73°F
weather icon Drizzle

Door problems are an easy fix

Q: I have door problems. One of my doors closes by itself, and it isn’t supposed to. The other door doesn’t latch correctly. How can I fix these?

A: If all of life’s problems were as simple as these, you, my friend, would be on easy street.

Let’s take the first problem. This door closes by itself because it is not plumb.

You could spend hours trying to get it plumb, putting shims behind hinges and chiseling wood here and there. Or you could decide to do the quick fix: bend the door’s hinge pin.

Now, you’re not going to bend it by much, mind you, just enough to cause a little friction in the hinge. Pop the bottom hinge pin out by tapping it with a stubby screwdriver and a hammer.

Set the hinge pin on a hard surface (not the kitchen table) such as the sidewalk. Tap it gently with a hammer in the center of the pin so that it puts a slight crook in the pin. I’m talking so small that you might not even notice it by inspecting it.

Reinstall the pin by tapping it into the hinge with a hammer. If your door is large and heavy, you may need to repeat this with the next hinge pin to gain some uniform friction. Problem solved.

The other door that doesn’t latch correctly is easy to fix, too, but not as easy as smacking a hinge pin with a hammer.

This problem stems from the strike plate and the door latch not being aligned. The strike plate is the flat piece of metal on the doorjamb with the hole in it that accepts the door latch (it’s the part that sticks out of the side of the door).

The door latch may be too high or low to enter the hole in the strike plate. The strike plate may be so far in that you practically have to throw your shoulder into the door to get it to latch.

Assuming the problem isn’t due to a warped door, you really have only two options: move the strike plate or the door latch.

If the alignment problem is due to a height difference between the strike plate and latch, try to move the latch first. Cut out a piece of cardboard and shim it behind one of the door hinges. If the latch is too high, place the shim between the doorjamb and the top hinge. If the latch is too low, shim between the doorjamb and the bottom hinge.

The other option is to unscrew the two screws that hold the strike plate and raise or lower it to meet the latch. The only downfall with this is that you will need to chisel out the wood in the strike jamb so that the plate sits flush with the jamb. This isn’t hard, but it will leave a noticeable mortise. This, however, can be filled in with wood putty and painted.

Align the strike plate with the latch and make trace marks with a pencil on the jamb. Chisel out the wood to the depth of the plate. Use short, light taps instead of one big one as you will tear out more wood than you expect.

Fill in the old screw holes since you will likely be moving the strike plate a small amount (the screws will tend to wander into the old holes and make alignment nearly impossible). Slather wood golf tees with wood glue, stuff them into the holes and saw them off flush with the surrounding wood.

Hold the strike plate back up to the jamb and mark the location of the holes. Pre-drill small pilot holes and then screw the strike plate to the jamb. Your door should close and latch effortlessly.

Mike Klimek is a licensed contractor and owner of Las Vegas Handyman. Questions may be sent by email to handymanoflasvegas@msn.com. Or, mail to 4710 W. Dewey Drive, No. 100, Las Vegas, NV 89118. His web address is www.handymanoflasvegas.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Shock program rids your pool of yellow algae

If your pool water has gone from clear to yellow, you probably have yellow algae. The pool store will have chemicals to treat the water. When used with super-chlorination, products such as Yellow Out will kill yellow algae.

When accessorizing, start with what you have

Accessories are a simple and inexpensive way to update a room, and there is no long-term commitment. You can change each season, add colors or have fun with a new trend with just a few pieces.

Give your home a fresh coat of paint

The exterior paint on most stucco homes in Southern Nevada is expected to last anywhere from 10 to 15 years before it starts breaking down.

Spray grapevines to control pests

Grapeleaf skeletonizer and grape flea beetle were found in the orchard during the last couple of days. These two pests damage grape leaves but few other plants.

Vegetable gardening goes vertical

In “Vertical Vegetables: Simple Projects That Deliver More Yield in Less Space” (Quarto Publishing Group), the first-time book author Amy Andrychowicz demonstrates how to produce bigger and better fruits and veggies by growing them upward instead of outward in traditional planting beds.

Removing dead fronds doesn’t affect health of sago

Q: The top ring of sago palmfronds died after I transplanted it but remain on the plant. I left this brown ring of fronds around the crown of the plant and it looks like new growth coming from the center is OK. Should I trim off the dead fronds without disturbing the crown or just let them fall off?

Too much matching can lead to boring room

“Match sets of anything are doubtless the work of those who have but little taste. Tis better to have dissimilarity.” — Yoshida Kenko (1284–1350), Japanese author and Buddhist monk