Replacing a Deadbolt

by April Reinhardt
(last updated May 17, 2017)

There are times when you need to replace an existing deadbolt. Perhaps you've moved to a new home, and the current deadbolt is a double-keyed cylinder, and you would rather have a single-keyed unit. Whatever your reasons for replacing a deadbolt, replacing one is much easier than installing one on an un-mortised door since the holes have already been drilled. All you really need to complete the project is a screwdriver. Make certain that your new deadbolt is the same size as the old one, and follow these guidelines to replace it:

  1. Unlock the bolt and open the door. Find the latch plate and the strike plate. The latch plate is on the door, and the strike plate is opposite the latch plate, on the door frame.
  2. Remove the screws that hold the latch plate in place. If they are tight, use a power drill to remove them.
  3. With the edge of the screwdriver, gently pry the latch plate from the door.
  4. Dismantle the lock assembly by removing the screws holding it together.
  5. Remove the two pieces of the assembly by pulling them apart. They might be tight, so you may need to jiggle them a bit to loosen them.
  6. Next, remove the strike plate from the facing door frame by removing the screws that hold it in place, and then pry it from the door frame with the edge of the screwdriver.
  7. Open your new deadbolt kit and read the directions to familiarize yourself with your project.
  8. Insert the new assembly into the hole of the door, and screw into place with the screws included in your kit.
  9. Now install the latch plate and secure it by tightening its screws.
  10. Before you install and tighten the facing strike plate onto the door frame, align the latch with the strike plate. An easy way to check alignment is to extend the bolt with the door open, apply lipstick to the end of the bolt, close the bolt, shut the door, and extend the bolt. Open the door and you will see the lipstick mark on the door frame where you need to place the strike plate.
  11. Place the strike plate onto the door frame where you see the lipstick mark, and tighten the screws to secure it.

Test the functionality of your new deadbolt by turning the latch several times, and then going outside and locking and unlocking it with your key.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Removing Rust Stains from Wood-burning Stoves

If you've ever used an iron skillet or pot, then you probably know that you have to safeguard the metal from rust, keep the ...

Discover More

Whimsical Garden Decor

If you are lighthearted, you may prefer using whimsical decor in your garden, rather than staunch statuary. While there are ...

Discover More

Mirrors Make a Room Look Larger

Trick your eye into thinking that a small room is large by using mirrors to enhance the lighting and decor. One of the ...

Discover More

Find the Right Tool Right Away Finally, a homeowner's set that includes all the tools needed to complete basic DIY projects at an affordable price! The tools are stored in a molded case for security and portability. Check out Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Tightening Up Loose Hinges

There are a few simple types of home maintenance that all homeowners should know how to do, and one of those is tightening up ...

Discover More

Installing a Prehung Entry Door

Whether you are looking to make your home a little more energy efficient, or you simply want a change, installing a prehung ...

Discover More

Installing a Storm Door

During the hotter months of the year, a storm door can be an invaluable asset. But what do you do when you do not currently ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)