How to Change Your Door Lock

An image of a new door lock that has been installed

Keep Your Home Secure

Security is an important feature when you own a home, and one of the best ways you can ensure intruders don’t get into your abode is to have a robust door lock. There may be a number of occasions when you might want to consider changing your door lock, to improve your security, and in most cases it’s pretty simple enough to do it yourself. Here’s all you need to know.

Why change your door lock?

It’s always a good idea to change the lock of a door when you move house, because you just don’t know how many of the previous owners have still got a key. For added security, changing the locks will ensure that only you have a key to your property.

If your house is broken into, it’s also a good idea to get the locks changed. You may want to consider choosing a more secure lock or adding bolts, as well. Similarly, if you lose your keys, then it’s worth changing the locks for peace of mind, in case they somehow fall into the wrong hands.

You should also change the lock on your door if any part of the mechanism doesn’t function very well or is broken, because eventually it might give way altogether at the most inconvenient of times.

When deciding to change your lock, it’s recommended that you don’t go for the cheapest lock on the market. Making sure your home is secure is more important than taking any risks that could leave your home vulnerable to being broken into.

How to go about it

Your first reaction to changing your door lock might be to call out a locksmith. Whilst a locksmith will happily do this for you, their services won’t come cheap. In fact, in most cases, it’s pretty straightforward enough to tackle the job yourself, even if you’re not a seasoned DIY pro.

Firstly, you’ll need to have a look at the make of lock that you’ve already got. The easiest way to change a lock is to buy the same brand again (provided it’s of good quality), so that you won’t need to make any alterations to the door. There are different types of locks, such as five-lever mortice deadlock, rim automatic deadlatch, cylinders or even digital locks.

Go to your nearest hardware store and buy a new door lock set. Fitting a new lock won’t take that long, and you’ll only need a screwdriver or drill to assist you.

You’ll need to remove the old lock by unscrewing the door handle on the inside of the door. When you remove the screws, both handles should come loose. Then, remove the latch at the side edge of the door using your screwdriver.

Insert the new latch piece into the hole in the side edge of the door. The tapered side should face the outside of the door. Adjust the latch so that the part that attaches to the door handles is in the centre of the hole on either side of the door. Fit the new door handles on the door, making sure to place the handle with the screw holes on the inside of the door. The long nails that come with the set are used to attach the door handles to the door, and the short nails to secure the latch piece onto the door. Make sure to tighten the screws so that all parts are flush against the door. The other two short nails are used for attaching the new strike plate to the frame of the door.

Test the door after you’ve fitted the new lock to make sure it opens and closes with no problems. Make sure the latch meets the catch in the plate, and that the door handle feels secure.

Justine Simpson writes for Vibrant Doors UK – a leading supplier of high quality internal and external doors. With her love of all things DIY and home décor she has also recently created a list of the Top 70 home improvement apps.

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