The doorbell rings. You’re not expecting anyone. Maybe it’s Publisher’s Clearing House with a giant check! (Can you win a sweepstakes you didn’t enter?) Or, perhaps it’s a couple of well dressed, polite young adults wanting to know if you’ve found Jesus. (Amen?) Or, you know, it could be a psychopath who would like to come inside and chop you into little pieces. (No, thank you.) My point is, we live in a world where we need to see who’s at the door before we commit to being home. The peephole is like caller ID for visitors; you get to see who it is before you answer. Want to know how to install a peephole in your front door? I gotchu.
Several years ago, I had a meddling neighbor move in next door. That story is here if you’re interested (spoiler alert: she’s crazy), but here’s how it ends: I installed a peephole so I would never have to talk to her again. And guess what? I have never had to talk to her again.
* Not my actual crazy neighbor. But probably somebody’s…
Hark! Who Goes There?
I know there are other, higher tech options out there to see who’s at your door, but peepholes are inexpensive, easy to install, and require nothing to work, other than your eyeball to do the peeping.
OK, well, you also have to physically get up and walk over to the door, so if that’s too demanding, then maybe a nice Ring Doorbell would be a better option for you. Then you could screen visitors on your smart phone from the comfort of your pretty sofa whilst someone feeds you grapes.
To thine own self be true. This post is not for you.
For the rest of us common folk, I’m going to show you how to install a peephole. Because you need one, right? And Barbra Streisand says people like you are the luckiest people in the world. It’s like she knew, when she wrote the song, that you would have me to show you how to install one.
How to Install a Peephole
Finally, here we are at the instructions. Thank you for your patience. Here’s your supply list:
Step Zero: Ask a friend if she would mind if you installed a peephole in her door (because you already have one installed in your own door) so you could demonstrate the process to the luckiest people in the world. You know, the people who need peepholes.
Step One: Make Your Mark
Peepholes should be at eye level. Pick the shortest adult in your house and use their eye level height because it’s way easier for the tall people to crouch down a little than it is to go get a stupid step stool so you can look through the freaking peephole that some self-centered, inconsiderate, jerk giant installed just for themselves without thinking of his tiny wife.
Also, don’t poke yourself in the eye with your pencil because I imagine that hurts.
Step Two: Center Your Hole
Use a ruler to make sure your hole is centered on your door from left to right. An uncentered peephole is something that will irk you forever.
Step Three: Drill a Pilot Hole
Use your 1/8″ drill bit (or a similarly small bit) to drill straight through your door on the mark that you made.
Make sure you keep your drill as level as possible and keep going until the bit pops out the other side. (I forgot to take a picture of the other side, but trust me; the bit did, in fact, pop out the other side.)
Step Four: Big Hole
Using your 5/8″ bit (or whatever size your peephole directions tell you to use), drill through your pilot hole. Start on the inside, but stop at half way. Then go outside and repeat the process. This way, the hole will have neat edges on both sides of the door.
Step Five: File Edges
If you have a metal door, especially, you may have some sharp, protruding edges. Use a small file to smooth those out. I got a cheap file set at the dollar store that was fine for this task. Don’t go nuts. Your peephole will cover the edges, but you want the door to be flat. You can even tap the edges with a hammer to flatten them. Just be careful you don’t dent your door.
Step Six: Install Your Peephole
Peepholes come in two pieces. See?
Slide the bigger piece through the hole from the outside.
Then take the smaller piece and slide that through the hole on the inside of the door.
While holding the outside part stationary, screw the inside part to tighten by hand. (Remember, righty tighty…)
Most peepholes have a slot on the inside portion. You can use a quarter in that slot to tighten your peephole.
Step Seven: Peep
Guess what? You’re done! Easy, right? (Well, you probably don’t know how easy it is because you haven’t actually done it yet because you only just read this post right now, but trust me. It’s easy.)
Now You’re Prepared
Your doorbell rings. You’re not expecting anyone. It could be a socially inept friend who doesn’t understand basics of civility and just came over without calling first. (They’d better have cake.)
It could be that thing you ordered from Amazon three hours ago. (How??) Or, you know, it could be small, noisy humans in disguise demanding gratuitous treats under threat of trickery. (Boo.)
In any case, you now have complete control over who you choose to be home for. And, hey! Just in time for Halloween!
Personally, I am never home on Halloween, even when I’m home on Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the holiday, per se, but I really, really hate the trick-or-treating. I think parents should host costume parties for their own kids instead of letting them beg strangers for sweets. Not for nothing, but aren’t we sending mixed messages to kids when we tell them it’s OK to knock on a stranger’s door and ask for candy, but it’s not OK to accept candy from the nice man with the van?
But, I digress…
Go, Peep, Do
So, do you feel like one of the luckiest people in the world? Because I totally just hooked you up. You’re now more than ready to install your very own peephole. And, like Barbra says…
Before you do that, though, have you bothered to paint your front door? Because you wouldn’t want to install your shiny, new peephole in a crappy front door. What would your unwanted visitors think of you? Click here for a fantastic tutorial all about door painting. Man, you guys are so lucky…
Don’t forget to subscribe below. Happy peeping!
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