Whether you're moving into a new apartment, breaking up with a former roommate, trying to increase the safety of your property, or just looking to give your door a new look, there are a number of situations in which you might want to swap out the lock.
Even though it's not rocket science to change a lock, there are a few things you can do to make sure your new front door lock lasts for years to come and never needs to be repaired. We've mapped out a detailed process for replacing your door lock, including with a list of the supplies you'll need.
A Guide to Buying a New Lock for Your Door
Replace your old lock with one that is identical in size, shape, and other important details. A typical deadbolt lock may not work with a custom-made door. The standard thickness range for locks is between 1 3/8 and 13/4 inches; if your door is thicker or thinner than that, you may need a special lock.
In addition, deadbolts have a dimension called backset, which is the distance from the hole's center to the door's edge. The backset of your door should be the same as the backset of your replacement lock, which is often 2 3/8 inches or 2 34 inches. There are locks that can be changed to accommodate either backset.
It may be more practical to have your current lock rekeyed than to try to acquire a replacement that fits your door's specifications.
If your deadbolt lock needs replacing, here are the procedures you need to do. If you've planned ahead and bought a lock that is a direct replacement for your old one and is compatible with your door, installing it should be a breeze.
- Step 1: Remove Existing Lock
Locks can be removed by unscrewing the inner side, sliding out the interior side, and repeating the process with the external side.
- Step 2: Remove Deadbolt and Faceplate
Pull the faceplate and dead bolt out of the door and unscrew the two screws holding it there. If it doesn't fit into your spending plan, you can pull it off with a flat-head screwdriver.
- Step 3: Install New Deadbolt and Faceplate
Just drop in the new deadbolt and cover plate. You can trace around the new faceplate with a pencil if it doesn't fit in the slot for the previous faceplate. Remove the surplus material with a chisel until the replacement faceplate fits. Lock the door's faceplate in place using screws. Care should be taken not to overtighten the screw if using a drill.
To fix a screw that won't tighten because the hole is too big or the wood fibers in the screw hole have been stripped, simply insert a toothpick or a matchstick into the hole, work it all the way in, and snap it off so that it's flat with the door. After that, you can screw it down normally.
- Step 4: Install New Lock Hardware
To unlock the door from the inside, thread the keyed side of the outside lock mechanism through the deadbolt. Slide the internal mechanism into position. Check the alignment of the two parts by hand, then thread and tighten the screws.
- Step 5: Install New Strike Plates
It's time to replace the strike plate in the door jamb, so take the old one out. If the replacement does not slide into the original opening, repeat Step 3's chiseling steps.