Fixing that Irritating Door that Won't Stay Open or Closed TextAudioVideo

The door with a mind of its own

That door with a mind of its own. You would like it to stay open and out of the way, but it swings itself to the half closed or closed position. It won't stay open without a door stop. The cause of this is most likely due to a door jamb that is not plumb. If PinRemovalthis has been an ongoing problem that you have just put up with there are 2 possible ways to fix it.

The Hard Way

You can remove the casing, break the jamb free from the framing of the rough opening and rehang the door plumb (straight up and down) and square (4 straight sides and 4 90-degree corners). This solution has the inherent risk of splitting the door jamb or casing during removal. Another risk is that the finished flooring material may reach the new jamb location. In either case a cosmetic repair might be the solution.

Try This First! (The Easier Way)


As an alternative try this simple method. Close the door and remove the bottom hinge with the hammer by tapping the nail against the pin. The door should stay closed without the pinTake the pin to set it on a concrete floor. Strike it about a ⅓ the way down from the head, using a hammer. This should put a crimp in the pin. Now go reset the pin into the door hinge. The increased resistance between the hinge and the crimped pin will probably provide just the right amount of resistance to hold the door in any position you choose. This solves the problem with most doors suffering from that persistent swinging issue.

Did That Help?

If that helps but doesn't solve the issue, repeat the steps with the middle hinge. You can remove the top pin if that is thethree minute tip only option but (be warned), it can be harder to replace.  If that still doesn't give you the results you are looking for, then the solution described in option 1 is your next best solution. 

Do You Have A Bigger Problem?

****Caution: If this is a new problem it may require further investigation to ensure this is not a settling or foundation problem. Another sign of possible foundation issues are multiple doors that develop a habit of swinging or front and back doors that hit the door jamb (the part of the door frame where the latch usually is) instead of moving smoothly into place. Cracks that radiate from wall corners and cracks that are wider than a pencil lead should be investigated further. It would be a good idea to call a Foundation Specialist for an assessment if these are issues you are seeing at your home.

podcast archive | March 10th 2018

 Relevant #SwingingDoor audio begins at 19:00

How-To video

In the video below, Rosie demonstrates the simple trick of bending your door pin to prevent doors from voluntarily swinging.

March Home Maintenance Calendar To-Do: #SwingingDoors


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