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Got a door which does not have the spring lock which locks the door when you close it. Leave the door closed, and it'll soon be wide open even with a little gust of wind.
Currently we're wedging a handful of paper between the door and the door frame, so that it'd stay closed when we close it. The more elegant option of course, is to use a damper which will slowly close the door once it's been opened.

But dampers are a bit expensive for such a trivial function, and then there are the installation charges too. Is there a better way to ensure the door remains closed (a simple, elegant, less expensive option. Installing a spring lock is expensive)?

EDIT: One more requirement from my Dad was that since with any of the below solutions the door will appear to be closed, the people inside the house would think it is locked, while any stranger who comes along and slightly pushes the door will be able to get in. It'd help if the door closing mechanism has a way to let the people indoors know that the door is just closed, and not locked. Safety. Problem is that an LED would require a small transformer for getting power from the AC mains (batteries aren't really a long-term option). Having a safety mechanism is a bit tricky.

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What kind of door is this? Storm door, wood, metal? –  BMitch Mar 2 '12 at 16:38
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Basic rule of construction, if you don't have the funds to do it right the first time, then plan on getting the funds to do it twice along with the cost to undo whatever you did the first time. –  BMitch Mar 2 '12 at 16:39
    
@BMitch: An ordinary wooden bedroom door kind of door. Light wood. Not very experienced to get into specifics for a description. The idea is to be able to have the door remain closed after I walk out of the room and just push it open when I return, without having to use keys or a latch. –  Nav Mar 3 '12 at 6:23

5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

A door magnet latch like this will work. If the wind is heavy, use more than one.

enter image description here

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This was the simplest, most appropriate for my requirement. I can just use some spare magnets to get this working! –  Nav Mar 5 '12 at 6:11

A Pneumatic Door Closer

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can cost you less than $10.00, and is easily installed with 5-6 screws.

  • Attach one bracket to the door frame.
  • Attach the other bracket to the door.
  • Install the pins to hold arm in brackets.
  • Done.

If that's too rich for you. A Screen door latch

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Will run you about $8.00, though installation is a bit more difficult.

A Barrel Bolt

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will cost you about $3.00, and requires 6 screws. Though makes opening the door from both sides tricky.

If you're really hard up for cash. A door catch is only about $2.00, and only requires 4 screws to install it.

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If you only have the change you found between the couch cushions. A Gate hook

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might be what you're looking for (~$1.50). Again, this could make opening the door from both side troublesome.

Help an old lady cross the street, and ask her for a dollar in return. Then you can get a Double Roller Catch.

enter image description here

They're typically used for cabinets, but might work for you if the wind is not too strong.

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Pleasantly surprised at the variety of options. Thanks! –  Nav Mar 5 '12 at 6:13

If you are talking about a storm door, you don't have the money and just need a quick fix for a few weeks or so, then maybe just tie a string to the storm door handle, pull it shut nice and tight, then close your main door while still holding the string tight and wrap it to the door handle on the inside. It's kinda ghetto but it'll work until you get the cash to fix it, and it beats having the wind blow one good time and you losing your door all together. I used this fix in a similar situation. Good luck.

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+1 for a "ghetto" solution. –  Tester101 Mar 2 '12 at 17:26

From your comment, it sounds like you are looking for some interior hardware rather than something for a storm door. A ball or bullet catch with strike plate would be best for this situation. You can find them for less than $5, so I don't think this is excessive. I'd also suggest paying a couple extra bucks for an adjustable style since it already sounds like your door may have moved out of square. It's recessed into the door so that it looks much nicer than a damper or other storm door hardware. I usually see them on the top center of french closet doors, but I'm sure it works just as well as a replacement for a standard door latch.

Ball Catch

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I've seen a simple solution to this using a pulley and some light rope from then a bottle full of sand.

The idea is you: - hook the rope to the door (at the top, opposite side to the hindge) via a small hook - then another hook/pulley near where the first hook would meet on the door frame - from there you can direct it to another hook and pulley on the hinge side of the door frame if you want the bottle hung down on the hindge side - Finally you let the rope down towards the ground tying it to the bottle - You can vary the amount of sand to slow or speed up how quickly the door shuts, and how much force is required to open it again.

Works well, especially if it might be temporary. You can make it look as nice or crude as you like by using nicer rope and a nicer bottle too.

Here is an example picture.

enter image description here

Although its a little rough looking compared to what I first saw.

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Like the idea. It'd look cool if done neatly. –  Nav Mar 5 '12 at 6:12

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