I have an exterior door with a large gap to the strike-side jamb. When closed I can see a 1/4" inch gap from top to bottom. Fortunately the dead bolt works but the latch bold is just hanging in there. It's as basement door and I am need to fix it before casing it.

I was thinking of adding 1/4" strip on strike plate side to make jamb smaller but not sure if that right way to do it. Try to search on line but was not able to find answer for my specific issue.

Also, thinking about weather strip that I may need to take out and replace it back on top of new 1/4" strip and what about outer side. Do I need to add the strip on outer side too?

  • 2
    I'm really curious how this happened in the first place. Was the door and frame custom put together on site? Is the door reused and maybe undersized for some reason for the original installation, perhaps to fit a smaller custom frame?
    – Ack
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 21:41
  • 1
    Ack- surprisingly its was installed like this by builder in a new home 10 years ago. When I moved in I noticed it but ignored it due to some other major issue and thought will fix it when I'll finish the basement.
    – alflashy
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 0:43
  • Ed - your option looks like I have to remove the door Jamb and reinstall it and I don't think I can do it by my self. I need to hire professional to do.
    – alflashy
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 0:48
  • I would have to see pictures but I have installed custom solid trim perpendicular to meet depth. If done right this is barely noticeable and looks good. Obviously you do this on the inside of the house. You should push jam out to meet exterior wall.
    – DMoore
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 18:21
  • To be clear, Ed isn't suggesting that the jamb be removed. Since there's no casing you can easily shim the jamb tighter to the slab, reducing the gap to a fat 1/8". Add more insulation if needed and be happy.
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 19:53

2 Answers 2

  • Remove all your casing hinge side included if long screws have been used in hinges to fasten door and jam to the rough opening remove them.
  • Shim the top and bottom hinge between the jamb and rough opening. Shims should be directly behind hinges shim until your margin on the other side is fairly consistent.
  • Now you need to get some 3 1/2" wood screws and screw into the hinges in the 2 holes closest to the door stop in the top and bottom hinges. Middle hinge will be fine left alone.
  • Now go to the strike plate side now and 3-4" from very top and from very bottom start shimming also between your deadbolt strike plate and your regular knob plate until you get the margin desired. And after you get that get a 5 in 1 or putty knife and pry back the weather stripping at the 3 points you've inserted your shims and run a 3 1/2 screw through jamb to rough opening through the shims let the weather stripping go it will hide your screws. The screw in the middle between strike plates I just put in the center up and down and side to side and sink it for a little more security.
  • Cut your shims off and replace the casing. Problem solved!

If you've done all that but still can't close the gap then you'll have to bend your hinges but that's a whole different story. Try this first.


Unless I am mis-understanding what you are calling the door jamb. The door jamb is the vertical strip nailed to the door casing to provide the door stop when closing. It would be easy to replace the jamb with a thicker piece one (about 3/8" thicker). I would not shim the jamb.

Weatherstrip is normally added on the exterior side of the door.

  • 2
    I believe that you are the one with misused terminology. Casing is trim on the wall. The jamb wraps the opening. The stop (you guessed it) stops the door swing. In any event, thickening the stop will not help with the latch reach issue.
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 19:36

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