How to Install a Peephole in Your Front Door

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How to install a peephole in your front door to improve the safety of your home.

Peepholes are typically found in urban homes and businesses and most apartments. Where safety is a high priority it is important to know who is on the other side of your door. Installing a peephole in your front is fairly easy with some basic carpentry skills.

Tools and Materials

Power Drill and Drill bit

Tape Measure




Safety goggles



1. Determine what type of door you have before beginning this project. Confirm that it is a standard thickness, usually from 1 3/8 inch to 2 inches. If your door is too thick or too thin, a standard peephole may not fit. You can special order peepholes to fit odd sized doors.

2. You should also know what material your door is made of; wood, metal, and fiberglass are most common. It is best to use a sharp, new drill bit so you will not damage the door or injure yourself.

3. Determine the position of the peephole. It should be in the center of your door and about five feet from the ground. Keep in mind peepholes have 180 degree viewing lenses, which means they allow you to see just about everything within a 180-degree radius, and within a few feet of your door. Place a pencil mark at the location of the peephole on the door.

4. Depending on the size of the hole you need to drill you should drill a pilot hole first with a 1/4-inch drill bit.

Confirm the size of drill you will need to drill the hole. Keep in mind that the hole for the peephole will only be the diameter o the sleeve, not the outer ring. Keeping the drill bit parallel to the floor, drill the hole through the door. Be careful when drilling through wood or fiberglass doors as the drill bit could damage the opposite side when exiting the surface. You may want to hold a piece of scrap wood tight to the surface of the door on the other side. Note: Keep hands and fingers away from where the drill bit will exit.

Clean out any sawdust from the hole. If the door is metal, you might want to remove any burrs from around the edge of the hole with a small round file.

5.  Insert one half of the peephole into the hole. The lens piece typically has threads on the outside and has the large lens that will face the outside. Make sure that you have the lens on the outside surface of the door.

6. Insert the viewing scope and thread it from the inside of your door until it is tight against the inside surface of the door and the peephole does not move around.

New Product

Instead of the standard peephole, you can install an electronic peephole that basically uses a peephole lens that is connected to a small LCD screen that is powered by AA batteries. Some units can be purchased at some home centers, electronics stores, or online for under $100.



Be sure to wear safety goggles when drilling the hole.

Make sure you have the door open when drilling the hole so no one accidentally uses the door while you are working on it.

Installing a peephole in your door will void the manufacturer’s warranty.


Roberta Baxter
Posted on Nov 2, 2011
Francina Marie Parks
Posted on Nov 2, 2011