A timber or wood front door can be a very handsome addition to any home; it can give your front entryway a traditional look and soften the appearance of siding or an otherwise drab exterior. While thick wood doors often last for years without needing any type of repair or maintenance, they may on occasion stick or show a warped or bowed area. Note a few tips for fixing timber front doors so you can make some simple repairs on your own.
1. Sticking doors
A wood door may stick as it expands after absorbing moisture; over time, this expansion can cause it to actually stick in the frame. One problem homeowners often have is figuring out where a door sticks; they may know it's at the top but aren't sure if it's in the middle of the top or near the outer edge, and so on.
You can solve this problem with a tube of women's lipstick. Smear some lipstick on the outside of the door where you suspect it sticks and then close the door. Open it again and note where the lipstick is smudged and messy; this is where the door is sticking.
To fix this problem, first clean the lipstick with a damp cloth, and then use a fine grit sandpaper and give the area a very gentle sanding. Check the fit often, as you don't want to sand down too much. Remember that you can always go back and sand down more if the door still sticks, but if you remove too much of the door with your sandpaper, you may cause an unsightly gap.
2. Bowed doors
If a door has absorbed excessive moisture over time, it may begin to bow outward in a certain area. To fix this, remove the door from the frame and set it on two sawhorses, or a very level and even surface. Use a level to find the area of the bow if you can't easily see it with your eyes alone.
Use a small sandbag you can get from the home improvement store, such as would be used for filling a child's sandbox, and place it over the bowed area and let it sit overnight. Use the level again the next day to note if the bowed area is corrected. If not, put a moist towel on the door and put the sandbag over this for another night. The moisture will soften the wood and the weight of the bag will correct the warp. Once the bow is fixed, you might need to sand down the door and repaint or add a coat of varnish to make it look polished and finished.