Everyone loves a set of French doors. They welcome light into your room and create a more open connection between your garden and home. They’re incredibly popular with every style of home and to keep them at their best, it’s important to know some basic maintenance.
Overtime you may find that issues start to occur with your French patio doors. One of these being the inability to close properly within the door frame.
Having a set of French doors that don’t close properly can cause a number of problems.
One of the most common problems you’ll find with French doors is that they become misaligned, causing them to drag or not close properly. French doors that drag along the ground can damage your floor, door frame, and the door itself. Even small gaps in French doors will cause draughts and, most importantly, pose a security risk.
In this blog, we’ll look at how to adjust French doors so you can deal with common problems yourself. With a bit of time and some know-how, you can keep your French doors in top shape for years to come.
We’ll walk you through adjusting patio doors. With just a little knowledge, you can ensure your doors remain in tip-top shape.
You’ll need a few basic tools:
A spanner or Allen key
If you don’t have these on hand, they’re widely available online or in almost any DIY shop.
Due to the weight of the doors, it is highly advised you enlist some help. Both traditional and modern French doors are hefty, and trying to lift one on your own can cause damage to either you, your door, or your door frame. This way you can also have help holding each French door in place, and reduce the risk of dropping them.
How to Adjust French Doors: Common Problems
There are a variety of issues you may encounter with your French uPVC door. These can occur anytime after the initial installation, but most shouldn’t be anything to worry too much about if fixed promptly.
Let’s run through the process of fixing French doors that stick, step-by-step. Hopefully, with this guide, you’ll feel confident identifying the causes of some common problems with French doors and know how to fix them. In the long run, learning some basic door maintenance will save you time and stress.
Why are my French doors sticking?
One of the most common reasons for French doors sticking is that the latch and the door are not properly aligned. This can happen for a number of reasons and isn’t necessarily because they were fitted incorrectly.
Many new build homes need to ‘settle’. House settling is essentially when your home gradually sinks further into the ground due to a shift in the soil beneath the foundation. It sounds scary, but it’s very common and is not a big deal in most cases. It can lead to foundational damage in severe cases so it might be worth checking for tell-tale signs like cracking in your walls if you think this could be the culprit behind your doors sticking. This can cause your door frame to misalign with the already installed French doors, and if left unattended can cause further damage to the entire system.
Another common reason is simple wear and tear on the door hinges. This is especially true with external doors that are exposed to the elements. All door materials, whether it’s uPVC, metal or wood are impacted by the environment. Changing temperatures, such as sudden drops or heatwaves can cause the material to expand and warp. This isn’t always obvious enough you can see it but you’ll be able to tell when your doors start to stick.
Luckily, it’s not that difficult to adjust even uPVC door hinges without calling in a professional. It also doesn’t take that long so with the right know-how, you can have your doors fixed by the end of the day.
Adjusting French Doors Hinges on the Door Jamb
Remove the butt hinges from your doors. There will be two of these per side. Use your screwdriver to remove them from the frame and the door jamb. Be sure that you have a friend to hand, as these doors can be heavy, and you don’t want them to fall over.
Using the original screws, attach the new adjustable hinges.
Now comes the tricky part. Get your helper to hold the door level with the frame, and screw it into place. To keep everything entirely level, you might need to place shims at the bottom of the door to help keep it level. A few pieces of cardboard should do the job nicely.
This may be a little more difficult for older uPVC doors, as the material may have warped on the door. As such, this will be an easier task for more modern uPVC doors.
Once your French Door hinges are in place…
Now that your door is back in place, you’ll be able to make some actual adjustments. A set of adjustable hinges will allow for several different sorts of modifications, especially lateral adjustment to help straighten your French door.
Why Don’t My French Doors Close Properly?
If your doors aren’t quite parallel with the surrounding frame, they’ll start to drag. In time, this may cause your French doors to collide with each other, and can cause further damage to the whole door system. This misalignment will develop over time due to gravity and the warping of the frame. You’ll need to adjust the corner bearings, which are to be found on the bottom hinge. Remove the cover and turn the adjusting screw to lift and lower the leaf.
The gaps might well have appeared to the sides of your door, and in the middle, which will compromise thermal insulation. Measure the gaps carefully and adjust the bearings accordingly, making small adjustments to the top and bottom alternately, to keep the door parallel to the frame.
When you’re making these adjustments, measure carefully and often. It might only take half a turn of your Allen key to get the job done. Once you’re done, give the door a few test swings to ensure that they’re working as they should.
How often do I need to adjust French Doors?
It’s worth checking the alignment of your French doors every so often. Every six months should suffice for proper maintenance. You won’t necessarily need to adjust them this often, but it’s important to check. Regularly checking means you can check small misalignments from wear and tear before they become a big problem.
The good thing is practice makes perfect. Once you’ve made these adjustments for the first time, regularly repeating the feat will be easy. More importantly, it’ll save you a great deal of hassle in the long-term!
If you have any questions, our team is always more than happy to help! Visit our contact page to find the best way to get in touch with us.