French Door Alignment Tips & Tools

French door alignment involves a detailed yet simple procedure that renders a perfect protection that is free from heating and cooling problems, and also solves safety concerns. To discover some interesting tips, read our guide for more facts and information…

French doors are the best solution when a broader doorway is required. A typical French door unit is made of wood and consists of two active door panels that swing inwards or outwards from the center. At one time, French doors were thought to be less secure as the only safety mechanism involved was the active panels locking to each other, instead of a permanent jamb. However, three-point locking systems have evolved with enhanced security features allowing the door to be secured to the sill as well as the head jamb. A few tips about French door alignment and the essential tools involved in the process are discussed below.

Keeping the materials handy

The foremost step in aligning French doors is to have the important tools at hand. These include a power drill, screwdrivers, hammers, mallets, nails, saws, shins and tape measure. A carpenter’s level and a square are also essential to adjust the unit for symmetry. A pair of goggles is also helpful to prevent any falling debris from lodging into your eyes. The power drill should be used to create holes only after marking the wall. It is vital to measure the dimensions of the door fixture and mark them on the wall, so as to avoid uncorrectable mistakes that emerge from the temptation to drill without measuring.

Basic installation procedure

When a unit is unpacked for installation, it is important to check if there are pre-hanging clips to keep the doors aligned. They should not be removed as they will set the guideline to adjust the unit. The first step is to measure the door jamb to ensure that the opening suffices the door dimension. Set the door in place and place shims at the top corners to hold it in place. Adjust the bottom of the jambs to ensure perfect alignment with each other and with the adjacent walls. The space between the top jamb and the doors must be even on either side and equal above the doors. Similarly, the place where the doors meet must be equal right from the top to the bottom. The screws and shims should be kept loose till the final adjustment, after which they can be affixed permanently.

Alignment tips for French doors

Newly installed doors can take a long time to achieve a perfect alignment. If the door alignment is not satisfactory despite secure hinges, it becomes necessary to find a method to pinpoint the areas that are misaligned. Examine the horizontal angles of the floor, the door jamb and the door. Most of the time, the misalignment is with the frame; this can be solved by using shims on the door hinges to adjust the horizontal and vertical angles. Placing new layers of plywood can add to the thickness under the side of a misaligned hinge.

It does require much patience and determination to complete the task of aligning French doors. However, the task is rendered simple if the guidelines are followed with care and the manufacturer’s instructions are adhered to.

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