Installing a Deadbolt 3 - Installation

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Sharp chisel (the width of the latch plate)
3/8 drill
Electric screwdriver (optional)
Utility knife
Hole saw (size specified by manufacturer)
Spade bit (size specified by manufacturer)
Allen wrench
Lock set

Other parts of this series: Door Security - Deadbolts - Install - Template - Drill - Spring Latch Plate - Strikeplate

Installing a deadbolt is a rather simple project and should take no more than two to three hours and require only a few special tools. The main thing is to be sure of the exact location of the holes before you start to drill. If the hole is improperly drilled, it can ruin the door. Also, be sure that you use long, 3 inch screws for the strike plate to penetrate deeply into the frame behind the jamb. Your main safety concern regards the use of your power drill. Always treat it respectfully.

Tip: Replace externally exposed hinges with non-removable hinges exposed only to the interior.

Note: The method for installing the entrance lock is practically the same as that for installing a deadbolt. The differences are that a deadbolt is installed higher in the door and the two pieces of the mechanism attach slightly differently when installed from either side of the door. Otherwise, the techniques are the same.

Choose the Proper Lock Set

Before beginning, choose your hardware, ideally a well-known brand. You can always trust their quality and reliability. This is not an area where you want to cut corners with a bargain brand.

There are several different styles and designs to choose from, If the design is a decorative feature, it is a matter of your own taste. However, you need to decide whether you want to use a double-cylinder, double-keyed lock or not. The advantage to using one is that you can lock the door on the way out and no one can open it from the outside or the inside without a key. This stops burglars from carrying things out your door.


You may want to use an entrance lock that only key locks from the outside, combined with a deadbolt that has a key lock on both sides. This allows you to lock your entrance lock when you are home and not your deadbolt. In case of a fire, you will be able to exit quickly without fumbling for the key to open the deadbolt.

Latch bolts come in varying lengths. You probably want to choose the longest available. When it is needed (and hopefully it never will be), it will be worth the extra money. Metal stripping can be installed around existing doors to help make them more secure. To create a clean, splinter-free hole, always drill from both sides of the door with your hole saw.

Other parts of this series: Door Security - Deadbolts - Install - Template - Drill - Spring Latch Plate - Strikeplate