I have several interior doors on all three floors of a house that are skewed to the point that the latch no longer slides into the strike plate. If the door has a lock, this means I cannot use the lock. The gap gets wider towards the bottom and wider towards the right (when on the "inside" of the door). I have no idea how the doors have become skewed.

I'm told a good resolution to this problem is to put cardboard shims on the middle and bottom hinges on the jamb as well as the door side. I've also been told to use longer screws to pull the door in. Which do you think is smarter? My initial thought is to do the shims, because you are not hurting any wood. But I'm not sure if the shims are less of a "solution" and more of a "hack".

2 Answers 2


Cardboard shims have been a long time fix for door hinges to adjust the gap. Make sure first the screws are still holding. If they have gotten loose then it may only need tightening or perhaps filling the old hole with carved dowels and resetting the original screws to get the door to draw back in place. You may use longer screws to accomplish the same thing.

Another issue with houses over time is the floor framing shrinks or sags over the span and the door will not line up at the strike because of the jamb has lowered on one side more than the other. To fix this will take more than resetting screws or adding shims behind the hinge.

I can write more on this type of fix if you find that may be the case.


Longer screws, especially on the top hinge, that are long enough to reach into the 2x4 behind the door frame can help rotate the door. Card board shims on the lowest hinge also do the same thing. I typically do both if I have the long screws.

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