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How to Keep a Door from Swinging Open or Closed

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Well, squeaky floors, creaky doors and all those little things that give your house what we like to call charm can sometimes be more than annoying.

    TOM: Exactly. Like if you have a problem with doors that won’t stay open or closed when they’re supposed to. Well, for some simple solutions, we turn now to our friends Tom Silva and Kevin O’Connor from This Old House.
    And Kevin, just because this is a small problem doesn’t mean it can’t be really, really annoying.
    KEVIN: You know, sometimes it’s the little problems around your house that are the most frustrating. In my house, I’ve got a few doors that won’t stay open or shut when they’re supposed to.
    TOM SILVA: Did you hang them?
    (all laugh)
    KEVIN: Of course I did.
    TOM SILVA: Yeah, well sometimes a door swings open or closed because the house has settled or maybe just wasn’t hung right. But there are ways around fixing it. If you have to rehang the door, it could be a lot of work but there are a few simple ways to do it.
    If the door won’t stay closed, make sure that the striker lines up with the plate. So when you close the door, you want to hear that clicking sound. You may need to reposition it and chisel a slightly larger hole to receive the striker. You can also remove the hinge and shim them with cardboard at the top or the bottom, bringing the door back to plumb.
    KEVIN: OK. There’s got to be some other simple solutions, too.
    TOM SILVA: Well, you can take the hinge pin out and just lay the hinge pin on a solid block or take it out on the sidewalk and hit it so you can bend the pin slightly and it’ll go into the opening, causing some friction.
    KEVIN: I’ve actually done that a couple times. And if you’ve still got questions, you can check out our videos about fixing doors on ThisOldHouse.com.
    TOM: And that slams a door on another edition of today’s This Old House segment. (Kevin chuckles) Tom Silva, Kevin O’Connor, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit. Great tips.
    KEVIN: Thanks, Tom. Nice to be here.
    LESLIE: (chuckling) You know, and all this time I thought the best you could do is buy a doorstop and live with the problem and, of course, pick up that really adorable black-and-white dog doorstop. I mean there are so many great choices out there. (Tom chuckles)
    Well, doorstops aside, you can learn all about stopping those swinging doors at ThisOldHouse.com.
    TOM: And for more simple solutions, be sure to tune in to Ask This Old House which is proudly sponsored by ERA. ERA – always there for you.

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