Our front door's deadlatch falls into the strike pocket when pulled close -- if gently closed, it's ok. So it just needs a minor adjustment.

If you look at the latch, you can see where it has been worn from rubbing against the pocket.

The strike plate we have is one of those larger ones so I can't just replace it with an off the shelf adjustable one.

I've seen some articles talking about shimming -- but I don't see how shimming the strike would keep the deadlatch from falling in. The strike plate does have the piece of metal that bends into the pocket, but I doubt bending that out would make a difference as the bend would pretty much be in the same place.

Making new holes so close to the existing ones seems like a bad idea.

I don't see any way to effectively adjust the weatherstripping to keep the door from closing so far.

I'm thinking the only option is to remove the strike plate and maybe make the screw holes a tad wider to allow it to be shifted.

What's the best way to deal with this?

enter image description here enter image description here


Finally got around to finishing this -- I had to replace the latch again because the latch jammed as it has before from wear on the dead latch mechanism.

So in the end I did remove the strike and toothpick'ed the holes, redrilled, and moved it slightly towards the outside. It was surprising how finicky this was to have the door click shut with an appropriate amount of force and still have the deadlatch not fall into the pocket.

In anticipation of having to move it several times I used shorter screws until I was sure of the position. I also used shims (pieces of 14g wire) and tape to hold it in place during testing.

  • Whom ever installed that door latch striker plate did a damn shabby job of of it. Looks like crap.
    – Michael Karas
    Nov 3, 2017 at 5:05
  • @MichaelKaras it mostly looks bad because it was upgraded to the larger plate from a smaller one.
    – rrauenza
    Nov 3, 2017 at 5:09
  • Yeah. But a real craftsperson would have removed part of the jamb board surface in that area and installed a glued in patch. Then carefully made a new cutout for the new strike plate. When it was all done, sanded and repainted it would like an original. Instead you have an ugly mess on your door frame.
    – Michael Karas
    Nov 3, 2017 at 5:14
  • Ah! I wondered how it could be repaired. Thanks.
    – rrauenza
    Nov 3, 2017 at 5:15

2 Answers 2


Best approach for adjusting the strike plate.

  1. Size up where it seems the plate needs to go and how much offset it seems to need.
  2. Remove the existing strike plate.
  3. Fill the existing screw holes with a whittled pine plug that you glue with wood workers glue and pound into the hole.
  4. Optional - If you are not into whittling a pine plug for the old screw holes you can try what many people do which is to dip tooth picks in the glue and shove as many as possible into the hole till it is not possible to insert any more.
  5. Let the glue dry on the screw hole plugs.
  6. Use a sharp chisel or very fine toothed hobby saw to cut off the excess screw hole plug material even with the jamb surface.
  7. Mark and drill new pilot holes for the strike plate screws at the offsetted location. Remember that pilot holes for screws are smaller than the outside thread diameter of the screws but not smaller than the inner diameter of the screw thread.
  8. Reinstall the strike plate using the screws into the new pilot holes.
  9. If you messed up you can always go back to step 1 and repeat.
  • How far do you reckon it needs to be moved over? I was thinking less than 1/8".
    – rrauenza
    Nov 3, 2017 at 5:11
  • @rrauenza - How in the world can I even begin to suggest how far you have to adjust the strike plate. You have the door there. I think it is up to you to try to figure out the offset needed. It should be easy enough to figure out the offset by how much over travel the door has now that causes the problem. One way would be to temporarily shim the door against the closing surface with successive thin layers of cardboard till you find a shim thickness that prevents the security pin from falling into the strike plate hole when the door is slammed hard shut. (continued)
    – Michael Karas
    Nov 3, 2017 at 5:22
  • (continued from above). The shim thickness thus achieved would be how much to offset the striker plate. If you are not successful with a creative solution to get the offset figured out correctly you can always fall back to step 9 in my answer.
    – Michael Karas
    Nov 3, 2017 at 5:23
  • I thought the wear on the deadlatch photo was a good indicator of how far it needs to move. My opinion is less than an 1/8". I have to pull it fairly hard to drop the deadlatch into the pocket. With less than 1/8" I'm hoping not to have to redrill the holes and weaken the screw holes.
    – rrauenza
    Nov 3, 2017 at 5:25
  • You get a point just for the toothpick trick for hole filling. Dec 11, 2019 at 16:15

If I'm understanding you correctly the long bottom strike plate is the problem. From the picture it looks like the plate needs to move forward and be mortis in deeper. Mark new location and remove the wood. The hump can be flatten some if needed. As for the old screw holes insert a small wood dowel with glue into the holes, you will want a sung fit, allow to dry. Test first just using one screw on each side in case adjustment is needed. enter image description here

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