Patio doors provide easy access to your garden and being able to have them open during the warmer months is a big advantage. However, as they are in regular use this can cause wear and tear, resulting in problems over time.

If you find that your patio doors are proving tricky to close or that the bottom of the door catches on the floor, it’s likely they have dropped and the hinges need adjusting. This is a common problem but easy to fix.

In this article, we’re going to look at how to determine if your patio door is out of alignment, the different types of uPVC door hinges, and how to adjust them.

Determine if door is warped or out of alignment

Firstly, determine the reason that your patio door needs adjusting. Is it letting cold air in? Is it getting stuck when you try to open or close it? Begin by assessing where your door is out of alignment.

To do this, use a spirit level to check the level of the door. Then look at the corners of your door to see if they are lined up with the corners of the door frame.

Lastly, look at the gap on the lock side of the door, between the door and the frame when the door is slightly open. Is this consistent from the bottom to the top?
When the door is closed, is there a gap in the middle? If so, your door is warped and is likely to need replacing. However, if there is a gap at the bottom of the door it’s likely that it just needs adjusting on the hinge side.

Types of hinges

If your hinges do need adjusting you will need to work out what type of hinge your door has. There are three types:

1. Flag hinge

Modern uPVC doors usually have a flag hinge and are the easiest to make adjustments to. It is vertical, lateral, and fine-tuning for compression, moving the door closer to the door jamb.

2. T-Hinge

A T-hinge is very similar to a flag hinge, which can be adjusted laterally and vertically.

3. Butt Hinge

Butt hinges are usually found on older styles of uPVC doors and may have a lateral adjustment, lateral and vertical adjustment, and sometimes no adjustment.

Steps on how to adjust the error

Once you’ve determined which hinge your patio door has, you can adjust them. To do this you will need:

  • a flat-headed screwdriver
  • a Phillips head screwdriver
  • allen keys (5mm)

Steps to adjust your door:

  1. Understand what the separate screws on the door hinge do. The top screw is for adjusting the height, the screw at the side adjusts the door horizontally, and the screw at the door adjusts the depth.
  2. Correctly identify how your patio door needs adjusting – vertically, horizontally or depth. Pick the correct screw to adjust. If the screws have a cap over them, use a Phillips screwdriver to loosen this, and a flat-headed screwdriver to remove the cap.
  3. Turning the allen key, turn the screw a few times, and adjust until the correct position is reached.

If your door has a butt hinge there might be a screw in the middle of the hinge that you will need to loosen first, before you turn the adjustment screw.

Before making any adjustments, be sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions beforehand. If you don’t feel confident identifying the type of hinges your doors have, or in adjusting them yourself, feel free to contact us for help and advice.