3 DIY Projects to Improve Security on Exterior Doors

2 Materials
4 Hours

Here's 3 easy and cheap DIY projects that will improve the strength and security at your front, back, and garage entry doors. French or sliding doors have their own special security rules. These rules mostly just apply to single doors.

I would do

The first DIY is to make sure all of the screws holding the plates to the door frame and door are 3" long. That's the latest standard to make it harder for someone to bust down that door with their shoulder or foot.

Those 3" long screws make it much, much harder to crack the corners of those doors or door frames to gain entry.

YOU CAN DO THIS ONE on apartment doors too. Just pre-drill the holes to be safe.

The red arrows on these pictures mark where you should use 3" long screws.

Tip 2: Every exterior door needs a Grade 1 or Grade 2 Deadbolt, that sticks out 1" or more. You can get a new deadbolt for about $30. And they come with instructions for install. You can do most replacements with just a screw driver. If you need a new install or adjustments, and don't feel comfortable with tools, a local handyman can be hired. Ask for recommendations from neighbors and friends.

Tip 3 - $10 Swing Arm Bar Locks can be installed with a drill and screwdriver. Use the 3" long screws on the door frame side of the lock. Install these at head level to stop your toddlers and little kids from opening the door for strangers when you're not around.

I also love these on back doors that lead to pools. No one wants a toddler wandering into a backyard with a pool when they're in the shower, right?

Watch the video for a better explanation of each tip and a 4th tip to improve your home security. :)

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Stephanie Abbott
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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  • William William on Jun 08, 2019

    I gave a swing arm bar on my basement door. Looks like it can't do much but it's great.