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How to Install a Peephole in a Door

Get better home security in 15 minutes or less by installing a door peephole.

peepholeFamily Handyman
Lo-tech but extremely effective, a peephole let's you see who's on the other side of the door – before you open it. Installation is simple. Here's how to do it, no matter what type of entry door you have.

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Time
Instant!
Complexity
Super Simple!
Cost
Under $20

A door peephole let’s you see who’s knocking

Peep-Hole

A Peephole: Inexpensive home security

A door peephole allows you to see who’s knocking before unlocking.

door peephole

A Peephole

Peepholes come in two parts. Drill the door hole, insert the lens from the inside and the sleeve from the outside, then screw them together for a peephole.

As sturdy deadbolts and reliable window locks have become more common, some crooks have learned that the easiest way to get into a house is to ring the doorbell. So never open the door unless you know who’s on the other side. If you don’t have windows that let you see who’s knocking, install a door peephole. Standard peepholes are inexpensive, and are sold at home centers and hardware stores. Installation takes less than 15 minutes, whether your door is wood, steel, fiberglass or a composite material. For a splinter-free hole through a wood door, use a brad point bit. With metal, fiberglass or composite doors, use a standard bit. Run the drill at full speed and press lightly—that creates a clean hole through the outer skin and inner foam core. Most door peepholes require a 1/2-in. hole.

Required Tools for this Peephole Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Cordless drill
  • Tape measure
You’ll also need a 1/2-in. brad point drill (for wood doors) or a standard 1/2-in. high-speed steel bit (for metal, fiberglass or composite doors).

Required Materials for this Peephole Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Peephole (available from home centers and hardware stores)