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Fortifications Series: Doors

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From a request about doors here is the start of our home fortification series. Please feel free to tell us the products you use or the experiences you've had.


This is a snippet from a decent reference





According to crime statistics from years past, front doors are burglars' preffered point of entry into homes. Therefore, when considering enhancing security around the house perimeter, front doors should be one of your top priorities.


Looks can be deceiving

It is well known, that when burglars ‘work’ a neighborhood, one of their main concerns is doing the job quickly and quietly. Stalling on a well-secured door and causing a racket trying to penetrate is probably the last thing on their agenda.


Burglars collect information about the neighborhood prior to the break-in, as part of their attempt to spot the most convenient target. A front door looking well secured will have two effects: it will prevent a burglar from easily entering your home and it will likely discourage him from even trying.


So, if you’re running on a low budget, consider investing your money in thickening your front doors. The image of a heavily secured door will have a psychological impact on the burglar as he wanders around the neighborhood, looking for easy scores. A well secured door acts as a message to the burglar. It tells him to go and find a different home to break into.


This leads us to another conclusion. A low budget will be better invested in security devises that have double benefits: an effective physical barrier as well as a psychological one. Security devices like alarms and door contacts are important, but they do not broadcast their qualities as they are barely discernible. If your budget will not allow a total security package for your home and you have to choose between different devices, choose the ones that possess a psychological effect. Remember, looks can be deceiving.


The following list contains security items that possess a psychological impact on burglars:


Security yard signs

Surveillance cameras

Dummy surveillance cameras

Window bars

Motion sensitive outdoor lights

Video door phones


Design standards

For a door to be considered well secured, it must be constructed from either metal or solid hardwood. Plywood, USB or MDF wood composites, usually have a weaker material structure. They do not possess the elastic qualities of solid hardwood or metal and tend to fail more easily once under pressure or strain. The door's total width should be no less then 2 inches thick, and its central construction should be at least 1-½ inches thick.


The door's frame must be made of metal or solid wood -the same material as the door itself. The section width of the door's frame should fit the door in size and proportion. Frames should have the same strength as that of the door they hold.


Most doors are built from panels consisting of two vertical inner poles and top and bottom frame rails. A front door usually has additional vertical and horizontal construction units. Make sure the door you purchase adheres to all of these standards, and is constructed for security purposes and not just yard decoration.


Keep in mind that having a secure door does not necessarily mean compromising on aesthetics. Most door manufacturers are aware of this need and manufacture security doors with various ornaments and styles.



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Doors. They are the main point of entry to any house. For this reason, we have decided to dedicate an entire article to this important subject.


It makes no sense to have flimsy weak doors on your house, what you really need is something that a House Breaker will bounce off when they try to force it. I would like to concentrate on the physical construction of the actual doors themselves.


The back and front doors to your home should be built of solid hard wood at least 1 3/4" thick or be of metal wrapped construction. The door should fit tightly into the frame with no more than 1/8" clearance between the door and the frame to prevent attempts to jemmy the door open. Not only will this give you a secure door but it will also help to prevent drafts and cut down on the heating bill.


Some doors have a decorative glass panel this can make it very easy to break into, it's only a few seconds work to break the glass and unlock the door. If you decide to keep this type of door why not fit a break-resistant plastic panel, or decorative grille over the glass installed with non-removable screws, on the inside of the door of course.


The very best protection is achieved by fitting a strong wrought iron security door in front of the house doors. This has the advantage of not only providing an extra level of security against intruders, but it will also protect you by letting you vet callers before deciding to open your front door.





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A steel door is your best bet if security and durability are top priorities. Steel units are stronger than wood or fiberglass doors, and they won't crack or warp. Any dents or dings on these doors can be pulled and puttied with an auto-body repair kit.



Steel doors also cost the least: Prices start at about $150 for a 3-foot-wide x 6-foot 8-inch-tall paneled door without hardware or glazing. A steel-door system with sidelights and premium hardware can nearly equal the cost of a wood-door system, however.


All steel doors have an inner frame made of wood or, for greater strength, steel. The cavities within the frame are filled with high-density foam insulation. Premium doors typically have a 24-gauge skin and a steel frame, though some offer heavier-gauge steel (represented by a lower number). The surface usually is smooth or has an embossed wood-grain pattern.


Most steel doors are coated with a baked-on polyester finish that requires periodic repainting. Premium versions get a vinyl coating similar to the one on vinyl-clad windows for greater weather resistance. Some even have a stainable wood-fiber coating or, on really high-end versions, a laminated-wood veneer.


Steel doors usually are part of a prehung system. But if you're simply lifting the old door off its hinges and hanging a new one, remember that steel doors come with hinges attached or holes for the hinges predrilled. The hinge area on the door must match the hinge area on the existing door frame. Some doors come with an extra predrilled hole for the hinges, which allows minor adjustments to be made when hanging the door.


Also, if you choose an embossed wood grain, make sure it runs horizontally on the rails and vertically on the stiles. Finally, check the warranty. Some manufacturers will void it if you install an aluminum storm door with the steel door. The reason: Heat buildup between the doors might cause the finish to peel.



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I got GUARD DUCKS! LOL And a flock of geese and a tom turkey who sleeps on the porch and a Great Pyr. Don't forget the bottomless mudhole in the center of the driveway and the moat. Then there is the bridge over the creek (AKA Moat) that is narrow, no rail and cracked in the middle.


I live in a tin hut and you just can't make the things burglar proof. At least my early warning system lets me know to grab the 12 gauge!


All kidding aside, Cookie, that is good info you got.

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