Hinges. Locks. Knobs and strike plates. Doors may have the simple job of opening and closing, but they’re made of a lot of intricate parts. And when one of those parts isn’t working properly, a door in your home loses its “perfect amount of privacy” charm and becomes a pesky annoyance.


Here are five common door problems and how to fix them:

Misaligned Latches

Do you have a door in your home that won’t stay latched? There’s a good chance that the strike plate is to blame! To fix this, observe where the latch is hitting the strike plate to determine if the strike plate needs to be moved up or down. Once you’ve picked a direction, remove the strike plate. Then, line it up so it’s in the right position, drill new holes and reattach the plate. Note: If the problem is the latch itself (especially if it’s bent or breaking), it may be time to repair the door’s hardware.

Squeaky Hinges

There are few things as annoying as a squeaky door! Fortunately, a noisy hinge is easy to fix with an item already in your pantry: olive oil. Using a rag or cotton swab, lubricate the hinges directly with a small amount of the oil. That’s it! No olive oil? You can also use bar soap, petroleum jelly or paraffin candles.

Shoddy Weather Stripping

Your exterior doors are going to get the brunt of bad weather, so the weather stripping along your doors needs to be in tip-top shape. Check your weather stripping for cracks, tears or missing pieces. Tip: If the stripping has seen better days, but you aren’t sure what materials you need to replace it, bring in a damaged sample to your local home improvement store. They’ll be able to help identifying what you need to get it repaired.

Drifting Doorframe

If your door slowly closes every time you try to prop it open, you don’t have a poltergeist on your hands – you just need to realign the drifting doorframe! To fix this, remove one of the door’s hinge pins. Strike it a few times with a hammer until it’s slightly bent. Then put the hinge pin back in its place. The bent area will add some much needed friction, keeping the door open with the slight resistance.

Loose Screws

If the screws holding your hinges in place are loose, it probably means that the wood around them has worn away. To fix this, you’ll need to grab a 3/8-inch wooden dowel for each loose screw. Remove the loose screws, and then drill new holes on top of the existing holes to fit the size of the dowel. Apply a small amount of glue to the dowel, slide it in place and let the glue dry. Note: You may have to cut the dowel with a saw to make sure it’s flush with the surrounding area. Once the glue is dry, drill a new hole into the dowel and reinsert the screws.