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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 10/31/2016

Well now. Folks may remember that last week I decided that I needed to simply move the right-hand door up about a half inch to make it fit perfectly. As I noted at the time it sealed nicely around the edges and while the bottom gap was a smidge large it wasn't something I couldn't work with. I'd have to carefully extend the hinge seats a bit and drill all new holes, but I knew it was quite doable.

So that's what I did this weekend just past. I spent all day Saturday very careful chiseling out the hinge seats (bought a new wood chisel just for the job!) and sanded it down nicely. Getting the door and the hinges to the right height and leaving it there long enough to start screwing in the new hinges was tricky, but I got it. Along the way I took a word of advice from the installation sheet ("manual" would be too generous here) and installed two of my top hinge screws as very long screws that extended into the outer frame around the door so as to provide better adjustment control.

So my first attempt didn't quite fit, much to my surprise--it caught along the top of the doors and along the arch towards the top. After a bit I realized what the problem was--the extra arch set screw I'd added last week was sitting flush against the 2x4 it was mounted into, and I couldn't "adjust" that part of the arch anymore. I thought that maybe if I took that out it would work better and at least let the arch "spring" outwards a bit, so I did... and it was perfect! The door opened and closed exactly as it should!


The first pic below shows the door from the inside. It's all clean and level and just looks great.

Then I stepped outside to check the weather seal fit. WTH ... Judging by the speakeasy grate, the door was crooked! Very crooked.

See pic #2 for what I found.

Well heck... what the devil was going on? Since it was getting late Sunday I just closed things up and pondered, and then today when I got home from work I took some more measurements.

The third pic shows the level along the threshold. Perfectly flat and level... It would be hard to get that bubble "more in the middle" than it is. This is good news, because I hated for lots and lots of reasons the idea of having to remove the entire frame and start completely over.

The fourth pic on the other hand is from the level being held against the vertical on that side of the arch. Note how it clearly indicates that the arch is uphill, in the direction of the slant shown to annoying effect by the speakeasy. So this means that somehow the arch itself isn't vertical, probably on both sides (the other side also shows a slight inclination in that same direction, though not as pronounced).

So... I'm working on theories now. In increasing likelihood of impacting the door frame here's what I've got so far:

  • It might be that the bracing/filler blocks I put between the door frame and the larger opening frame is throwing it all off... They don't go more than about a foot up though.

  • It could also be that the longer set screws I added to the upper hinge (per instructions!) is "pulling" the frame inwards and hence "uphill". Possibly releasing the tension in those screws, or removing them completely, might make a difference here.

  • It's also possible that all three of the set screws around the top of the arch (one on either side and one at the top) aren't quite on center, that the arch was essentially screwed into place with a slight tilt towards the right-hand side. I could test that by simply removing them... If I'm right then the arch should definitely "shift" once it's not held into place by those upper screws.

Or maybe it's all three combined in one fashion or another... or something I haven't thought of yet.

So. Fracking. Close!

Always fun, but I'm ready for this particular round of fun to be over... I really want this to be done so I can seal up the wall!


Frustrated in Colorado


The door looks GREAT from the inside...
...but from the outside there's clearly something off.
The level on the threshold. I don't know how it could get any more level than that.
The level against the frame on the misbehaving door. Note it clearly ISN'T level... Grrrr.

My Construction Website

Posted by Linda in Chickamauga, GA on 11/4/2016

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I think it is mathematically impossible that the inside of the door would be vertical and the outside crooked so I started measuring your pictures. I think the grate on the outside of the door may be crooked - which would make the whole door look crooked on the outside. You would need to test this checking with a tape that the grate is actually parallel to the stiles/rails on the door. Since there is so much contrast between the grate and the door, even a little deviation would create the visual illusion of "crookedness". If that's the problem, you probably have a defect in the door itself.

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