Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I moved into a condo with a Kwikset lockset in the door. I wanted to replace it with a Schlage lockset, but the actual bolt portion of the deadbolt was too large to fit into the pre-drilled hole. If it was a wooden door I would just expand the hole a little bit, but it's a steel door. It looks like the holes for the lock were pre-fabricated into the door and lined with plastic.

Can I expand the hole? If not, what are my options as far as getting a new steel door made that will fit a Schlage lock? Finally, what other measures can I take to secure my front door? It's the only vulnerable point of entry, and there have been a string of breakins in my condo complex lately.

share|improve this question
1  
See [this post][1] [1]: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/10391/… –  Steven Dec 14 '11 at 17:33
    
That post isn't relevant. –  Chris Dec 14 '11 at 17:49
2  
The post explains how you can use the lock guide to drill a larger hole, thus allowing you to install a larger deadbolt. –  Steven Dec 14 '11 at 18:22
1  
That kit comes with a bi-metal hole saw. –  Steven Dec 14 '11 at 20:02
1  
The process is the same as for a wood door, you just need to use cutting tools appropriate for metal –  Rory Alsop Dec 14 '11 at 20:15
show 4 more comments

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted
+50

As for expanding the hole, I am still confident this post will answer your question.

Regarding the Schlage deadbolts, these are not great deadbolts. If you really want high security, you need to look at Mult-T-Lock or Medeco. These are far more secure for a number of reasons. First, they are made of much harder metals - if you feel them compared to another deadbolt there is a noticable weight difference. These deadbolts also often have balls at the end that push out of the bolt when fully expanded so it cannot be forced back in. Also, the keys for these locks can only be made (not copied) by the locksmith who originally created them (each locksmith is assigned a "keyway" and is the only locksmith who can produce the keys), this is handy if you have a cleaning lady or other service person since you can rest assure they cannot make a copy of the key for their friends. There are also metal rings you can put around a deadbolt that spin so that someone cannot use a wrench to twist if off.

If your doors hinges are on the outside then you can also look at having bolts installed on the inside of the door. This way, if the hinges are removed (pins popped out, or blown off with a shotgun), you cannot just pull the door off.

A heaver guage strike (the metal piece that goes on top of the hole where the deadbolt goes into) with longer screws will add extra strength to the deadbolt and hamper someone knocking down the door.

You can also place a cage in front of the door (which too has a deadbolt) but they are not attractive, and add an extra step to opening your door.

An alarm is useful but in a lot of cases, of someone knows what they want, they can be in and out before anyone responds.

A camera adds an extra layer of "don't mess with me" plus gives you a far better chance of identifying an intruder.

share|improve this answer
    
Up-voted because I agree with you that the post and contents does give an answer to the problem. If I could I would up-vote again for the security information you shared. Attaboy! –  lqlarry Dec 21 '11 at 4:34
add comment

I'll speak toward the security aspect.

Auujay is right about the front door and windows -- they're a weak point. However most criminals will look for the -easiest- possible way first (opportunity). As long as you keep doors/windows locked/shut, the likelyhood is greatly reduced for a "casual" theft. Also as a side note, if they can see in, they can see your stuff and what to steal. Know what I mean? Also an organic alarm (a dog) is very effective.

That aside, steel reinforced doors are the best when installed correctly. Security bars are effective and fairly cheap but require you to remember to put them in place. Using some proper 4" screws for all door hardware helps. Typically when someone kicks in your door, they aim for the lock because they want that part of the door jam to fail because the screws are mostly in that thin piece of wood instead of something stronger. If you have 4" screws in there, it's going to hit at least a 2x4 ... try kicking in a 2x4, it's not fun.

Bottom line though, you can't beat being aware .. and maybe a good steel door. Just ask your local police officer (which they're a great resource for this).

Also keep in mind, if someone -REALLY- wants in, they'll get in, its about making it as hard as possible for them to get in (and as loud as possible).

share|improve this answer
add comment

My (limited) understanding of break-ins through doors is that the lockset it itself is not usually the weak point. More commonly a burglar will gain entry by one of two ways:

  • Smashing the glass near the handle (either on the door or a window within arm’s reach of the handle next to the door) and reach in to unlock it.
  • Bash the door in, which will usually cause the door frame the break (leaving the strong solid door still in one piece).

The solution to the first problem is to not have a door with windows next to the door handle (my front door has this "problem", the middle of the door 1 large piece of glass).

There are a few solutions for the second problem. You can replace the strike plate on the door frame with a larger thicker one and use really long screws so it is solidly attached to the framing of the house (not just the thin wood making up the door frame). If you really want to get extreme, there are products that basically make the door "kick proof", they are basically a big metal strike plate/door jamb that runs the entire height of the door (Door Devil™ just an example, I don't know anything about this particular company).

share|improve this answer
add comment

I used an install jig with a hole saw to open up the hole for the bolt on my metal security door. It is a little tricky but putting the hole saw in the jig for the handle/ lockset and securing with duct tape to keep it from vibrating out worked pretty well at keeping the jig lined up while the hole saw bit into the steel. This is always done knowing you could jack up your door, jig or body so be careful. As for a secure lock I believe Medecos are still compromised and I would spend several hundred dollars on something else, but again this is just my opinion.

share|improve this answer
add comment

This will help. If you are a decent do it yourselfer you can install it in a couple hours or less. I removed the brass strike plate that came with the door and put it over this device. But you don't need any strike plate at all with this product. I did have to take a file and make the hole for the deadbolt a little bigger, but it wasn't hard. When installing, slip the edge of the 4' long piece under the existing weather stripping. Our door has 1/4" space between jamb and edge of the door - you probably need at least 1/8" space between the edge of your door and the jamb to install this product. When tightening the screws on the 4' piece and the hinge pieces just put them in far enough to touch down on the metal - don't drive them in so far that they bend the door jamb!! On the hinges, if you don't do anything at all, at least install some 3.5 or 4" screws - the stock screws are about 3/4" and are useless.

This door jamb repair kit is intended for installation after the door is installed (existing doors). If you can remove the door, or if installing a new door, there are products available that work similarly that would be hidden from view; and THAT SHOULD BE REQUIRED IN ALL BUILDING CODES!!!!!

This product is probably better, but harder to install:

This would not be visible but looks more difficult: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKk4woC6ZqM

Make sure you have Medeco locks or something difficult to "bump".

share|improve this answer
2  
I can't figure out what you're suggesting. A picture would be helpful. –  alx9r Dec 8 '12 at 2:37
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.