothly;
the next day it's sticking.
And the sticking grows worse
as the weeks pass. It's a common old house
problem, but it can happen anywhere
kids hang from doorknobs.
The screws holding the top hinges carry
most of the weight of the door and are
almost always the first to pull out, especially
after they've been repeatedly tightened
over the years. The
best way to beef them up is to replace the
standard 3/4-in. hinge screws with at least
two 3-in. screws that go through the
jambs and solidly anchor into the framing.
If the door has a large hinge with four
screw holes, just drive 3-in. screws straight
through the two holes toward the center
of the door. However, if the hinge has only
three holes, add a 3-in. screw through the
middle hole and redrill the top screw hole
at a slight angle so the screw
hits solid wood.
Start the drill bit at a sharp
angle so the bit doesn't follow the old
screw hole. As soon as you feel a fresh
hole starting, tip the drill bit back to an
angle that will hit the stud—the angle
shown here should work for most doors.
If the bit or screw feels like it's sliding off
to the side between the drywall and
wood, redrill at a sharper angle.
Screw the hinge back in with yellow
dichromate (zinc-plated) screws—the
color and head size of these rust-resistant
drywall screws are a good match for
standard brass hinge screws. If the door
doesn't shut properly after all the screws
are driven in, they may have been driven
in too far, pulling the door frame out
of plumb. Just back the screws out a