How to Make a Door Close Tighter

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Part of properly insulating your home is to check for gaps in doors.
Part of properly insulating your home is to check for gaps in doors. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

During the cold, winter months you may notice a draft coming in from under the door or feel the floor in front of the door getting wet when it rains. A door that doesn't shut tightly is not only a nuisance, but also costs money since cold air comes in and warm air goes out. Before replacing the door with a new one, check the specific areas of the door and repair it yourself using basic home tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Wood shims

Examine the hinges for tightness. If the hinges are loose, the door typically sags lower on the side with the lock or latch. Prop it up with wood shims or have someone hold the door high enough to tighten the hinges.

Screw the screws in each of the hinges in tighter, beginning at the top of the door where most of the weight distributes. Add screws 2 to 3 inches in length if any are missing. The length ensures the screws go through both the door and the frame.

Examine the latch of the door and the keeper, which is the part the latch clicks into on the inside frame of the door. The latch should fit in securely. Replace the keeper if it's bent or damaged in any way. Unscrew it and move it either up or down if it is out of alignment with the height of the door.

Purchase a new handle or lock if the current one is beyond repair. Over time the hardware wears down and needs replacing. New handles come with instructions for installation, which typically only includes unscrewing the old handle and inserting and screwing in the new one.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a problem with drafts or small gaps after repairing the door, add weather stripping to the door.

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