Drafting a Deadbold Lock Template

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Tracing paper
Carpenter's level
Small carpenter's square
Fine-point permanent marker

Occasionally a new deadbolt lock will not have a template supplied to help you install it. A template is essential to ensure the 2 sides of the lock align precisely so the lock will function correctly for your safety. Follow these directions to draft a deadbolt lock template for your new lock.

Step 1: Measure the Height of the Deadbolt Lock Base from the Floor

Measure the door frame from the floor to get the correct height for the base of the deadbolt lock. It is usually at least 40 inches from the floor. Measure both along the door edge opposite the hinges and up the inside door face. Draw the base line for the lock on the door edge and the inside door face. Mark this base line on the door frame for the strike plate as well. If you are replacing a deadbolt lock, measure 1 inch above or below the old deadbolt strike plate installation. Do not install the new deadbolt lock over the old one, as the screw holes may be worn, preventing the new lock from fitting securely.

Step 2: Measure the Top of the Deadbolt Plate

Measure the deadbolt lock assembly and strike plate. Measure up from the base line you have drawn, and mark the top of the deadbolt strike plate on the door frame opposite the base line. Check with the carpenter's level that the top and base lines are parallel and level. Check with the carpenter's square that the lines are perpendicular to the vertical edges of the door and frame.

Step 3: Trace the Outline of the Deadbolt Lock Template

Bring a large square of tracing paper over to the door and draw the top and base lines on it for the strike plate and the deadbolt lock. For the deadbolt lock itself, fold the paper to make a right-angled section that you can wrap around the door. This will ensure your tracing of the outline of the template is accurate.

Step 4: Transfer the Deadbolt Screw Hole Spots to Your Template

Carefully lay the tracing paper over the deadbolt assembly. Mark the locations of the deadbolt screw holes on the paper, matching exactly where you will drill the screw holes and deadbolt chute in the door and the deadbolt retaining slot in the door frame. The 2 screws that hold the deadbolt lock mechanism in place must be aligned precisely, so the locking tumblers will work accurately.

Step 5: Check the Template

Cut out the templates carefully and tape them to the door and the door frame. The outlines of the templates and the locations of the deadbolt chute and slot must match exactly, or your deadbolt will not function when installed. Check the template with the level and carpenter's square again to ensure every measured line and spot is correctly placed and aligned.

Step 6: Transfer the Information from the Template to the Door

Tape the templates to the door edge and the door frame. With a fine-point permanent marker, press hard on the tracing paper template at the screw and deadbolt locations till the marker soaks through the tracing paper onto the door surface.