6 Mistakes to Avoid When Installing a Deadbolt Lock

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Deadbolt locks are a simple safety item to install and can provide a world of security for your family. Though the procedure is a simple one, following a few tips can facilitate the installation process. When installing the locks it's easy to make mistakes, and even if they are minor they complicate the job, making it a more frustrating and time-consuming job than it needs to be. These tips will help you avoid common installation errors.

1. Locking Yourself Out

You will undoubtedly feel embarrassed and a bit silly if, while testing the lock, you manage to lock yourself out. On the plus side, you then know you have installed the lock correctly and you that it works as promised. Always be sure to place a key in your back pocket before beginning the installation.

2. Proper Orientation

Before finalizing any of the screws, be sure you have the mechanism oriented the correct way on the faceplate. It won't cause the lock to malfunction, but you will have a constant reminder of having made a small error.

3. Alignment

Deadbolts will only work if all three holes are precisely in line with one another. The hole on the door which holds the lock, the hole on the door's edge which allows the deadbolt to extend past the door into the jamb, and the hole in the door jamb which hold the bolt are all critical in the process of deadbolt installation. Measure precisely and with patience because the expense of purchasing a new door is worth the extra time.

4. Hole Drilling

When drilling the saw hole in the door, begin from the inside and watch carefully as the drill bit begins to show on the other side of the door. Stop drilling and switch sides to continue boring the hole. This will minimize splintering and damage to the door's appearance.

5. Do Not Change the Height

Inside the deadbolt will have instructions on how high off the ground the lock should be installed. Unless you are positive the door is of solid wood construction, do not alter this measurement. If the door is hollow, it might not have the wood block necessary for the deadbolt to be installed into. When you drill, you could be rewarded with a giant, empty hole. If it is a solid wood door, a higher distance (around 60 inches) could make the door much more resistant to being kicked in.

6. Measure From the Bevel

Doors are beveled so they will close correctly with the door jamb. It is imperative that the backset center mark for the deadbolt be measured from the non-beveled side of the door. Measuring from the beveled edge can cause the over a ¼ inch indiscrepancy and cause complete malfunction of the lock. The non-beveled edge is always the side of the door which has hinges.