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How Are Your Doors Keeping Lately?

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How Are Your Doors Keeping Lately?

By Allan Staines

Doors are given scant attention until they become dysfunctional. Here’s a few hints to keep your doors in tip-top shape.

Binding doors: Where house movement occurs, a door can become hard to close – it “binds”. The remedy here is to plane a little off the closing edge. Set the plane to a fine cut and remove a little at a time, then close it to test.

Rattling doors: Adjust the door-keeper so it sits snugly up against the door. Alternatively, the door-stop – that strip of wood attached to the door frame on which the door closes, can be tapped closer to the door using a length of say 75mm x 35mm wood. But keep in mind this will crack the paint in the corner, requiring a fresh paint job. Check if the hinges need tightening too, as sometimes this results in door sag.

Replacing an internal door handle: This is fiddly but not beyond the skills of an average home renovator. Take the existing handle and latch to match when purchasing the new one at your local store, and follow the instructions carefully. You can get specific advice from the store on installation tips and pitfalls.

Exterior doors: Check occasionally for wear and tear. The putty around glass panels may need replacing. Doors exposed to the weather should have tops and bottoms painted to protect the end grain. Whilst polyurethane and staining is popular, unless the door is in a sheltered location, you will need to re-coat it every one to two years to maintain it in good condition.

Security: Fitting tower bolts to your exterior door is always a good precaution. Importantly, tower bolts are usually packaged with the screws included. These screws are adequate if the bolt is to be used to provide privacy. If the bolt is for security, they are usually inadequate. Obtain the largest screws that will fit the holes provided in the bolt and 30-40mm in length. Better still for security, use through bolts if possible.

Stubborn Slot Screws: Where screws are very tight, remove any paint covering the screw head and slot. Ensure the screwdriver fits snugly into the slot before proceeding. Should this fail, try angling the screwdriver in the slot and using a hammer, tap the screw anticlockwise. A cordless screwdriver may also be worth trying, to get additional leverage and torque.

If all else fails, the resort is to drill out the stubborn screw and fill the hole with a piece of wood to suit, putty, sand and repaint.

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