How to Reinforce a Door Frame
Burglary techniques are seeing improvement every year. They are now capable of getting in and getting out without making any sound at all. So, what is the magic formula to hinder such kind of scenario from happening to you? The answer would be to learn how to reinforce a door frame!
If the door frame is strong enough, bad guys will not be capable of executing the kick-ins. It will also lower the success rate of the scenarios that involve forcible entry through the door. And most importantly, if you strengthen the door’s frame, the overall home security will see a massive improvement.
That said, how do you reinforce the door frame? Allow us to guide you through the process!
How to Strengthen the Door Frames
You will find multiple ways to strengthen the door frames. However, not all of them will be capable of provoking forced entry. Most will only make you go through extra hassles. Well, we did test all of the possible ways out. And among them, this process of getting the door frame reinforced worked.
Step 1: Get the Required Materials
You might know by now that the frame is the thing that secures the strike plate. And most residential doors would be just an inch of solid wood. And even if you wanted to, you cannot install a frame that is thicker than that. So, if you’re going to increase the door security, you need to work with materials.
However, the good news is that you will not need that many tools for this door reinforcement project. You would need to get four long screws. By long screws, we are referring to the 4-inch screws. The wood screws lower than the 4-inch screws are generally considered as short screws anyway.
Apart from the screws, you just need a metal strip. For our project, we relied on the 10 gauge 304 stainless steel strips. However, we would recommend the 16 gauges trips. Those will be affordable and more accessible. But do not think that just because they are cheap, they will have lower strength. They will not!
Step 2: Check the Dimension and the Layout
The next step to reinforce the entry door would be to take the measurements. You would need to check how much of a gap the door has.
Which gap are we talking about? Well, the space that is on the door lock side. For most cases, the strike plate lock would leave a good amount of room. However, the gap from the door locks can be a bit tighter. It can be around 1/8 inches. In that case, you would need to inlet the surface of the door jamb.
As we had plenty of room around the strike plate, we opted for the surface-mounted installation process.
Step 3: Consider How Wide of a Strip You Would Need
Once you have the measurement accounted for, you would need to work on the strip. If the current strip is a bit wider, you would need to narrow it down a bit. However, in most cases, you will be capable of slipping the strip into the hinge side.
Start by checking whether it is enough to get inside the gap that is on the door’s edge. Check the width with an unlocked door if the strip does not fit the door’s edge with the door closed.
Step 4: Measure the Deadbolt Strike Plate and Lock
Most doors will either utilize grade-1 deadbolt or double-cylinder deadbolt. No matter what the case is for you, there will be no need to work too much on them to get the measurement. Most of the deadbolt catches will be tuned during the installation. And the only thing that you would need to do is scrub-trace them.
However, following the scrub-trace technique ensures you are taking the door edge as a reference. It will usually reflect the distance from the front of the frame of the door to the front edge of the front plate.
Step 5: Fabrication
At this point, you would have all of the measurements that are needed from the wooden door frame, the strike plates, and the grade-1 deadbolt. Now, you need to work on the fabrication of the metal. The holes would be where the catch ramps are on the door. Make pilot holes on the metal plate using a power drill.
Clean out the holes using a file. The holes also need to have the proper alignment, or the metal will not be able to distribute force properly on the entire surface when break-ins happen.
The exterior door will not be that kick-proof. So, keep that factor in mind when you are carrying out this step of the door frame reinforcement process. Once everything is smooth, sand the surface a bit with an orbital sander. That will unify the texture and smooth out any of the dips that might be on the metal piece.
On that note, when you are drilling, use cutting oil. That will lower the chances of a weak link on the interior side. Also, that will ensure that the holes are clean. And when this metal piece looks clean, people will not be able to tell that you have taken the strike plates out and replaced them.
Step 6: Installation
The last step to make the door kick-proof would be to finish the installation by placing the metal piece on top of the frame. First, you need to check whether it is possible to position the new strip properly. The front edges should align correctly with the edges of the catch plates.
Once you are sure that the position is just right, sink a temporary screw in. That will hold the metal piece and allow you to work on the other holes. Remove the catch plates of the door and work from the center of the strip. Slowly, move towards the ends.
You might want to use a Vix bit to ensure that the hole is right at the center. If you hit the wall studs, you might want to get shorter screws. Also, it is pretty necessary to crank down the screws, or else they will not be flush to the surface. And if they are not flush, breaking in will be pretty easy for the intruder.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are door jamb and frame the same thing?
Not really; there are a lot of differences between a door jamb and a frame. If you take a look into the topic of Door Jamb vs. Door Frame, you will get a deeper knowledge about it. But in short, one is the flat surface that will run vertically up from both sides of the frame. In contrast, a frame is all of the things combined.
- How often should I change the locks on the doors?
When it comes to the topic of how to secure a door from the inside, many would recommend upgrading to a better lock. That said, a bolt would be capable of providing you with optimal security service for around 10 years. After that, it will be more susceptible to lock bumping.
- Can door wraps lower the chances of forced entry?
A door wrap can enhance the security of the front door. The door wrap would basically create a greater surface area to enhance the door security. And that would distribute the force over the entire frame properly when anyone is trying to break the door with brute force.
So, yes, door wraps can play a role in terms of lowering the chances of forced entry.
- Which one is the strike plate of a door?
The strike plate would be the mounting plate of the locking system. It is the place where the locks would get into the frame. And a strike plate of exterior doors is pretty essential as if the strike plate allows the intruder to slip thin tools in, breaking inside would become an easy task.
- Would an alarm system help in terms of home improvement?
Alarm systems do provide an extra layer of security to the doors. However, it would be best if you opted for those that are not that vulnerable to attacks. Also, the installation matters the most here. If it is not out of sight, intruders will spot it and disable it. Once that happens, you will not be notified when there is a break-in.
As you can see, learning how to reinforce a door frame is not that hard at all. That said, you should follow the steps correctly. Only then will it be possible to improve the burglar-proof nature and substantially enhance the door frame’s strength