Step 8: Mount the latch hardware

Tom Silva mounting the latch hardware of a prehung door
Photo: David Carmack
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Fasten the strike plate to the mortise in the latch jamb using the screws provided. If the plate is bigger than the mortise, put the plate on the jamb, outline it with a pencil, and chisel to the outline.

Slip the latch bolt into its bore and fasten its plate into the mortise on the door's edge with the screws provided. If the mortise is too tight, adjust its size in the same way as you did the strike plate.

Fit the knobs to both sides of the latch bolt, then insert and tighten the connecting screws that hold the knobs together.

Close the door and listen for the latch sliding into its strike. If the door rattles, bend the prong on the strike plate slightly toward the stop. If the latch doesn't catch, bend the prong away from the stop. Tighten all the screws.

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    Tools List

    • hammer
      Hammer or nail gun,
      to attach casing and jambs to rough opening
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level,
      for checking plumb or level
    • drill
      Drill/driver,
      for fastening hinges
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • chisel
      3/4-inch chisel,
      for fine-tuning mortises
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Phillips-head screwdriver,
      for mounting lockset
    • utility knife
      Utility knife (for trimming shims
    • plumb bob
      Retractable plumb bob,
      for plumbing jamb

    Shopping List

    1. PREHUNG DOOR WITH SPLIT JAMS

    2. SHIMS

    for adjusting and supporting jambs



    3. STRIKE PLATE

    to protect jamb from latch bolt



    4. LOCKSET

    to hold door closed



    5. 4D FINISH NAILS

    to tack shims in place



    6. 8D FINISH NAILS

    to nail through casing