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Old September 20, 2014, 02:20 PM   #1
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Door Reinforcement

I just bought and installed this inexpensive kit to reinforce my doors. My door can probably still be kicked open, but this kit will make it several good kicks rather than one or two.

The weakest part of the door is the jamb which is set in a wood frame. The jamb which comes with the kit has 7 3.5 inch screws. You can just buy the jamb itself which is 30 dollars. Of course someone determined can still kick through or smash a window, but at least there is more there holding it closed. The jamb is now much stronger.

To go with your reinforced door a high quality security screen door with dead bolt, which can be found at Home Depot, completes the job. It wont stop them, but it will slow them down and provide better security.
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Old September 20, 2014, 03:39 PM   #2
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The door jamb is an easy fix.
Install behind the jamb a piece of 6061 T 6 aluminum 0.080 thick the length of the jamb.
Screw the aluminum to the jamb. You will need to slightly counter sink the screws so they are flush with the jamb.
Be sure the screws that go through the striker plate on the jamb go through the aluminum.
If there is a 2x4 behind that use long deck type screws to tie into the 2x4.
As long the lock bolt passes through the aluminum they will have to kick the whole side of the door jamb in and or off to get the door open.
I have done this too many doors and as of yet they have cracked and splintered the jamb but never breached the door.
The doors are of steel construction.
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Old September 21, 2014, 12:02 AM   #3
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I didn't buy a kit or use aluminum but for mine I used a piece of spring steel off of an old bed frame and milled the holes for the latch and deadbolts. Each piece is close to 5 ft long and held in with eight six inch deck screws. One for the front door and one for the back. I think the door will go before the jamb does. Not commercial but it's the best I could do.
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Old September 21, 2014, 01:27 AM   #4
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Old September 21, 2014, 08:13 AM   #5
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This is the best door stop you can find, cheap and effective.

Besides home use, throw one in your ruck while traveling. Handy for motel stays.
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Old September 21, 2014, 09:49 AM   #6
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We had security door and window guards put in last year.
I did the two doors and a contractor did the windows.
They match the color of the house and have some design to them aside from
just looking like iron bars.

We live in the middle of a large city with home break-ins.
The are not bullet proof but we sleep with the windows open and anyone
wanting to get in our home will have to make a considerable amount of noise.
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Old September 21, 2014, 10:42 PM   #7
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I have 3 steel doors with 3 way dead bolts. set in steel frames with half inch steel flat stock behind a 2x4 frame. They will not be kicking this door in. Front, back doors in the house and tact room door in the barn.
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Old September 22, 2014, 12:04 AM   #8
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angle iron frame and a steel door with deadbolts is nearly impossible to kick in. I used to do contracting for a house "flipper", that was always the first thing on the list for back doors or basements. I put one in our garage which is attached to the basement, of course the big garage doors would be pretty easy if someone was eager
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Old September 22, 2014, 09:06 AM   #9
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All that's well and good, but don't neglect to reinforce the hinge side of the jamb as well. A couple 3"+ screws in each hinge need to penetrate through the jamb and into the double stud behind the jamb. Those little 1" hinge screws in the soft wood of the door jamb don't hold up well if someone's kicking your door.
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Old September 22, 2014, 11:42 AM   #10
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If I ever build a house, I'm putting in steel gun vault doors! Until then, long steel screws will have to do.
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Old September 22, 2014, 12:43 PM   #11
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Whenever I read a news story about some drunk or lost person getting shot because he kicked in the door on a house he thought was his house, it occurs to me that reinforcing your door as described in this thread could potentially eliminate many such occurrences.

Such reinforcement would give the homeowner time to wake up and react, grab weapon, secure family, call the cops - and might give a drunk pause to consider that 'his' door would not withstand such a beating so maybe it is not 'his' door. And go somewhere else.

...and a "real" robber might (or might not) be smart enough to consider that such a reinforced door might be evidence of a thoughtful, informed, and well-armed homeowner.
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Old September 22, 2014, 06:50 PM   #12
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If you are really serious and want to spend the money, than for about $400 you can purchase a purpose built 100 lb steel door/steel frame with a commercial lock from the Home Depot website. They have steel doors which look just like your typical entry door. This type of door would be ideal for a retreat room as well. Combine that entry door with a high quality deadbolted security screen and you have a kickproof security solution. Probably cost about a grand per entry door with installation.

However, for the rest of us the 30 dollar steel jam or other homemade solution will be more appropriate. There is a 45 dollar security screen door at Home Depot which is supposedly a do it yourself kit.
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Old September 22, 2014, 08:02 PM   #13
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As a deputy sheriff, I saw a couple of cases where the home owner had steel doors and that kind of reinforcement. The bad guys crashed trucks through the plain old 2x4 wall, one through French doors. Another gang used half a railroad tie as a battering ram to drive a window air-conditioner back through the opening.

Sort of like those pick proof locks. Maybe the FBI picks locks, maybe the CIA picks locks, but I have never known of any burglar who picked a lock. Most burglars are about as subtle as an armored strike force.

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Old September 27, 2014, 11:17 AM   #14
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My thinking is while all that is well and good, making your place LOOK more difficult to break into also works great. Security doors are cheap and easy to install. Ive got no experience with breaking into houses... but, if it seems they would want to choose whatever house looks the easiest.
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Old September 27, 2014, 11:25 AM   #15
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If the house has vinyl siding you can cut your way through an exterior wall with a utility knife.
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Old September 27, 2014, 01:14 PM   #16
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The bad guys crashed trucks through the plain old 2x4 wall, one through French doors. Another gang used half a railroad tie as a battering ram to drive a window air-conditioner back through the opening.
Reasons I don't have window AC units, sliding glass or French doors, ( I have frozen French fries, close enough? ), and "items" block any easy access from the road to any wall - concrete planters make good Dragon's Teeth and are attractive. But in the same vein, there was an attempted robbery at a gun shop in Tucson where the criminals used a stolen front end loader to crash through the wall...then ran away because the alarm went off...idiots.
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Old September 28, 2014, 07:22 PM   #17
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A few years back, . . . fellow bought one of those super sized gun safes, . . . made the mistake of bragging about his safe and the guns he had in it.

He lived in a trailer.

Thieves backed up a tow truck to the trailer, . . . chainsawed out the wall and floor, . . . dropped the safe on to the ground, . . . picked it up with the tow truck, . . . last I heard, it was still an unsolved crime.

Moral is that thieves are creative at times, . . . don't bet you can defeat them all the time.

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Old October 2, 2014, 07:42 AM   #18
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The two times that I've been burgled, way way back, the apartment door was just busted in. Wasn't even that noisy apparently. I stopped listening to the pickproof lock crowd after that. Still, a good solid lock with a keyset that's not easily duplicated or bumped does help.

The main thing is to make it difficult and noisy for the burglar to get in. We have good solid doors in reinforced frames. We double check to make sure they are locked and bolted when we go to bed. If somebody is even jiggling at the door, our liveware alarm system - 14 pound rat terrier - will go off. The rest of the plan includes call to 911 and forting up.
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Old October 2, 2014, 01:57 PM   #19
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Back in the 80s I lived in an apartment. Coming home one night I smelled smoke coming from a neighboring unit. After alerting the manager he and I broke down the door to the apartment to find that the renters had left a blanket too close to a space heater.
Breaking down that door amounted to me bumping the door fairly lightly with my shoulder. In fact it was just me testing to feel how solid the door was before I tried for real. The dead bolt was about one inch into the frame.

Since that time I've been pretty serious about how my doors and windows are constructed.

Home protection starts with a strong home.
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Old October 2, 2014, 04:32 PM   #20
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How about a good dog that barks?
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Old October 3, 2014, 10:04 AM   #21
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Commercial hollow metal doors and frames are a lot cheaper than Home Depot's price, check your authorized dealer. He has them in stock and sells them daily. Installation isn't that hard.

It is very much a case that if you armor up the door, then all you are doing is having an ingress point moved to the next most easy point. Since residential stick construction is lame from a hurricane/tornado point of view, it's easier to get thru a window or even the wall quicker. Sheet metal buildings put together with exposed screws even easier.

All it takes is a little knowledge of the construction trade and you'll be able to see how easy. Don't put all your eggs in the basket of a strongly reinforced door frame - simply because a battery powered reciprocating saw can take it out. Literally. It's only attached at the sill and what few studs connect the header to the house wall.

If you reinforce the studs into the next ones, things can get a lot stronger and tougher to take out. Which goes to third world construction - which is predominantly masonry in those societies which have frequent wars.
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Old October 3, 2014, 02:42 PM   #22
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The purpose of the door reinforcement is to slow someone down to give you time to develop a defense or an early warning system. Instead of one kick, I would prefer to see several kicks and lots of noise. Enough time to get defensive.
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Old January 20, 2015, 10:00 AM   #23
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Having spent several years "breaking in" to homes professionally (legally), I would also suggest a couple basics.

1) as noted, steel doors are much more secure than wood.
2) almost anything is an improvement over the provided hardware in regards to the hinges and strike plate.
3) a basic Kwikset handset can be defeated entirely to easily. Easy to "bump", pick, or the guts yanked and can be drilled in less than 30 seconds in many instances. Even the "designer" and higher end Kwiksets are only marginally better. As someone who has defeated thousands of door locks, take my word that any Schlage is a vast improvement. So much so that many pros will look for an easier entry.
4) the best security door, locks, hardened jams etc. mean nothing if you don't secure them and the windows properly.

5) absolutely nothing will make your home impermeable. If someone wants in, they're going to. All you can really do is make an effort to ensure it won't be quick or quiet.
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Old January 20, 2015, 11:02 AM   #24
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Unless you put bars on your windows all "armoring" your door does is make someone that wants to get in look for an easy window to force.

As a firefighter we would get called to "check welfare" or gramma is down inside the house and we don't have a key calls. Rarely did we enter by forcing a door. Look for an open window, remove the screen and voila, you're in. Even a locked double hung window is a piece of cake to force with the traditional latches. Put a pry bar under the center of the bottom sash and pry upward. You would be surprised how little force it takes to pop out the 1/2 inch screws, and you won't damage the window frame or break the glass.

Ever leave your second story windows open when you leave the house? Then don't leave your ladder lying around because that's an open invite to come on in.

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Old January 21, 2015, 03:40 AM   #25
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That kit has been around a while but there have been others just as good for deckades. It was standard for us to install "kits" on every new door install. Each time someone sends a link I wonder how thin a gage that steel strip is because he is hanging steel to an opening that should be fairly tight but yet he does not mortise the plate in

For new construction we did not use them we hung the door using the standard screws and sometimes even used 16p finish nails as you can still pry the door back and forth and drive in the shingle shims with finish nails.

Once the door was hung correctly and the shims in tight we would pull out two jamb screws per hinge and install 4 inch hardened steel screws.

We did the same for both strikes. We also replaced two of the doorside screws with hardened screws that were long enough to go throgh most of the doors frame this varied from door to door some doors got 3 inch screws some got five inchers.

About 20 years ago door companies started downsizing the size of the wood blocks that are around the locksets of "solid core doors" so you reallly need to pay attention when you cut in a deadbolt so that you put the deadbolt in through the block instead of the filler.

Last edited by hartcreek; January 21, 2015 at 03:43 AM. Reason: dyslexia
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