Strengthening hinge fixings

Doors can sag and become difficult to open if the hinges are not screwed firmly in place. Screws can loosen off and it may be just a case of retightening them, but if the screw no longer bites in the screw hole you will need another course of action. Sometimes you may be able to replace loose screws with ones which are slightly larger, or, if this doesn’t work you will need to fill and re-drill the fixing holes in order to strengthen the hinge fixing positions.

unscrew hinges 1. Most problems occur with the top hinge of a door as if the screws stop gripping, they will loosen and the door will sag. First, remove the door by unscrewing the hinges.
bore out holes 2. Once removed, use a wood bit to bore out holes to the diameter and depth of a wooden dowel – 6x20mm is an ideal dowel size.
insert dowels 3. Coat some dowels in wood adhesive and knock them into the drilled holes until they are flush with the surface. Remove excess adhesive with a cloth.
reposition door 4. When the adhesive is dry, reposition the door. Mark through the hinge holes, remove the door once more and drill pilot holes (2-3mm bit ideal) through the marks into the dowels.
refix hinge 5. Reposition the door and use new screws (if the originals have been damaged) to refix the hinge and secure it in place.

Hinge fixing tip

  • If you only have one screw loose or the main problem is with the bottom hinge of the door, you can also try using wall plugs to strengthen the fixings. Simply enlarge the screw fixing hole with the appropriate size of wood bit before inserting the correct size of wall plug.


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