Solving the Mystery of a Sticking Door

Solving the Mystery of a Sticking Door

Wooden doors can be a real puzzle.  Sometimes they open and close easily, and other times they can be really stubborn.  Before you can do something about them, you need to understand why the doors are binding.  There are several reasons this can happen.

To start with, as your house ages, door frames that were once straight-and-square can begin to sag (much like everything else.)  When the door frame is no longer straight and evenly spaced around the door, parts of it will tend to catch on the door.  Usually, by looking at the door, you’ll be able to see these areas.

There are different ways to approach this problem. One is to remove both door and frame and reinstall them, making sure that the frame is put in place straight, level, and plumb – regardless of the condition of the wall around it.  This process will usually take a few hours of work to accomplish.

A second and more practical approach is to shave the door down at the spot(s) where it is hitting the door frame.  You can use a belt sander, a plane, or even hand-sand these areas until the door fits again.

A third method that will work in a few cases (Read more….)