Homeowners Guide To Install a Sturdy Deadbolt

Written by | Updated October 31, 2014

When you’re installing your own home security system and using deadbolts to increase the security of the doors, make sure you are following the correct installation procedures so that the locks are not easy to break to tamper by intruders.

Deadbolts are among the most affordable and effective security products for the home and you can help make your home even more secure by installing deadbolts with electronic keypads.

SafeWise put together this guide to help you install a standard deadbolt.

  • Mark your placement position. Measure 44 inches up from the bottom of the door or at least six inches above the center of the door handle to mark the placement position of the deadbolt.
  • Use a template. Tape the paper template on the door to use as a guide.
  • Mark areas for the lock cylinder and latch bolt. You can use a drill bit or a sharp, pointed tool to carve out the two hole positions for the lock cylinder and the latch bolt.
  • Drill the hole for the lock cylinder. Your deadbolt kit may come with a hole saw that you can attach to the head of your drill to create the perfect hole. If not, you will need to mark the circle and drill out the hole in the door carefully.
  • Drill the intersecting hole on the edge of the door. Use the small spade drill bit to drill out an intersecting hole through the edge of the door and into the main hole. Make sure this hole is perpendicular to the lock cylinder hole.
  • Place the faceplate. Position the latch bolt faceplate on the edge of the door and brush away any excess wood chips left behind from the drilling. Secure the faceplate in place using the two mounting screws.
  • Prepare the lock for installation. Use lubricant to free up all of the lock’s moving parts and prepare it for installation.
  • Place the latch bolt. Insert the latch bolt into the hole you drilled and insert the keyed portion of the lock so that it fits securely within the door.
  • Adjust the cylinder. Work on the inside of the door to adjust the cylinder and line up the screw holes with the outer part of the lock.
  • Secure the lock in place. Use the retaining screws that came with the kit to secure both sides of the lock together.
  • Prepare the doorjamb. Close the door and mark the area where the latch bolt touches when it is locked. You will need to use the strike plate as a template to carve out the area with a chisel and then create the latch bolt hole in the center.
  • Install the strike plate. Use the screws provided in the kit to install the strike plate on the carved area.
  • Test the lock. Close the door and test the lock with the set of keys provided. You can loosen the screws on the lock if needed for smooth operation.

Installing a deadbolt may be much easier than you think and can be a valuable addition to your home security system. Use these steps as a guide to install a deadbolt on any door around the home.

Written by Hillary Johnston

A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more

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