4 Steps to Installing a Deadlock

Lead Image
  • .5
  • Intermediate
  • 20-50
What You'll Need
Deadlock kit
Drill and bit
Screws (if not provided in your lock kit)

A deadlock is one of the toughest, most secure locks you can install on your door. Also known as a dead bolt, the deadlock keeps your apartment, house, office, business or classroom protected from break-ins. You can easily install a dead bolt yourself by following the four quick steps below. The job shouldn’t take much longer than 30 minutes.

Step 1 - Purchase Your Deadlock

Before you get started, go to the hardware store nearest you to select the dead bolt that’s right for your needs. The most common types of deadlocks include the single-cylinder lock, the double-cylinder lock and the vertical lock. The single-cylinder model has a drawback: You can jostle it out of place and accidentally lock the door when you slam it. For this reason, the slam-proof double-cylinder deadlock makes a better choice. The vertical lock, on the other hand, sits on top of the door and is particularly good at preventing intruders from jimmying the door open.

Step 2 - Choose Where to Install the Deadlock

mortise deadbolt

There’s no firm rule as to exactly where on the door you should install your deadlock, but you can consider a few guidelines. You need the lock to be in a location that’s easy for you to insert a key; but even more importantly, you should maximize the effect of all your locks by leaving at least six inches between the deadbolt and your regular lock. In fact, deadlocks are often installed a full 12 inches above the regular lockset. With a pen or pencil, mark the spot on the door where you’ll install the lock. Place and outline the template for the lock in that position.

Step 3 - Prepare the Door

Take your drill and drill a hole through the door to make room for the cylinder of the dead bolt. Then look at the skinny side of the door and note where the bolt will slide through. Carefully drill a hole here as well. Keep the drill level so the hole is even and straight. You may want to use safety goggles to make sure any slivers or wood chips don’t inadvertently strike you.

Step 4 - Install the Deadlock

installing a deadbolt

Position the bolt into the hole you drilled in the door and use a flathead or Phillips screwdriver to securely screw it into place. Then, working from the outside of the lock to the inside, install the cylinder component of the deadlock. Screw the parts of the lock together and test the bolt to make sure it slides effortlessly (but securely) in and out of place. Finally screw the strike plate into place over the locking mechanism.