If you have some doors around your house that aren't working quite right, don't despair. There are a number of quick and easy fixes that will take care of whatever's sticking, squeaking, swinging or otherwise ailing your doors.
Door binds on the Upper Corner of the JambEdit
This is a common complaint, since the weight of the door wants to pull it down at an angle from the top corner, opposite the upper hinge. This causes the door to bind against the jamb in that corner. To fix it, remove one or two of the screws that hold the hinge to the jamb.
Replace these screws with new ones that are long enough to reach all the way through the jamb and into the stud behind the jamb; predrill new pilot holes through the existing holes in the jamb to make it easier to drive the screws.
These new, longer screws will pull the jamb back up against the stud and take the angle out of the door frame, relieving that pinch point in the corner.
Door Won't Stay LatchedEdit
If the door won't stay latched, or if it needs to be pushed hard to get it to latch into the strike plate, first look at the way the door is fitting in the jamb. If you see that it appears to be leaning down at the upper corner, try installing longer screws as described above.
Otherwise, it's a matter of readjusting the strike plate. Site the latch to see where it's hitting the strike plate, to try to determine if the plate needs to move up or down. If necessary, try coating the latch with lipstick or crayon and then closing the door -- the resulting marks on the strike plate will help indicate where it's hitting.
If only a small adjustment is needed, try grinding the opening in the strike plate to make it larger as needed. Use a small file or a rotary tool with a metal grinding bit. If a larger adjustment is needed, unscrew and remove the strike plate, then reposition it on the jamb and reinstall it. You may need to chisel the jamb slightly to accept the plate in its new position.
Screws are Coming OutEdit
If the screws that hold the hinges are coming out of the jamb, or you've had to reposition the strike plate and the screws want to go back into the old holes, you need to create new wood for the screws to grab into. This is easily done by drilling out the old screw holes to the size of a standard hardwood dowel, typically 3/8 inch. Apply glue to the dowel, insert it into the hole, allow it to dry, then cut it off flush with the surrounding surface. Drill a new pilot hole into the dowel, and reinsert the screws.
This is caused by a door that's out of plumb in its opening. To correct it, you need to insert a small amount of shim between the back of the hinge and the door jamb -- usually the bottom hinge. To do that, loosen the hinge screws almost all the way, so that you have some play between the hinge and the jamb.
Insert a piece of wooden shim or other material, such as small pieces of plastic laminate, behind the hinge, then retighten the screws. You may need to adjust the amount of shim to get the door to swing correctly, and you may also need to add a small amount of shim to the center hinge as well.
Door Hits the WallEdit
You need a door stop. There are three types of door stops available, depending on the situation. The simplest is a solid or flexible stop with a screw on one end and a rubber cap on the other, which is screwed into a pilot hole that's drilled into the door or into the baseboard.
Another style is a hinge stop, which is used when you want to stop the door before it can open far enough to contact a stop on a wall. To install this type of stop, remove the top or center hinge pin, slip it through the hinge stop, then reinstall the pin in the hinge.
The hinge stop has an adjustable rod that screws in and out to contact the door at different points, allowing you to stop the door's swing exactly where you want it.
The third type is called a floor stop. Floor stops are attached directly to the floor, and are the strongest of all the stops, making them especially well suited for commercial applications. On the downside, because they sit directly on the floor, they can sometimes be in the way.
Floor stops typically have a long pin that fits into a predrilled hole in the floor for strength, along with a screw that secures it to the floo