Installing a deadbolt door lock
is often viewed as a difficult task. Many homeowners decide to use a carpenter or locksmith to attach the new electronic door lock that they just bought. While there is nothing wrong with this, in actuality the average Joe can do this job himself. Handiwork is very easy, and with a little bit of knowledge, a small set of common tools, and a little bit of time, you can install a deadbolt yourself.
The first thing you want to do is take a look at your door. Is there a preexisting hole? If not, no problem. Most deadbolt door locks come with a template that shows you where to drill and screw. Start by figuring out where you want the lock to go. Keep in mind, some digital door locks have handles that are a little bit below the lock itself; if so figure out where you want the handle, and line the lock hole up accordingly. When attaching the template to the door, use a combo square if you can, to ensure proper alignment. Also use tape that won't tear paint off a door.
After you have chosen the location and taped the template to the door, it is time to start drilling the hole for the locking mechanism. You will need a hole saw, which is a large drill bit with saw teeth on the edge of a cylinder, that attaches to pretty much every common drill. Use a hole saw that matches the size of the hole on the template. Start drilling slowly, applying even and firm pressure to prevent it from moving. After you have drilled through to the other side, it is time to drill the hole for the bolt. Using a spade bit, drill the hole for the bolt where the template shows. It should line up with the hole you drilled for the mechanism. Check you template, as some locks require a bolt hole to be extended on the far side of the mechanism hole. One important tip when drilling: always stop when the pilot bit comes out the other side of the door, then pull the drill out and finish drilling from the other side; this will prevent the drill from cracking the wood. After drilling the holes, look on the template for the screw-holes, and drill pilot holes in each spot with a twist bit that is smaller then the screws themselves.
Now that the holes are drilled on the door, it is time to install the latch plate. Line the bolt hole up with the latch plate, trace the edge onto the door with a pencil or utility knife. Chisel out this area so that the latch plate sits flush on the door. Start by using light taps of the hammer onto the chisel handle, to ensure you don't go too deep. Now attach the latch plate onto the door by screwing it into the holes you already should have drilled pilots for. Note, you will have to insert the bolt before you screw in the latch plate.
The next step is to install the strike plate. The strike plate usually has 3 pieces, a strike frame reinforcer, a box for the bolt, and the strike plate itself. Lining up the bolt correctly with the hole you need to drill for the strike plate is very important. After you have done this, mark with a pencil where the screws will go for the reinforcer plate. Next, mark where the screws will go for the strike plate; the screws for the strike plate usually also screw into the bolt box. Now, using a spade drill bit large enough for the bolt box, drill a hole deep enough to ensure it goes in, with about a 1/4 inch extra. The next step is to trace the outline of the reinforcer or strike plate, and chisel a hole onto the frame to insert the 3 pieces, ensuring that they fit flush. After this, screw in the reinforcer plate, then screw in the bolt box and the strike plate.
Now it is time to attach the lock mechanism itself. This part is rather simple. Many electronic door locks have wires to connect the front of the lock to the back. Feed the wires from the front through the hole, and connect. Attach the axle that activates the bolt. Now, holding the front piece up, attach the rear piece, and screw them both together, making sure the screws are in tight. This should be it.
One final thing to do, is to check the door over. Make sure the bolt on the door lines up with the frame. Make sure the lock works before while the door is open; the last thing you want is to lock the door while it is shut, and then find out it doesn't unlock. When everything is good and works properly, it is time to start enjoying your new electronic door lock.
Hole saw drill bit
Spade drill bit
Twist drill bit
Screwdriver (most locks use phillips-head)
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