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How to plan a door

An uneven door can be ugly and annoying, especially if it continues to catch and get caught in the door frame. Fortunately, there are some ways you can solve the problem and make your door level again. If the door itself is uneven, you can adjust the hinges. You can also add shims to a door frame if it is uneven or skewed. If you have a problem with your door getting stuck, there are some things you can try to solve the problem.


[[[[Edit]Shimming the hinges

  1. Close the door and look for uneven distance. Close the door all the way and look at the crack between the door and the frame. Look for places where the distance is uneven, such as near the top or bottom of the door to find out which hinges need shimming.[1]
    Level a Door Step 1 Version 4.jpg
    • For example, if the space between the door and the frame is smaller at the top of the door, you will need to add spacers in the lower hinge to correct the imbalance.
  2. Open the door and remove the hinge that needs shims. Open the door to expose the screws in the hinges. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws from the hinge you are removing. Set the screws aside so you can replace them later and pull the hinge away from the door and frame.[2]
    Level a Door Step 2 Version 4.jpg
    • If you need to shimmer several hinges, remove 1 at a time so you do not have to remove the entire door.
  3. Place the hinge on cardboard and cut out the contours with a tool knife. Take a clean cardboard sheet and place it on a flat work surface such as a table or the ground. Fold the hinge closed and place it on top of the box. Use a tool knife to cut out a contour from the box. Then move the hinge to another place on the box and cut out another contour. Cut out at least 2-3 cardboard slices.[3]
    Level a Door Step 3 Version 4.jpg
    • If your door is really uneven, cut out 5-6 cardboard sheets, in any case.
  4. Replace the hinge with 2-3 cardboard discs behind it. Two spacers will suffice for a door that is slightly uneven, but if part of the door touches the frame when you checked the distance, use 3 spacers. Hold the cardboard plates on the back of the hinge and place the hinge against the door frame at the place where you removed it. Use a screwdriver to drive the screws through the box and into the door frame. Then replace the screws that secure the hinge to the door itself.[4]
    Level a Door Step 4 Version 4.jpg
    • You can also use a drill to drive in the screws as well.
  5. Check the door distance and add more spacers if needed. Close the door again and look at the distance between the door and the frame. If it is still uneven, remove the hinge, add another cardboard box on the back, replace the hinge and check the distance again. Add as many spacers as needed to make the distance between the door and the frame even.[5]
    Level a Door Step 5 Version 4.jpg

[[[[Edit]Add spacers to the door frame

  1. Pry off the door and shape with a hammer and chisel. Use a screwdriver to remove any screws that are attached to the door and form around the frame. Insert the flat end of the chisel into the crack in the casting and tap it lightly with a hammer. Carefully pry off the mold and set it aside. Then bend the door frame away and set it aside as well.[6]
    Level a Door Step 6 Version 4.jpg
    • Carefully remove the door stop and the mold so that you do not damage it and can easily replace it.
  2. Insert 2 cedar shingles in the space between the pins and the door frame. Cedar shingles are wooden shingles that work well to help fill the gap like a shim. Approximately from the floor, insert 1 shingles vertically and 1 horizontally into the space between the pins and the door frame. Adjust them so that they fit snugly in the space.[7]
    Level a Door Step 7 Version 5.jpg
    • Use your hammer to easily tap shims if you have trouble inserting them.
  3. Add cedar tops to the top, center and bottom of the frame. Add a pair of cedar shingles as a spacer to the space between the pins and the frame. Place them on top, in the middle and at the bottom so that they are balanced and even.[8]
    Level a Door Step 8 Version 4.jpg
  4. Use a level to check that the frame is smooth. Position the level against the frame to see if it is level, which helps level the door. If it is not even, add more shims to adjust it further until it is completely smooth.[9]
    Level a Door Step 9 Version 4.jpg
    • Make small adjustments with your shims and use your level often to find the perfect balance.
  5. Replace door stop and casting. Replace the mold and screws and replace the door stop. Close the door to test its level. If it is still uneven, you may need to adjust the hinges on the door.[10]
    Level a Door Step 10 Version 4.jpg
    • It is possible that the foundation of your home also needs to be repaired professionally. You may want to contact a building inspector to make sure there are no structural problems that are making your door uneven.

[[[[Edit]Fix a door that is stuck

  1. Place a dehumidifier in the room if the humidity exceeds 80%. Humidity in your home can cause the wood in your door and door frame to swell and expand, which can cause it to stick. Connect a dehumidifier in the room to keep the humidity low and constant.[11]
    Level a Door Step 11 Version 4.jpg
    • You can find dehumidifiers at your local department store, home decor store or by ordering them online.
  2. Apply lubricant to the hinges if they are creaky or stiff. Open and close the door a few times while looking at the hinges. If they are rusty, creaky or feel stiff when you move the door, you can make your door stick. Spread out Vaseline or spray a lubricant such as WD-40 in the hinges on your door. Open and close the door a few times so that the lubricant is inserted into the hinges and see if it solves the problem.[12]
    Level a Door Step 12 Version 4.jpg
    • If your door continues to get stuck, the problem is probably not in the hinges.
  3. Tighten the hinge screws if they are loose. Loose screws can cause the door to become uneven, which can cause it to stick. Open the door all the way and look at the screws on the hinges. If any of them are loose or protruding from the frame or door, use a screwdriver to tighten them and try to open and close the door to see if it is still stuck.[13]
    Level a Door Step 13 Version 4.jpg
    • If your screws come loose, try installing longer with a drill.
  4. Straighten the door glue with a block plan as a last resort. A block plane is a sharp blade that you press by hand to shave off small pieces of wood. If you have tried several solutions but your door still gets stuck in a certain place, use a block plan to shave off a small layer. Open and then close the door to test it. Continue shaving one layer at a time until it is flat and does not stick.[14]
    Level a Door Step 14 Version 4.jpg
    • You can find block plans in your local hardware store or by ordering them online.
    • Shaving door pieces makes it uneven and can weaken its structural integrity, so do so only as a last resort.


  • Make small adjustments at a time and test the door so that you do not over-adjust and make it uneven.


  • Block planes are very sharp, so be careful when using one.

[[[[Edit]Things you need

[[[[Edit]Shimming the hinges

  • Screwdriver
  • Sheet of paper
  • Tool knife
  • Screwdriver

[[[[Edit]Add spacers to the door frame

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Cedar shingles
  • Level
  • Screwdriver


  1. https://youtu.be/BsoovHy8euc?t=25
  2. https://youtu.be/BsoovHy8euc?t=130
  3. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/doors/21017193/how-to-repair-a-skewed-door
  4. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/doors/21017193/how-to-repair-a-skewed-door
  5. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/doors/21017193/how-to-repair-a-skewed-door
  6. https://youtu.be/hLL2RxZsICk?t=37
  7. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-shim-a-door/
  8. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-shim-a-door/
  9. https://youtu.be/hLL2RxZsICk?t=310
  10. https://youtu.be/hLL2RxZsICk?t=340
  11. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/stop-your-doors-from-sticking/
  12. https://youtu.be/mp65j3wQioc?t=20
  13. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/doors/21016673/how-to-fix-a-door-that-sticks
  14. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/doors/21016673/how-to-fix-a-door-that-sticks

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