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Choosing Doors and Locks

You've just bought a home, but the doors and locks in your "new" home are anything but new. Change your doors and locksets for a more secure and beautiful home.

Types of Doors

  • Steel doors have energy-efficient foam core insulation and are fully weatherstripped. Their tough steel construction will withstand years of extreme weather conditions with minimum maintenance. The doors can come with predrilled doorknob and lockset holes, making for easy installation.
  • Fiberglass doors are excellent for extreme climates and high traffic entryways. They offer the same energy saving and easy installation qualities as steel doors.
  • Wood doors offer the most traditional look. A well-crafted, wooden door sends an inviting message, and their substantial weight adds a sense of security and sturdiness. Doors made of solid wood offer the most security.
  • Patio doors - whether sliding or French doors - range from five to over twelve feet in width. The selection of patio doors is as diverse as their sizes: aluminum, vinyl, wood or wood clad.

Important Tip: Make sure your new doors are steel-edged (rather than wood-edged) as these doors offer much more security.

Accents

There are plenty of accents available to help fully customize your entryway to your needs and desires.

  • Glass: All door types are available with decorative glass. The glass may be one large lite or have a grille that separates the glass into several lites.
  • Sidelites: Sidelites are available for all types of doors.
  • Transoms: Transoms are available for all types of doors, in three distinct shapes: arch, ellipse and box.
  • In-Glass Blinds: Some doors have adjustable blinds made inside the glass pane, which adds an interesting touch to your d├ęcor as well as the security of seeing who is at the door.

Note: When choosing a new door consider the security cons of certain accents. While a design might be aesthetically pleasing, it could be detrimental to properly securing your new home.

Locks

Selecting door hardware is an important aspect to choosing the right door since different doors use different locksets.

Know Your Door

Before you buy new locks, check to see if your door is right- or left-handed (right-handed doors have hinges on the outside right), and if opens into or out of a room. Also measure your door's thickness. This information will help you choose the right lock and stop a few installation headaches.

Deadbolts

Deadbolts should be used on all exterior doors. This lock is the primary burglary deterrent for all entry doors. Some glass-accented doors require a deadbolt that is keyed on either side. Your home is not secure if an intruder can break the glass and simply unlatch your door.

When installing the deadbolt's strike-plate, use mounting screws that are at least 3 inches. Your strike-plate should be secured to the wall's stud and not just the doorjamb.

Specialty Locks

Sliding and French doors may need special locks for premium security. Locks specifically designed for sliding-glass doors are inexpensive and readily available. For added security, cut a broom handle and fit it in the door's track to prevent entry.

French doors, while stylish, can also be very fragile. To make these entrances more secure, install slide-rod locks at the top and foot of your doors.

You might also want to add secondary locks, like sliding bolts or chains, to some doors for additional security.


Installing a new door and lockset is a home improvement that adds style and safety to your new house. Check out other safety and security tips that can give you peace of mind when you're settling in.

If this project seems a tad outside your DIY scope, let Lowe's professionally install your new doors and locks.

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