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How to Adjust Storm Doors

A binding, sticking storm door will eventually cause more damage if it’s not repaired. Here’s how to diagnose the problem and make the door hang properly and close smoothly.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Straighten a sagging storm door

If your storm door won’t close without a firm tug—or it won’t close at all—it’s probably rubbing against the frame, wearing off the paint and grating on your nerves. Most storm doors are mounted on a metal frame that’s screwed to wood molding surrounding the door. When the metal frame on the hinge side of the door comes loose, or the molding itself loosens, the door sags and scrapes against the other side of the frame, usually near the top.

Before you grab your tools, partly open the door from the outside and push the door up and down. Watch the hinge side of the door frame. If the molding moves, secure it with extra nails (Photo 1). Start by adding a couple of nails near the top of the wood trim. Then add nails farther down if necessary. Sink the nailheads slightly with a nail set, cover the heads with acrylic caulk and touch up the molding with paint.

More often than not, it’s the metal frame that comes loose, not the wood trim. To fix the metal frame, buy a few No. 8 x 1-in. pan head screws. Stainless steel screws are best. Stick a shim between the door and the frame (as in Photo 1), tighten the existing screws and drill new screw holes through the frame. Press lightly as you drill the metal; you don’t want to drill into the wood molding with the 3/16-in. bit. Then drill a 3/32-in. pilot hole into the wood and add screws (Photo 2). In most cases, two or three screws added near the top of the frame will do the job.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Hammer
    • Cordless drill
    • Nail set

You’ll also need a 3/16-in. metal drill bit and a 3/32-in. wood drill bit.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Wood shims
    • 10d galvanized finish nail
    • Wood filler
    • No. 8 x 1-in. stainless steel screws
    • White spray paint (optional)

Comments from DIY Community Members

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November 25, 11:21 PM [GMT -5]

The installation of screen doors or storm doors are important to protect the inner door while allowing air to enter the building. A common amenity in many homes, it is great to see a tip on how adjust sagging doors. Most of us tend to put it off and prefer to bear with this annoyance. However, it is best to fix this quickly, or it will do more damage to the pain and will easily wear and tear.

March 25, 12:14 PM [GMT -5]

Thanks, it works.

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How to Adjust Storm Doors

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