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Door-Fixing Tips

If fences make for better neighbors, then doors make for happier families. But not if a door is squeaking, sticking, or giving you a hard time as you try to remove or replace it. The following are ways you can maintain doors in your home and keep them working properly despite extensive use.

  • If you're trying to remove a door's hinge pin and the pin won't budge, press a nail against the hinge bottom and tap upward against the nail with a hammer.
  • For better control when lifting a door off its hinges, remove the bottom pin first. When replacing a door on its hinges, insert the top pin first.
  • You do not need to worry about oil dripping on the floor if you quiet a squeaky hinge by lubricating its pin with petroleum jelly rather than oil.
  • If you need to plane the bottom of a door because it scrapes the threshold or the floor, you can do so without removing the door. Place sandpaper on the threshold or floor, then move the door back and forth over this abrasive surface. Slide a newspaper or magazine under the sandpaper if it needs to be raised in order to make contact.
  • To remove 1/2 inch or more from a door, score with a utility knife to prevent chipping, and finish with a circular saw.
  • When you've fashioned a door to the exact size for hanging, bevel the latch edge backward to let it clear the jamb as it swings open and shut.
  • Before you replace a door that you have planed, seal the planed edges with wood sealer. If you don't, the door will swell and stick again.

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