Fix for a door that wants to close itself

Department of How I Became the World’s Most Boring Person by Buying a House…

A couple of the doors in our 20-year-old Spanish Colonial tract house were not framed precisely vertical. Therefore, they tend to fall closed, which is more annoying than you’d expect. Our team of Czech carpenters said that fixing this would be as simple as ripping out the door frame, putting it back in, re-hanging the door, repainting, etc. Perhaps $2,000 per door.

The Internet is packed with products designed for “self-closing” of doors, but there is almost nothing available to fix a door that you want to hold open. After calling a few hinge companies, I found a Band-Aid that works well: a spring that goes through the existing hinge pin. The seller hasn’t updated his pricing for the Age of Biden so these are $6 each. A single spring was sufficient to render one door more or less neutral and two springs cleaned up a tougher case.

Hidden advantages of homeownership: While renters were learning Mandarin, writing the Great American Novel, and perfecting their golf and tennis games, I embarked on a self-education program on gravity, friction, hinges, and springs.

13 thoughts on “Fix for a door that wants to close itself

  1. “We live in a swamp”, my wife says to me our 2nd month living in Florida. The moisture and environment is so oppressive. Roaches, mosquitos, 2 feet of leaves in the side yard, constant barrage of rain that brings mildew, algae, and mushrooms in the most surprising places. 500 tadpoles have taken up refuge on one of our side roads in the standing water. Hopefully they eat mosquitoes.

    The constant barrage of carpenters, painters, and pressure washing just to keep nature at bay.

    Saw DeSantis at my local FBO my first for fun flight after arriving. Not all bad I guess.

    • Perhaps, time to reconsider a wrong decision. I hear from my daughter that Colorado is very dry.

    • JT: Where in Florida are you? I’ve been shocked at how few mosquitoes there are in Jupiter, despite the fact that we’re closer to the swamp (just across I-95) than we are to the beach (4 miles east). Having visited the middle of Everglades National Park, my feeling is that the lack of mosquitoes has been engineered somehow.

  2. Take one or more hinge pins out and slightly bend them with a hammer. Reinsert. Free. Except for your time.

    • Exactly, Mike…you beat me to the post. Done it a dozen times. The top hinge woks the best.

  3. Now that I own a property with several interior doors that “slowly” move to an open position, I am inspired by your DIY posts!

    JJD – In the same market..

  4. There is the rubber wedge door stoppers. Of if you don’t mind a trip hazard then a gallon jug of water. The water has an advantage that if the water stops or there is boil water notice then there is at least some water readily available even if it looks prole.

  5. What Mike said – take out a hinge pin, hit it modestly with a hammer to get a slight bend and reinsert. Might need to do only one pin, might need 2 or 3. Don’t mean to be repetitive, but it’s Free and Easy.

    • Doors in hurricane proof houses are pretty heavy. I would not experiment with a hammer and a hinge too much because instead of a spontaneously closing door, one can get a sagging door that hardly closes at all.

  6. Ingenious invention of market economy!

    I had great success with another such dingus – generic “Magnetic Door Stop” from Amazon. It replaces regular door stopper and if you open door all the way it holds door in the open position.

    Looks like my house slowly changes shape because one of the walk-in closet doors doesn’t fully close anymore. But there are so many other more pressing repairs that house requires, that I just don’t burden myself with such triviality.

    (Finally it’s one of the few hot days in Seattle this years, of course, power grid can’t sustain it and power went out).

  7. Looks like the seller has read your blog and now upped the price from $6 to $17.95! Or maybe has finally realized that Biden is in the office!

    I don’t know if I like the idea of using a spring, they look ugly and will eventually cause a scratch on your doors.

    My fix has been to adjust the screws on the hinges so that the door is level. This will require tools, time and some skills. However, the quick and dirty fix is what @Mike said above: bend the pins. BUT, this can lead to annoying squeaky sound every time you open/close the door! Not recommended.

    Here is a classic This Old House video on the subject which I would think you already run into:

  8. Simple and inexpensive fixes that work well are great. They buy you time to think or afford something better and ideally don’t detract from anything. There are lots of good ideas in this thread.

    I have a “bad door” on the building I live in and finally found a decent, “cheap but good” closer for about $25 at hardware store nearby. It works well enough for the time being, and I also have to have the entire door + frame replaced at a cost of more than $2000 sometime. Just not right now.

    It’s OK to use band-aids until you’re ready for the major surgery when it comes to things like this.

  9. If you’d like to become more “interesting” really quickly, start being a “man who has sex with other men” and contract M*****pox (how DARE anyone call it that!) Then make a video about how you got it and call a reporter at MSN to tell the story so it shows up in Edge whenever you run the browser. And make sure you tell everyone how the government let you down and you spread it to your children. I’m sure you know what “promiscuous mode” means! It’s the same thing!

Comments are closed.