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The Home Depot

Front Door Bolt Installation and Suggestions

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Door & Window > Front Door Bolt Installation and Suggestions
Front Door Bolt Installation and Suggestions

The locks you choose for your home need to be strong and secure enough to keep intruders from gaining access to your house. The front door bolt is often the first line of defense to keep your home safe. Deadbolts vary in size, style and materials, making some locks stronger and more effective than other locks.


You have a variety of options when you’re choosing a front door bolt. The Mesa, Arizona, police department has important information about a variety of locks to help you understand how deadbolts work.


Armed with information about front door bolt installation, you’ll be ready to install the deadbolt you need to keep your family and home safe.

  1. 1.Doors

    Although it takes time and expense to modify exterior doors for sufficient security, your efforts will result in the peace of mind that comes from a safe and secure home.

    Any door that leads into your house from the outside – whether through the garage, the back yard or the front yard – is an exterior door and needs a deadbolt. For the most secure exterior entryway, choose a door, frame and hardware designed to stop intruders. Exterior doors should contain wood or metal materials and they should be at least 1 ¼ inch solid core. Any glass in the door should be tempered so it won’t shatter easily and you should add a grille over the window to prevent breaking and entering. Door frames need structural studs surrounding them for added strength. Adding a metal strike plate at the point where the deadbolt enters the doorjamb will make it difficult for a burglar to use a crowbar to pry open your door. All exterior doors should open inward to keep hinge pins inaccessible to burglars. If a door does open outward, you can modify the hinge so no one can remove the hinge pins by adding a screw to the middle of each hinge pin.

  2. 2.Choose Your Deadbolt

    Opt for the highest quality you can afford in a deadbolt to provide the most security and protection for your family and home. Grade 1 deadbolts are the highest quality deadbolts available or residential use. Grade 2 deadbolts are also very high quality, just under the grade 1 deadbolts. Grade 3 deadbolts meet minimum requirements for security. Choose a deadbolt with at least 3-inch-long screws so they embed deep into the doorjamb. It’s also important to install a deadbolt with a steel bolt at least 1 inch long.

  3. 3.Vertical Deadbolt

    If you want to stop intruders cold, a vertical deadbolt will do this task. With a vertical deadbolt, you will have two vertical bolts instead of the one horizontal bolt. The vertical bolts fit into a special strike to secure the door to the doorjamb. Although a professional will be able to bypass a vertical deadbolt, most small-time burglars won’t even try to mess with them.

  4. 4.Lock Installation

    Check the dimensions of the lock against the door and the doorjamb to make sure the lock will fit on your door. The faceplate goes on the side edge of the door and the deadbolt fits inside the faceplate into the door. The outside housing installs on the outside of the door and the inside housing installs on the inside of the door. The outside housing will have a keyhole if your deadbolt has keyed entry. The inside housing has a thumb turn for locking the deadbolt manually or it may have another keyhole for a double cylinder deadbolt.


    Although it takes time and expense to modify exterior doors for sufficient security, your efforts will result in the peace of mind that comes from a safe and secure home.

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