Our homes are our castles, and we all want to protect our families and property. If a moat isn’t in your future, a deadbolt should be.
Installing a good quality deadbolt lock will give you some peace of mind and deter uninvited entry into your home – and it isn’t that difficult to do yourself. There are a lot of different options and designs available, from basic utility, decorative, and even keyless combination locks. If you’re replacing an existing lock, simply remove the old one and install the new one with the hardware provided. As always, follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Make sure you choose a lock with the same backset (distance from the center of the lock mechanism to the edge of the door) as your existing lockset.
If you are installing a deadbolt in a door where there wasn’t one before, there are a few more considerations. Whenever possible, install your deadbolt as far as possible from a window – windows can be broken, which makes unlocking the deadbolt too easy. No matter what type of door you have (metal, wood, fiberglass etc.), you’ll need to bore holes for the new lock. Inexpensive lockset boring kits are available that include hole saws for the deadbolt and cylinder, as well as a clamp on guide that makes lining up the holes in the correct position a snap. When you have located and drilled the new holes and installed the lock in the door, a dab of lipstick on the end of the deadbolt will help mark the door frame in the right place for the striker plate. Be sure to use long and sturdy wood screws to attach the striker plate – a door lock is only as strong as the frame it’s attached to, so you’ll want the screws to penetrate the doorframe and secure into the rough framing for maximum strength.
When installation is complete, clean up and test out the lock to make sure it operates properly and smoothly. I don’t recommend using your foot for this test…