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Door wont stay closed

After we bought our house, we found our bedroom door will not stay closed when the dog tries to push it open with his nose. It will open very easily, however the door does not open unless he pushes it with his nose. Is there a simple fix, such as putting a shim under the striker plate or something so that the latch stays "inside" the striker plate?

Re: Door wont stay closed

Slather a paste of cayenne pepper and chile sauce on the bottom 3 feet of the door. That should keep the dog from pushing it with his nose.

........or you could adjust the strike plate, though it's not nearly as much fun to watch. You may have to shim it, move it up or down, or move it in or out, depending on just how things have settled.

My back porch was built with improper footings. I used to have to move the strike plate up in the winter & back down in the spring, to compensate for seasonal movement. I finally just installed an elongated strike, and haven't had to move it since.

Re: Door wont stay closed

Many strikes have a little tab or 'finger' that goes back into the casing. And many folks who think that they are carpenters also think that bending it is the correct way to adjust a strike! But when it's bent too far, the plunger will ramp back across it and the door can be pushed open without retracting the plunger. Sadly I see this all the time. I'd look at that while looking at the strike alignment. I'd also check that the plunger isn't loose, bent back, or flexing to give less than a right angle engagement. I'd also check that the plunger is entering the strike well enough; if there's too much space between the door and casing you can either reshim the casing or door(correct)or build the strike out so it catches more of the plunger(not the right way but it works). Also look for wood in the way of the plunger in the strike hole.

FYI: One of the best ways to judge a carpenter's skills is to see how they hang a door and install the lockset. It is a job that is more often than not done incorrectly since it takes more time, patience, and intelligence to do the job right than to just "get it done". A properly hung door should only give trouble if a house settles or moves, or if the door itself warps. If it fails for any other reason it simply wasn't done right in the first place. The quality of most pre-hung doors has dropped to abysmal levels in my working lifetime and I often find myself having to redo the work that has supposedly been done for me at the millwork shop to save me time and effort. It makes my job harder instead of easier as was intended and is but another sad example of the effect of cost-cutting that goes on in the building business today.


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