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        Front door won't lock Sign In/Join 
        posted
        The deadbolt and the part of the door knob that goes into the jamb that keeps the door closed (don't know it's name) both sit a couple millimeters too high. The latch below the deadbolt is basically useless because it doesn't sit inside the hole in the jamb and the only way I can get the deadbolt to lock is to push down on the door knob as I turn the deadbolt.

        When looking at the door in the closed position, there is slightly more reveal at the top hinge side than the bottom. I shimmed the top hinge to give a slight tilt to the door. This allowed the deadbolt to work but not the latch /locking mechanism below it. But now the entire door is difficult to close - seems to bind up in the middle of the jamb where the door knob is located.

        Should I just move? Smile
         
        Posts: 169 | Registered: Dec 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        Doors can get out of adjustment over time. Only strange thing is that usually the door drops in relation tot he strike plates.

        Could take some rehanging and adjusting of the hinges (in a different way that what you have tried already). Possible that one side of the door jamb has settled and needs to be rehung. If everything else is adjusted correctly, sometimes it's a matter of slightly moving or slightly filing the strike plates.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10499 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of joecaption
        posted Hide Post
        Did you check to see if the screws are loose in the hindges?
        Remove the screw in the bottom hinge and replacing it with a 3" screw the same gauge can pull the door down enought to get the latch pins to line up again.


        joecaption
         
        Posts: 18046 | Location: Hartfield VA | Registered: Jan 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Jaybee, you said one side of the door jamb may need to be rehung, does that involve removing the door, the trim and re-shimming?

        Joe, I've removed and reinstalled all the screws and they're already 3" long. I may have to jam a wood dowel into the holes and re-screw or just go with 4" screws.
         
        Posts: 169 | Registered: Dec 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        Yes, it may take rehanging the jamb.

        You see where you have that larger gap on one side at across the top? That means the either the door is not square within the jamb or that the jamb is out of square. If the gap on the hinge side is the same from top to bottom then either the hinge side needs to be lowered or the strike side raised to make the jamb square again.

        This will involve removing the casing, removing whatever nails or screws are anchoring the jamb to the house framing and adjusting the jambs so that they are square to the door.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10499 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Is this a new door.? If not....
        What has happened.? Such as: new weather strip on bottom of door. Was the bottom plate adjusted for the weather strip, or some how has lifted.?
        Doors can become difficult if you can't figure out the cause. By adjusting one thing you may be causing a problem else where.
        More info would be helpful............
        Is the bottom plate level.? Is the hinge side jam plumb/level.?
        Did you replace all screws and now the lockset doesn't line up with the strike plates.? If so did you tighten the screws tighter then they were before or did the shims move.
        You may have to call someone who has experience at hanging doors, and not just one or two.
         
        Posts: 921 | Registered: Jan 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of joecaption
        posted Hide Post
        Most of the time just doing as I suggested, removing the bottom screws and using longer one and tighting them to pull the jam over would work.
        I'd never suggest trying to relocate the latch plate. What happens is the screw holes will be to close togeter and not hold as well and there's going to be an ugly looking bare spot.
        What I have done, and it worked is used my Dremel tool to elongate the hole slightly


        joecaption
         
        Posts: 18046 | Location: Hartfield VA | Registered: Jan 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I use a file on the strike plate after all the usual tricks (check the hinges to see if they're sprung from somebody hanging on the door, put in 3-inch screws, wave tools and threaten) fail to work. the file needs cleaning, but will cut both the steel plate and wood. finish with a knife or cnisel to make the new strike zone square all the way back.

        a medium flat mill bassterd (the name of the file for hundreds of years won't pass the nanny gate) in 8 or 10 inches is excellent for this, right width and all.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5864 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        All are good troube-shooting suggestions. Let's document your door and d-jamb and get the picture of what is going on here.

        Draw a picture of your door and door-jamb in general proportion. Take a level 2.5" long level and put in on the top of your door as close of being shut as possible...move from the hinges out and see what happens to the bubble...do the same from the top to the bottom of your door...mark the door accordingly...then do the same for top of your door jamb from hinge to the strike plate side, from top to bottom and botton in to hinges..now do the bottom - watch bubble and mark your piece of paper.

        You are basically trying to get a reall assessment [not an eyeball look] of where your issues stem.

        we know something has moved, the key is if it is the door or the jamb or both. If you sure up one, but not the other, you could be chasing a moving target.

        I also suggest that if this is the only time you have had this problem and do not see it happening often, experience is key, so you might want to get someone to help you, if you are pressed for time and not getting anywhere, and you do not want "to move"...Smile Big Grin

        Good luck and let us know how you do?
        tstex

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: tstex,
         
        Posts: 378 | Registered: Jun 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Thanks for all the helpful replies. Unfortunately, due to the cold weather, I've decided to tackle the door in the Spring. Now I need to focus on bathroom demo Mad

        I never understood all these people doing bathroom or kitchen remodels on the DIY network who think demo is the best part - it sucks!
         
        Posts: 169 | Registered: Dec 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by vinny186:
        Thanks for all the helpful replies. Unfortunately, due to the cold weather, I've decided to tackle the door in the Spring. Now I need to focus on bathroom demo Mad

        I never understood all these people doing bathroom or kitchen remodels on the DIY network who think demo is the best part - it sucks!


        No it doesn't. That's the best part. You get your hands dirty and you get to see what your house is really made of. You get to learn things, you can involve the rest of the family......the list goes on and on.
         
        Posts: 20 | Registered: Oct 27, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        It's been a year and I'm ready to fix my front door. It's a single door with two side lights.

        Problem 1: The latch is actually too high, i have to push down on the door knob to get it to lock.

        Problem 2: The door rubs at the top corner of the strike side.

        A level shows the door is higher on the strike side.

        I also placed a level on the jamb within the side lights, not the jamb of the rough opening. It showed the top right corner of the entire structure would need to move to the left or the "hinge" side.

        I have a feeling it has something to do with the sill possibly shifting or dropping. BTW, I took off the casing around the door and there was more space between the door structure and rough opening at the top left and bottom right. This makes sense based on the level I used.

        What do you guys think?
         
        Posts: 169 | Registered: Dec 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of joecaption
        posted Hide Post
        Remove one of the bottom hinge screws and replace it with a 2-1/2 screw of the same gauge.
        Predrill a pilot drill hole, making sure it's about the size of the minor diameter of the screw.
        Use a impact drill driver or at least a cordless drill to drive the screw in.
        Only drive it in just enough to get the door to latch.
        Those doors with the lights on the side can be a royal pain to set right.
        No one seems to take the time to make sure the floor and the two side are 100% level and plumb.
        If the floors off it can throw off the whole door.


        joecaption
         
        Posts: 18046 | Location: Hartfield VA | Registered: Jan 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        so, so often the little jamb-only screws will strip out the (cheap) jamb wood. Joe is right on. we munged up the door to the basement so much redoing DeBasement that we had to take off a piece of casing, put some shim strips in there, and then drill and drive 3-inchers. voila, fixed for good.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5864 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I actually tried that last year but I may not have used a long enough screw. When looking at the door when closed, there is already a larger reveal at the top hinge side than the bottom.
        I'll try the larger screw but if that doesn't work I may just move the strike plate up a bit.
         
        Posts: 169 | Registered: Dec 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of joecaption
        posted Hide Post
        The last thing you want to do is move the strike plate.
        Two main reasons.
        One the hole will be to close to the old one and may or may not hold.
        #2 It will look like poop.
        If the screws not doing it try removing the casing and mullion strip and try another screw hole.


        joecaption
         
        Posts: 18046 | Location: Hartfield VA | Registered: Jan 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        If the screws not doing it try removing the casing and mullion strip and try another screw hole.

        Joe, what do you mean by "If the screws not doing it try removing the casing and mullion strip and try another screw hole?"

        I already removed the casing all around the door, and cut the nails holding the door to the rough opening with a recip. saw.
         
        Posts: 169 | Registered: Dec 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of joecaption
        posted Hide Post
        Sound like you already what I suggested.
        By removing all that now things can move.
        Something else I've done if it's close and the screws do not work is use a Dremel with a grinding wheel to open up the hole a little bit.


        joecaption
         
        Posts: 18046 | Location: Hartfield VA | Registered: Jan 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Hey,
        I am working on a research about people's motivations for do-it-yourself wood projects. Please, could you participate in this short survey? Thank you!
        http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QXQZBZ6
         
        Posts: 2 | Registered: Oct 16, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Thanks for all the replies everyone. I ground down the strike plates for the latch and deadbolt and now it opens and closes easily.
         
        Posts: 169 | Registered: Dec 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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