How To Install a New Doorknob & Deadbolt

Homes need protection. A functioning doorknob and deadbolt are two features a home needs for ample security. If your door hardware is outdated or broken, follow these easy steps about how to install a new doorknob and deadbolt the right way!

Remove the Old Hardware

You first need to carefully remove the old hardware to make room for something new!

Removing the Previous Doorknob and Deadbolt

Take a screwdriver and twist the screws on both sides of the doorknob. Typically, there is one screw on each doorknob, so you should remove two screws total in this step. Once the screws are loose, hold onto both doorknobs and remove them simultaneously.

The deadbolt removal process resembles how to extract the doorknob. There are two long screws on each side of the deadbolt. Using the screwdriver, twist the screws out of place and gently remove the previous deadbolt.

Both the doorknob and deadbolt have a lock installed. Remove the screws resting on the width of the door. The lock will slide out of the compartment easily, so you’re ready to install a new doorknob and deadbolt!

Removing the Former Strike Plates

Lastly, don’t forget about the connecting hardware on the door frame. When you’re preparing an exterior door for a new doorknob and deadbolt, you want to ensure every old piece of hardware is gone to make room for the new items for them to connect properly. While the new doorknob and lock may connect with the previous piece, removing them is always best to ensure the new pieces work properly.

Installing the Doorknob

The first step of installing a doorknob is to put the lock in place. There are two different settings on the door lock that determines the lock’s length. Depending on the existing hole, you can flip the flat edge of the lock to switch between the long and short settings. It’s important to pick the correct one to make sure the handle fits. Next, tighten your two wood screws into the lock on the edge of the door.

Press the lock in to put the outward knob into position. The outward doorknob has a long screw attached that will enter through the center opening of the lock.

Align the doorknob designed for the interior side of the house into the screw from the outward knob. Place the two medium-length screws onto the interior doorknob and secure them tightly.

Installing the Deadbolt

Search for the top indicator on the deadbolt lock that signals which side faces upward. Slide it into the door frame, and screw in the two smaller wood screws to secure the lock.

Next, you’ll need the two halves of the deadbolt. Start with the outer side of the deadbolt. This side will contain a long screw that’s already attached, so installation can only occur one way. Ensure that it slides through the center hole of the lock.

Grab the backside of the deadbolt, making sure the two holes for the screws sit on the left and right side of the lever. The long screw attached to the outer side deadbolt will rest in the center of the lever on the backside deadbolt hardware.

Leave it loose at first. You want to ensure everything lines up correctly before securing the screws. Once everything looks to be in the correct position, take the proper screws and place them on the backside deadbolt hardware. Take your time and slowly tighten the screws. You don’t want to move too quickly and damage the hardware during the process.

Before moving on, test the deadbolt by switching the lever to ensure the lock moves in and out.

Installing Strike Plates

The strike plate must sit in the correct spot for the deadbolt and doorknob to latch. It’s one of the most important steps of the installation process because it’s the easiest way to keep your house secure and protected.

If the new strike plates are the same size as the old ones, it’s a simple process! Place the new plates in the center, so their metal openings sit on top of the preexisting holes.

Using wood screws, take the screwdriver and screw them into place. The screws should be at least three inches in length. It strengthens the strike plate’s position in the doorframe and reinforces the entire structure.

What To Do If the New Strike Plate Doesn’t Fit

Not every doorknob, deadbolt, or strike plate is identical. As you place the new strike plates overtop the preexisting holes where the old hardware once sat, you realize the new plates are slightly bigger or smaller.

For this step, all you need is a sharp chisel, a drill, and a drill bit that is one size smaller than the screws.

Place the new strike plate in the center position where the preexisting holes sit. Mark the top and bottom of the plate with a pencil.

The strike plate must sit flush against the frame. Take a chisel and tap away at the wood to create a recessed section to achieve a flush fit if the plate doesn’t fit before adjusting. You only need to shave just enough away, so the plate doesn’t poke out or sit too low beneath the frame.

Put the strike plate on the newly chiseled section to ensure it sits correctly. Most likely, the previous holes are not in the correct position for the new plate. You’ll now need the drill and drill bit to create a pilot hole in the wood.

Once you create the pilot hole, you can follow the instructions above to safely install the new strike plate!

A Couple Quick Tips for an Easy Installation Process

Avoid Using a Drill

It’s more efficient to use a simple screwdriver rather than a drill when installing each component. A drill uses more power than a screwdriver, which means there’s a higher risk of stripping out the holes. Only use a drill when needed to create a pilot hole on the door frame when installing the new strike plates. It uses minimal force that will protect the wooden frame and a sturdy strike plate.

Check Your Work

Before calling it quits for the day, always test your work. Switch the levers on the deadbolt, use the key for the deadbolt and doorknob, and ensure the installs for each mechanism are durable. You don’t want to face any unexpected complications in the future because you forgot to double-check each item.

Any front door can accommodate a new doorknob and deadbolt. Even a rustic teak exterior door! No matter what type of front door currently inhabits your home, you have the power to make it a safer place by following these easy steps to install a new doorknob and deadbolt.

How To Install a New Doorknob & Deadbolt