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summerlilac
Secure Front Door

Hello, I am doing a project in Mayfield KY on a cabin in the middle of nowhere. I need to replace the front (and only) door and put in a new lock system. The cabin is infrequently used and has been broken into several times. Would someone suggest a secure type of door and locking system? I was thinking of putting in a deadbolt http://www.mcmaster.com/#door-locksets/=228ag7 (under 2871, heavy duty lock b) as well as a regular entry knob lock. The door needs to stand up to humidity as well. Thank you!

A. Spruce
Re: Secure Front Door

The problem is, if someone wants in, they'll figure out a way to get in. The major weak point on any door is the jamb. Install a reinforcement plate on the jamb with screws that extend well into the framing behind the jamb greatly improve security. Next weak spot is the door itself at the handset/lock. Wood doors can be reinforced a little with a reinforcing plate. A standard residential metal or fiberglass door is easily defeated as well, so don't think you're protecting your property with one. The best option would be to install a door that swings outward, then there's no way to kick the door in or damage the jamb. Another option would be to install a security screen - a real one, not the junk you find at your local big box.

If you really want to get crazy, you can use a commercial steel door and steel frame, and instead of relying on a locking handset, use a padlock inside a steel cup such as you see on many urban park gates that close at dusk. The cup prevents tampering with the lock.

summerlilac
Re: Secure Front Door

this is going to sound stupid, but is there a way to make the door swing outward without having the hinges exposed? I'd hate to go through the trouble and then have them just take apart the hinge to get in. Thank you very much for the ideas!

A. Spruce
Re: Secure Front Door

Yes. When you purchase the door, request that it be an outward swinging door with NRP (non-removable pins ) hinges. This type of hinge utilizes a set screw in the center of the pin that is only accessible when the door is fully open.

I would recommend that you consult with a specialty door supplier - a company who only sells doors and door hardware - They will be able to show you the different hinges, suggest locks that are stronger and more tamper resistant, and will also have access to doors with security levels and features that are far beyond what you'll find at any big box store.

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