How to Install a Deadbolt Lock

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Drill and bits
  • Hole saw
  • Spade bit
  • Combination square
  • Awl
  • Screwdriver
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
Materials Required
  • Deadbolt lock
  • Masking tape

Before You Begin

Below are the steps involved in installing a deadbolt lock. Sound too time consuming and complicated? Click here to Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with prescreened local door contractors.

  • Step 1 : Place the template and mark holes

    Place the template and mark holes

    Unfold and position the paper template provided with the lock so that it fits squarely on the door. Check that it's square with the front edge of the door using a combination square to align it and then tape the template down. Mark positions of the cylinder hole and latch bolt hole by poking an awl through the marks on the template.

  • Step 2 : Drill holes

    Drill holes

    Use a hole saw to bore the hole in the side edge of the door for the cylinder.

    Bore a hole with a hole saw With a spade bit, drill the hole for the latch bolt in the door's edge.

  • Step 3 : Install the door hardware

    Install the door hardware

    Use a chisel to cut out the recess for the bolt plate in the door edge. To do this, push the latch bolt in the door and mark the outline of the bolt plate on the edge of the door with a utility knife. Remove the plate and carefully chisel away the wood that will be behind the bolt plate.

  • Step 4 : Mount the cylinder

    Mount the cylinder

    Place the latch bolt in the door and then install the cylinder on the outside of the door. The cylinder has a shaft that must be threaded through the latch bolt assembly and mated with the inside section. Most designs have two bolts that hold the two halves together.

    Screw the latch bolt in place before you tighten the bolts that hold the cylinder in place. Test the alignment of the cylinder and latch bolt by turning the door handle and checking that the lock bolt moves in and out easily before you tighten these bolts.

  • Step 5 : Install the strike plate

    Install the strike plate

    Mark the position of the latch bolt on the door jamb. Then use the drill and spade bit to bore holes in the jamb that form the cavity the bolt will slide into. Chisel the strike plate recess and install the plate.