Latch getting pushed out of strike


I found that for our main bedroom door, the problem is that the door that the latch resides in, is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch away from the strike & doorjamb. (not sure if the door shrunk over time or what). About an 1/8" or so tip of the latch barely sits in the strike when the door closes. The other problem is, the doorjamb seems to be pushing on the door, so that when you close the door (and you have to kind of REALLY push on it to close for the latch to enter the strike), since the latch isn't all the way in the strike, the counter-force from the doorjamb pushes the door and forces the latch out of the strike causing the door to re-open as soon as you close it.
So.. what to do? I either have to find a doorknob assembly with a longer latch that will rest deeper in the strike or i have to find a way to make the strike sit out further from the doorjamb? Or take the door off the hinges and rework it so it's closer to the strike/ doorjamb? (don't like/think i need to do this last option)
Thanks in advance...
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On 7/29/2008 10:56 AM Paul spake thus:

Hmmm, don't understand the problem as you've described it: you say there's a large gap 'twixt door and jamb, and yet the jamb pushes on the door? Can't seem to visualize this. Is the door hitting something else, like the top jamb, the doorstop, etc.?

Again, hard to say based on your description, but it may actually be easiest (for the short term, at least) to shim the door away from its hinges to bring it closer to the strike. This isn't too hard to do, and can be done with pieces of cardboard, thin wood, etc. Just take the door off its hinges (drive the pins out if possible), remove the door hinges, shim and remount them, then reinstall door.
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wrote:

Check the door jamb for square. level, and plumb.
Tools needed:
2 ft level (check jamb header for level) 6 ft level (check jamb legs for plumb) 2 ft carpenter's square (header square with jamb legs)
Is this door a heavy solid core door? They are heavy and can pull the jamb.
The solution might be to reset the door jamb. YMMV.
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Paul wrote: ...

...
The piece the door is pressing against is the "stop".
Adjust the catch away from the stop slightly so it doesn't require the force to make it close. If you're lucky (and don't care about the visual), that may be sufficient. May require filling the existing screw holes (wooden kitchen matches are great for this purpose) in order to drill a new pilot hole small-enough distance away from existing and also might require a bit of carving on the latch recess hole to let the strike/catch move.
Adjusting the hinges is probably all that would be needed to get an additional eighth-inch or so that will be all that is enough, again if the variable reveal around the door isn't that critical (and from the tone of the post, I'm gathering it's the least of your concerns... :) ).
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Is the latch sticking, and not extending all the way out? :-))
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Oren wrote: ...

Possible, perhaps, but seems unlikely given the description of as much as half-inch of clearance on the strike side between door and jamb...
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I'll speculate; it's a jamb problem.
OP, where are YOU?
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The latch is not sticking and it is extending all the way out.
Sorry I don't know my stop from my jamb ; )
There's about 1/4 inch or so between the edge of the door and the door jamb.
When we close the bedroom door, you have to push it firmly so the latch gets into the strike. So we're pushing it against the door stop which isn't budging (and rightfully so). Since only about 1/8 inch or so of the latch is in the strike (due to the space between door and jamb), the doorstop forces the door open and the latch is easily budged out of the strike.
The door is nice and snug against the jamb where the hinges are, no space there between door and jamb.
It seems like the door needs to move closer to the strike. So I guess like David said, I need to shim the hinges away from the jamb.
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wrote:

That's a good call. Put a level on the latch side edge of the door and check for plumb. Which hinge (s) need a shim? Dense cardboard makes for a good shim.
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wrote:

Try this first. take off the strike plate from the jamb and shut the door how does it close now? if you have a 1/4 inch gap on the latch side your door will still work . I just noticed today that I have a door in my office that will shut but the latch isn't centered on the strike so it takes just a slight push on the door and it opens. I need to chisel out 1/4 inch of wood below the strike and lower it and it will work again. you may need to move the strike away from the stop. You problem may just be that the latch isn't engaging with the strike plate
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