Frequently Asked Questions: Door Hardware

1. When should I replace or adjust my door hinges?
2. My hinges seem like they do not line up - any ideas?
3. My door will not close? What should I check?
4. Can you tell me about door latches?

1. When should I replace or adjust my door hinges?

• You should replace your old hinges because worn or loosely mounted hinges will allow the door to sag and bind, no matter how well it fits the opening.
• You may need to adjust the hinges depending on how square the frame is. Your door will be machined to match your old door. If the jamb is out of square, shimming adjustments may be required (a) behind the hinges or (b) behind the jamb may require prior squaring up. Hinge box cardboard works well behind the hinges if the door is not sitting square. If the jamb needs shimming, you may have to remove the casing to shim up the jamb to make it square.
If the door binds, you can also achieve adjustment by mortising the hinge onto the door slightly deeper.

2. My hinges seem like they do not line up - any ideas?

• Loosen the hinge that will not go on and then put it into place and tighten the hinge back up.
• Using a hammer, lightly tap the hinge that is higher than its partner to line them up. The pins should then slip into place.

3. My door will not close? What should I check?

• The door is rubbing against the doorstop and you may have to mortise the hinge further into the door.
• If the door is free near the bottom but binds near the top on the latch side, the bottom hinge may be set in too deep. Remove the bottom hinge and put a piece of cardboard inside and reset the screws. This problem may be reversed also.
• Check all screws to make sure they are tight.

4. Can you tell me about door latches?

If there is no binding and the hinges are tight and well seated, but the door still refuses to behave... check out the latch. Most door closures are spring loaded retractable latches. They connect to the door handle, which interlocks with the opening in the strike plate on the door jamb. These two parts must line up exactly when the door is closed.