Main Door Project

A while ago, our home’s main door has been giving us a few problems. It has been about 8 years since we moved into our newly constructed house and seems like the maintenance work is now starting to creep up. The first sign of problems started when the door was sagging down at the hinges due to it’s own weight. Being the front door of the house, it is quite heavy, and the clearance between the door frame and the door was very small to start with. As the cycles of the weather took their toll on the door, it slowly inched its way down until it started rubbing against the wooden frame at the bottom, and eventually getting stuck there when the door was closed.


Tightening the hinge screws did not do the trick anymore. So like all good home owners, we decided to sand the door 😛 . We used a 80 grit sandpaper to slowly sand away the bottom of the door and the wooden frame until the door was closing smoothly. Ideally we have to finish the job with a 150 grit sand paper, prime and varnish the wood, but that is for another day I suppose.


After that incident, as the door continued to sag we were having another situation. The door lock has become very difficult to operate. Well, the latch of the lock has gone out of alignment with the strike plate due to the sagging problem I mentioned above.


Latch and strike plate have gone out of alignment

Time to roll up the sleeves and fix the problem. It seems like I will need to move the strike plate a few millimeters down since the door has sagged. But how much? I marked the location of the latch on the strike plate with a pencil to figure out the displacement.


Mark the location of latch on the strike plate
Seems like the latch is off by 1 or 2 mm

So it seems like the strike plate has to move down by about 2 mm. Luckily for me, the door frame has enough space below the the strike plate to move exactly by 2 mm. Drilled one hole about 2 mm below the original hole and checked to make sure the lock actually closes smoothly.


Removed the strike plate
Drilled holes a couple of millimeters below the original holes

Everything looks fine. Time to drill the rest of the holes and drive in all the screws. Mission accomplished! The door is now locking very smoothly — at least until the next time the door sags more anyway.



In between the door sagging and the lock becoming tight episodes there has been one more issue. The automatic door closer was leaking hydraulic fluid and it stopped closing the door. So I replaced it with a Godrej C071 door closer after several false starts. I don’t have photos taken when I worked on it. But the issue I had was that I drilled the holes in the wrong place. Basically, our door is left hand opening and from the manual there are different measurements for left hand opening door and right hand opening door. I measured everything as per the left hand door and drilled the holes. But when I fixed the door closer the door would not close properly. Then I decided to try the right hand door measurements and fixed according to it and it worked. Not sure where I went wrong. Perhaps I need more proficiency in reading product manuals properly 😉 . That was the main door project.


The wrong holes on the right because I could not read the manual. The holes on the left are from the old door closer.

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