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This is the time of year when temperatures are still cool enough in the evening so that you can leave doors and windows open in your house. But if you simply open a door, you could be dealing with flies, moths, mosquitoes – and possibly even unwanted human visitors.

The solution is to install a high quality security door. You may call this a screen door, but unlike screen doors, a security door offers extra protection when you’re at home and when you’re not.

So, what features make a door into a true “security door”? We talked to First Impression Ironworks of Gilbert, Tucson and Scottsdale and came up with seven features you might want to have when buying one of these doors:

1 | Look for strong materials.

Make sure the door and its framing are built of high-quality, thick-gauge steel — not aluminum. Some security doors use aluminum and various alloys that are too lightweight and flimsy. A crook with a crowbar can quickly pry open one of those doors. Steel provides more strength to keep out intruders and will wear well over the years.

2 | Make sure you’re getting everything you’re paying for.

The price should cover the lock and lever, the delivery, and the installation of the door. Quality name brand hardware should be part of the purchase; you want the hardware to come from industry leaders such as Kwikset and Schlage. You want a door with a long-term or lifetime warranty included so that there is better service if you have problems or your door has some defects.

3 | You want your door mounted securely.

“Mounting” refers to hanging the door in place. To ensure that the door is secure, you want the mounting to penetrate at least 4 inches into the wall. Installers should use 6-inch screws that are 5/16-inches thick. Some companies only use hinges that go 2 to 3 inches into the wall and use shorter fasteners.

4 | Don’t skip on installing latch-and-lock guards and strong hinges.

The guards are metal plates that can keep burglars from using tools to pry open the door. You also want high-end, milled bullet or barrel hinges that are rated to support more than 800 pounds per hinge. A screw-on H-hinge is less secure and can break more easily.

5 | Plan ahead for a high-tech future.

Ensure that the openings for the door’s hardware can accommodate sleek, new upgrades for digital equipment and Bluetooth or Smart Home locks. The thin frames used for cheaper doors cannot support the latest electro-mechanical locks.

6 | Choose powder-coating instead of painting for the door.

You want your security door to have a powder-coated finish that has been baked-on rather than having the door spray-painted. That will avoid problems with chipping and rusting. Powder coating doesn’t run or drip the way that painting can. If you buy the right door, you’ll be able to choose from a large palette of colors. Powder coating is also more environmentally friendlier than paint as well as being more durable.

7 | Today’s security doors can have a high-end elegant look.

You can opt for hinged glass on your door as well as a screen outside fixed to the door.

Cost can make a big difference in quality, of course. All these features may lead to a higher price. You can, of course, buy a much cheaper door on the Internet, but the door will be made of inferior materials.

As always, we recommend buying the door and having it installed by a licensed contractor registered with the state.


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