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sbattisti 08-25-2010 05:21 PM

Basic door question
OK, so, I have a door to one of my rooms that isn't quite right, in that the door closes, but fails to "catch", so anything (cat, breeze, etc.) blows it back open. If you examine the door as it's closing, it's apparent that the bolt just doesn't line up with the latch hole.

The door appears to have "settled" in such a way that it just doesn't match any more. It's off by perhaps a half an inch. Truth be told, it was like that when I moved in, so I don't know if it was always like that.

Any suggestions for the easiest way to address?


jlhaslip 08-25-2010 05:23 PM

what do the 'margins' around the door slab look like?
any chance that you could post a picture of the door showing the inside of the jamb view?
is the hinge side jamb 'plumb'?

sbattisti 08-25-2010 05:28 PM

Do these help?

Sorry, camera phone isn't the best quality!

Tom Struble 08-25-2010 06:09 PM

ooo thats an oldie:thumbup:close the door stand back alittle then take the pic,what we need to see is the gap between the door and the frame,you may just need to shim the bottom hinge a bit

sbattisti 08-25-2010 06:32 PM

Hmm, does this help?

Or did you need to see the gap at the top and bottom of the frame?

I should point out that I am singularly inept at these sorts of things, so if I've taken it from the wrong angle, my apologies! I will also need help understanding what exactly "shimming" is if it comes to that. :)

Tom Struble 08-25-2010 07:48 PM

thats ok...yes we need to see the gap at the top when the door is closed ,that will show if the door has sagged,the gap will be wider on the handle side if it has

sbattisti 08-25-2010 07:59 PM


Originally Posted by tomstruble (Post 491331)
thats ok...yes we need to see the gap at the top when the door is closed ,that will show if the door has sagged,the gap will be wider on the handle side if it has

Try this:

Hard to see, I guess. It DOES appear to be sagging.

Tom Struble 08-25-2010 08:16 PM

ok nice,what we want to try to do is to even out that gap by raising the handle side so the latch lines up again,there are 2 ways to do it,the first is to try and pull the door in more at the top

now open the door look at the top hinge are all the screws in tight?if they are you can try a longer screw in the hinge that will hopefully hit a framing member and pull the top of the door over slightly

the second way is to shim the bottom hinge,to do this pull out all the screws holding the bottom hinge leaf to the door frame,find some thin cardboard and cut a piece that will fit the recess in the frame,reinstall the leaf screws and try the door,you may need more than 1 piece of cardboard

take your time and try to understand how what you do on the hinge side affects the latch side

sbattisti 08-27-2010 02:00 PM

OK, I'm going to try the shimming! However, I'll be away for most of the weekend, so it may not be for a few days. I found an excellent video that shows precisely how to shim.

Thanks so much, and I'll report back when I've tackled it!

Tom Struble 08-27-2010 02:04 PM

now that feels good...thank you:thumbsup:

sbattisti 08-27-2010 02:07 PM

BTW, this is the video I found:

sbattisti 08-29-2010 05:22 PM

Well, it worked! (Imagine that!) :thumbup:

My door had just two hinges, one at the top and one at the bottom. I took the bottom hinge off, cut six cardboard shims using cardboard from the back of pads of paper, and put three each on the door side and the wall side.

Aside from some technical difficulty trying to hold the shims and hinge in place while screwing it back in, once I got it in, the door catches fine. On the first try!!

Now I can keep my cat out of my bedroom, which will stop him from peeing in there! Now on to my NEXT problems - trying to get cat pee out of the carpet, followed by how to stop my cat from peeing on my carpet. I suspect these will be more difficult than shimming the door! :censored:

Tom, thanks so much for your help!


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