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Windows and Doors

Operating Problems

Problem: Difficulty in operating a door or window.

Doors that bind, sliders that don't slide and windows that won't open or close properly are common sources of warranty complaints. They are often indications of poor framing and installation practices.

Cause: Insufficient tolerances.

Installation must be able to accommodate building movement, out-of-square and differential shrinkage of rough framing and door and window frames.


  • Ensure that framing is square by measuring diagonals and installing bracing before walls are erected.
  • Ensure that rough openings are at least 1 inch (24mm) wider and 1/2 inch (12mm) higher than the window or door frame size. Some manufacturers recommend 1 1/2 inches and 3/4 inch (40mm and 20 mm) respectively as shown in Figure 20.
Sizing A Rough Window Opening
Figure 20 - Sizing A Rough Window Opening
  • Use pre-hung, or hand doors with at least a 1/8 inch (3 mm) clearance on tops and sides as shown in Figure 21. Secure top hinges with long screws to prevent sagging.
Door Hanging Clearances
Figure 21 - Door Hanging Clearances