This story walks you through the how to steps to install a doorknob reinforcer on your exterior doors. It's a simple, inexpensive project that makes your entry door more secure and less vulnerable to break-ins.
Measure the “backset,” the distance between the door edge and the center of the door knob; the thickness of the door; and the knob hole diameter. Buy a reinforcer that fits all those measurements.
Unscrew the two screws on the inside knob and remove both knobs. Also remove the two 3/4-in. latch screws, but leave the latch in place.
Slide the three-sided reinforcer plate onto the door. Secure it to the latch with the two 1-1/2 in. screws provided and remount the doorknobs.
Drill four 3/32-in. pilot holes and install the corner screws on the interior and exterior sides of the reinforcer plate.
Install a door reinforcer on your entry and garage service doors to help discourage break-ins.
Reinforcers are three-sided metal plates that encase and strengthen the door around the latch, which is a door's most vulnerable area. The reinforcer shown is meant to strengthen door latches (Photo 3), but you can also buy reinforcers that strengthen deadbolts. Install them on fiberglass, wood or steel doors as shown in Photos 1 – 4.
A reinforcer extends the door edge about 1/32 in., and so may rub the door frame of tight-fitting doors. If so, slightly deepen the hinge mortises with a chisel to widen the gap at the latch side. Or chisel a 1/32-in. recess into the door edge so the reinforcer fits flush. Door reinforcers are found at home centers and well-stocked hardware stores.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
The drill bit you'll need is a 3/32 in. bit. Any drill or flathead screwdriver will work if you don't have a cordless drill or 4 in 1 screwdriver.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.