Whenever there's a windy day, our front door blows open (letting the weather in and the animals out) unless we throw the deadbolt. It's not a big deal when we're all inside - it's become second nature to throw the bolt just in case every time I come inside, whether it's windy or not - but it's a major pain to have to take my keys with me, and bolt the door behind me, whenever I step outside.

I suspect that the problem is just that the bolt of the regular lock doesn't extend quite far enough, but I don't know what I can do to change that. I thought of adding a shim or two behind the strikeplate in the doorjamb, but it's already scraping the door as it is.

I'm posting from work and didn't think to take pictures at home, but: the doorknob and deadbolt are keyed-alike, Schlage (I believe) and about 15 years old.

  • First thing that came to mind: a lot of those Schlage locks have a setback adjustment -- I think the choices are 2 1/4" vs. 2 3/4". Are you sure that yours is set correctly?
    – Niall C.
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 0:55
  • No, I'm not sure - that's exactly the sort of thing I was hoping to find out about. (The phrase "setback adjustment" is what I was trying to come up with.) I just Googled that phrase and am not seeing anything that looks useful, though - if you can point me in the direction of instructions, that would be great.
    – MT_Head
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 1:00
  • OK, "setback adjustment" may be something I made up, but it's the distance from the front edge of the door to the center of the hole the spindle goes through. Here's some instructions from Schlage (step 2) or Kwikset (also step 2) that show how they're adjusted.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 1:11
  • The setback refers to the offset of the lockset hole to the door edge. There are 2 positions for the latch, but not really an adjustment.
    – HerrBag
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 2:11
  • FWIW, this dimension is referred to as the "backset".
    – bcworkz
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


If the latch plate is flush with the door edge, the set back is correct. The flat back (faces street for out swinging doors) must be able to extend into the strike plate to hold door. Many alignment issues crop up to pull those 2 edges apart. Door gaps tell what has happened to its alignment over time.

  • up/down misalign due to top hinge pulling away from jamb. This will rotate the door down (the door will have a wider gap at the top hinge side), lowering the strike in relation to the strike plate, AND make the door hit the opposite jamb. Sometimes a long screw(3") in the center hole of the top hinge (in a 4 hole hinge, its the 2 inboard holes) can pull the door back. Sometimes this treatment is necessary for the middle hinge also (if there are 3 hinges)
  • The strike plate can be filed some amount if the misalign is small (and the hinges are otherwise tight to the jamb).
  • The strike plate can be moved, but this gets complicated, as the recess has to move with it. If this is necessary, cutting out and putting in a "dutchman repair", (illustrated below) may be necessary.

Door jamb repair, before and after ©2012 Residential Resurrections

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