Home hack how to fix a door that won't latch

Home hack how to fix a door that won’t latch. source:

I JUST had this problem surface the other day at my mom’s house. The door to her detached garage wouldn’t stay closed – you could simply push it open without even turning the door knob.

Mom: It’s okay Skaie, there’s really nothing in there that’s important.

Skaie: Uh, mom? How about your new car?

Though my mom was blessed with a lack of attachment to material things, she sometimes needs a nudge when it comes to the practicality of keeping what she does possess safe from unscrupulous individuals.

Enter: “Operation Garage Entry Door Fix!”

Within minutes, I was able to determine what I needed to do to fix her door that wouldn’t shut, which, by the way, now also LOCKS, thanks to a repositioned strike plate.

You know what? How ’bout I show you what I did? And with the help of my good friends at HomeAdvisor, you’ll be able to fix any door you (or your mom) need closing.


  1. Cover the strike plate with masking tape.
  2. Apply lipstick to the edge of the latch.
  3. Carefully close the door so the lipstick leaves a mark on the tape.
  4. Using a marker, outline the strike plate hole so you can clearly see where the latch hits the strike plate. If the latch misses the strike plate hole by more than 1/8″…
  5. Re-mortise the strike plate.

How to re-mortise a strike plate:

  1.  The best way to do this is to first remove the strike plate (usually held on by a couple of screws.
  2. Then you can either drill or chisel out the wood to allow the latch to fit.
  3. Finally, you’ll need to reposition and reattach the strike plate to allow the latch to fit into the newly drilled or chiseled out hole.

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The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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