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Front Door Is So Hard to Open


If it is the handle that is stiff rather than the door itself, then probably a little lubrication is all that is needed. Apply a penetrating oil spray to all moving parts. This includes all latches and locking points, as well as the seam where the handle meets the plates that screw onto the door. After applying, turn the handle several times to get the mechanism moving and help distribute the oil throughout.

If this doesn’t work, check whether the handle is stiff when you turn it while the door is open, or only when you are trying to open the door. If it is only stiff when you try to open the door, the problem may not be the handle itself but the hinges (see below).

If the handle is stiff when the door is open as well as when it is closed, it is possible that the oil is not penetrating the outside of the door well enough to alleviate the issue. Try removing the handle, which is usually as simple as unscrewing two screws, in order to get at the mechanism inside more effectively. Once you have oiled it, replace the handle and turn it several times to distribute oil as well as to check you have reassembled it properly.


If the door itself is stiff when pushing open or close, or if the handle is stiff only when the door is closed, then the problem may be the hinges. There are multiple different ways the hinges may hinder your efforts to open front door or back door smoothly.

If the door does not swing open and closed easily, then once again your first step should be to try lubricating it. Apply some oil, preferably a penetrating oil spray, to both hinges and then swing the door open and closed several times to help spread the oil out inside the hinge. Be careful not to get any excess oil on carpets or rugs. If there is a carpet immediately inside the front or back door in question, have a cloth ready to quickly wipe up any oil that runs down the frame.