Fixing a sticking door

Doors which stick, either at the top or bottom, are quite a common problem in older houses, where years of moisture and heat have caused the wood to warp and change shape.  Even doors in some newer houses can require a little DIY attention because of poor quality workmanship.  There is no way to fix this without removing the door, so the first job is to take off the hinges using the correct screwdriver.

Use a workbench to hold the door firmly in position before you start making any alterations; this is for your own safety as well as to ensure that you make accurate measurements.  Often you will only need to remove a fine layer of wood in order for the door to open and close more smoothly.  The last thing you want is to take off too much and create a draught at the top or bottom of the frame.  Use a plane to shave off thin pieces of wood until you have removed the required amount, before re-hanging the door.

It is always best to underestimate as, if the door still sticks, you can always remove it again and take off more layers.  If you overestimate, you could end up needing a new door.  When re-hanging the door make sure the screws and hinges are replaced securely and the whole unit is hanging straight within the frame.  Use a spirit level, by all means, but in older houses it is also a good idea to check with the naked eye in case the frame itself is slightly sloping.

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