Crooked door, won’t line up with latch, help!?

We have a door, the hinge screws are tight and in place on both the door and the frame, but the door won’t latch when shut, long time ago it did but now it doesn’t.

I’ve notice that from the hinges the door slants upward and where the latch it is the door slants downward, the door is crooked.

I’ve tried everything from screwing the hinges in while having the door up on a prop (level with the strike) and still it isn’t working what should I do?

2 Answers

  • This is a very common problem as the door and frame are both made of wood which expands and contracts due to moisture in the air.

    Typically what I do to remedy this situation is to use a die grinder and a high speed burr bit to enlarge the hole in the door jam and strike plate, allowing the bolt to pop in when the door is closed.

    A die grinder is a high speed drill of sorts. A regular drill with a rotary tungsten carbide bit should work too. Like these:…

    Use a flashlight if needed and carefully close the door while observing the latch bolt. See where it is hitting, either high or low and enlarge the hole in that area. Take just a little off at a time and test/close the door often until it works.

    Good luck.

  • with a carpenter’s square, check the door frame for squareness. My guess would be that the house has settled and the frame isn’t square any more … which means that the still square door won’t fit properly.

    if this is the case, the natural solution is to dismount door and frame and then reinstall the frame with strategically placed shims so that it is, once again, square. Of course, this needs to be done so that the door is also properly vertical …

    Nice bit of tricky work for an experienced carpenter/handyman.

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