Home Improvement

How to Fix a Sticking Door

4 min read

Fixing a door that sticks is one of the most common minor home improvement projects. One day your door works perfectly, and the next it needs more arm strength than any door should require to open. If you’re the handy sort, you already know the basics of home repair. Let’s discuss some of the common problems with a sticking door and how to repair them. 

What Causes a Door to Stick?

A door can stick due to a variety of reasons. Below are a few reasons why.

Wood Swelling

If the sticking door is wood, you may have an environmental cause behind why it’s difficult to open and close. Wood swells and contracts with changes in weather and humidity in the air, making it harder to operate at times. If this is a persistent problem, you can use a small jigsaw or belt sander to trim down the parts of the door that stick. Issues such as this are why we always use fiberglass for our entry doors: fiberglass does not shrink or swell like wood.

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Shifting Foundations

Your door sticking may not even be your door’s fault at all! Some doors can stick because of shifting foundations, especially in older homes. If you’re also having problems with your windows sticking or cracks in your walls, the foundation may be settling. That’s a problem that is likely best solved by an experienced professional. If it’s just your door though, go ahead and grab your trusty bag of tools. It’s time to troubleshoot that door. 

front entry door

Door Hinges

If you’ve determined it’s not your foundation at fault, look to the door frame. Are the hinges connected well to the frame? If they’re at all loose, you may have found your culprit. This is an easy fix. The humble screwdriver will take care of the issue quickly—just locate the part of the door that’s sticking and tighten the frame plate and screws.

Check out the screws. Are they screwed tightly to the frame? Any looseness can lead to problems with door movement. Be careful not to over-tighten, though—you could break the screws if you put too much pressure on them. 

Screw Length

If the problem isn’t with the door frame or hinges, the screws may simply not be long enough for the door hinge and frame. You’ll know this is the case if you’re turning and turning with your screwdriver but not seeing any progress on the screw’s movement. In that case, you’ll need to take a trip to the hardware store and grab a longer set of screws. Again, secure your correctly sized screws nice and tight to the hinges to prevent future movement issues with the door. 


If none of the above sound like your door, the door could simply be warped. This happens over time and is most often seen in older doors or if you’ve had water damage. If this is the case, it may be time for a new door. Luckily for you, Window World of Denver has a great selection of high-quality doors to choose from. We make our doors from fiberglass, so you’ll never have to worry about warping.  

Kitchen with white sliding patio door

How to Fix a Sliding Glass Door That is Hard to Open

If your sticking door is a sliding glass door, that’s an entirely different set of problems to tackle. This isn’t determined so much by your home as by the door itself, so we’ll skip on ruling out external factors this time. 

Start out by checking the track and rollers. Carefully remove the problem door from the track — take it out from the top if possible to ensure no damage is done to the rollers. Use a screwdriver to remove the rollers from the door. If they’ve just gotten dirty, clean them and you should be set. If they’re damaged, you may need to order a new set of rollers from your provider. 

If the rollers seem to be in good shape, check the track and clean it thoroughly. Debris stuck in the track is most likely your culprit for why your sliding glass door sticks, so if the sliding door still sticks after you’ve cleaned both the rollers and the track, it may be time for a new sliding door

Need a Replacement Entry Door? We’ve Got You Covered

If it is time for you to get a new door, don’t worry: Window World doors are secure and energy-efficient as well as made with high-quality craftsmanship. Satisfy your personal style while resting assured that should you need it, Window World doors are covered by a lifetime warranty for larger repairs. If you face a problem with the door, simply contact Window World of Denver and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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