French doors that don’t close properly can cause a number of problems.
French doors that drag along the ground can damage the floor, and the door itself. French doors with gaps, even very small ones, will cause draughts and pose a security risk.
Fortunately, most issues of this sort can be corrected with the help of adjustable hinges. Your doors might already have them installed but if they don’t, they can be purchased relatively cheaply, and fitted with the help of a few tools.
- A screwdriver.
- A spanner or Allen key.
- The hinges.
- Some cardboard.
You’ll also need a willing volunteer.
How to Fix Common French Door Problems
Let’s run through the process of fixing French doors that stick, step-by-step.
If you’re installing adjustable hinges
- Remove the hinges from your doors. There will be two of these per side. Use your screwdriver to remove them. 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 adjustable hinges to the doors.
- 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. A few pieces of cardboard should do the job nicely.
Once the hinges are in place…
Now that you’re done, you’ll be able to make some actual adjustments. A set of adjustable hinges will allow for several different sorts of modifications.
If your doors aren’t quite parallel with the surrounding frame, they’ll start to drag. This is a leading cause of French doors that hit each other. This misalignment will develop over time, thanks 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.
It’s worth checking the alignment of your French doors every so often (twice a year or so should do it). 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!