How To Change A Door Lock

There’s a lot to get done after you move into a new home. Between all of the unpacking, setting up your bills, and redirecting your post, you may completely forget about changing your locks. But changing the locks (also known as rekeying the locks) is an essential step to getting settled in. It allows you to take back control over who else has a key to your inner sanctum and keeps your family and belongings safe. A professional locksmith can cost a pretty penny so learning how to change your locks can save you some money while still making your home more secure.

Thankfully, door lock replacement can be done fairly quickly and isn’t as difficult as you may think. Anyone with basic DIY skills can change locks on a house with only a few easy-to-find tools and items. So with that in mind, read on for everything you need to know about door lock replacement.

Changing a Front Door Lock

It’s best to prioritise rekeying the front door of your home first. If the previous owner of the home shared keys with other people, the front door is the one they most likely gave access to. From there, change the locks on other exterior facing doors such as the back or side door and any other doors which give direct access to the house. Before you begin to change locks on your house, make sure you have all of your tools and components gathered together and ready to go.

Step one: Remove the old deadbolt lock and hardware by locating and removing the screws on the inside side of the lock. While you do that, remove the turn plate as well. You should now have a hold you can see through to the outside. Open the door so you can see the narrower side of the lock (the part that clicks closed) and remove the screws there as well. Once you’ve done this, you can remove the rest of the deadbolt hardware from the door.

Step two: Time to insert your new deadbolt. Take your new deadbolt and slide it into where the old one was. Most deadbolts will say “up” on one side to help you figure out which direction to fit it in. Use the mounting hardware in your assembly kit to secure the deadbolt in place.

Step three: Install your new lock. The deadbolt will have slots cut in where you can fit both the locking and the turning parts of your new lock. This should make it easy to see where they need to go so assemble them and secure it all in place with the screws.

Step four: Test! Always make sure to test your new lock after changing it instead of just assuming that it works – otherwise you may find yourself a bit stuck (in or out). Make sure that the mechanism locks and unlocks with the key as it should, and also make sure that it locks and unlocks with the turner on the inside of the door as well.

Patio Door Lock Replacement

Changing the lock on a uPVC patio door is a really quick job that should only take a few minutes. These doors commonly have a cylinder or barrel lock which opens with a handle. Make sure you have the key to the old lock to hand as well as your new lock and a screwdriver before you begin. 

Step one: Make sure the door is propped open and won’t swing closed on you suddenly. Unscrew the handles by finding and loosening the screws on the interior side of the handle plate – if you can’t see them, they’re probably capped for aesthetic purposes. Once you’ve unscrewed the screws, both the inner and outer handles should come off and you’ll be left with the barrel protruding slightly on each side of the door. 

Step two: On the edge of the door, locate the screw holding the barrel into place. It can usually be found underneath the lock mechanism and is often a different colour to the rest. Unscrew it and remove it. 

Step three: To remove the barrel, you will need to insert the correct key and twist it slightly to the right. The lock cylinder should slide right out of the door. 

Step four: Insert the right key into your new lock and replace it into the hole left behind by the old lock. You may find you need to twist the keys a few times to ensure a good fit – you want to make sure the keys can turn without any resistance. Then, using the supplied screws, screw the barrel into place the same way the old lock was. Make sure you test the lock a couple of times before closing the door! 

Step five: Replace the handles by sliding the spindle back through the door and attaching the handles together. Make sure everything is screwed in tightly and that the handles work well before closing the door and you’re good to go! 

When To Call A Locksmith

Figuring out how to change locks on a new home isn’t that difficult but there are some times where you’ll probably want to call in a professional locksmith instead of attempting it on your own.

If your house is quite old, it can be difficult to find suitable replacements for vintage locks, it may be best to bring in a locksmith who has access to replacement or replica locks. Additionally, if you’ve moved into an old house with a non-standard deadbolt, bring in a pro who has familiarity with rekeying older locks.

If you want a master key system it might be best to bring in the professionals. A master key system is one where the entire lock system in your home can be opened with just one key. While you can do this on your own, a locksmith will already be trained in installing these types of complex lock systems.

There are some DIY projects that are fine to take on as a super beginner to DIY such as painting and grouting. But if you’re not confident with your skills, call in the professionals – the security of your family and possessions is of the utmost importance, after all.

We hope this blog post has helped to shed some light on how easy changing the locks in your home can be. If you’ve decided to take on the task of changing your locks yourself, you can count on Leaders doors for a huge range of sash locks and deadlocks to get the job done. All you need is a set of screwdrivers, some determination, and a little bit of knowhow.

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