Changing a door lock is one of those DIY jobs that most people think they’re never going to need… Until the day they’re faced with a broken lock, a screwdriver, and absolutely no idea what to do next. “How to change a door lock” is the question that brought you to this page. A lot of things could have led to this situation, but the reality is that you need to change door locks and you’re stuck. If you have never changed a lock, the first bit of news you will like to know is that it’s not a hard thing to do.
How to Change Door Locks
Keep reading this step-by-step guide to learn how to change door locks without disaster or destruction.
Why Change a Lock?
Locks need to be changed more often than people think. One of the most common reasons for needing to replace a lock is that the lock has sustained damage. In other cases, you will need to replace a lock because you would like a better, more secure lock (or smart lock), or someone else has a key for it.
There are reasons why you could want to do it yourself, versus calling a professional locksmith in to change the lock. Some people just love DIY projects and want to learn how. Other people are in a tight spot and can’t find a local locksmith on short notice, and might have to learn how.
As long as you are dealing with an old-school analog lock, this should be an easy process from here.
Can You Change a Door Lock Yourself?
Yes, a door lock isn’t a difficult thing to change. Most people just never have to change a lock, but for an experienced DIY’er, it just takes a couple of minutes.
Door locks are held together with screws, which usually have to come out of the lock (in three dimensions, as you’re looking at the side of the door). When you remove a lock, expect the inner part of the lock to drop through.
This is a little alarming, but it’s what’s supposed to happen when you’re trying to unscrew a lock.
Should You Change a Door Lock Yourself?
Unless it’s a specialized lock, there’s nothing wrong with changing out an existing lock by yourself. As a starting tip, you want to make sure that you have a few tools to make the job easier – and here is where a lot of people go completely wrong.
Get a powered screwdriver: battery-powered and small, but very necessary – especially if the screws you are removing are rusted, or were screwed in with someone who had hands of steel twenty years ago. You’d be very surprised.
If you get stuck, mess up, or aren’t sure how to remove the screws, pins, and springs, call a locksmith near you immediately.
Lock installation is easy, but not everyone feels confident enough to do it properly. If screws are not fastened tightly enough and the door lock is of inferior quality, you’re creating more trouble than you can fix.
Changing Damaged Locks: What to Do
If a lock is damaged, then it might take more work to change it out.
Bent screws or a damaged casing could mean that they’re not going to unscrew as easily as you’d thought. Sometimes, more bending has to be done just to get things to fit at the correct angle.
How do you know when it’s right? You don’t, this requires experience and adjustment.
Make sure that you fully remove the old lock before attempting to install a new one.
Installing a New Door Lock
Simple lock replacements are just that: a few screws, adjustment of the new lock – and then you screw in the new lock. However, more complex door locks do exist.
Usually, there is a diagram that comes with newer, more complex locks. However, you can usually find a simple step-by-step guide to installing the lock from the manufacturer’s website as well.
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