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I am buying a house that was built in 1967 and still has the original sliding door opening onto the back deck. This door's latch is missing. It does not lock. The last owner of the house didn't care (it is a very low crime neighborhood; he never locked the front door either).

I need a short term solution to this, while I am moving in. In a few weeks I will replace the door entirely.

One obvious idea is to install a "charlie bar". But it is not possible on this door, because the glass pane that slides is on the outside of the glass pane that is fixed. This is a terrible design flaw in the door. If I installed a charlie bar, it would be lockable/unlockable from the back deck, not from inside the house.

What are some other possible ways to secure this door?

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If the 2 door panel in the middle overlay each other completely, you can pilot holes through the first panel for the screw to slip through and a smaller pilot hole in the outside panel for the screw to tap into. Only drill where the metal is hollow. The glass only goes into the metal no more than 3/4" so there should be plenty to drill into so the drill does not hit the glass.

Door screw

  • This idea would also work with one or two insertable pins that went through the first three thicknesses of the aluminum from the inside. These often come with a short piece of ball chain on the end that can be separately attached nearby to help keep the pin from disappearing. These can be seen at big box stores and are called "Hardened Steel Patio Door Pin". – Michael Karas Apr 19 '15 at 17:04
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My only idea is to install one or two "hook and eye" latches. These would need to be drilled into the aluminum frame and door. They wouldn't stop a determined burglar, but would prompt a teenager to reconsider breaking in.

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