Changing a door lock

Have you just moved into a new home and want to change the locks? Or are you having difficulty unlocking or locking your front door? The reason that you’re having trouble unlocking or locking your door certainly has a lot to do with your door lock cylinder. Knowing how to install and change locks is a very useful skill to have. Almost anyone can learn how to change a door lock and fix a door lock cylinder. Read this FAQ page to learn how to do it yourself!


How to Change Door Locks

You’ll need to purchase a new door lock before you can begin. Search for one that is keyed on one side and has a turn assembly on the other. It’s recommended to buy a lock kit. Most basic lock kits include:

  • An interior turn assembly
  • A keylock cylinder
  • A steel strike plate
  • A deadbolt assembly
  • Mounting hardware

Now that you have all the necessary items, you can start the process!


Step 1: Remove the Lock

You should be able to easily remove the lock, by first removing the turn assembly plate, and then the deadbolt panel on the side of the door. Remove the turn assembly plate by taking out the screws and detach it from the door—leaving a noticeable hole. Next, locate the deadbolt panel, remove it’s two screws, and remove it from the door.


Step 2: Install a New Deadbolt

Insert the new deadbolt facing upwards—most deadbolts are labeled with the word “up” which makes this task much easier. Once the deadbolt is placed in the door properly, use short wood screws to fasten in place. 


Step 3: Insert the Deadbolt Lock

Take a look at your lock assembly, there should be a metal bar sticking out from it.  On the side that it is sticking out from, push the bar into the deadbolt itself, On the other side of the door, insert the bar into the back of the turn assembly plate and then align the top of the assembly plate with the top. Twist the knob to expose the bolt holes, and fasten the key assembly, then turn the assembly together with the included screws.


Step 4: Test Out Your New Lock

Be sure to test out your new lock. Test out the interior turn assembly and the key lock with both the door open and closed. If both work you did it!


How to Fix a Door Lock Cylinder

First of all, what is a door lock cylinder? Well, it’s the part of the door where you insert your key. If you have an issue with the door lock cylinder, you’ll definitely have problems locking and unlocking your door. If you are having an issue with the locking and unlocking mechanisms, it’s important to determine the problem. It’s possible that the door lock cylinder can be loose or damaged. If there’s little resistance when unlocking or locking your door, then your door lock cylinder is loose and can easily be fixed by tightening its screws. While if your key won’t turn in the lock or gets stuck, you have a damaged door lock cylinder. 


Fixing a Loose Door Lock Cylinder

To fix a loose door lock cylinder you’ll need to tighten the screws. Follow these two simple steps to access them.


Step 1: Remove the Lock Faceplate

Remove the lock faceplate. In some cases, it may be enough to remove the faceplate alone, however, you may need to remove further parts in the lock. 


Step 2: Take Apart the Lock and Tighten the Screws

Tighten the screws if they’re loose and if the screws are damaged, replace them with new screws. Once you are finished, put the faceplate back on.  Check that the cylinder is secure by turning your key in the lock.


Changing a Damaged Door Lock Cylinder

If the door lock cylinder is damaged take these steps to replace it.


Step 1: Remove the Original Cylinder

Unscrew the lock screws, located beneath the latch and push the old cylinder out. If you’re having difficulty removing the screws, put the key in first, and rotate it in any which way before removing the cylinder.


Step 2: Measure the Old Cylinder and Purchase a New One 

Using a tape measure, start from the center of the door lock cylinder and measure the distance to the right side and then the distance from the center to the left side. Typically the measurement of a cylinder is 30-30. Purchase a new cylinder with the same measurements. 


Step 3: Fit the New Cylinder in Place

Insert your house key into the cylinder and turn it a little in either direction to assure that the cylinder is properly aligned. Next, insert the cylinder in the lock. Test out the lock to see if it works. Screw the faceplate back in once you’re satisfied.


When to Contact a Locksmith

If you’re having issues installing or changing your locks in and around NYC, Locksmith For NYC is the best at installing door locks, fixing door lock cylinders, and much more. You don’t need to know how to change a door lock when Locksmith For NYC is a licensed locksmith professional that can alleviate your lock issues.

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