Replacing The Lock On A Front Door Replacing The Lock On A Front Door
by Veronica Smith
When moving into a new home, it is often a good idea to replace the lock on your front door. You will feel more secure knowing that previous tenants or owners do not have access to your home. Another good reason for replacing the lock on your front door is if any part of the mechanism is broken or ineffective.
Purchasing a new lock
To replace the lock, you will need only a new door lock set and a screwdriver or drill. It is an easy task that should take no longer than a few minutes. Just be sure to purchase the same brand of lock as the existing one, so that it will fit into the same holes without need for alterations to the door. The brand can usually be found on the latch. You might want to take the old lock with you to the hardware store to ensure that you buy the right brand and style of lock.
Your new lock set should contain four basic pieces: two door knobs and a latch piece which will be fixed onto the door, and the strike plate that attaches to the door frame. The set should also contain two long nails and four short nails.
Removing the old lock
First remove the old door lock by unscrewing the door knob on the inside of the door. The screws may be obscured by the door handle so you may need to turn the handle to reach the screws. Both door knobs should come loose from the door when you remove the screws. Next, remove the latch at the side edge of the door by using your screwdriver to remove the nails and pull out the latch.
Installing the new lock
Now take your new latch piece and insert it into the hole in the side edge of the door. The latch should be attached in the right direction, with the tapered side facing the outside of the door. Adjust the latch in place such that the part that will attach to the door knobs is in the center of the hole on either side of the door. Fit the new door knobs on the door, placing the door knob with the screw holes on the inside of the door. Use the long nails to attach the door knobs to the door and two short nails to secure the latch piece onto the door. Tighten the screws such that all parts are flush against the door.
The other two short nails are used for attaching your new strike plate to the frame of the door. Remove the existing strike plate and place the new piece in the same position as the old one. Screw in the nails and you are done. Test your installation by closing the door and making sure the latch meets the catch in the plate. The door knob should feel secure and you should be able to open and close the door with no problem.