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How to Install a Door Lock and Handle

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

✓ Verified & Tested Information

Have you ever wondered how to install a door lock and handle? Well, wonder no more! This blog post will show you how to do just that.


Installing a door lock and handle can be a fairly involved process, and it’s important to be prepared before getting started. Properly measuring and preparing the door is essential for ensuring that the door lock fits properly. You’ll also need to consider the type of door handle you’ll be using and the materials you’ll need for installation. Let’s look at the important steps to take before you begin the installation process.

Gather necessary tools and supplies

Before you begin the project, make sure that you have a solid surface and all of the necessary tools and supplies on hand. To install a door lock and handle, you’ll need the following items: Phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver, drill, bit(s) that match your screws, jigsaw (if necessary – may be unnecessary depending on how the sizing of your door or doorway), measuring tape, leveler or plumb bob string (optional), power driver (optional). Depending on the type of lock hardware and manufacturer’s guidelines, you may need other supplies as well. It’s important to read all instructions thoroughly. Additionally make sure to check which type of mounting holes your door frame has as this will determine which screws and drill bits you should use. You can usually find this information online or inside the packaging for the lock hardware or set even before it is purchased. Once you have everything gathered up properly for installtion, you can begin to assemble the components for the new lock setup.

Measure the door

Before you begin installation, you will need to measure your door. In order to get an exact fit, the most important measurement is the center of your door’s backset. The backset is the distance from the edge of the door to the cylinder hole in your knob or handle. This measurement will determine where you need to drill holes for Bolts and Screws.

Door locksets today are made with either a 2 3/8″ or a 2 3/4″ backsets – you will need to find out which size backset matches your door so that your new lock fits properly. It is also important to measure for any latch plates, screws and bolts included with your kit – these should match up with any existing screws on your current lockset and must be taken into account when replacing the lock.

Removing the Old Lock

Before you can install a new door lock and handle, you’ll need to remove the old one. This is a simple job but it can be tedious and time consuming. You’ll need a few basic tools such as a screwdriver and a drill. You’ll also need to be careful to make sure that you don’t damage any of the surrounding door or wall materials. This section will cover how to remove your old door lock and handle.

Unscrew the doorknob

Removing the old lock is probably the most challenging part of the process, particularly if you can’t find a key. Before you start, make sure you have a screwdriver that fits the screws and an extra set of keys in case there’s no key with the existing lock. To start, unscrew the doorknob from both sides of the door using your screwdriver. Depending on what type of doorknob you have, this could be done with either a Phillips or flathead screwdriver. On some doors, you may need to use an Allen wrench on an inner sleeve beneath the knob or by slightly loosening screws hidden in small holes on either side. Once all of the necessary screws are removed, carefully pull apart both sides of your door knob and handle assembly outward to reveal two separate pieces: one attached to each side of your door – each containing their own separate interior locking mechanisms. Once these components have been detached from one another, pull off one side of your door handle off its base (with caution) for removal and set aside for disposal or reuse depending on preference.

Remove the latch plate

Installing a door lock and handle is not a difficult task, but it does require some patience and accuracy. Before you get started, be sure to check the door dimension, compaction, material and type of latch your new hardware will require. Once you have all the necessary materials assembled, follow these steps to remove the old lock and replace it with a new one:

1. First remove the screws on the edge of the door that secure the latch plate. Be sure to use a screwdriver that matches your screws and unscrew them completely; do not leave any of them protruding as this could damage your new hardware when you go to install it.
2. Once all of the screws have been removed, gently slide out the latch plate from inside of the door by pushing or pulling on either side of it using both hands. Depending on how deep into your doorjamb you need to reach for the latch plate, either a standard or extended screwdriver may be required.

Remove the old lock

Before installing a new door lock and handle, it is important to remove the old one. The process will depend on what kind of old lock you are replacing. If you are replacing a standard doorknob with latch, the entire door knob can be unscrewed from the inside of the door. You may need to use either an Allen wrench or a flat head screwdriver to loosen or remove any screws that are holding it in place. Carefully pull out the lock assembly from the outside and unscrew it as well.

For mortise locks often found in older homes, removal is more complicated and may require specialized tools like chisels and hammers to remove old hardware pieces that are embedded in wood around the door knob opening. Using a utility knife, carefully cut away any caulking that is sealing around the edge of your current lock before attempting removal. To make sure you don’t slip and damage new lumber while removing your current lock, use foam weather stripping as padding between your hammer or chisel and your newly installed lumber pieces if needed. Once removed be sure to label all parts so installation of a new lock is simple and hassle-free!

Installing the New Lock

Once you have purchased your new door lock and handle, it’s time to begin the installation process. Before you start, make sure the door is properly aligned and that the frame is securely in place. Also, make sure you have all the tools you need, such as a drill and screwdriver. Now it’s time to start the installation process.

Install the latch plate

Before installing a new door lock, it’s important to make sure the door frame and the lock are compatible. It’s also wise to check local building codes in case you need to install locks that meet certain safety standards.

Once you have a compatible lock and door handle, you can begin the installation process. The first step is to install the latch plate on the edge of the door frame where your new latch will sit when the door is closed. Make sure that you measure carefully, because if the plate is placed even slightly off-center, your new lock won’t fit correctly. Secure it into place with framing nails or screws, depending on what type of material your door frame is made out of. Next, insert the latch into the newly installed latch plate and secure it with its mounting screws.

Install the new lock

After deciding on the style and size of your new lock, it’s time to install it. To begin, disconnect the door handle from the door latch. With your drill, remove both screws that are holding the door handle onto the door. In some cases, there may be an additional set of screws on either side of the handle that need to be removed. Depending on your type of trim plate and model of lock, there may be additional hardware that needs to be removed as well.

Now you’re ready to mount your new lock and handle. Place the new lock cylinder in its mounting hole and make sure it is aligned correctly before you begin installing its hardware. Start by tightening in place all of the screws for mounting your trim plate onto the interior and exterior sides of the door frame using a screwdriver or an Allen wrench (if applicable). With some locksets, you may need to adjust or adjuster screws first before fully tightening in place all of their hardware components.

Position your new latch into its corresponding opening and attach it with proper screws as indicated by manufacturer instructions. After inserting them through their holes in both doors, secure them with flat-head screws on both sides. Once fastened properly together with a few turns each screw until they fit snugly together. Then go ahead add one more turn so that they are securely tightened in place together with a flat-head screwdriver or an Allen wrench (if applicable). Lastly check whether everything lines up properly before moving on to install your handle set(s).

Install the doorknob

The process of installing a new doorknob and lock handle may vary slightly by model, so it is best to consult your product’s instructions before beginning. Generally, however, most door locks and handles will require the following steps:

1. Begin by removing all screws that hold the old doorknob in place, including any visible screws on the latch and edge of the door. Ensure all pieces are removed from both sides of the door.
2. Align the new door knob with the bored holes in the edge of the door. Secure with screws included with your new knob set.
3. Place latch plate over hole in edge of door where hole was bored earlier and secure with small wood screws to ensure a snug fit.
4. Test operation before completely tightening screws – adjust screw locations as needed until desired function is achieved
5. Tighten all mounting screws securely
6. Check again for proper operation

Finishing Touches

After installing the door lock and handle, there are a few minor details that need to be taken care of before the installation is complete. These finishing touches include checking the lock and handle alignment, making sure the screws are properly tightened and making sure the door knob is secure. Let’s take a look at these steps in more detail.

Test the lock

Once the door lock and handle have been properly installed, testing the mechanism is essential to ensure that it is functioning properly. It is important to check that the handle turns smoothly, and that when locked the latch will securely hold the door shut. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when testing your door lock and handle:

-Check that latches retract properly when turned by handle. If not, examine if installation was conducted properly or if any adjustments are necessary.
-Make sure handles move smoothly without sticking or jamming. A snug fit should still be able to turn without feeling excessive resistance.
-Ensure lockset pins fit together in receiver holes. This should happen automatically with a quality product but occasionally you may need to make minor adjustments as well.
-Confirm latch engages striker plate on frame jamb and secures frame firmly in place when locked in final position of turnpiece.
-Check several times to ensure safety and security by trying door handles from both inside and outside after installation is complete -making sure lockset operates without fail each time you use it..

Replace the strike plate

Replace the strike plate, which is the metal piece that attaches to the door frame, along with screws and a drill bit. This will provide additional stability when the door is locked, so it’s an essential part of a good home security setup.

Start by determining the correct size of strike plate for your particular model of door lock – there are three commonly used sizes: 2-3/4 inch full lip, 3-1/2 inch partial lip, and 4-7/16 inch ansi (a small lip). If you are matching a faceplate and lock set you also need to ensure that they use the same number of mounting holes. Once you have determined this information, unscrew the old strike plate from the door frame and discard it. Position your new strike plate in position, making sure to line up any existing screw holes with those of your new strike plate. Secure it into place using your drill bit, screws and screwdriver or power drill. Finally seal around it with silicone sealant for an even better protection against potential water damage.

Adjust the latch plate

The latch plate, also called a strike plate, is the metal bracket attached to the door frame. It’s the part of the lock that the latch on the door fits into when it’s closed. To adjust the latch plate, you will need to remove it from the door frame and then remove screws with a Phillips screwdriver until you can get at its adjustment screws.

Move the latch plate around and make sure it fits snugly into your new handle’s latch. If not, loosen or tighten its adjustment screws to move it in or out until it does fit securely and feels comfortable when you close and open your door. Make sure to test several times so you are sure that all angles feel right before replacing it back in to place by attaching screws again with a Phillips head screwdriver.

How to Install a Door Lock and HandleCheckout this video:

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