My condo building has an external door where someone tried forcing their way in by the looks of it. It looks like in the process they damaged the frame itself. At this point the deadbolt won't lock due to the bracket being misaligned. That said, I'm unsure with the crack in the wood if replacing the bracket is a good idea or if replacing the wood in the frame is needed?

It is to a publicly accessible area, and unfortunately I am the president of our 4 unit HOA. I'm just trying to understand what things I'd be asking for a quote for when looking for contractors.

Appreciate any feedback!

Damaged door frame


3 Answers 3


As this is an access door to a public part of the condo complex (not a private entrance), and, you're doing research as a condo board member, I'd strongly suggest that this entire door be replaced with a steel security door.

This will provide a steel frame that won't crack when someone tries to force it open. You'll want to have it installed by a contractor who does commercial work - they'll also deal with properly mounting into the brick wall so you don't have to worry. This may also lower the condo board's insurance rates a bit by having a better secured door.

Since it might take a week, month, or more to get on a contractor's schedule, you may consider installing a security camera. Even a fake camera with a blinking red light for $20 may cause a thief to reconsider and head elsewhere for an easier and safer target. Leaving the fake camera installed even after the door is replaced won't hurt, and you may consider a long term investment of getting real security cameras set up around the property.


Firstly, that isn't a suitable deadbolt strike plate. It's a trim plate, which is intended to be installed over a heaver security plate installed with large screws. Here's an example:

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So your solution is this:

  1. Procure a proper security strike kit (and optionally a new, compatible trim plate).

  2. Mortise the security plate into your jamb, leaving enough depth for the trim plate also.

  3. Fasten the security plate with the large screws, piloting full-diameter through the jamb to prevent splitting, and about half-size into the framing.

  4. Install the trim plate. If necessary due to jamb damage, use adhesives, double-sided tape, or whatever, or repair the screw holes with suitable filler first.

Be sure to establish good alignment before beginning and as you work. The deadbolt should throw freely without interference or binding.

I don't consider the crack in the jamb to be much of a problem. Pine jambs offer very little security in the first place, which is why the security strike is critical here. I also don't think you'll hit brick with those screws, though you may have to angle just slightly to hit good framing. Have a look through the bolt bore.

  • 3
    also might want to invest in a larger strike place with more screws into the wood. Or even get super long screws into the brick. Feb 29 at 16:34
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    "Screws into brick" bring their own set of challenges. Like appropriate anchors and clearance holes through wood the could, otherwise, be holding screws.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 29 at 16:40
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    I don't disagree with the addition of the security plate, but I'd suggest that the door jam to which it will be mounted has been somewhat compromised and needs repair/replacement
    – FreeMan
    Feb 29 at 16:41

Well, you have short-term and long term issues, assuming that it's even your issue (perhaps you're on the condo board and are presently the person who needs to get this dealt with? Does seem like a "management" function, but many condo associations don't actually have somone else to do that. so...)

You need a new/better strike plate. "security strike plate" is a handy search term.

You should also get a "latch guard plate" that attaches to the door (with fasteners only removable from the inside) and covers the gap that your unwanted visitor jammed their prybar into.

Those are things you could reasonably expect to get done today. Put some epoxy into the cracks.

Replacing the whole door and frame might be do-able that fast, with the right contractor, but it will be expensive. Possibly less expensive than the return visit from the thief. But a quick repair and a less urgent whole door replacement/upgrade might be more reasonable.

The modern era being what it is, camera coverage is another obvious thing to add.

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