Suggestions for how to deal with Dad deadbolting the screendoor?

One of my Dad’s annoying and automically habits is Deadbolting the screen door. It gotten to the point if Mom and I go out we have to put a note on the door otherwise Dad would deadbolt it.

What are some other ways of dealing with this behaviour? The only working cellphone we had is no longer working. I think mom wants to go to the same Mall I want to hang out with friends -pretty soon- and when we’re there, it also might mean we could get a new phone for her or have employees at the mall deal with the not-working phone. And we had no door bell since 2004.

Trying to talk to him about it isn’t going to work… I mean once he tried to claim the wind “deadbolted” the door. Um considering where the deadbolt is on the screen door its not really possible I don’t think for the March wind to do deadbolt a screen door. One time Dad even deadbolted out one of Moms “bakery pick-ups” despite knowing about the pick-up. Or it might work once, but it would just sieve out of Dad’s head like water from a sieve.

Mom’s solution is if we were to get another doorbell it should be on the main door which is a bit pointless and not very helpful to her or I if Dad deadbolts the screen door if the doorbell is where we can’t accesses it?

Does he ever get trapped outside?

I think the only two times he got trapped outside. I’m not sure how he got trapped outside. But I do remember it was back when my first desktop computer was downstairs in the dinning room- but he was banging something on the door(not sure what) and I had come up into the library and do some kind of cirius manuvenr to be able to open the one window on the other side.

And he sort of got stuck outside last fall. We have to locks on the door the one is the deadbolt, but the other is not a deadbolt but has a key from March 2020 to Fall we had no deadbolt on the door. Mom and I came home a day in Sept after going to the library- and we couldn’t get in. And maybe an hour after Mom and I returned home, we heard banging at the door, but since Dad is always really noisy- outside, we (Mom and I) just assumed he was working on something outside, so just ignored it, we didn’t realize until later Dad had been stuck outside with the same “stuck” screen door that Mom and I had earlier. So the following week, Dad put the Deadbolt back on (much to mom and my annoyance).

At points when Dad’s out on his own, either in the front yard OR out to an small errand. I had the temptation, to deadbolt Dad out. Just to see how HE likes it. I haven’t actually done it. It just Mom and I at least have the sense to actually LOOK to see if people’s shoes and coats/ are around.

Does the deadbolt have keys to unlock it from the outside? If not, swap it with one that does, and take your house keys with you when you go out, and then it doesn’t matter whether he realizes you’re there or not.

1 Like

That’s the problem. The Deadbolt is an interior deadbolt which means it doesn’t have an “outside” part. Which means it has no key for it. And I don’t think he would be too happy with either me or Mom replacing the current deadbolt with another deadbolt which had an “outside” part and we would need three set of keys for it- one for Dad, and the other two for Mom and I.

Remove the deadbolt and take it with you. Between you and your mother I am sure that you can use a screwdriver.


It’s possible to get locks set up so the same key works on both/all of them, though I think that would usually involve a locksmith rather than just buying a single new lock at the hardware store.

Taking keys when leaving the house makes sense regardless. Otherwise, what if you and your mother were out and then your father had to leave – should he be leaving the entire house unlocked because you weren’t there when he left?

As you’ve noted, your father won’t always notice when you or your mom are out, or will sometimes lock the door on autopilot without even realizing it, and so this will keep happening as long as the lock situation remains unchanged. But this is another instance where having an adult conversation with someone could be useful. If you don’t feel able to talk with your father about it, ask your mom to. Something like this: “The current solution for the screen door isn’t working; it’s stopping family who’ve tried to enter a lot more often than it’s stopped any threats who’ve tried to enter. Let’s figure out a solution where we can all feel protected without having family sometimes get locked out.” Then listen to what he says, acknowledge and respond, make rational replies that take his concerns into consideration, and come to a mutual conclusion that seems better all around, which may be a compromise and may include spending a bit of money on a different locking solution or carrying keys when leaving the house.

1 Like

If it were up to me (and it’s not!) I would have a locksmith out there in a flash. Replace the old deadbolt with one that uses a key, and get all the locks to work with the same key.

However, that takes time and money and you need to get buy-in. For now, find some rubber bands that will stick on the part of the deadbolt that your dad has to touch to lock it. Whenever you leave, wrap a rubber band around that part of the latch. Your dad will touch the deadbolt, feel the rubber band, remember “OH! They said that means I shouldn’t lock it!”, and leave the deadbolt open (hopefully… most of the time…). When you get home, make sure to remove the rubber band, or your Dad will start to remove it for you and then you will end up right where you started.

1 Like

I take a key for the Inner door which does have a key for it. But the problem here is that there is no “outside” part for the screen door since its an interior deadbolt without an “outside” part. The other part of the screen door does have a lock and a key for it but the screen door is REALLY old. And Dad wants to be able to “lock the door” because he doesn’t like the wind banging the door a lot because we can’t use the other part of the door lock anymore since he but an elastic around it.

Mom and I been leaving notes and so far we had no problems. The only time we had a problem was when I left a note on the Inner door and Dad locked the Screen door the Nov 2020 when I got lunch from Wendy’s

Well, it’s good to know your solution is working, even if it is extra hassle.

Ah. The way you were complaining about it and started a new topic about it, I thought this was an ongoing issue rather than a one-off from a couple of years ago. I’m glad your solution to not getting locked out is working.

Nope it been an ungoing issue. Back when I did Sears Caltogues delivery due to Mom’s ankle being sprained in 2007 I had to start delivering the catalogues on my own (even though my neck got sure) until I got “laid off” in 2010 (?). But in winter of one year I was out doing that and I got deadbolted out by Dad. I can’t remember how I got in though. And it happened a couple of times in the winter when I was out on Mondays nights bowling. If I’m in the house and Mom’s out at night , I always check the screen door when I pass by the front hall- to make sure it’s not deadbolted shut



Assuming that the door lock which doesn’t work wasn’t stopped deliberately, you should fix it. My concept of a “screen door”, you can cut through with scissors, which isn’t your best solution but it does say that it doesn’t give any real security.

On a door that opens into the house, you use a wedge to close it, but not on the floor but between the door and the frame: so if you push the door firmly, then the door will open.

If the door opens out - you could fit a bolt on the outside of the door, do it can be unlocked from outside. By anyone. And not unlocked from inside - so that’s tricky.

If the bolt isn’t meant to be a secure lock, just to keep the door closed until you want to open it, then a bolt can be fitted that you can open on either side of the door.
Which is just like a lock, I suppose.

1 Like

On our screen door which is the one of two doors we have an indoor which has only one lock. The screen aka also known as storm door has two locks. Only one of them has a key for it and an outside part FOR the said key. The other part is literally is a singular inside deadbolt which doesn’t have an “outside” part for a key.

the screen door is REALLY old, I don’t even know how old it is, that in Sept 2020, the lock of the door which DOES have an outside part and a key was getting so old, that it got jammed with both Mom and I and then Dad on the same day in sept stuck outside until someone is able to let us/him inside.

The lock with a key wasn’t stopped intentionally it just the screen door is really old that the lock or something got worn done. Even mom’s key didn’t work on it that day. The Deadbolt on the other hand doesn’t have an outside part FOR a key.

And Dad tried to keep the door unlock for awhile after that (and he had already taken the deadbolt lock off by then but he got annoyed by the screendoor always slamming in the wind. So he put an elastic on the door and then reinstalled the deadbolt.

these two screen doors are similar to the screen doors on my parents’ house. Not quite, but close enough as I can get. With my parents’ screen door-the door handle(?) has a place for a key which until Sept 2020 still worked. Now the other lock the interior deadbolt lock on the same door is about 2-3 inches above the screen door “key” lock but this lock unlick the “door handle lock” it doesn’t have an outside part for the key so there IS no key for it since such a thing doesn’t exist because it would be pointless because there IS no place to put a key for a deadbolt lock if there is no place to put it?

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.