replace or shim a door jam - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-01-2017, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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replace or shim a door jam

I bought a house a few months ago that has a problem with the back door. Here are a few pictures of what I'm dealing with -

Inside door, closed. Notice the gap between door and jamb:



The latch barely engages the striker, there's about a half inch gap. But it's not consistent, as though the jamb is bowed. Notice the insulation stuffed in there by previous owner -



Closeup of the jamb with door open:



So, my question is can I remove the trim and shim the jamb such that it's closer to the door (and straight), or do I have to replace the door frame? Or are door jambs a standard size that I can get at HD?

I can replace a board, but I'm not qualified to hang a door.

Thanks

Dave in CT, USA
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-01-2017, 03:49 PM
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Is there a gap at the head of the door frame? You should be able to pop the trim off the lock jamb and shim it to get a uniform gap. I ask if there is a gap at the top because if there is the frame was not constructed to the correct size and should also be corrected but this might require completely removing the frame.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-01-2017, 04:28 PM
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No question, shim the jamb. Chances are the door was improperly installed and the only thing holding the jamb is the casing. Chances are the door isn't shimmed on either side so you might take the casing off both sides while you are at it and determine what needs to be done to make it right.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-01-2017, 05:16 PM
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There’s a good chance your house is settling and you’re on your way to foundation problems. Usually when this happens it effects more than just one door.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-01-2017, 05:43 PM
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I suspect ....

I'm going out on a limb and suggest the rough opening is oversize AND OR the jam may not have any shims ... on either side. The door needs to be centered in the RO with shims making it plumb. It's not all that difficult to do, BUT for someone who has never done it ... it will be intimidating. So, your gonna have to hire it done.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-01-2017, 07:07 PM
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if the gap is the same from top to bottom, odds are the door was replaced. and the replacement is a tad smaller.....
if that's the case, the door frame itself is too big - the top cannot 'shim' in - you can only bow the middle and the bottom in; less than pretty.

or, rough sand the finish off the right side jam and tack/glue on a thin strip to fill the gap. you may want to pull the door stop and go the entire width ( I suspect the door stop is making minimal contact . . . )
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-01-2017, 08:36 PM
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What are those white strips between the bottom half of door & jamb, weather striping? That may be some of the problem, gap wont close with all that in there. If the door latch is actually lined up with jamb strike plate, but gap just too big, pull the molding off latch side & shove a few shims in see if helps correct it. (Take that extra weather striping off first so gap closes).

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Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
I bought a house a few months ago that has a problem with the back door. Here are a few pictures of what I'm dealing with -

Inside door, closed. Notice the gap between door and jamb:



The latch barely engages the striker, there's about a half inch gap. But it's not consistent, as though the jamb is bowed. Notice the insulation stuffed in there by previous owner -



Closeup of the jamb with door open:



So, my question is can I remove the trim and shim the jamb such that it's closer to the door (and straight), or do I have to replace the door frame? Or are door jambs a standard size that I can get at HD?

I can replace a board, but I'm not qualified to hang a door.

Thanks

"You must become one with the wood grass hopper"
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-01-2017, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nywoodwizard View Post
What are those white strips between the bottom half of door & jamb, weather striping? That may be some of the problem, gap wont close with all that in there. If the door latch is actually lined up with jamb strike plate, but gap just too big, pull the molding off latch side & shove a few shims in see if helps correct it. (Take that extra weather striping off first so gap closes).
That is something jury rigged. It has no place there and should be removed. That type weather strip is suppose to go on the door stop instead of the jamb.

I think if you remove the casing the fix will be obvious. Take a flat bar and pry the jamb toward the door where it has a proper gap and then measure the distance between the framing and the jamb and cut some wood that thick and push it in there. Then use nails or screws long enough to go through the jamb and the blocking into the framing.

Before you remove the casing be sure to take a utility knife and cut the caulk. Otherwise it will peal the paper off the sheetrock.

Last edited by Steve Neul; 12-01-2017 at 11:24 PM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-02-2017, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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The weatherstrip is definitely a bandaid attempt at sealing the door. The door is metal, and would be a replacement since houses of this era (60 yrs old) were wooden. The gap around the top and hinge side are normal, so I assume some idiot framed it incorrectly.

I'm going to pull the trim and see what's behind it. Thanks for that tip Steve, I'll be sure to score the caulk and paint before prying off the trim.

Wish me luck

Dave in CT, USA
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-02-2017, 11:50 AM
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I fix a lot of doors like that and in almost every case there is nothing between the jamb and the framing. This is critical to have wood blocking or shims between the jamb and framing. Otherwise someone could cut a stick about 3/4" longer than the opening is wide and drive it in with a hammer and the door would just come open.
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