Featured image for “How to fix Summerhouse doors that won’t close”
By Cara Mackay on 16 Apr 2020

How to fix Summerhouse doors that won’t close

I know it’s hard to tell what day it is, nevermind what month we are on, but coming into Summer the heat is going to play havoc on your Timber. Timber is a porous, natural living breathing material. This means when we have a prolonged spell of dry, sunny weather it’s only a matter of time before your timber starts to shift.

Your south-facing Summerhouse doors are going to be particularly hard hit when the weather starts to get HAWT! This might cause your Summerhouse doors to shrink. Literally a matter of millimeters, which will cause the lock and keeper to fall out of line so your door doesn’t catch. 

The second thing that can happen is the door will drop to one side, which will allow one door to pop out at the top. This is usually to do with the entire building shifting – throwing slightly off level. It is again a matter of millimeters that can make all the difference.  

I know! All very scary sounding. But don’t worry.  We’ve got your back.

Step-by-step guide on how to fix your Summerhouse doors

First, things first, know that your doors will likely contract when the rain returns. It’s Scotland – the rain will come back, sooner rather than later. They will swell back to their original size. So you can leave them be, knowing that in a couple of months they will sort themselves out. Or, you can have a shim added to the hinge side of the door. This will bulk out the doors to meet again in the middle. What you find normally happens is that shim needs to be removed again when the wet season is in full swing.

Depending on the severity of the wet season, they may swell too much and you will have the opposite problem, your Summerhouse doors won’t open! 

If you want to add a shim to your Summerhouse doors then you can do this to bring the doors back in line and allow the lock to catch using the steps below.

Step 1: Take a lever to the corner strip (on the side the door is out of line on)

Step 2: With appropriate fulcrum, pull-down and lever up

Step 3: Push in appropriate shim under bearer 
Watch you don’t trap your fingers. This is good for the shaped summer houses, but you might not be able to use a corner strip on Rannoch or Kindrogan for levering.

Summerhouse won't close shim

Can G&M fix your Summerhouse doors?

Pretty straightforward right? Any decent carpenter will know what to do. It’s not a long job so make sure they are quoting reasonably for it.

If you’re one of the clever ones that bought a Gillies and Mackay Summerhouse then we can help you with this. We do charge for it, but not crazy amounts. 

But the main thing is that we want you to stop it from happening again. The key to this is aftercare. Gillies and Mackay build a good building. But we expect you to maintain it to keep it going. And we give you all you need to be able to do this.

It is also possible the doors are beyond saving and it may be a case of replacing them. This is usually only in extreme circumstances and/or if the Summerhouse is over 15 years old with little looking after.

How to prevent your Summerhouse doors from breaking next year?

Excellent! Your Summerhouse doors are closing. Now let’s talk prevention. We all know it’s better than cure and we don’t want you doing this every year. 

To stop it from happening you need to paint your Summerhouse doors properly. We do the first coat before delivery, of course. But you need to do your part to keep your G&M building looking good. 

If you can’t do it yourself, then you can get someone to do it for you. But you need to paint the entire door. And by this I mean the outside, inside, hinge side, lock and keeper side, the top and bottom grains.  The best practice would be to paint the door frame also. This is something we introduced 2 years ago. It has made a vast improvement to minimising movement. It is also our recommended practice for ensuring the longevity of your Summerhouse.

Related content:

Where can I buy paint for my Summerhouse?

Now you’ve fixed those doors, you need to stop it from happening again. You’ll probably already know that we use Sadolin paint to treat our G&M building. We use either Sadolin Superdec or Sadolin Quick Dry – we’ve been using it for years!

There are a couple of places that you can buy it. We recommend: 

(NB: your paint colour is on your invoice, or here is a chart of them if you need to jog your memory) See 2020 Colour Chart Here

Related content:

So, that’s it. Not too much too it. And if you do it right and look after your Summerhouse it will last you a long time. So it’s worth it wouldn’t you say?

Thanks for spending this time with me.

All my sheddy love.

Natty xx

Related content you might like to read:

Join the Shedlife Clan!

* indicates required