DIY: How to Change a Lockset

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I am not very good at DIY projects, probably because I have never had to depend on my self to do them. I have always had a husband in my life to do those sorts of things, but now things have changed. There is no longer a dividing line between men’s projects and those of women. I am quite proud of myself though, I have completed my first DIY project which was that I changed the lock in my front door.

Actually it was fairly easy to change the lock. The purpose of this article is to share my experience with other people who have never attempted a DIY project as simple as changing a lock. The first thing you want to do before you take out the old lock is to check and see what kind of lock is in your door. You don’t want to have one kind of lock and then purchase another kind because the lock may not fit exactly right and you would need to make some modifications to the door just to make the lock fit.

Check the lock in your look on the edge of your door on the metal plate. (Mine is a Kwikset.) Once you know the brand of lock to install go to the hardware store and pick up the same kind of lock. Some folks might want to order their lock online as they check this site shows you the best budget impact driver that you can use to make the process of changing your lockset more convenient for yourself. (Since I am an amateur I would not chance to order something online and it not be what I need.) Another reason that you should always purchase a similar lock is that you need to buy a lock with a similar backset. Because the backset of locks of the same brand name can vary up to a half-inch in the length, most locksets are adjustable, so there should not be a problem. They cannot be too short or too long. They have to line up with each other in order for the lockset to work.

Assuming that you have purchased your lock you will need to remove the old lock before you can install the new one. Take the screws out of the lock. You should be able to pull the front and back door knobs away from the door. Be sure not to let the door close at this point, because you won’t be able to open the door unless you were to use a screwdriver, or put the doorknobs back on to open the door.

Now it is time to remove the screws from the inside edge of the door and remove the lock. Then put the new lock-in. If you have trouble getting the screws to tighten in the door, either get longer screws or insert a couple of pieces of a toothpick into the hole before tightening the screws. This is done so that the screws have something to bite into. When installing a lock, it goes in just like it came out. You just follow the steps you took in reverse. You should have easy to follow instructions that come with your new lockset.

A word about deadbolts

If you are inserting a deadbolt lock that unlocks with a key on both sides, it is imperative that you keep the original key close by the lock or even in the lock for emergency exit purposes. It would be a bad thing to have a fire and not know where to find the key! I stress to keep the key that came with the lockset nearby because so many times a copy won’t work as well in the lock. If you ever need to get out in a hurry, you don’t want to be panicking with a lock that won’t turn the tumblers to open the lock.

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Carlo

About Post Author

Carlo

Carlo Ybarra is an entrepreneur, writer and photographer. He has been working for Pad Mare Sort Bali for 5 years and counting as the senior content editor.
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