How to Adjust uPVC Door Hinges for Proper Door Alignment

Updated on August 11, 2018
How to adjust uPVC doors and door hinges.
How to adjust uPVC doors and door hinges. | Source

Adjusting uPVC Doors

Is your door dropped or sagging? Is your door catching at the top, side, or bottom of the door frame? Is it worse when the sun is shining or when its hot outside? You may need to readjust your door hinges. Proper door alignment not only allows the door to open and close smoothly but also prevents drafts and uneven wear and tear. You can realign your doors by adjusting the hinges. However, to determine how to adjust the hinges, you should first determine what is causing your door to be misaligned.

How Do I Check if My Door Is Out of Alignment?

  1. Are the corners on the door and frame aligned? You only need to check one of the corners to make sure the miter joints on the door and door frame are in line.
  2. Is the door level? Do this by placing a level on top of the door.
  3. Are the gaps between the door and frame consistent throughout?

What Type of Hinge Do I Have?

The next step is to identify what type of door hinge you have. There are three types of hinges used on uPVC doors:

  1. Flag hinges: Most modern uPVC doors are equipped with flag hinges that allow you to make height, lateral, and compression adjustments. Compression adjustments move the door closer to or away from the door jamb.
  2. T-hinges: These hinges only allow you to make height and lateral adjustments.
  3. Butt hinges: Usually a feature of older uPVC doors, these offer either lateral adjustment only or no adjustments at all. If you have a butt hinge and need to adjust the height, you may need to reinstall your door.

Three common types of uPVC hinges.
Three common types of uPVC hinges.

Be Careful Not to Void Your Warranty

Check the warranty agreement for your door installation before attempting to do your own adjustments. Some manufacturers may not cover self-adjustments and may charge for repair or replacement services.

How to Adjust uPVC Door Hinges

Tools You Will Need

  • Allen wrenches (hex keys)
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Philips head screwdriver

Flag Hinge:

This hinge has three different adjustments.

  1. Height: The height adjuster on flag hinges is on the bottom and may or may not be covered by a plastic plug. You'll need an Allen wrench for this. The typical size is 5 mm, although this can vary depending on the manufacturer.
  2. Lateral: The lateral adjuster can be hidden behind a plastic cover (the "flag") or behind a small plug on the side farthest from the door frame. The plastic cover is usually held on by one or two Philips screws on the inside of the hinge—visible when you open the door. Remove the screws carefully to release the cover, and look for the Allen bolt on the side. Turning it clockwise will move the door towards the hinge, while turning it counterclockwise will move it away from the door hinge.
  3. Compression: The compression adjuster is located at the top of the hinge under a plastic plug. Carefully pop the plug out using a flat head screwdriver to reveal the Allen bolt underneath. Tightening this bolt brings the door closer to the door frame, creating a tighter seal.

If your door is too low or too high (consistently along the width of the door), then you probably only need to adjust the height.

If the handle side of your door is too close or too far away from the door frame (consistently along the length of the door), then you probably only need to adjust laterally.

If your door doesn't close all the way, or you notice a draft even though the height and sides are adjusted properly, then you probably need to adjust the compression.

If your door has dropped and is tilted downward (i.e. the door isn't level, and the gaps around the door are consistent all the way around), then you need to use all three adjusters. This is common as time goes—helped on by gravity, heat, and humidity. Usually, the door can be squared up again by adjusting the top hinge towards the frame and the bottom hinge away from the frame. The compression is also usually tightened to restore the seal lost through wear.

T-Hinge:

This hinge only has two types of adjustments.

  1. Compression: Adjusters on the top and bottom will move the door closer to or away from the door jamb, tightening or loosening the seal.
  2. Lateral: Like the flag hinge, the lateral adjuster is hidden behind a plastic cover that can be removed in a similar manner.

Butt Hinge:

Some butt hinges are non-adjustable, but there are some that can be adjusted laterally. If you look on the side, you will see a Philips head screw. But before you try to turn this screw, check to see if there is a small grub screw as this locks the hinge in place so the door won't move. Not all butt hinges have a grub screw, but the door won't move unless you loosen it.

I Adjusted the Hinges, but My Door Is Still Not Aligned

Note that it may take a few tries to properly adjust all the hinges. If you still cant get your door squared up after a few attempts, you may just need new hinges. Hinges are usually inexpensive and aren't hard to replace. Most companies will do the replacement for you at a low cost. You should ring at least two companies to compare service prices.

If you're going to replace the hinges yourself, you will find it's a lot easier if you leave the door sash on the frame and replace one hinge at the time. This way, your hinges will all line up.

Also make sure the diameter of the screw is the appropriate size for the holes on the hinge. Otherwise, over time, your door sash will sag down, forcing you to adjust or replace them again in the future.

Feel free to ask any questions by posting them in the comment box below.

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Questions & Answers

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    • profile image

      Adrian 

      6 months ago

      HELP

      I have just installed patio doors to my summer house / wine shack but now find that the hinges have dropped

    • profile image

      Will 

      13 months ago

      Informative article but your grammar, spelling and punctuation need attention!

    • profile image

      jimmy 

      16 months ago

      door fitted by FESA company 18 month ago .dooframe bent jams door what waranty do I get

    • profile image

      gannjohn38@hotmail.co.uk 

      16 months ago

      As a joiner of man and boy, UPVC and the like are all new to me . So thank you for the tips on how to sort out my kitchen door from catching on the frame.

    • profile image

      Keith 

      19 months ago

      The problem with pvc doors is that they are very flimsy if you lookat glass paneled doors they go out of shape and this is the reason why they catch! The thing that keeps them in shape is the double glazed glass the way to correct this is to remove the glass and repack the glass in opposite corners so you stop the pannel going diamond shape

    • Martin-ddp profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin 

      2 years ago from Ireland

      You can buy them from any window supplier But you will have to buy the full hinge as caps are not sold on there own.

    • profile image

      Krt 

      2 years ago

      Where can I buy replacement upvc door hinge caps?

    • Martin-ddp profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin 

      2 years ago from Ireland

      good to hear Alex

    • profile image

      Alex 

      2 years ago

      Just followed your excellent instructions and adjusted my door saving avoiding having to call someone out! Thank you!

    • Martin-ddp profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin 

      3 years ago from Ireland

      screw cover is just clipped on. Get a sharp edge to go under cap and lift off

    • profile image

      Sanath 

      3 years ago

      Hi, I am planning to replace flag type door hinge. It is exactly the one you show in your video. Please can you tell me how to remove the hinge cover to get access to screws.

      Thanks, sanath

    • Martin-ddp profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin 

      3 years ago from Ireland

      More than likely the hinges just need adjusting. What part of the door is catching when you try to close it

    • profile image

      jimcooper 

      3 years ago

      I have a new door and it wont close properly

    • profile image

      Gavin spearing 

      3 years ago

      Nice one, cheers mate

    • Martin-ddp profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin 

      3 years ago from Ireland

      Look closely at hinge you should see a small hex nut, loosen that and you can than tap the metal pin out which holds the hinge together

    • profile image

      Gavin spearing 

      3 years ago

      Hi, I need to actually remove a door because of a new floor being laid, it has the butt hinges, how do you actually remove the door, as in how do I get the hinge away from frame?

    • profile image

      Dave 

      3 years ago

      Martin you are a star...!!!

      Catching door now adjusted and working like new.

      Cheers fella.. :)

    • profile image

      Tony 

      4 years ago

      Excellent tips thanks, especially the part about marking the frame with a pencil to see which way the door adjusts when turning the allen key adjustment. Took about 10 minutes to adjust my door so it no longer catches on the frame and it is now much easier to lock.

    • profile image

      Chrissi 

      4 years ago

      Very helpful indeed,, I knew roughly but did not know each hinge played a different part ,,, now I am sorted. ,,,,ol lady here cheers

    • profile image

      Peter 

      4 years ago

      Just taken your advice on how to adjust flat hinges as my front door had dropped. It now closes perfectly. Thanks for such clear instructions. Bless you.

    • profile image

      John 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for the advice , My front door had been catching mainly in the summer through heat expansion for about eight years ,

      it is now working perfectly again ,thank you ,

    • Martin-ddp profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin 

      4 years ago from Ireland

      Most hinges will have a small screw at the back of the cap. Open your door fully and you should be able to see the screw at the back of the cap. BUT if your hinges are the same as the one in the picture. Than they are just a clip on cap. You will need a knife or something to prise them off.

      It is quite hard to unclip these and you might damage the hinge or door so start with one at the bottom in case you do damage or scratch the hinge. Once you get one off you will see how it is clipped on and you should find the others more easy to get off.

    • profile image

      vintageaxeman 

      4 years ago

      Hi Martin,

      I have some double UPVC patio doors which are hinged with the same hinges that you show in your photo called a FLAG hinge. Mine are exactly the same as your pic, which is an old model which I can't get advice or spares about. The hinges seem ok but the screws holding the hinges onto the door have slowly loosened as the door has banged around in the wind over the years. Please can you advise me how to get the aluminium cover cap off the front of the hinge to do this. I just can't figure out how to get it off.

      Many thanks, David

    • Martin-ddp profile imageAUTHOR

      Martin 

      4 years ago from Ireland

      Which way to turn the Allen key all depends on which side of the door the hinges are on. The best thing to do is put a small pencil mark on frame than give the nut a half turn and see which way the door moves

    • profile image

      Rob 

      4 years ago

      it is a pity you don't explain which way to turn the Allen key.

      On the side adjustment, does a clockwise turn pull it towards the hings or away?

      On the side adjustment, does a clockwise turn pull it up or down?

    • profile image

      geoff 

      4 years ago

      Add what's it called the tool you use for taking out the beading on double glazed unit thanksYour Comment...

    • profile image

      Linda 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for info well done

    • profile image

      ann 

      4 years ago

      Great info thanks

    • profile image

      Michael 

      4 years ago

      Just adjusted my pvc door and it is working like new again. Thanks for the info.

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