Your lock is one of the most vulnerable spots in your home apartment. A secure and complex lock offers added protection against a break-in. If you have an old or outdated one, it may be time to change it. And it’s easier to do than you’d think.
Here’s how to change a lock.
- Miter box
- Measuring tape
- Metal file
Remove the old lock
To properly install a safety lock, you may first need to remove the door, and lay it flat on a table.
With your tools, remove the old lock, and everything around it. If you have an old cylinder lock, it is necessary to remove it from its housing: remove the screws located within the door, and turn the key slightly in order to pull the cylinder out. Then unscrew the remainder of the lock.
Draw on the door the areas where you’ll be able to drill, and where the various components will be placed. To do this, use the template usually provided when buying the new lock. Bear in mind that the handle will usually be placed 3 to 4 feet above ground.
It is recommended that these marks be done with the template on each side of the door. Seal the holes made by the old lock with wood putty, if the new ones are not at the same place.
Install the new lock
Drill the main hole while maintaining the tool with a holesaw of the same diameter, perpendicular to the door.
The height on each side of the door must be exactly the same for the lock’s proper operation.
Trace out with a pencil the outline of the strike plate and mortise. The mortise is the part of the lock that is embedded in the door itself.
Dig with a chisel a small shallow housing on which it will be attached.
Place the lock on the door, without screwing it on. Install what needs to be at this stage (oftentimes the cylinder and bolt). This varies depending on models and lock manufacturers. Carefully follow the instructions provided.
Tighten the lock.
Secure the lock
Cut the rods to length, corresponding to the dimensions of your door with a hacksaw and a miter box. Keep in mind the direction you’ll put in the rods in relation to the way the lock will be locked. Bolts should not exceed half an inch. Temporarily add the top bolt, while aligning the lock’s frame.
Insert the rods to be parallel to the edge of the door. If you have telescopic rods, slide them until they are positioned at the right length. Fix the guides and check the correct operation of the lock. Everything must work perfectly, smoothly.
Reposition the door on its hinges, and, while operating the lock, raise the specific locations where the bolts will be at ground, top and frame level.
Attach the latch at the bottom of the door, and mark the precise location on the ground where you may be digging to allow the full installation of the bottom bolt. The hole must fall exactly in line with the bolt. Depending on the nature of the ground, use a drill with bits of wood or concrete to make a hole one-inch deep. This hole should be slightly larger than the dimensions of the bolt so that it can smoothly fit into the ground.
With a chisel, hack the top of where you’ll place the lock’s frame in relation to the strike plate. Screw in the bolts in their respective holes.
Check how well the lock works while operating it in all possible positions. Nothing should rub against the door itself.