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Gap Between Door And Frame – What To Do?

So you move into your new home, and it feels magical until you discover that there is a gap between your door and the frame. Don’t waste any time—get that door fixed! We did research on the problem, and in this post, we'll guide you on how to repair the gap between the door and its frame.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

There are several ways to fix a gap between a door and its frame. You can install a door sweep that can reduce drafts from the bottom and top of your door. You can also seal the gaps with a door wedge corner seal, replace the weather stripping, or tighten the hinge of your door.

Now that you have an idea of what to do with the gap between your door and frame, let’s dive into the details of each of those steps and the importance of fixing your door. Keep reading to get a better understanding of your home’s interior that might help you repair any damage by yourself.

Gap and hole in plastic doors, Gap Between Door And Frame - What To Do?

Why Are Gaps Between The Door And Frame Bad?

Energy Efficiency

The gaps in windows and doors account for about 40% of a home’s total heat loss. Fixing these gaps is an absolute must if you want to improve the cooling and heating efficiency of your home.

On hot summer days, a door with a gap will let cool air out. On the other hand, if it’s freezing outside, your door will let cool air in.

Water Damage

Gaps, especially on the bottom of the door, may let rain inside and may cause flooding. Moisture can easily damages the interior of any home.

Entry to Pests

One of the main reasons why you should immediately fix any gaps between your door and frame is for protection against insects and pests. These creatures could easily crawl into your homes if you leave those gaps open.

How Much Of A Gap Should There Be?

Worker in red cap and work suit with the measuring tape

You still need to allow enough space between the door and the frame for it to function properly. Recommended gaps between the sides and top should be about 1/16 inch, while the gap between the door and floor should be about 5/16 inch. Anything beyond those may cause problems and should be fixed right away.

Diagnosing And Fixing Your Door Gap

Most doors have gaps on the sides. However, to make sure that you get the right fix, you need to check what type of gap you have. We'll cover them in the section below.

The Bottom Gap

Having a gap between your door and threshold invites dirt, creepy crawlers, and even flooding into your homes. Pretty gross, right? To get rid of the gap, we recommend installing a door sweep.

  1. First, measure your door and the size of the gap
  2. Cut out the door sweep accordingly
  3. Screw the door sweep into the bottom of your door. If you don’t have a screw, a strong glue will do the job. Some silicone door sweeps come with glue kits so it will be less of a hassle.

Click here to check out the Baining Door Draft Stopper Sweep on Amazon.

The Top Gap

This problem is a little tricky, but can be fixed in two ways. Be sure to remove any old weather stripping and clean the entire door frame before you begin. Cut weather stripping according to the size of the gap and either:

  • Glue the weather stripping upside down to line the top of your door or
  • Stick the weather stripping directly on the top of your door.

Don’t forget to test your door to determine if the weather strips were effective in sealing those gaps!

Check out this Self Adhesive Weatherstrip on Amazon.

Hinge Side

Man remove the doo

The first thing you should do when you have gaps in this area is to tighten the hinges. If this doesn’t work, check out your weather stripping. It may be the cause of the issue and need replacing.

As with other weather-stripping installations, make sure to remove the old strips before replacing them with new ones. Cut the weather stripping to fit the gap and glue it to the side of the door.

Knob side

If the gap is near to the knob side, then you can try replacing or installing a new weather stripping that fixes the gap. However, if you have some damage on your door frame caused by a break-in attempt or some heavy equipment hitting it, then you need to fix the door frame.

How to Fix a Cracked Door Frame

Gaps in trim molding around a door frame create unsightly cracks

Usually, the door frame and the wood around the doorknob can both be broken and cracked. Most of the time these repairs can be easily done with wood glue, wood filler, and a wood clamp.

To do this:

  1. Remove the metal door catch/strike.
  2. Scrape away any pieces of wood which protrude from the door frame
  3. Fully open the door to access the frame
  4. Apply wood glue and/or wood fillers into the cracks or holes and make sure it is deep as possible.
  5. Once it is full of wood glue, add multiple wood clamps to squeeze the cracks shut. Use a clamp with rubber edges for better grip and to prevent any further damage to the frame.
  6. Leave the wood clamps for a few hours while waiting for the glue to dry.
  7. Once dry, remove the wood clamps and the cracks should be repaired.
  8. Sand down the filled-in cracks to get a smooth surface and paint them to look good as new.
  9. Reinstall the metal door catch and test your door.

To check out these Mr. Pen Bar Clamps on Amazon, click here.

Check out this video for a step-by-step guide on how to repair a door jamb:

Door Jamb Gaps

There might also be possible gaps in your door jambs that require attention. A door jamb is part of the door frame that takes the weight of the door and keeps the rest of the frame stable. The hinges are affixed while the bolts pass through the jamb on the opposite side.

It is important to fix any damage in your jamb as it is the foundation of the entire door. Here is a guide on how to close out the gap.

  1. Measure out the gap on your door jamb
  2. Use plywood or any chunk of wood and cut out the pieces according to the size and shape of the gap.
  3. Use a rubber mallet to tap your piece of wood into the gap to ensure it is a snug fit.
  4. If there are little gaps left, you can cut tiny pieces of shims to insert and fill in the little gaps.
  5. Staple the pieces on each of the sides. Be careful to keep the wood pieces from cracking.
  6. If any gaps remain, you can go ahead and apply your wood fillers and dry them out.
  7. Sand the wood fillers to smooth out the surface.
  8. Paint the filled-out gap, and you've got yourself a fully restored door jamb!

If you aren’t confident to fix the damage on your door by yourself, it is best to hire professionals to do the job. 

How Much Does It Cost To Seal A Door?

Young handyman installing a door

The national average for door repairs costs is around $150, and this price can also range from $63-$475. If the main problem is fixing the gap between the door and the frame, it costs approximately $100 to complete the project.

However, several factors can affect the cost of door repairs.

  • The extent of damage on your door
  • Materials needed to fix the damage
  • Additional accessories replacement, such as hinges, metal door bottoms, knobs, and locks.

Final Thoughts

Front door and stoo

Regardless of whether you have a brand-new home or have been living in your house for a while, gaps can occur between doors and their frames. Some gaps may be easily resolved with quick fixes while others require professional help. Either way, it is important to immediately take action on these items.

Small gaps may be harmless, but they can have a great impact on your home’s energy efficiency, security, and sanitation. Choose the correct solution for your gap, and with a few simple steps, you can skip hiring professionals and DIY your way to achieving the same results.

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