Introduction: How to Change a Lock

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

Changing the locks is a quick, cheap and easy way to get peace of mind about your living situation. It requires little technical skill and no tools fancier than a screwdriver to replace the common deadbolt. Over the course of these instructions I will teach you how to replace a basic dead bolt lock. This is an extremely handy thing to know how to do.

While we often don't think we will need to change the locks, things do happen. Roommates are known to go crazy, lovers are known to have a change of heart, and keys are known to get stolen. By simply changing the deadbolts on all of the entryways to your home, you can ensure no one can easily unlock the door and walk in. If you are at all worried about your safety or well-being, there is no reason not to do this. After all, a new lock can be purchased for as little as $15 at your local hardware store and installed in under 10 minutes.

Step 1: Purchase a New Lock

Go to the store and purchase a new lock. You will want to find one that is keyed on only one side and has a turn assembly on the other.

The locks tend to be rated for their effectiveness, and it often does not cost remarkably more for one that offers higher security. Find the one that you are most comfortable with that is within your budget.

Most basic dead bolt kits include:

- A key lock cylinder
- A deadbolt assembly
- An interior turn assembly
- A steel strike plate (typically not necessary)
- Mounting hardware

(Note that some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This does not change the cost of the item for you. I reinvest whatever proceeds I receive into making new projects. If you would like any suggestions for alternative suppliers, please let me know.)

Step 2: Remove the Old Lock

Remove the two visible bolts in the turn assembly plate and then remove the turn plate assembly itself.

Finally, pull free the deadbolt lock assembly.

You should now be able to see through the hole in the door.

Step 3: Remove the Old Deadbolt

Look at the deadbolt plate on the side of the door and locate the two screw heads holding it in place.

Remove the two screws and then simply pull the dead bolt out of the door.

Step 4: Insert a New Deadbolt

Basically, you are going to now do everything in reverse. However, when installing the new deadbolt you need to be mindful of the orientation of the different parts.

It is very important to install the new deadbolt facing "up." Fortunately, most new deadbolts are labeled with the word "up" on the side which is supposed to be facing up. This makes life easy.

If on the off-chance it is not labeled, you can orient the deadbolt by matching the components to the picture shown above.

Once oriented, insert the deadbolt into the door facing up and use the short woodscrews to firmly fasten it in place.

Step 5: Insert a New Deadbolt Lock

Insert the bar protruding from the new deadbolt lock through the channel in the deadbolt itself. Position the lock mechanism such that the keyhole is vertically aligned.

On the opposite side, insert the bar into the channel in the back of the turn assembly plate. Orient the turn assembly plate such that its top side is at the top.

Twist the knob on the turn assembly to expose the bolt holes. Use the included bolts to fasten the key assembly and the turn assembly firmly together.

Step 6: Test the New Lock

Once the new lock is firmly fastened in place, with the door still open, test it out using both the interior turn assembly and the key lock.

Once you are sure it is working, test both with the door closed.

Assuming that they are both still working, you have changed the lock. Congratulations. Be Safe.

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