Ask a Contractor - Average read time: 2 minutes

Hey Pro,

I recently had my kids swinging on the back door of my home, and they ripped the screws holding the door hinges up right out of the wood! Is there a way to remedy this without replacing the door frame?

Sharon Miller – Westland, MI


Stripped hinge holes on door frames are a common occurrence. Especially when there are kids in the homes, I have two myself and I know they are not delicate when it comes to using handles. After years of stress, hinges can come right out of the wall! It can be frustrating, but it doesn’t need to be a difficult fix. I have listed below a step by step guide on how to fix the stripped holes without replacing the door frame.

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The Supplies

You’ll need a drill, a wooden dowel (3/8″), a 3/8″ drill bit, some wood glue, a smaller bit for a pilot hole and a screwdriver.

The Steps

  1. Drill out the old holes. Now that you have stripped door holes, you need to drill them out a bit bigger with your 3/8″ bit.
  2. See if your dowel will fit. Put your dowel in each of the holes and ensure they all fit, snugly, but pull the dowel back out. You need room for glue, but they shouldn’t wiggle. Cut your dowel down to about 2″ pieces to prepare for gluing.
  3. Add glue. Use a brush and coat the interior of the holes with glue.
  4. Place the dowels. Push the dowels in until they are flush with the door. They should be flush so your hinge will still sit in the opening and have plenty of wood to hold onto. Wipe away excess glue.
  5. Wait patiently! Some glue takes 24 hours to fully adhere, so read your bottle and follow instructions carefully. There is no sense in taking a shortcut here.
  6. Mark new pilot holes. Line up your hinge and mark the center. Use your smaller bit to start a pilot hole for each screw. Don’t go too big here or you will end up right where you started.
  7. Using your screwdriver, reattach the screws. Avoid a power drill to ensure you do not use too much force ruining your new screw holes, stripping them out again.
  8. Enjoy your fixed door and keep the kids away from hanging on the door!

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