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Old 09-19-2013, 06:50 AM   #1
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


I have one interior which is really uneven at the top. Almost 1/4" difference when comparing left side to right side (look the photos below). Now because of that, the door latch is not aligned with the strike plate (door doesn't latch).

Now I could move the strike plate 1/4" below and it would fix the problem. But I would be still be stuck with an uneven gap at the top of the door. I have tighten the top hinge but it didn't make a difference. Is there something (neat option) I could do to fix this problem (uneven gap) ?
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)-photo-3.jpg   Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)-photo-2.jpg   Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)-photo-1.jpg  

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Old 09-19-2013, 07:21 AM   #2
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


Was it always that way?

What does the gap look like on the latch side?

Have you put a level on the hinge side?--top?Door?

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Old 09-19-2013, 07:32 AM   #3
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


Hi Mike,

1) I think it has been like that since we moved in. This is fairly new house (2 years old) and its the guest bathroom which we never used so far.

2) On the latch side, the gap at the top is small (door is rubbing a little bit against the jamb) while at the bottom there's about 3/16".

3) No I didn't check the level on the sides, top or door. I will check it when I get home.


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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Was it always that way?

What does the gap look like on the latch side?

Have you put a level on the hinge side?--top?Door?
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:47 AM   #4
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


When working on a door you have to look at the big overall picture. Anything you "adjust" will effect how another part works.
It's common to have a new house settle some so this is a common problem.
I'd start on the hinge side and check the top corner with a framing square, then using a long level check the jamb for plumb in both directions, and not being flat.
It's not uncommon to have to cut the paint lines and remove the casing to reset the jambs when the latch is that far off.
I personally never relocate a catch. It's going to leave a gap where the old mortis was and the screws may not hold because there to close together.
If it was a tiny amount I'd use a Dremel tool and remove some of the metal.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:02 AM   #5
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


I was thinking about enlarging the the strike plate hole but I would need to remove about 3/16" (of metal) which is a lot in my opinion. I would also need to enlarge the hole in the door jamb.

I'm not home right now so I can't check the level of the door jambs but I will do it when I get home.

Do you think this could be fixed by adjusting the hinges (shim bottom hinge and recess more the top hinge) ??

Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.

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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
When working on a door you have to look at the big overall picture. Anything you "adjust" will effect how another part works.
It's common to have a new house settle some so this is a common problem.
I'd start on the hinge side and check the top corner with a framing square, then using a long level check the jamb for plumb in both directions, and not being flat.
It's not uncommon to have to cut the paint lines and remove the casing to reset the jambs when the latch is that far off.
I personally never relocate a catch. It's going to leave a gap where the old mortis was and the screws may not hold because there to close together.
If it was a tiny amount I'd use a Dremel tool and remove some of the metal.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:05 AM   #6
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


To get it to move that far it would close up the gap on the side and just move the real problem to a different area.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


Thanks joecaption.

So what would be the best option (permanent) to fix this issue ?
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:14 AM   #8
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


Remove the casing and reset the door.
Another check I forgot is to see how level the floor is from side to side.
If the floors settle, the jambs have shifted with it.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:28 AM   #9
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


push the upper hinge towards the jamb and see if the door moves. if it does replace one of the upper hinge screws with a 3 inch screw. if you have a fairly large gap between the bottom of the door and the jamb put a thin shim behind the lower hinge.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:35 AM   #10
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


That's some serious work. I wasn't expecting that. I would need to remove the door molding.
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Remove the casing and reset the door.
Another check I forgot is to see how level the floor is from side to side.
If the floors settle, the jambs have shifted with it.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #11
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


I would be so happy if this would work. I have tighten the top hinges last night (basic 3/4" screws) and the door didn't move a lot. I could try longer screws on the top hinge and add a shim on the bottom hinge.

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Originally Posted by DannyT View Post
push the upper hinge towards the jamb and see if the door moves. if it does replace one of the upper hinge screws with a 3 inch screw. if you have a fairly large gap between the bottom of the door and the jamb put a thin shim behind the lower hinge.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:04 AM   #12
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


joecaption

I will be hypothetical; Let's say, that if I put a level on the hinge side, the top section of the jamb is leaning towards the latch side. In this case, I would need to remove the door, remove the moulding on the hinge side, add another shim (to make jamb level) and add / nail shim at the bottom of the jamb. Would that be the logical sequence to follow in order to fix the problem ?

Last edited by westbank; 09-19-2013 at 12:52 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:16 PM   #13
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


the first thing i would do is remove the middle screw in the hinge at the top of hte jamb and replace it with a 3" screw. this will put hte door upwards and should re-align it..

more than likely the weight of the door is simply pulling the jamb away from the framing
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:57 PM   #14
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


I was able to check the hinge side and latch side door jambs. Both are on level. The top part is not on level. It's about 1/8" off.

I've tried putting one 3" screw in the top hinge. Didn't make a difference.

I've tried adding a 1/8" under the bottom hinge and it didn't make a difference.

I've noticed that the distance from the floor to the bottom of the latch is about 1/8" lower than all my other doors. It seems like the door was installed a little lower than the other doors. The mortise/strike plate has been installed at the same height at the other doors.

This is getting strange.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:58 PM   #15
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Interior door uneven at the top (door doesn't latch)


did the door work before no problem? is it installed in a bearing wall. its possible the floor has settled or even dropped do a missed point load which is putting pressure on the hinge side of the jamb

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