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Replace a Peephole With a Door Viewer

Get a clearer picture of whoever is knocking at the door

FH09MAY_VISCREE_01-2 peephole viewerFamily Handyman
Tiny front door peepholes don't show much, especially if you have poor vision. Get a fuller view with a large in-door viewer that creates an image visible from several feet away.

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Is there a better front door peephole?

peephole viewer

In-door peephole viewer installation

Chuck up a 2-3/8-in. hole saw and cut a large opening for a new door viewer. Screw it in place and see who’s at the door from 7 ft. away.

Replace your old peephole viewer with one of the newer in-door viewers. It’s a low-cost solution that uses prisms and a lens to project the visitor’s image onto a 2-in. screen. The large screen allows you to see visitors from 5 to 7 ft. behind the door. You can find in-door peephole viewers on Amazon.

You’ll have to drill a new 2-3/8-in. hole. Place it so the new hole eliminates the existing hole at the same time. You can probably leave the old peephole in place while you drill the new hole (to provide a firmer surface and prevent pilot bit wandering). Make sure the drill is level and drill until the pilot bit comes out the other side of the door. Then remove the hole saw and drill from the opposite side (to prevent splintering). You’ll also need to drill two 1/8-in. holes for the retaining ring anchor pins (use the template to mark the location for the small holes). To finish the installation, insert the viewer and screw it onto the lens prism.

The new viewer provides a much brighter image, but since it uses prisms, be aware that the image will be flopped left to right. As an added benefit, the viewer optics prevent visitors from peering into your house (a flaw in old-style peepholes) or from noticing that you’re even using the viewer.

Required Tools for this Project

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

  • Cordless drill
  • Drill bit set
  • 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.

  • In-door viewer

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