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How to fix Summerhouse doors that are too tight

In typical Scottish fashion, the rain battered down for two months keeping us all locked in our houses. Then, as soon as the sun comes out to play – BOOM! Coronavirus hits. Most of us are spending a little more time at home than planned just now, and if you are one of the lucky ones you’ll be spending some of that time in your Summerhouse. 

Timber is a porous, natural living breathing material. The change in weather is going to impact the state of your wood, especially your summerhouse doors. 

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! The result you’re doors are going to shrink. It’s literally a matter of a few millimeters difference but one of the things that can happen is that it can affect the lock and keeper from parting. The doors won’t catch and therefore they won’t close. 

But, as well all know, it doesn’t stay sunny for long. It’s Scotland it’s going to rain and then your doors will contract with the weather and swell back to their original size. Depending on the severity of the wet season, they may swell too much and your Summer doors won’t open. 

So, how do you fix it when your Summerhouse doors are too tight?

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How to fix Summerhouse doors that are too tight

The country is currently at a standstill and you want to use your Summerhouse to make a little #WFH sanctuary or escape from homeschooling the kids. But your doors are stuck. So, what’s a girl to do? 

Luckily, it’s a pretty straightforward procedure and any carpenter should be able to do it. Please only try this yourself if you have absolutely no other choice. Please, please hire a professional or get in touch with us. Gillies & Mackay buildings are built to last a lifetime, so don’t ruin that hard work by DIY-ing what you don’t know how to do. 

Summerhouse Doors

Step 1: On one of the doors, draw around each hinge 

draw around hinge

Step 2: Unscrew one of the hinges

Step3: Using a sharp chisel, check out a recess.

Chisel Summerhouse Doors
Chiseled Summerhouses

Step 4: Screw the hinge plate back on

Step 5: Repeat with all the hinges on the same door. Sometimes you’ll be able to fix the problem by doing the hinges on just one door. If not, you will need to repeat these steps for both doors and that should loosen then up to enough to open them.

Can G&M fix your Summerhouse doors?

So, you can see that adjusting your Summerhouse doors is pretty straight-forward. Not much to it. Something that any decent carpenter will be able to do. It’s not a long job so if they’re quoting you half a day’s work, tell them to jog on.

If you got your Summerhouse from Gillies and Mackay, and only if you got it from us (we can’t help you with one of those cheap ones) then we will be able to carry out the service for you. We do have to charge for this service, but it’s not a money-making exercise. But we’ve got mouths to feed – you know how it is.

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.

Part of owning a Gillies and Mackay building is looking after it. We expect you to maintain your Summerhouse or else you aren’t going to get the life you deserve out of it. We’ve done everything we can to provide you with a building that lasts, and we’re giving you the information to be able to look after it so it does.

How to prevent your Summerhouse doors from swelling again

So, good news, you’ve managed to fix your doors. Your Summerhouse is back looking good as new. The most important thing to do now is to make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

To do this, 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.

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Where do I get the paint for my G&M building?

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 they all are if you need to jog your memory)

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