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A door sticks when edges bind or rub against the frame or floor. Shave away a little wood and the door will open and close easily again.
If a door is sticking near the latch, remove the latch before you repair it or you will damage the wood plane.
A well-adjusted door should not rattle. Most strike plates have a flange that can be bent slightly to solve the problem.
Doors that fit too loosely in the frame will rattle in a draught. This is often because the doorstop is badly positioned or the strike plate is in the wrong place. Both can be easily moved to solve the problem.
Pack out a hinge if a door is binding on the hinged edge. This can be done by unscrewing the hinge and cutting thick cardboard to the size of the hinge leaf. Position the card behind the hinge and screw it back in place. Open and close the door and, if necessary, add more pieces of cardboard until it opens and closes smoothly.
If a latch doesn't catch when you close a door you may just need to file the inner edge of the strike plate, as it may be set too far forward in the frame. A latch won't catch either if the plate is too far back in the frame. 'Pack out' the plate as you would a hinge.
If a door won't stay shut, the latch may not be properly aligned with the strike plate. Check the wear on the plate as the door closes. To make small adjustments simply file the edge of the hole in the strike plate.
Move the strike plate only as a last resort.
A door will not close properly if the hinge fittings are loose. Drill out the old holes, plug them with wooden dowels and drill new fixing points into the surface of each dowel before refitting hinges.
Wooden doors and windows stick and swell in wet weather. Try rubbing on beeswax or polishing the sticking edge. If this doesn't work, remove the door or window, plane or sand the edge that sticks and be sure to prime and repaint the edges.
Do not adjust doors and windows too much as they swell during periods of high humidity and shrink when the humidity falls.
Do not hang an external door and leave bare wood exposed as water will enter the grain and cause swelling. To remedy, remove the door, dry it and plane a little wood from the affected area. Prime the bare timber and undercoat and topcoat to prevent swelling again.
Extend the life of outside doors by using a good quality exterior paint system, which will be durable and long-lasting.
Ask someone to help hold the door if rehanging is awkward.
Take care when using chisels, always follow three rules: