Monday, March 13, 2017

In a Jam?


One of the most frequent service calls we are asked to make is to address complaints of swinging doors out of adjustment. Doors don't open and close easily, multipoint locks won't engage properly, reveal at door panels suggest they are out of square, etc.  Most of these complaints have a single culprit; lack of jamb screws.

Jamb screws are approximately 3 inches long and are designed to not only attach the hinge to the jamb, but to penetrate through the jamb and shim and then anchor into the jack.  All the doors that Window Designs of the Carolinas provide come with a package of screws including at least one jamb screw per hinge.  Yet on the final walk through 75% of all doors we have provided do not have the jamb screws installed. 75%!  

Frequently, other screws have been installed in place of the jamb screw.  

Window tech extraordinaire, Jon Burcham, was recently called to look at a door provided by a competitor 5 years ago.  

The homeowner told Jon over the phone that other service techs had been to her house on four separate occasions and that the door had never worked properly from the beginning.  She said she had to hit the door with her hip to close it.  Jon speculated that jamb screws were missing.  Upon arriving he found small screws in all screw holes, and many of the screw holes had been reamed out from frequent tightening down and there wasn't much remaining in the way of grip.  And of course, no jamb screws.  The little screws frequently used do not have enough holding power to withstand the weight of a heavy door panel for long.  You need something more than just a hinge attached to the jamb.   Below is a picture of the screws that were used and the jamb screws that were desperately needed.

Jon routinely visits our jobsites shortly after windows and doors have been installed.  He always carries jamb screws because more often than not, installers have failed to use the screws provided.

For best results install one screw in the top screw hole of each hinge.  But if you only install jamb screws in one hinge, make sure you install it in the top hinge.

Jon says that if you have lost the jamb screws provided, any coarse thread 3 inch screw will work.