Installing one sided deadbolts on rear/side doors?

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Jan 26, 2023
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W Florida
I have 5 outside doors, all with $18 kwikset deadbolts. I want to increase security, and those are prety terrible. I figure I could save a heckova lotta money by just making all the rear and side doors one sided (no key hole, just a plate). Would there be a downside to this? I've rented houses and apartments with rear doors and didn't even have the key for them. It really doesn't seem like there's a gain in being able to unlock anything except the fornt and garage doors.
Not having a key means you have to access them always from inside. To me this would be a big pain in the butt. If I come home from Lowe's with some project materials for my basement I'd have to go through the house, down to the basement, open the door go back up to my driveway and start taking stuff in. Or if I need a garden tool from my basement and I didn't open the back door I may need to go up to the front door, through the house, likely having to remove my shoes to avoid tracking mud through the house. I store my bikes in my basement. If I take off for a ride, I'd have to back through the house to lock the basement door before I take off on a ride. All to save $20? I think not.

I'd want to have at least one of those doors to have the ability to be locked and unlocked from outside. On one of my basement doors I have a lock that I can open and close with my cell phone. Very handy when I take off for a bike ride.
I don’t see it as much of a problem. Like you we only ever enter from one door when the house is locked. About 5 years ago her mother gave us a push button lock set for Christmas and I really didn’t think sticking a key in a lock was a big deal but I installed it right away. That thing we now love and I do still carry a key just in case but haven’t used it in years. Kind of like the ring doorbell she got us a few years ago. Funny how you didn’t think you needed something and then you can’t live without it.
I guess it's also nice to have redundancy. It'd sure be a pain to have the front door lock get jammed and have no other keyed doors.
Also have all the keyed locks pinned for the same key.
Not likely as long as they conform to egress code, and you don't mind breaking something, if the keyed access fails.
I just had the idea that these things come in packs of lever/lock and lever/plate. will a plate fit on a lever that came in a lever/lock set?
I wound up putting the plate locks on all the rear doors and single cylinder lock on interior and exterior garage doors. For my previous post, you can just slap on a plate as long as the screw holes line up on each side.
I absolutely understand not wanting a key access or even a knob on the outside. It is common in Detroit for side doors & basement doors to have no hardware at all on the outside. (And garage alley doors, too.)
Heck, my car has 5 doors and only one has a keyway. Handles, but no keyways.

Vertical dead bolts are very strong and very easy to install. You can get them one-sided (no hole through the door) or two-sided (keyed). The one pictured below has two pin loops, but you can get them with as many as six for more strength.

Use long screws in the loop plate to reach door jamb's studs.

If the door is solid core, the mechanism screws into the door. If it isn't solid core and is wood faced, you can use carriage bolts to install to the door. Put the bolt heads outside and acorn nuts on the inside so you don't brush your hand across the end of a bolt.

If the door is steel or fiberglass, use elevator bolts instead of carriage bolts. (They don't have to dent their way into the door like the hex on a carriage bolt does.)

Enjoy This Day!


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Hey @PJB12, thanks for sharing your insights! It's interesting to hear about the common practices in Detroit regarding side and basement doors.