Doors won't latch

I have a 5 year old home that has settled a bit and three doors are now not catching on the latch. I realize that I can take the catch plate off and chisel out some of the wood and lower the plate but am worried about what to fill in the old holes with and if that will be strong enough.
Any advice on how to fix this would be appreciated. I have tried to shim the doors up at the hinge plates but it did not work (someone had suggested that).
Thanks in advance for all of your help Richard
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

you'll want to fill the old holes with wood. you can use a splinter of wood or even an 1/8" dowel. glue the plugs in with yellow glue (carpenter's glue).
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It may a matter of adjusting a few teleposts.
If you don't understand what that means, get help before you do any damage.
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If the misalignment is slight, it should be fixed with a bit of hinge shimming or hinge barrel bending. I suspect that your first attempts may not have been done correctly.
Another standard method would be to file the strike plate. I would not under any circumstances relocate the strike plate. I cannot envision any professional solution by attempting it with the exception of replacing the strike with a larger one.
______________________________ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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the malalignment is slight...would you please tell me how to correctly shim the hinge and/or what hinge barrel bending is?...i loved the shim idea when i heard about it and how i tried it was by taking the bottom two (of three) hinges off and placing cardboard behind the plates then reattaching...i placed three pieces behind the lower plate and two behind the middle plate...didn't help at all
DanG wrote:

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Study the gap on the side and top of the door when it closed. The gaps should be even top to bottom and across the top of the door. If the gap at the top is tight at the hinge side and wide at the strike side it indicates that the door frame and/or floor has settled and you will need to raise the jamb on the hinge side. This can be done with an appropriate wedge under the hinge side jamb, but will be complicated by the flooring material. None of these adjustments are large moves. The weight of a solid core door can move many things.
I suspect that the top hinge has lost its swage. If there is a wider gap on the hinge side of the door at the top than there is at the bottom this would be a good indication. Another indication of the same problem would be the gap on the strike side of the door being smaller on the top than at the bottom. You need to make the centerline of the top hinge barrel move away from the strike side of the door, and/or the centerline of the bottom and mid hinge (if you have one) to move closer to the strike side.
Rather than putting a full sized piece of cardboard under the entire hinge, cut strip(s) about a quarter inch wide that will tip the hinge the proper direction. You should be able to accomplish the task by tipping the jamb leaf of the hinge only. If it is obvious that the swage of the top hinge is spread, you might be able to succeed by moving the bottom hinge to the top and vice versa. The other method of bending the hinge swage would involve removing the top hinge, placing it in a vise or laying it on a steel block or concrete floor. Again, you need to bend the steel leaves of the hinge to force the hinge barrel the proper direction. This method can mar the finish if not done carefully, but is more effective than the other methods.
Hope this clear enough to help. ______________________________ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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