How to Fix a Kicked-in Door Jamb


When a door is kicked in, security becomes an issue. Making repairs quickly and effectively is the only way to ensure a return to security. Making the repairs is typically an easy process and your door will be more secure than it was to begin with if the repairs are carried out properly. Make sure you replace all hardware effected by the break-in and use the heaviest available striker plate and deadbolt receptacle plate available.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Quick square
  • Circular saw
  • Pry bar
  • 1-inch pine lumber
  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • 3-inch treated deck screws
  • Finish nails
  • Hammer
  • Painter's caulk or wood filler
  • Remove the striker plate and dead bolt receptacle plate from the knob side jamb with a screwdriver if they are still attached. Pry the vertical trim, known as the door casing, away from the wall with a flat pry bar to reveal the gap between the door jamb and the wall frame.

  • Mark a horizontal line, using a quick square, from the edge of the jamb to the front edge of the flat molding in the center of the jamb, also known as the doorstop, ½ an inch above the deadbolt receiving plate notch. Draw a second, similar line ½ an inch below the knob striker plate notch.

  • Set your circular saw to a depth equal to the thickness of your jamb, typically 1 inch. Cut along the two lines you just drew to the edge of the doorstop molding.

  • Adjust the depth of the saw to equal the jamb thickness, plus the thickness of the doorstop. Make a vertical cut along the front face of the doorstop, joining the two horizontal lines you drew. Cut the remaining material in the two corners of the rectangle your cuts create with a wood chisel.

  • Position the cut-out piece you just removed on top of a piece of 1-inch thick pine and mark around it with a pencil. Cut the rectangle from the pine using the circular saw. Mark and cut a piece to the same dimensions from ½-inch plywood.

  • Nail the plywood piece against the framing stud directly behind the piece you removed. Nail the piece of 1-inch pine on top of the plywood with a single nail in its center. You will anchor this later with screws.

  • Close the door against the jamb and mark the center of the striker latch and the deadbolt lock on the jamb. Mark at point even with each of these heights, halfway between the front edge of the jamb and front edge of the door stop.

  • Bore a 5/8-inch deep hole on each of the two marks you just made. Center the replacement deadbolt receiver plate around the upper hole in the jamb. Mark around it with a pencil. Center the striker plate around the lower hole and mark around it. Use a wood chisel to cut out the wood inside each of these outlines to 1/8 inch deep.

  • Attach the deadbolt receiver plate and striker plate to the jamb inside the notches you just cut. Drive one 3-inch treated deck screw through each hole in the plates, through the jamb and the ½-inch plywood into the stud behind.

  • Pull the nails through the back of the door casing and reposition it in its original position, Nail it in position with one finish nail every 8 to 10 inches. Fill the nail holes with painter's caulk or wood filler.

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  • Photo Credit construction image by Greg Pickens from
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