How to Fix an Interior Door That Won't Stay Open

Doors refuse to stay open when the hinges are not square and plumb. Sometimes, this occurs when the door is installed, if it is done incorrectly. More often, it has occurred because of some settling, either of the house or the door itself. If this has become a problem with one or more doors in your house, you may be wondering how to fix it. This article will cover several remedies. The first section will give you three quick fixes that may fix your door. The second section talks about how to level the hinges, which will fix the problem. The third section covers bending the pins to add more friction, which can fix the problem but does not address the cause.

A door that is not plumb will not stay open.

Step 1

Check the hinges of the door to see if they are loose. If they are, tighten them. Sometimes this is all that is needed to fix a door that won't stay open. Because your door won't stay open, it is more likely to be a problem with the upper hinge. Use magazines to support your door while you are tightening the screws to ensure you get them tight.

Step 2

Replace the screws holding the hinges with longer screws to add more support to the hinges.

Step 3

If you recently greased the hinges, try removing some of the grease by removing and wiping down each hinge pin. The hinge pin is the pin that connects the pieces of the hinge. It can be removed by pulling it up with a pliers. You may need to use a nail set and tap the bottom of the pin to get it out.

This door is obviously not plumb.

Close the door and take a look at the hinges. One is probably more in toward the doorway than the other. You now have two options. You can add a shim between the hinge that is further away from the doorway, or you can deepen the mortise (the area where the hinge sits on the door frame) on the hinge that is further in.

Step 5

Open the door and place several magazines to hold up your door.

An arrow points to the hinge where you would need to add a shim.

Loosen the screws on the hinge that is closest to the door frame. You only need to loosen them on the half of the hinge that is connected to the frame (not the side connected to the door). Slip a shim between the hinge and the door frame. The idea is to push the hinge toward the doorway.

Step 7

Tighten the screws and check the door. If it looks odd or if it does not fix the problem, then you need to move on to Step 6.

An arrow points to the hinge that hangs further in.

Remove the door and remove the screws on the hinge that hangs further in.

Step 9

Deepen the mortise (area where the hinge rests) with a chisel.

Step 10

Replace the hinge and the rehang the door.

Step 11

Remove one hinge pin from the hinges. Place it in a vice and tap it with a hammer until it bends slightly.

Step 12

Place the pin back in the hinge.

Step 13

Test the door. If you still have a problem, repeat steps 1 and 2 with the second and third hinge until the problem is resolved.