How to Install a Deadbolt Lock

Install a Deadbolt Lock

Deadbolt locks are one of the most secure door locks available and not too difficult to install. Nowadays almost all deadbolts come with paper patterns that make it very easy to install the door locks.

When you open your deadbolt lock package it will include instructions and a paper pattern to locate the lock on the door jamb and door. The first thing to do is to locate the lock on the height of the door. Most people recommend you locate the lock just above the doorknob or at the middle height of the door. This is for convenience as it is located near the doorknob. It is also for strength as the lock located in the middle of the door makes a more secure connection then if it was located nearer a corner of the door. Make a mark on the door to note the lock’s height location.

Read your instructions and discover how far in from the edge of the door the lock must be located. Draw a perpendicular line from the edge of the door toward the middle of the door at the height you measured earlier. On this horizontal line mark, the distance from the edge called for in the instructions. This mark on your horizontal line will be the center of your deadbolt mechanism on the door. Many kits now include paper guides you can tape to the door at their suggested height on the door. The pattern shows you exactly where you need to drill.

Once you have this centering mark it is time to get out your drill. Here you need a hole cutter attachment for your drill for you will be drilling a hole completely through the door to hold the bolt mechanism. The diameter of the circle varies according to the particular dead bolt you purchase. Centering your hole cutter on your mark drill the hole completely through the door.

Now that this hole is drilled you need to create a space for the dead bolt to exit this mechanism through the jamb edge of the door. Again, many kits now come with paper guides that when attached to mark the door hole also come around the door’s edge and mark where the bolt access hole should be placed. If not you need to continue your horizontal line around the edge of the door making certain it is level and completely perpendicular to the line on the front of the door.

Then mark the middle of the horizontal line on the door’s edge. Following the instructions of the kit to make certain you cut the right size hole, cut a hole through the door’s edge into the hole created when you cut through the door the first time. You should now have a horizontal hole from the edge of the door into the cut through the circle. When you drill this horizontal hole make certain you keep the drill bit at a right angle to the door. You want an absolutely level horizontal channel through which the deadbolt can travel.

The next step is to place the bolt mechanism into the horizontal channel. This mechanism usually has some attachment fastener at the end that sits in the door’s hole. Now it is time to place the deadbolt mechanism pieces in the door hole. This is usually a two-part kit. The first usually is the part that fits into the hole on the inside of the door. It usually has a stem protruding from it. The stem fits through a hole/slot at the end of the deadbolt that sits in the hole.

This same stem then fits into the second part of the door mechanism that fits into the hole on the outside of the door. What’s next is tricky and may take some patience. There is at least one screw that fits into a pre-drilled hole on the mechanism on the inside of the door into a screw hole on the outer mechanism. This holds the lock securely to the door Take your time on this. It can be very detailed work. You are blindly trying to find the receptive hole for the screw. The mechanism on the outside of the door attaches to the door with a set of screws

Give it a test. The deadbolt should freely move in and out of the door’s edge.

The next step is to attach the metal cover over the hole you drilled through the door’s edge. This cover is set into the door so that it is flush with the door’s edge surface. Place the cover, centered over the hole, and draw an outline of the cover on the door edge. Then with a sharp chisel clean out a space that matches the cover’s outline and is chiseled to the depth required by the cover and the kit’s instruction. Keep working on this until the cover sits flush in the door’s side. One half of the door’s lock is now complete.

Now you work on the reception hole for the deadbolt in the door frame’s jamb. Again your set may come with a paper guide. If so, use it. It is usually easier. If there is no guide here are some tips. Take some bright red lipstick or some brightly colored wax crayon and excessively rub it on the end of the deadbolt. Close the door and open and shut the deadbolt a few times.

Open the door. On the jamb, there should be the shape of the dead bolt imprinted on the door jamb. Here is the outline and location of where you need to drill the reception hole for the deadbolt. When you drill this hole make every effort to make certain the hole is horizontally level. Hold the drill perpendicular to the jamb when you drill. This hole also requires a metal cover. Use the same process here that you used for the other metal cover.

Once the above is completed close the door and test the lock to make certain it fits snugly into the reception hole. If it does, you are done. If it doesn’t gently chisel the reception hole until the deadbolt fits.

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