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How to Fix a Sagging Door

My storm door was out of alignment. The top of the door was hitting the door frame which meant it was sagging and needed to be squared.

Any door, whether a storm or screen door, an entry door, or an interior door, is suppose to be able to move freely  within its door jamb. The door jamb needs to be square too if everything is to work properly.


The dark markings at the top of the door jamb are from the sagging storm door rubbing against it


If the door starts to sag, it will begin to rub or strike the door jamb and the threshold, resulting in having to use a bit of force to open or close it. This sagging can also result in the door’s beautiful painted or stained finish to become marred.

Note – Doors of various weights may need different solutions to correct alignment problems.


How to Realign a Sagging Door

There is an easy solution for a minor repair job for a sagging door, without removing the door from the door jamb. Before you begin, check to make sure the door’s hinge screws are tight. If any are loose, this could be contributing to the sagging. Don’t over tighten a screw because that can cause it to shred the wood and reduce its grip strength.

The solution is to push the door outward from the lower hinge to square it up within the door jamb . One way to do this is to use a thin piece of flat cardboard, like from a cereal box, as a shim behind the bottom hinge. Usually, doors are out of alignment only fractions of an inch, and these cardboard shims can provide the right adjustment to the door by layering them.

I cut a few cardboard strips to a size that would fit nicely behind the hinge.


Cut the cardboard to the size of the hinge. Support the door under its bottom edge. Remove the bottom hinge screws and place the piece of cardboard behind the hinge, then tighten the hinge screws. Start with one piece of flat cardboard behind the hinge, and add more pieces if needed to square the door. It will take a bit of patience as you remove and replace the screws each time you add more layers of cardboard, and test the alignment. When you have the door aligned, tighten the hinge screws securely.

It was easy to replace the screws with the cardboard shims in place. Wood screws are used for door hinges, and the pointed tip of the screw will easily go through the cardboard layer(s), so there is likely no need to drill a hole in the cardboard.

If your door just needed this minor repair, it should open and close very smoothly now, and without marring it’s finish. This fixed my storm door alignment problem perfectly.


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