DIY & Improvement

Why You Should Always Change Out The Screws On Your Door Frame When You Move Into A New Place

There could be a safety issue in your home you're not even aware of.

There could be a safety issue in your home you’re not even aware of. But don’t worry — it’s easily correctable.

A viral Facebook post from Modern Nest Real Estate Group suggests swapping out the screws that were originally put on your front door’s hinges by the home’s builder. They may be too tiny, which could make it easier for burglars to kick it in.

“Most contractors install the plates with the supplied screws which are only a half-inch long and come out with one kick by a burglar,” the post reads. It goes on to advise using screws that are much longer:

Real estate agent Mariana Pearson, who is the person behind Modern Next, added that her father “installed 4 inch screws in their place that go through the door frame and into the framing of the house. [Burglars] can kick for a long time before they get tired! You can see in the picture the screw in his hand is the screw supplied with the door hardware. Making a burglar make a bunch of noise and be foiled in their initial plan can not only give you time to arm yourself but they will most likely move on to an easier target.”

So this sounds like good advice. But is it true?

Getting To The Bottom Of Things

It depends on who builds the home, says Mark Whipple, an assistant project manager for a design and build company in Cincinnati. If your home is in a cookie-cutter style neighborhood where homes have been quickly and mass-produced, it’s likely the screws used to secure the main doors are tiny, he said.

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The builders of those type of homes will typically use the screws that come with the door hinges because it’s convenient. They’re working to get it done and keep moving.

Whipple says a good contractor has likely helped the homeowner purchase higher quality doors, using better screws to secure it.

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Still, having longer screws isn’t a guarantee that no one will be able to kick in your door. It might just take a bit longer for it to come apart.

“Those longer screws go into the stud that’s behind a door jamb, so instead of splitting that initial wood, it’s in a deeper sub wood, so it’s grabbing more,” Whipple said.

Testing It Out

A national news reporter with the E.W. Scripps Company tried it out. Watch Jace Larsen kick in a door that is held on with short screws, and another door held on with longer screws:

If a door is heavy, it probably already has longer screws so as to avoid stripping the hinge or the screws themselves. You can test the strength of a screw in its hole by trying to tighten it. If it keeps going around and around and doesn’t seem to tighten all the way, either the screw or the hole is stripped.

Home Safety

According to the Family Handyman, 65% of home break-ins happen when a burglar forces a front door, back door or garage service door. Given that, it’s definitely a good idea to reinforce those parts of the house.

But what else can you do to make sure your home is safe?

The site says that effective deterrents to burglary include having a home alarm installed, making sure doors have deadbolt locks and adding motion-activated lights on the outside of your house.

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Additionally, you should make sure your house is occupied. If it isn’t, have the newspaper and mail picked up, and make sure some lights and noise take place inside, whether on a timer or set by a neighbor you trust. Keep a car in the driveway, too.

And having a dog around helps, too!

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Well, we’re not sure about that one. He might be a bit young to make an effective guard dog — but hello, adorable!

Kudos to Pearson and Modern Nest Real Estate Group for encouraging folks to swap out their door screws. It may provide a little more safety and a lot more peace of mind!