How to Change a Door Lock

2 Materials
30 Minutes

Hi, I'm Liz from Simple Decorating Tips, a DIY and decorating blog. Here’s why and how to change a door lock…

For an explanation of why I would install a new lock on this junky old door, pop over to my blog and read the full post! How to Change a Door Lock

If you’ve never changed a door lock, or need a quick refresher course, here’s how I did it.

First, this is the lock I bought. I’ve used Schlage locks for many years… (I’ve previously bought into getting a cheaper version, but after having the locks break or freeze up etc. I’ve learned it’s worth it to pay a little more for a good lock!)

With this electronic Schlage lock, ( here’s the link for this electronic Schlage lock) each lock comes with it’s own unique code. You need that code to put in new codes, so try not to lose the paper with the yellow sticker on it telling you what the code is.  If you do lose it, there is another sticker inside the lock itself, you just have to take the lock apart to get it.

Pretty straight forward… I just unscrewed everything that had a screw. Usually I’ve found that’s 2 screws inside on the backplate and 2 screws on the latch thing. (sometimes I’ve run across a type of set screw or release mechanism that takes a little more thinking than this simple type)

Once all the screws were removed, (4 in this case) the latch was a little stuck, so I just stuck in the screwdriver and pried it loose, sliding it back out of the door:

Here are all the ingredients to the new lock, with the instructions

Schlage electric locks have a key also, just in case.

Then to install the new lock, I basically did it all in reverse.

I first slid in the new latch thing:

On a side note, it used to be that you had to order the latch with a backset according to the door hole. That’s a little different now… in most cases the backset is adjustable, usually it can be adjusted to the 2 most common backsets, either 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″.

With an electronic lock like this one, it’s very important to follow the directions closely. They have precisely designed where the wires go inside the lock.

This shows you how to carefully slide the door handle part through the latch. There is an exact cutout in the latch backset piece to hold the curved things and post from the handle to go through the center of latch center:

The electronic back of the lock just set on the door while I screwed it together with the front part. I also had to fit the wire into this back piece and snap the connection together, being sure the wires weren’t pinched by the cover piece. This was the hardest part of the whole project.

The battery was provided in the Schlage box.

Here it is all screwed together:

To change a door lock was very easy. The directions in the Schlage box were simple and intended for a homeowner to be able to do by themselves. So if you’re considering changing your locks, I encourage you to give it a shot. And I strongly encourage you to consider using an electronic keypad like this one. I think it’s so much better than having to fumble with keys, or worse yet leave a key outside hidden. We had one on our 100 year old house that we just moved out of too, and the battery lasted for a couple years before it gave us the red light warning that it was running low. When that happens, we just had to take of the inside back piece to replace the battery… but it warns you weeks before it actually does go dead.

To read more about our new house renovation project, Come visit my blog with the latest projects. It’s new to us, but the house itself was built in the 1960’s/70’s… and needs lots of renovating indeed!

Resources for this project:
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Liz at Simple Decorating Tips
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