How to Change Door Locks: A Step-by-Step Guide

 How to Change Door Locks: A Step-by-Step Guide

Homeowners who need either to replace a lock completely or remove it to make a much-needed repair, very often struggle to change the locks. Changing the door locks alone is easier said than done because unless you have the right tools, expertise, patience, and some skills, you could end up damaging the knob, and cylinder, and even fail to remove mortise locks. Whether you are in a need to change your door locks because you are moving to a new place, because you have to part with a previous roommate, or you merely wish to upscale the security of your home, there are a few ways you can effectively change your door lock. No matter how simple it may sound, changing your door locks is no plain sailing, and here is a thorough guide that will help you out.

Gather the right tools

First things first, before you get down to business, you need to get all the necessary tools for changing door locks. To replace or change a door knob you need the tools that will help you essentially change knob door locks that are built in. The most vital tools needed to remove your knob door lock are a small nail or wire, a hammer, a Phillips-head screwdriver or a specific flat-head screwdriver, a level tape, a drill, and a tape measurer to make sure everything is even.

Measure the thickness of your door

The next step includes diligence and precision. Before you even start replacing or installing a door lock you have to measure the thickness of the door to get the right components. Most doors have a deadbolt that has a specific backset. It’s important to know that the backset represents the distance of the center of the hole from the edge of the door and that is what you need to measure. Measure the thickness of the door and backset with care. Standard backsets are around 2 3/8 inches but you can never be precisely sure about those measures, and unless you match up your door’s backset with the lock you are about to replace, the lock won’t fit and you’ll have a problem. Luckily, if you encounter a such problem you always call a professional mobile locksmith who can quickly come and save all your problems with measurement and replace your door lock in a blink of an eye.

Remove the existing door lock

Following the measurement, you need to remove the existing lock. The easiest way to do this is to remove the screws on the interior side of the lock and then slowly slide off both sides out of the door. Make sure that you carefully remove the two screws that are holding the faceplate to the sides or edges of the door, and then pull out the plate and the dead bold from the door. Use a screwdriver or a wire to pry it away and unscrew the face plate if it doesn’t work. Handles should come off easily when you remove the two screws, but this can depend on the size of the door handle.

New lock hardware mechanism installation

Here comes the tricky part. In order to install the new lock mechanism you need to first take it out and check how the spring-loaded tab looks and take a careful look at a flat side and a slanted side. The easiest way to change door locks and install the new lock mechanism is to first put new deadbolt and face plate by screwing it back slowly. Use a pencil to mark the holes where the new lock would go. Then, try to slide the new mechanism back into the thickest part but ensure that the tab faces the direction the door moves when you open it. The slanted side will push the tab in until the door is shut. After that, find the two coarse-threaded wood screws and secure them into the two holes of the new lock mechanism.

Securing and testing

The easiest way to see whether you did a good job of changing door locks is to see whether the lock is adequately aligned after installation. Nothing should jamb the hole in the plate or door frame. Screw the new locks nicely and test them to see whether the latch is functioning the way it should. Do this by inserting the key, and gently turning it clockwise. The new door locks must lock and unlock easily with little resistance at the beginning.

Clean things up, put the tools back, and voila. Hopefully, this step-by-step guide will save you the troubles when changing door locks, but if you feel unease, it’s okay to call the pros.

Paul Petersen