As you can see in the photo the gap is the right size towards the top and bottom of the door but widens in the middle and is the widest where the lock is so the bolt barely reaches the strike plate.

The hinge side is fine and seems even. Looks like someone half assed the trim part? (Not sure the name of that piece of wood, stopper?)

Anyway what could I do so the latch seats better. Was thinking of shimming the striker but not sure what type of wood would be strongest.


  • Confusing. Do you mead widest, rather than thinnest, if the latch is barely in the striker? Less gap at top and bottom, more gap in middle?
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 4, 2016 at 13:14
  • Yes sorry that's exactly what I mean
    – ohmmy
    Aug 4, 2016 at 13:17
  • Updated original post with a better descriptive picture
    – ohmmy
    Aug 4, 2016 at 13:45
  • 1
    I have found this when long screws are used to secure the striker plate. I will remove the trim back the screws out and use shims to wedge the casing out then tighten the screws. once everything is square replace the trim.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 4, 2016 at 13:50
  • Upon further inspection the actual door jamb reveal is wavy and not uniform. Almost like it was sanded in the middle or a bad piece of wood was used. Is there any way to add material to the jamb without replacing it? Like a cover or plate?
    – ohmmy
    Aug 4, 2016 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


This likely has nothing to do with the casing installation, but with the set of the door frame (jamb). You're right that you should shim the strike area further out from the framing. It's also possible that atypically long screws were used for the strike plate and over-tightened, pulling the jamb in.

* UPDATE* From the photos in your other question I now realize that this is an exterior door. It's very likely the case that long security screws in the strike were tightened too much. (Though a good carpenter would've shimmed at that location when the door was installed, preventing the problem.)

Remove just the strike plate and use a small pry bar to check whether the frame will move easily. You'll need to overcome the force of the casing nails and any nails through the jamb and into the framing.

Another option is to run a construction or drywall screw into the jamb in the strike plate mortise and use it to pull the jamb. Don't get too rough or you could split the casing if there are nails right there.

If you can move the jamb, use any available means to shim it out a bit--a wad of paper, a screw through the jamb and behind the strike plate, or whatever. It doesn't need to be complicated or overly robust.

Once the jamb is in the right position, install a countersunk, piloted, full-thread screw behind the strike plate to lock the jamb in place. Re-install the strike plate.

  • I fear trying to remove the trim and jamb and causing damage. This is my first house and little weary about attempting that. Is there a video that does what you're suggesting? Might give me more confidence as I'm a visual learner. Also, could I just simply shim behind the striker itself or would need to shim the frame?
    – ohmmy
    Aug 4, 2016 at 13:55
  • I didn't suggest removing either. This job probably doesn't warrant it. You need to move the jamb, not just the strike plate. It'll look totally hack if you don't.
    – isherwood
    Aug 4, 2016 at 14:04
  • Ooh gotcha just move it a bit to jam something to shim ok. Thing is that trim piece isn't uniform all the way down, it actually thins out in the middle as oppose to the top and bottom it's like it was sanded in the middle or just wasn't a uniform piece to begin with
    – ohmmy
    Aug 4, 2016 at 14:08
  • I'm not sure why the casing would be misshapen, but it's not really relevant.
    – isherwood
    Aug 4, 2016 at 14:09
  • Ok so if I do as you suggested by shimming by jamb won't there be a visible gap from it and the casing? Sorry for all the questions just trying to cover all the things popping up in my head
    – ohmmy
    Aug 4, 2016 at 14:13

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