The entrance door lock of your home acts as the initial barrier against unwanted intrusions and plays an important role in the security and tranquillity of your family.
Whether you’ve recently moved into a new home, want to upgrade your entrance door, or need to replace a worn-out lock, knowing how to change your entrance door lock is a valuable skill for any homeowner. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of changing your entrance door lock, providing you with the knowledge and confidence to enhance the security of your home. We’ve covered you, from choosing the right lock to the final installation. Let’s dive in and learn how to give your home the security it deserves.
Types of Entrance Door Locks
- Keyed Entry Locks: These entry door locks are the most traditional and common type. They require a physical key to lock and unlock the door. Keyed entry locks are available in various levels of security, from basic pin tumbler locks to high-security locks with complex keyways.
- Deadbolt Locks: Deadbolts are known for their strength and durability. They come in single-cylinder and double-cylinder varieties. Single-cylinder deadbolts use a key on one side and a thumb-turn on the other, while double-cylinder deadbolts require a key on both sides. Double-cylinder locks offer added security but can be a safety concern in emergencies if the key is not readily available.
- Smart Locks: With these entrance door locks, you can control and monitor your door locks remotely. You can lock and unlock your entry door with a smartphone app, and some models even have features like keypad entry, voice control, and integration with smart home systems.
- Mortise Locks: Mortise locks are often found in older homes and commercial buildings. They are more complex than standard cylindrical locks and provide high security. Mortise locks are typically found in a pocket, or mortise, within the door.
- Knob Locks: Knob locks are common on interior doors but are not recommended as the sole security measure for an entrance door. These locks are relatively easy to bypass or break compared to deadbolts and other more robust lock types.
- Lever Handle Locks: Lever handle locks are often used in commercial settings but can also be used in residential applications. They are easy to operate and ADA-compliant, making them suitable for people with disabilities.
- Cam Locks: Cam locks are often used in file cabinets, mailboxes, and entrance doors. They are simple, key-operated locks that can be easily installed.
- Keyless Entry Locks: These locks use keypads or touchscreen panels to allow entry with a PIN code or password, eliminating the need for physical keys. They are convenient and can be integrated with smart home systems.
- Rim Locks: Rim locks are surface-mounted and often used on gates, sheds, or older-style doors. They are not as secure as other locks but can provide basic security.
- Card Reader Locks: Common in commercial and institutional settings, card reader locks use access cards or key fobs for entry.
Steps to Change Entrance Door Locks
Here are the steps to change entrance door locks like a pro:
Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Supplies
Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary tools and supplies, typically a screwdriver, a new lockset with keys, a measuring tape, a pencil, and a chisel if needed.
Step 2: Remove the Old Lock
- Interior Knob or Lever: Start by removing the interior knob or lever. Usually, screws or mounting plates need to be removed to release the knob or lever.
- Exterior Plate and Lock Cylinder: Remove the screws holding the exterior plate in place. This will expose the lock cylinder. Remove any screws securing the cylinder and slide it out.
Step 3: Measure and Prepare
- Measure the Backset: Measure the backset, which is the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the hole for the lock. Common backset measurements are 2-3/8 inches or 2-3/4 inches.
- Mark Drill Holes: Using the new lockset as a guide, mark the positions for the new lock cylinder and latch on the edge and face of the door with a pencil.
Step 4: Drill Holes (If Necessary)
- Drill the Lock Cylinder Hole: Use the appropriate size hole saw or spade bit to drill the hole for the lock cylinder. Ensure that you drill straight and at the marked location.
- Chisel the Latch Mortise (If Necessary): If your new lock requires a mortise for the latch, use a chisel to remove the wood at the marked location carefully.
Step 5: Install the New Lock
- Insert the Lock Cylinder: Slide the lock cylinder through the hole on the door’s exterior side, ensuring it aligns with the keyhole.
- Attach the Exterior Plate: Secure the exterior plate by tightening the screws provided with the lockset.
- Install the Latch: Insert the latch assembly into the edge of the door, ensuring that the bevelled side faces the strike plate on the door jamb. Secure it in place with screws.
- Mount the Interior Knob or Lever: Attach the interior knob or lever to the spindle and secure it with screws or other provided mechanisms.
Step 6: Test the New Lock
- Test the Key: Insert the key into the lock and ensure that it operates smoothly.
- Test the Latch: Check that the latch retracts and extends properly when turning the knob or lever.
Step 7: Adjust and Fine-Tune
Make necessary adjustments to the strike plate or latch to ensure a secure and tight fit when the door is closed and locked.
Step 8: Secure and Finish
- Tighten All Screws: Go around the lock components and tighten all screws securely.
- Add Finishing Touches: If your lockset includes decorative plates or covers, attach them as needed for a polished look.
Step 9: Duplicate Keys (Optional)
Consider duplicating keys for the new lock, especially if multiple household members need access.
With these steps, you can change your entrance door lock, improving your home’s security and peace of mind.