Exterior doors are heavy and occasionally sag.

How to Fix a Sagging Entry Door

by Wade Shaddy

Because they're heavier than hollow doors, exterior doors tend to sag over time due to age, faulty installation or stripped screws. The problem almost always originates with the hinges. If the top hinge loosens only slightly, the door will sag forward, catching or rubbing on the doorjamb. If it's bad enough, you can even start seeing daylight above the door. You don't have to live with it. Get out your tools and repair it in a few minutes using a few screws long enough to penetrate where the old screws lost their grip.

Open the door to 90 degrees. Place a shim under the outside corner if needed to level the door horizontally. Use a drill/driver to remove the screws from the top hinge on the door.

Replace the screws with 2-inch screws or screws that are at least 3/4-inch longer than the original screws. Drive them into the original screw holes using a drill/driver.

Remove the screws from the jamb side of the door. Insert 3-inch screws in the holes.

Drive the screws in equally halfway. The screws will penetrate all the way through the jamb and into the stud framing behind the jamb.

Drive the top screw in tight using force if necessary. As the screw bites into the stud, the jamb may move back slightly; that's fine and to be expected. Finish by driving the other two screws in tight.

Items you will need

  • Shim, if needed
  • Drill/driver
  • 2-inch screws
  • 3-inch screws


  • If your door has been sagging for any period of time, the jamb will likely have scrapes or scratches. Apply some matching oil stain to the scratches to hide them, or sand the jamb and refinish it.


  • Wear eye protection when working with wood.

About the Author

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images