How To Install A Deadbolt Lock On An Exterior Door

If you want to provide a little more security to your exterior door, there is a good amount of deadbolt locks available. You can even install one yourself if you feel so inclined. Putting in a deadbolt is not as difficult as you might think. This guide explains what's needed to install your own deadbolt and the steps necessary to complete the job.

Step 1: Choose Your Deadbolt

Picking the right deadbolt for your exterior door is not as simple as going to the home improvement store and purchasing any one available. The type of door you have determines the type of deadbolt you need.

If your door is made of solid material, such as wood, choose a deadbolt with one key for the outside of the door. If your door has any amount of glass near the lock, purchase a dual-key deadbolt lock. This is important because a single-key deadbolt on a glass door allows someone to break the glass and turn the knob on the lock to enter your home. If there are two keys, this is impossible, as long as you don't leave the key in the lock.

Step 2: Gather Other Tools

The deadbolt lock kit comes with the drill bits needed to create the holes in the door and frame. However, you'll still need a sharp chisel, hammer, screwdriver and a drill.

Step 3: Mark the Door and Drill the Holes

Find the mounting guide inside the deadbolt lock kit and place it on the door where you want the lock with tape. Place the drill bit from the kit into the drill and drill the hole just until the bit begins to pierce the other side of the door. Then drill the hole from the other side. Working in this fashion prevents small chips from flying everywhere. Remove and discard the template when you're finished.

Please the latch template on the side of the door and drill the hole using the drill bit that comes with the kit. Remove and discard the template.

Step 4: Chisel the Wood Around the Latch

Slide the latch into the hole on the side of the door and mark the spot where the latch hits the end. Chisel the wood or other material, as needed, so the latch sits even with the door edge, but don't remove so much wood that the latch wiggles in the hole. Mount the deadbolt and latch according to the directions on the package with the hardware provided.

Step 5: Chisel the Strike Plate Hole

Tape the strike plate template on the door frame and chisel a hole in the frame. Remove the template and line up the strike plate with the hole you chiseled. Screw on the strike plate with long screws.

Test the deadbolt to ensure that it locks properly and securely. If you need a bigger hole in the door frame, then simply chisel it out. Call a locksmith if you have any problems with these directions or if you're unsure of which deadbolt to purchase. For more information, check out companies such as John A. Koons, Bonded Locksmith.