How to Install a Dead-Bolt Lock

For burglar-proofing, it's a must-have.

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Dead Bolt Locks

When selecting a dead bolt, go with the kind with key entries on both sides. And never leave the key in the lock, because the burglar can simply break the glass window panels of the door and reach in to turn the key. Choose a safe and accessible place nearby to store the key, such as in a drawer or on top of the door frame. Here's how to install a dead bolt:

Materials and Tools:

dead-bolt kit
hole saw
power drill
7/8-inch spade bit


1. Use the template that came with the dead-bolt kit to determine the setback of the lock -- the location of the lock on the door frame in relation to the doorknob. A good vertical distance to locate the lock is 6 inches above the knob.

2. Mark the location with a pencil and use a hole saw to drill a hole 1½ inches in diameter.

3. Drill through the door. Chances are the saw won't be deep enough to drill all the way through. If not, use a bit to drill far enough to expose the hole on the opposite side. Then use the hole saw from the back side to finish the hole.

4. Use a 7/8-inch spade bit to drill a hole in the center of the door edge.

5. Drill an additional 3/8-inch into the back of the side hole.

6. Place the bolt in the hole along the edge of the door.

7. Trace around the mounting plate with a pencil and chisel out the area so it fits flush with the surface. Mount the plate in place with two screws.

8. Insert both sides of the dead-bolt cylinders in the door, making sure the driver bars are engaged and secured in place with screws.

9. Locate the center of the bolt location along the doorjamb and drill two overlapping 7/8-inch holes 1 1/8-inch deep.

10. Trace around the edge of the mounting plate and chisel out the dimensions about ¼-inch deep for a flush fit. Secure the plate in place with screws.

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