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mudpaws 06-02-2009 12:20 AM

entry door repairs or replace?
I have a '9-lite' style Masonite entry door in my house of 22 months...The POs had some real hacks working on the door install. The main latch and the deadbolt positions oppose each other, causing a binding condition. You can barely turn the deadbolt to unlock it. And forget about using the key (from outside); It feels though it will break a key soon! Also, I need longer screw(s) to attach one hinge. The door sags a small bit. Finally, when door is fully closed, should it be able to move in and out (about 1/2") when you push on it? What should I do? In what order should I make the repairs? Get new door? I want to make my wife proud by fixing this..She's having trouble as it is, trying to unlock the door with one hand, holding the baby in the other....Please help!

Thank you,

Just Bill 06-02-2009 05:55 AM

Sounds like the door needs to be reinstalled, but plumb/level/square this time. Steel or fiberglass door?? Masonite, formerly Stanley, is not the top of the line door, but OK, it should provide service for many years, if properly installed.

Ron6519 06-02-2009 07:21 AM

I'm not following the, "The main latch and the deadbolt positions oppose each other, causing a binding condition." The deadbolt is installed on top of the key in the knob lock. not opposite it.
The doors latch should sit in the strike plate, how do you get a 1/2" of play with that? At most there will be 1/8", depending how the strike plate was installed.
You need to diagnose why these things are happening before you start doing too many things to this door. If the door is sagging, I'd start with that first.
After you tighten the hinge:
Are the jambs legs both plumb?
Does the door hit the stops all at the same time. Or does the top or bottom of the door stick out from the jamb?
If not, you need to realign the jambs.
Do both the strike plates line up with the associated latches?
They should enter the middle of the strike plates.
Is the door square in the opening
The space at the top of the door should be the same from jamb to jamb.
Do both the strike plates line up vertically on the frame? One directly over the other?

You will first need to plumb and square the frame, then deal with the lining up of the locks and strike plates.

vsheetz 06-02-2009 07:29 AM

It should not need replacing, just installed correctly. Home Depot or similar will have longer screws - I usually put one longer in each hinge. Ensure the opening is squared up. You may have to pull the casings from around the door and reshim the frame. I find once getting the hinge side plumb the door then usually is getting pretty close - with some additional fine tuning to get it to work like it should. A Google on door installation will provide lots of instructions and how-to's. You should be able to fix it.

Maintenance 6 06-02-2009 07:43 AM

First thing is to get the door swinging properly and fitting in the jamb. Repair the hinge issues/stripped screws. Then check the locks for loose screws. Check the operation of these with the door open. Lubricate them. If the locks work Ok, then adjust the strike plate for the entry lock first. It should hold the door snugly against the stop. If the latchbolt is a two piece arrangement with a large plunger and a small one, then only the large plunger should enter the recess in the strike plate when the door is closed. When the entry lock is working properly, then adjust the strike for the deadbolt. When the door is properly closed and latched, the deadbolt should extend into it's strike recess without contacting anything. Many times, a misaligned door is the primary cause for poorly working locksets. And many times people will mess with strike plate alignments instead of repairing the door issues.

gotboost 06-02-2009 09:30 PM

For the binding deadbolt,loosen the 2 screws and lift up on the lock hold up and tighten the screws,could be a quick fix for that problem.

mudpaws 06-03-2009 01:43 AM

thanks everyone. soon as I get a chance I will try these things. For Ron, what I meant was the deadbolt latch hole in the jamb is skewed slightly-making it fight you when you try to turn the key into it, unless you pull/etc. on the door. The ' 1/2" ' of play I speak of is the door moving in/out against the stop(s) and/or weatherseal around the frame of the door. I'm guessing this came with the door-it looks like it. OK-just checked again; Actually the in and out movement is closer to 1/4" light. I can move it with or without the doorknob and deadbolt locked. Is that normal? Thanks again all!

Maintenance 6 06-08-2009 06:38 AM

Sounds like the strike plate for the entry lock needs to be moved closer to the stop. You really shouldn't have much play in the door when it is properly latched. Adjust that strike plate first, then move the deadbolt strike to align when the door is properly latched.

Ron6519 06-08-2009 09:13 AM

If you have a compression weatherstripping around the door the strike plate position becomes a little subjective. Too far away from the stop and you have your conditions, play in the door. Too close to the stop and you need to press the door against the weatherstripping to relieve the pressure so you can open and lock the door.
The strike should be placed so there is enough pressure on the weatherstripping to seal it against the door, but not enough to bind the locks.

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