How to Fix a Defective Door Latch

If your door won't close properly, the strike plate (the opening that the door should click into) is probably not aligned correctly. Learn DIY home repair tips on how to repair a defective door latch in this free online home improvement video.

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Video Transcript

If your door won’t close properly, it won’t click shut then, the problem is that this is not catching the strike plate, which is the opening that it’s supposed to click into. So if you can, if at all possible, you need to see whether the problem is an alignment- is the alignment of this vertically or horizontally. And the first thing you want to do is to see if it’s vertically- to see if this is in the right position and the best way to do that- the best trick- is to actually, if you don’t have much of a gap to be able to see where it’s hitting is to place a piece of tape even with the bottom and with the top of the opening, so you can see where the opening is form the outside here.

And then watch as this goes in. and it looks like its ok- in fact, it is. It’s between these two pieces of tape, so in that case, the problem is that it’s set too far out or two far in. I’ll show you how to fix that.

So we know that the strike plate needs to move either this way or that way. In this case, I’ve already determined that it needs to move out a little bit. So what you’ll need to do is remove it, which is just a couple of screws holding it in place. So that you can mortis out the hole a little further out. And that simply means taking your chisel and simply enlarging the hole and so forth all the way on this edge, or whichever edge you need to move it toward.

And then, it’s very easy if you have a good chisel to just take out the excess material and so forth. And then you would put the strike plate back in place a little further forward. You may need to drill new holes, pilot holes for the screws, but that will take care of your problem.

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