Replacing Loose Hinges
Do you have a sticky door? One that
won’t close all the way? Well, doors will often stick or
jam simply because the hinges are loose. Over time, normal
use and the weight of the door will pull the screws out of
the jamb. Simply putting in longer screws will sometimes
fix the problem. Sometimes, however, you may just need to
replace the hinges. Not to worry! Re placing the hinges is
something you can do.
How to repair or replace loose hinges:
1. Remove the door
from its hinges by unscrewing the hinges. If you have a
helper, have them hold the door in place while you do
this. Doors, although not typically heavy, can be
2. Use a flat-head
screwdriver and a hammer to first drive the lower hinge
pin up and out, and then the upper one.
3. Remove the door and
set it aside.
4. Tighten any loose screws. If the wood behind the hinge
won’t hold the screws, remove the hinges and go to the
5. Coat wooden golf
tees or wooden dowels with glue and drive them into the
worn screw holes as far as you can. (Or, just choose a new
place to drill fresh holes.)
6. Let the glue dry
and cut off the excess wood with a utility knife.
7. Drill pilot holes
into the new wood.
8. Reattach the
hinges, using the new wood as a base for the screws.
If the hinge plates are covered with
paint, scrape away the paint and expose the screw heads.
Remove the screws, and then tap the hinge with the hammer
to knock it free.
Instead of going to the trouble of
finding golf tees or the right-sized dowels, try pushing a
few toothpicks into the old screw hole and snapping them
off flush. (You don’t need glue for this.) Reinstalling
the screws should wedge the toothpicks in so that they’re
Replace hinge screws with long (at
least three-inch) wood screws. Sometimes these will pull a
jamb back into alignment and solve the problem.
A pilot hole is a small hole that allows you to drill
screws through solid wood easily and keep wood from
splitting. I’ve tried to put a screw through hard wood
without a pilot hole, and it wasn’t pretty. Depending on
how- long your screw is, it will bend or break, kill your
drill battery or split the wood. Sure, it’s an extra step,
but it’s a very important extra step that will save you
time, money, and frustration in the long run.
You can get pilot hole drill bits at any hardware store.
They come in a variety of sizes. I typically use 1/8-inch
because most screws (especially drywall screws) will work
with that. If you need larger, however, they are
available. Take the screw that you intend to use and hold
it up to a pilot drill bit. You will want to choose a bit
that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw.
How to drill a pilot hole:
1. Attach your drill bit to the drill.
2. Mark on your project where you would like the hole.
3. Take your drill and drill through the marked area.
4. Remove the drill.
5. Your pilot hole is complete and ready to receive a