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Install a Peephole

Updated: Jun. 30, 2017

Complete this 10-minute job quickly and easily.

FH01APR_INSPEE_01-2Family Handyman
Make your home safer and more secure by adding a peephole in your exterior doors. You can see who's there before you open it.

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Install a peephole in a door

Photo 1: Bore the hole

Mark the viewer’s position on the door, preferably centered in the door stile near eye level. Bore the hole with a hole saw, holding the drill straight and level and starting it on low speed. Prevent splintering the outside door veneer by occasionally stopping the drill and checking the other side of the door so you’ll know the moment the pilot bit first emerges.

Photo 2: Complete the hole

Finish boring the hole from the outside. Sand the finished hole, making sure the drilled edges on both sides of the door are smooth.

Photo 3: Screw in the peephole assembly

Screw the viewer body clockwise into the prism cover (held level). For metal or fiberglass doors (like ours), modify the exterior prism cover by trimming off the plastic spikes. Then glue the cover to the door with a bead of silicone caulk. Then mount this wide-angled viewer so that the viewer body faces indoors.

Many entry doors are fitted with tiny peepholes that don’t always show you who’s there. Strangers can hide slightly out of view, or the distorted shape could appear to be a neighbor but actually be someone else.

Avoid uncertainty by installing a wide-angled viewer. Order from Improvements Catalog or from online sources. It’ll fit any exterior wood, metal or fiberglass door that’s up to 2 in. thick. Following the steps shown in Photos 1 – 3, you can do the job in less than 10 minutes using a drill fitted with a 1-3/4-in.-dia. hole saw.

Our door is fiberglass clad which requires slightly different techniques than wood doors. When installing the unit into wood doors, screw and tighten the viewer body into the prism cover until the plastic spikes on the prism cover bite and lock into the door veneer.

Required Tools for this Project

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

  • Drill/driver - cordless
  • Hole saw kit

Required Materials for this Project

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

  • Wide-angle viewer