A squeaky hinge lets the entire house know you’re opening a door. A sagging door will grate on your floors and your nerves. Sometimes all a door needs is a hardware update to begin swinging like new again. It doesn’t take a master carpenter to repair door hinges, just some time, patience, and a little strength (some doors can be very heavy).
Although squeaky hinges may be easily fixed with lubrication, larger problems will probably involve replacing the hinges, which is typically a better idea than trying to repair an old set of hinges. So, unless you are attached to your old hardware, plan to replace faulty hinges with new ones.
Choosing Replacement Hinges
Before you head out to your local home improvement or hardware store for new door hinges, it’s a good idea to remove your door so that you can bring one set of hinges with you to the store. This will save you the obvious frustration of coming home to discover your newly purchased hinges don’t fit your favorite door.
To remove the door, you will need a screwdriver and a hammer. Use the screwdriver, and the hammer if you need more power, to tap upwards on the pin inserted in each hinge. The pins in the hinges may slip out easily or may need you to be a bit more encouraging with your hammer.
Be careful banging at the hinges to avoid slipping and accidentally denting your door or door trim. When you remove the pins from the hinges, you should be able to lift the door and free it from the hinges. Be aware that the door may come away from the hinges with little effort and maybe quite heavy.
Set the door aside, and using a screwdriver, remove the mounting screws from each half of a set of hinges (one in the door and the other on the door jamb). Note how many hinges are on the door in question, and take the old hinge with you when you shop for your replacement hinges.
Installing New Hinges
When you have the new hardware you need to re-install the door, separate the new hinges. Check to see which half of the hinge will be mounted on the door and which will be on the door jamb. Using the screws provided with the new hinges, mount the plates in their respective positions, which should be the same places where the old hinges were mounted.
When you have mounted all hinges, lift the door into place. It helps to have another person help with this step. One person can hold the door steady while the second guides the hinges into alignment and slides the pins into place. The pins may slide in on their own or may need you to gently tap them into place with a hammer.
If replacing your door hinges does not solve a problem you are having with a door dragging along the floor or not fitting in its opening, you may have other issues, such as the door opening being out of square. If this is the case, you might want to consider contacting a carpenter or a handy friend to take a look at the door, its opening, and the hinges, before you invest further time and money into repairing the problem yourself.