I have a door in my home to one of the bedrooms, that will not "catch" when you close it. If you lift up on the doorknob then it "catches" and will remain shut.

I was curious, if I put a "stronger" screw in the top of the door hold (or maybe 3) would this "lift" the door enough that you no longer have to lift the door to close it?

Or is the issue deeper than that and adding a new screw or two would have no benefit?

The strike plate is maybe a 1/4 inch too high. None of the hinges appear to be loose or lower than they should be, however if I lift the door at the hinges I can hear the door raise, which would signify that a hinge is loose, would just need to find a way to determine which one and on which side (door or frame)

4 Answers 4


There is a way to tweak the hinges to move the door up or down, but its for small amounts like 1/16", not 1/4". It's better to just move the strike plate. However, if the door is sagging 1/4", then the top of the door must be sagging down from the header jamb and leaves a giant gap between the top of door and jamb. Also, the top edge of the door must be rubbing badly against the jamb. If this is occurring, you'll want to re-secure hinges (re-tighten all screws) and re-plumb the door.

Best way to move strike plate is to chisel the jamb out to receive the strike plate and then reset the strike plate. I'd also cut a small piece of wood,the amount you moved the strike plate down (1/4"), and glue it into frame to match rest of frame. (Then do a little touch-up of paint or stain to match rest of frame.)

The hinge should not be loose enough to pick it up 1/4" or so. Re-screw all the hinges down tight before you move the strike plate.


Often the correct solution is to lower the strike (what the latch catches in, on the frame.) This requires some minor chisel work, normally.

If the hinge is loose, your method might work; or you might place a small shim in the bottom hinge (between the hinge and the frame, or the hinge and the door) - it depends how the door is fitting, overall.


Start at the striker itself. How is it misaligned? It can be misaligned in four directions (though usually too far "out" merely results in it latching while not entirely closed).

If the strike is too high, see if there's any slop going on in the door hinges, typically the top hinge starting to gap on one side or another. If there is, tighten it up, with longer screws if necessary.

If the screw holes are chewed out and not holding screws, then I like to stuff matchsticks or decent size splinters into the hole, with some epoxy to hold them in, that way you are putting additional "meat" into there for the screws to grab. If it's particularly bad, drill it out and epoxy in a dowel. Then pre-drill the new holes since the dowel is probably hardwood.

Otherwise just move the strike. I like to fill in the old screw holes in similar fashion; however in this case it's so if I have to move the strike only a tiny bit, the screws won't get sucked into the old holes.


Alternatively, you may not even need to move the strike plate. You can just use a Dremel with a #952 aluminum oxide grinding stone bit and grind out the necessary portion of the strike plate. Use lipstick on the latch to enable you to see where it contacts the strike plate when you close the door. Then grind the necessary portion of the strike plate indicated by the lipstick.

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