As best I can remember, every house, apartment and condo I’ve ever called home has had at least one problem door: one that would close but wouldn’t latch.
Unless it was to a bathroom door, I lived with the problem as long as I could before, eventually, breaking out the screwdriver, hammer, chisel, wood filler, paint, sandpaper and drill. I’d then spend the better part of an hour chiseling a new mortise and remounting the strike plate before patching, painting and cleaning up my mess.
My last move into a 20-year old home changed everything. I discovered six problem doors that wouldn’t latch. After six repairs, I knew there had to be a better way. I set out to find it.
I began by understanding how this common problem develops. Though we typically attribute it to “settling,” the real culprit is torque (that twisting force you studied in physics). As gravity pulls down on the swinging edge of the door, it exerts torquing pressure on the door, hinges and hinged door jamb. Over time, the door tilts. When the door tilts–even slightly–it causes the door latch to swing at a downward angle and on a lower plane. As a result, the latch and strike plate hole eventually become so misaligned that the latch won’t catch—it misses the hole.
With an understanding of the problem, my next step was to design a simple product solution that anyone could use. So, I read a book and taught myself computer aided design (CAD) and started designing. Eventually, I developed a prototype solution. With testing, the design evolved, the prototypes morphed and the product improved. After countless editions, we had exactly what consumers needed: a simple product solution that required no special tools, no special skills and repaired the problem in three minutes or less.
I have lived and worked all over the world. Setting up a turnkey offshore manufacturing facility would have been easy. But, I’m committed to building our product here at home. Our Fix-A-Latch products are designed in the U.S., our component parts are sourced in the U.S., our products are assembled in the U.S. and they’re packaged in the U.S.