You might have a high tech home security system that warns you, your security company, and the police if a bad guy tries to break into your home. However, your first line of defense should always be putting physical deterrents in place to stop, slow down, or discourage the bad guys in the first place. The two weakest links in your invasion security system are doors and windows. This DIY article gives you tips to quickly and easily secure entry doors.
You have a couple of options that include adding a security door outside of your existing entry door. However, before taking this more advanced step, begin by installing door and jamb reinforcement that includes a deadbolt. There are a variety of kits available that include a “U” shaped reinforcement plate for the door and long stainless steel screws (1- ½”) to secure the striker plate beyond the door frame and into the house frame. Kits come with templates to aid you in laying out where to drill holes and pencil mark where to chisel relief areas so the dead bolt striker plate mounts flush to the doorframe. When a template isn’t provided, the actual hardware can be used as a template to mark the centers of clearance holes for screws, locks, and doorknobs.
Step 1 – Remove the existing doorknob so that the “U” shaped reinforcing plate can be slid onto the door. Align the existing doorknob hole in the door with the doorknob hole in the reinforcing plate. Mark out the center for the new dead bolt. Follow the manufactures instructions to drill a pilot hole for the dead bolt. Use a hole saw to follow the pilot hole and drill the full size deadbolt hole.
Tip – Don’t drill the full size hole all the way through from one side. Drill about half way through the door and then complete the hole from the other side. This prevents chipping the door when the hole saw comes through on the other side.
Step 2 – Create the hole for the bolt latch on the edge of the door. Again place the “U” shaped reinforcing plate on the door. Align the plate with the original doorknob hole and the new dead bolt hole. Use the reinforcing plate as a template to mark the edge of the door for the dead bolt and the screws to secure the reinforcing plate. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to drill the correct size holes for the dead bolt and screws.
Tip – A spade drill is typically best to drill the dead bolt hole.
Step 3 – Assemble the reinforcing plate, new deadbolt, and original doorknob onto the door. Extend the dead bolt slightly and close the door. Mark the center of the bolt on the edge of the doorjamb with a pencil. Then mark the center of the strike plate on the jamb. Extend the marks from the jamb to the doorstop (the area where the bolt will enter the doorframe. Use the manufacture’s template or the striker plate to mark the centers for the bolt hole and striker plate screws. Drill the holes and chisel out a relief so the striker plate will fit flush with the doorframe.
Screw all of the hardware into place making sure to use stainless steel screws in the striker plate that are long enough to penetrate into the wall stud behind the doorframe (1- ½” screws are usually the correct length).
That’s all there is to this DIY project that better secures your outside doors. Besides a trip to the hardware store, the project typically takes 1 to 2 hours per door. Be sure to add security to your back doors and side doors. These are more important than the front door because burglars often ring the front doorbell and when no one answers these bad people go around the house to try kicking in a door that is out of sight from public view.
Please leave a comment about your own DIY projects and experiences or if you have questions/comments about this article.
Photo Credit: betexion via pixabay
Author bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for 10 years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest. With the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.