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How to Fix a Stuck Door

Doors stick for a variety of reasons, but it's a pretty easy fix once you identify where the door is sticking. Some basic home repair knowledge and a few tools are all you'll need to have your door operating properly again. Read on to learn how to fix a stuck door.


  1. Examine the door to determine where it's sticking. It's possible it could be getting hung up in more than one place.
  2. Fix a door that's rubbing against the jamb on the hinge side by adding some cardboard shims behind the hinges.
  3. Check the hinges on the door. Screws sometimes work their way loose over time and all they need is a good tightening. If you see that the hinges are sagging from the wood of the doorframe, you may need to re-anchor them with longer screws.
  4. Try planing the door a little at a time in the areas where it's sticking. Set your power or hand planer to 1/32nd of an inch. This should take off just enough wood so that the door operates freely again, and you can always make more than one pass it isn't enough to fix the problem.
  5. Find that settlement of a house over time can cause a strike plate and latch to need realignment. If the strike plate is too far away, you may be able to fix it with some cardboard shims. Chisel out a new mortise and drill pilot holes to replace the strike if it's too close. Wood putty can be used to fill the old mortise hole if needed.

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