Automatic Front Door Closers

I had a scare this morning. Unbeknownst to me a guest went out to his car, then came back in the house and left the front door wide open. It is in my house rules to not let the dogs out, but many guests seem to be so used to not closing their front doors that it’s automatic for them to leave mine open. I realized that the door was open when our dog barked at the mail carrier who was on our steps. Amazingly, the guest lectured me about how scary it must have been for the mail carrier. I’m counting my blessings that nothing happened, but I plan to install an automatic door closer. Has anyone installed one? Do you have brand recommendations and/or installation advise? Thanks.

Do you mean the old fashioned spring loaded closers? If so, we just installed one (replacement) that we purchased at the Home Depot. Can’t remember the brand, but we did not elect the cheapest one. Instead, we looked for one that was all metal and had some ball bearings to absorb the shock. And, make sure that it is rated for a door weight over your door’s actual weight.

If this isn’t the type of thing that you do regularly, I might suggest going to ACE Hardware since they still have people who know hardware working in their stores.

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Thanks for the info. I was envisioning something like this, but I’m open to suggestions from someone with experience.

Exactly! Again. Make sure it is rated to control the weight of your door, otherwise, you will have a damaged casing in several years. You will see that the reviews actually mention that the door “open” mechanism doesn’t work well on this unit. However, in your case, you might want to slip that disc off the lever since you never want anyone to leave your door propped open.

If you have an electric drill, this is really a DIY project. Oh, and wax the screw a bit and it will go into the wood more easily.

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Thanks very much especially for the advise about slipping the disc off the lever.

The door of my guest room has one. I think it’s Dorma, who sell in India. It was quite expensive. I think one basic consideration is that the door closer has to be correctly “sized” for the weight of your door. And a door closer is of course a no-brainer for a room with an A/C.

Personally, with something like that, with a spring and moving parts, I’d go with something high end. It’s got a better chance of lasting over time. And replacing stuff is really expensive in the US with the high labor charges.

Anyway, mine has worked flawlessly for a few months, but of course, one doesn’t know about the future.

ADDENDUM: I wouldn’t go with the Lowes one, myself. Dorma looks like a reasonable international brand. I’d go with something like that. Or a similarly rated competitor.

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