Installing a Garage Door Lock

Most homes built in or after the 1980s have garages attached to them. Before then, the garage was often a freestanding building. With the arrival of the attached garage, many new conveniences were introduced. The homeowner could park his car close the door and not have to step foot into the sweltering heat of a summer day or the frigid cold of a winter evening. In addition, a connected garage door was mildly climate controlled receiving some of the heat or air conditioning that escaped through the house walls. In return, it provided better insulation for much of the house. However, these garages also introduced a few new problems, the greatest being the security risk.

Because most people viewed a closed garage door as a barrier between their home and the outside world, few worried about locking the interior door that led to the garage. Unfortunately, burglars took advantage of this oversight by breaking and entering through the exterior garage door. Few people understand the ease of breaking into a garage door that does not have a protective locking mechanism. For anyone who has had his home broken into through the garage, the need for a lock is apparent. Luckily, it is an easy do it yourself project, at a minimum cost.

There are two styles of garage door lock that can be installed. The first is a manual system with key and latch prevention. This style of garage door locking requires a manual entry garage door and will not be effective with mechanical garage door openers. It is also the simpler of the two styles to install.

Most hardware stores will carry a manual lock. The most popular style is the Plain T Handle set. To install this a person will need a screwdriver, measuring tape, drill and drill bit of the appropriate diameter. The instructions for the kit will be in the packaging. The first step is to measure out where to drill the holes in the garage door. You will need to find the center of the door and mark it with an “x”. Place the handle over the “x” and pilot two holes through the screw settings where the screws will fasten the handle in place. At this point make sure the lock handle is open parallel to the ground.

Set the screws on the outside and put the washers in place. Two metal arms should be included in the packaging. Place the arms on the screws after the washers, being sure to set the smaller diameter holes facing away from the handle. Place a second washer over those arms and place a nut tightly over the assembly, then place the locking rollers in the garage track and screw the arms into the rollers.

At this point lock the garage handle by twisting it perpendicular to the ground. The rollers should set and be unable to slide. Many door locks have different set ups, so be sure to read the instructions carefully. Still, most garages today incorporate a mechanical garage door security lock. These garage door locks take more time to install but have a few additional benefits.

A full garage door lock kit for mechanical systems will be significantly more work to install, however they can also provide a significantly higher level of security. It is not uncommon to have alarm systems in place with a garage door lock of this style as well as a secondary lockdown mechanism. Some are included in the mechanical opener itself and have manual release systems for when you go on longer vacations, making the door as impregnable as a brick wall.

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