Letter Re: Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Beyond Locks

HJL,

Often missed in this sort of door up-armoring process are the hinges.

Assuming your door is set on its own rough framing (no sidelights), replace at least two hinge screws on the jamb side in each hinge with 4 1/2″ flathead stardrive heavy screws (through the finished jamb into the rough framing). In other words do the same thing you’re doing to the strike, fastening them deep and strong.

This works. When we first moved into our present quarters, I replaced the strike and hinge screws is this manner. About a month later my wife came home to find our door cracked and the lockset warped from an attempt to kick it in. Someone drove up, saw no one was home, and took a run at it. The door held and was repairable. (It is an old 1-7/8 inch, four panel, 4-light, solid hard pine beauty, I added top and bottom dead bolts after repairing the crack in the rail)

Also, examine the door side hinge screws. They are often laughably short. Bear in mind that most modern metal clad entry doors have side rail rarely wider than 1- 3/4″, so a real long screw is a waste.

Of course, for a really tough job, you can defy local building codes and hang your entry door so that it opens out (with blind or staked pin hinges). Bad guys can beat on that all day long, if you do it right. – Dollardog

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