How to adjust uPVC doors

Many homes these days have a uPVC door and at some point during its lifetime may need a little TLC from a maintenance point of view. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, the doors may begin to sag, drop or catch with the outer frame. This is frustrating, but there are some things that you can do to get your door working well again.

Firstly, it is worth considering why you think your uPVC door may need adjustment. It may not be operating smoothly as you would like the cause could include hinges needing adjustment, hot weather conditions, poor initial fitting and or alignment. Lets get into how to adjust uPVC doors.

In warm weather conditions particularly on south-facing elevations extended periods of sunshine can cause the uPVC to expand. This can make the door difficult to close without catching on the door frame. In this instance the, dependant on your hinge type, you may be able to adjust the door away from the point it is catching using the hinge adjustment. Common types of hinges that will enable you to do this are flag hinges, butt hinges or T hinges. Usually, they will have an adjustment screw that can shift the door left and right up and down. It will take a little bit of trial and error to find the optimal position. Depending on the severity of the expansion adjustment of your uPVC may not be possible due to the original cause and the tolerances being insufficient to make a difference to the operation of the door.

It is very important that before commencing any adjustments you check the warranty for your door and installation. If it is still within warranty it may be that the manufacturer might not cover self-adjusted work and this may incur charges for replacement or repair works to be carried out.

How to check if your door is out of alignment

  1. Check if your uPVC door is level – using a spirit level across the top of the door frame see if it sitting true
  2. Compare the corners of the door and the door frame – check that they are lined up and if the diagonal mitred welds run in line with one another in each corner
  3. Check that the gaps between the outer frame and the door itself are consistent along each side, top, bottom, left and right.

Identifying what type of hinges you have on your door and how to adjust them

There are three main types of hinges that are commonly used on uPVC doors

Butt hinges
One of the older styles of hinges. The butt hinge may have no adjustment, but may have some lateral movement possible. This being the case if you need to adjust vertically i.e. lift or drop the door then you may need to reinstall your door to overcome this problem.

Flag hinges
One of the more popular modern hinge types due to the flexibility it offers. The flag hinge will usually be adjustable in 3 dimensions, lateral, height and compression. Lateral will move the door left and right, height; up and down and compression; how tightly the door is pulled towards the door frame.

T hinges
Very similar to flag hinges with the exception that they do not offer any compression adjustment. The T hinge will only allow for lateral or height adjustment.

Before starting any adjustments, ensure that your uPVC door is still covered by warranty with the manufacturer that supplied it. Firstly they may well take care of this issue for you under the terms of the warranty. Secondly, they may charge for coming out to rectify any problems or replace parts that may be as a result of you trying to adjust the door yourself.

Tools needed to make adjustments to your uPVC door

  • Allen keys
  • Philips cross-head screwdriver
  • Flat-headed screwdriver

If your door still isn’t right after you have adjusted the hinges

After figuring out how to adjust uPVC doors, and putting these actions into place, sometimes it’s still not enough. The nature of adjusting doors well can take several attempts to get right. New hinges may be needed if you find you are unable to get the door properly aligned. Replacement hinges are relatively easy to replace and not an expensive remedy to the problem. You can find new hinges from specialist outlets online or in the high street. It is worth comparing prices to see where you can get the best value in terms of performance and price.

If you do intend to replace the hinges it will be much easier if the door sash is left hanging on the frame as you replace each one in turn. Using this method will ensure that the hinges will align well.

It is also worth checking the diameter of the screw is a suitable size for the holes on the hinge itself. If not your door sash may drop which in time will likely require further adjustment or replacement of the hinges.

Now you know how to adjust uPVC doors, you should check out our doors! Genesis Collection make uPVC patio doors and we also make uPVC bifold doors, check out our product pages to find out more about these beautiful doors.