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Old 11-23-2010, 03:59 PM   #1
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Door doesn't latch with metal frame


Hello all. I'm a first time poster.

I recently moved into a new home. I have three bedroom doors that do not latch. In fact, two of the door latches do not even reach the striker plate. Normally, I would use shims and reposition striker plates to make things work. However, this will not work here. My problem is this: the door frames are metal. (The house was built in 1947) The hinges are a fixed piece of the door frame, and the striker plates are likewise in a fixed position. I believe that the doors are not original/have been changed because the knobs do not seem old enough to be original (downstairs knobs are brass, these are generic metal) and there is too much space between the hardwoods and the bottom of the door, which leads me to believe they were cut at some point for carpet.

I am in a quandary as to how to rectify this problem. Its not too big of a deal, however my new puppy keeps nosing the doors open and getting into places he shouldn't, and my wife and I eventually will want to have kids. This means we will want doors that stay closed. Any ideas on how to solve this problem short of removing the metal frames? Are doors available on the market that are made to fit a certain door frame rather than vis-versa?

Thanks for any help!

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Old 11-23-2010, 05:44 PM   #2
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Door doesn't latch with metal frame


I have metal door frames in my triplex, and the only solution I have found to this is to buy door slabs ("blanks"), cut them to the right size (mine are just about 1/2" smaller than standard in both directions), and make my own holes and hinge cutouts at the right places.

The upside to this is that sometimes I can find really nice doors at the local Habitat for Humanity store for only a couple $$ that will work after being cut.

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Old 11-23-2010, 05:52 PM   #3
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Door doesn't latch with metal frame


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The hinges are a fixed piece of the door frame, and the striker plates are likewise in a fixed position.
Ayuh,... Shim the door off the hinges,... Does the same thing...
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:37 PM   #4
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Door doesn't latch with metal frame


Thanks Genhawk. Good idea.

Bondo, that doesn't help if the striker plate is still in the wrong place.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:05 PM   #5
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Door doesn't latch with metal frame


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Originally Posted by banker85 View Post
Thanks Genhawk. Good idea.

Bondo, that doesn't help if the striker plate is still in the wrong place.
Over time, houses settle and strike plates move out of alignment with the latch. You can usually make adjustments to the strike plate to catch the latch.
First move it over so it reaches the frame.
Now look at the latch relationship with the strike plate opening. It will either be too high or too low. Take a file or grinder and enlarge the opening so it catches the latch.
Ron
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