French doors are a must on your to-do list when building any dream home. They declare openness, luxury and classic style. Especially when opening to an outdoor patio, French swing doors are a statement piece that elevate the entirety of your space and testify to your eye for design.
After installing these beautiful doors, there is always upkeep in keeping them functioning as they should. A beautiful door is no good if it’s hanging on a sticky hinge, impeding you and your guests from opening it easily. Luckily, you can adjust the hinges on your french swing patio doors yourself, and it’s not as hard as you might think.
If you’re thinking of breaking out the power tools, put them away! The task is too delicate for that much power. A hand screwdriver is all you’ll need.
Begin adjustments only after the door has been firmly installed. Ensure the door frame is plumb, square and level. The hinge leaves must be secured to the rough opening or the framed space in the doorframe which the door fits into.
Next, ensure that the panel load is even across hinges. Close the door and look for gaps within the hinges. A gap means that the hinge needs adjusting.
Open the door and unscrew the anchor screws. Open the gap to the maximum space it can go.Re-close the gap at the upper and lower screws, pushing in the middle at the very end.
Adjust the hinge gap, if needed, using the vertical gap adjustment screw. Use a no. 2 Phillips head screwdriver to rotate the adjustment screw over the top towards the bead indicator.
Once the upper and lower hinges have closed, adjust the middle. Close the middle hinge gap.
When hinge barrels are touching, rotate the vertical adjustment screw one final time to fully load the hinge. Make sure that tightening the vertical adjustment screw does not create looseness in the other hinges. Adjust and repeat as necessary.
Now that you’ve ensured the hinges are carrying the panel load properly, look at the quality of the vertical gap
Closing the Door Panels
Examine the space between the door and the top of the door frame, as well as the bottom of the door and bottom of the frame. Adjust the frame gap with the vertical adjustment screw
Raise the panel with a Phillips no. 2 screwdriver, rotating the adjustment screw towards the V indicator, or in the opposite direction to lower the door panel. You should do approximately 15 revolutions to move from one tick mark to another. Adjust as needed until vertical gaps are equal.
Inspect the Horizontal Gap
Close the door panel. Check the gap spacing just above and below the hinges. If the spacing is inconsistent, begin adjusting the horizontal gap.
Use a Phillips no. 2 screwdriver to rotate the horizontal adjustment screw clockwise or counterclockwise. Clockwise will open the gap while counterclockwise rotations will close the gap.
Check the adjustment hinge each time you make three rotations. Open and close the door to check for clashing, and repeat adjustments as needed.
Adjusting slowly while opening and closing the door gently to check for results will show you what balance of adjustments are needed to properly carry the door. Difficulty opening and closing your french door evenly generally comes from gaps and unevenness in the hinges.
Tightening them and loosening them, taking notice of how the door is tilting and what the other hinges are doing in reaction, will help you to rectify the issues and let your door open and close freely again.
Do-it-yourself repairs are a great way to save money and build new skills. Handiness is a craft that gets better with time, research, patience, and most of all practice. Adjusting your french swing patio doors yourself may seem like a daunting task at first, but you really only need a simple screwdriver and an eye for detail. There’s no need to call in a professional repair person if you have one. Working on your own doors you’ll become more familiar with using tools, the basics of carpentry and the way your home works. Plus, it’s always great bragging rights to say you do your own home repairs.
For more information, call Heritage Home Design at (416) 578-4264 or contact us here.