If you are considering replacing your existing entry door with a new one, it is essential that you look into every aspect before making such an investment to make sure your entry door is well worth the money spent. Besides choosing an attractive design, you should take your time to research whether the door meets all the security and safety requirements, because you would never want just a beautiful but flimsy door behind which you would not feel protected.
Getting a quality door
Try to avoid buying doors from unverified and not well established suppliers, even though prices may seem attractive. You do not want to save money at the expense of the quality. We recommend buying doors from renowned manufacturers who have a solid reputation for providing high quality slabs.
Avoid hollow doors and only install solid ones with reinforced slabs. Lock block presence in the slab will give your additional peace of mind as it ensures the door cannot be bent out of the frame.
Slabs without glass inserts are much better security wise. Where possible, choose the design without door glass.
Choosing the proper locking hardware
Next thing you would need to think of is equipping your door with premium quality locking hardware. Modern market is full of solutions for every budget. With advanced technology entry locks have become smart, more sophisticated and reliable then ever.
Multi-point locks have become a desirable choice for many homeowners, especially those who have 8’ high doors. These locks offer many beneficial features, providing unparalleled security. Keyless e-locks have gaining more popularity in today’s electronic era. Whatever locking option you choose to go with, please, make sure it is a reputable supplier such as Emtek (mortise & tubular locksets) or Ferco G-U (muti-point locks), for example.
If your door has a deadbolt lock, it has to be ANSI Grade 1 or 2 and its throw bolt should not be less than 1” in length. Flimsy strike plates should be replaced with heavy duty ones and be properly secured preferably with 3” long screws.
Mounting a cylinder guard is also a good idea. It will protect the cylinder of your lock in case an intruder will attempt to remove it.
Finding a Professional Installer
Now that you have the door and the hardware of your choice it is high time to think about who would be installing the door. Quality installation is not less important than the quality product. Even if you have the best possible door, but do not have it installed properly, you have nothing. For that reason it is crucial to hire a professional certified contractor with a high level of expertise, and to avoid DIY solutions.
Securing frame and hinges
Depending on your situation, you may need to install a slab door only without a frame or a pre-hung door which already includes a door frame. If you think you need just a slab replacement, make sure your door frame is in a good condition, not rotting and falling apart. It is better to go with a cheaper and less fancy design and buy a full brand-new pre-hung system, then go with a more expensive slab and leave the frame as-is in a questionable condition.
A good installed will make sure the door frame is not just tacked to the wall, but is properly secured and cannot be easily separated from the wall in case of a forced entry attempt. Fortifying the frame with stud reaching 3” long screws around the perimeter will add a lot to your entrance security.
Concealed hinges such as Tectus would be the best option to have to ensure they cannot be tampered with. If you door has regular hinges, they should be located on the inside of the door so that they cannot be accessed by the intruders. If your hinges are on the outside, then you should have them reinstalled as soon as possible or secure with special pins.
Installing reinforcement devices
If you have an inswing door, consider installing a reinforcement device like StrikeMaster or Nightlock which prevents the door from being kicked out.
Adding a chain lock and a viewer
To increase entry door security, do not forget to install a chain lock, a wide angle peep hole with a cover (so noone can look into your house with a special reversible viewer), use common sense like always lock your doors when leaving the house even for a short time and follow the above tips when searching for your entry door replacement.