How to Install a Door Lock Set Easily by Yourself?

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Installing or changing a door lock set is probably not a very rare event for homeowners. Especially after moving on to a new house or getting a roommate. Or perhaps a burglary experience just provoked that thought.

Whatever reason it is, the need of knowing how to install a door lock set can show up any random moment. And so, since you are looking for the answers, I have planned this piece of writing keeping you guys in mind. Let’s talk about this whole process from beginning to finish in the least complicated way. Here We Go!

how to install a door lock

How to Install a Door Lock Set with Seven Easy Steps.


There can be different types of locksets available for doors. Some come with predrilling while others don’t. The latter type will want you to make some holes through drilling. The lock manufacturer should provide some sort of template for that purpose. Then there are the more modern type electric deadbolt lock coming with additional automation features for locking and unlocking.

Here I’ll talk about a general process that should work with most common door locksets. Let’s go.


A Bit of Case Study Before the Process.

There are basically two variables that will play the most important role in this lockset installation tutorial. And these two are the height of knob as well as backset. The knob’s height is basically considered above finish floor. On the other hand, backset is basically distance starting from knob’s center to door’s near edge.

In most cases, for comfortable positioning, maintaining a 36- or 38-inches distance above the floor for knob is best. You should however check the height for other doorknobs available at your home. So that consistency is possible among all door knobs height.

Usually, the backset measures around 2 3/8 inches for interior doors. While for the exterior doors this measurement is somewhat 2 ¾ inches. There is a point where the knob’s height and backset tend to intersects. This is called the face bore center. It usually houses the lockset and looks circular.

Another bore is also available that is responsible for holding the latch assembly. This is called the edge bore. For a perfect alignment among these two bores, manufacturers do provide a cardboard template. You should be able to find the lock’s bore diameters here. And using that information, you can consider an appropriate drill bit for further steps.


Get the Door Ready.

Start by opening the door halfway. Now from each side, tap two shims in total between the floor. Hole the door’s bottom to keep it steady meanwhile. Start from the finish floor and go above around 36 inches. This is the height of knob basically you’ll work with. Now mark the door’s edge here.

Get a square and extend this mark. You want to make it go across the door’s edge. It should be crossing 3 inches onto one face.

Marking Up.

The lockset included cardboard needs to be wrapped with lockset around edge of door. You want to align its centerline with the drawn line. Through the face bore template’s center, simply punch a nail or an awl. So that it can mark the door’s face bore a center part.

Follow the same manner with edge bore template. Markdown the door’s edge bore center through this. Once you are done with marking, get rid of the template for now.

Drilling Bore.

On face-bore mark, you need to place the hole saw’s pilot bit. Drill this pilot hole carefully next. One the saw’s teeth start touching door’s surface, you can stop drilling. All saw teeth need to touch the surface uniformly for this process to work.

Once you confirm that, simply drill the bore. You also need to clear the sawdust from cut periodically. Remove the hole saw to do so carefully. As soon as the pilot bit’s tip break through, stop drilling.

Now you need to work on the door’s opposite side. With pilot hole created previously, you need to align the hole saw next. Finish drilling the face bore next. On the previously made edge bore mark, place a 7.8-inch spade bit’s tip next.

Using medium speed, drill the door’s edge. Stop when the tip starts emerging into face bore. Work with less pressure while drilling. So that there is no excess wood tearing going on. Complete the drilling for edge bore.

Outlining Latch Plate to Cut

Now start inserting latch assembly inside the edge bore. Make sure that face of latch bevel is towards the doorjamb while doing so. Using a utility knife, simply outline rectangular latch plate over the door edge. Keep the assembly aside after that.

Now you want to make a deep outline cut following the plate’s thickness. Use a chisel for this step. Following same depth for every 1/8 inch between bottom and top of the plate outline, make a cut.

You need to run the bevel side of chisel down to get rid of all waste easily. Do this from the middle out. The plate needs to flush with door edge while you are inserting finished mortise.

Installing Latch

For this step, you need to once again insert the latch assembly. This time markdown the screw holes of latch plate inside mortise. After doing so, you can remove the assembly. Use a 3/32-inch bit for the plate’s both screws and drill pilot holes. After creating holes, you can put assembly inside for the last time. Screw the thing on this place securely.

Using the spindle, simply slide outside knob next. It needs to go through the face bore and latch assembly. The inside knob needs to fit over spindle. Thread the mounting screws using your hand. You can use a screwdriver later to ensure a firm fitting.

Strike Plate Drilling

Try closing door until it’s latch is touching the doorjamb’s edge. You need to mark this jamb at the midpoint of latch. Use a square for this and simply extend this mark across the doorstop’s jamb.

Now simply mark down the line’s midpoint. Using a spade bit of 7/8 inch, simply drill two partly overlapping holes. These need to be around 5/8 inches deep. It also needs to be centering above and below the midpoint inset. Use a chisel to square up the mortise’s side if there’s a need.

Strike Plate Installing

Use a utility knife to outline the strike plate over mortise by holding it in place. Here you need to once again follow the technique of chiseling out mortise following a depth that is similar to strike plate’s thickness.

Now for strike plate’s both screws, drill pilot holes using a 3/32-inch bit. Screw the plate on its place next. If you end up creating too deep mortise, then use a cardboard shim cut and simply bring plate flush’s face with the door’s edge.

Wrap Up

And that’s how to install a door lock set. This won’t take you a very long time and usually, anybody can do it easily.

However, if you do feel the whole thing is a mess then don’t delay calling for some professional help. It does not really cost a lot to get someone professionally install the lockset for you. But, as long as you enjoy doing such minimal home improvement and repair DIYs, this should not be a huge issue. Taking Your Leave on That Note!

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