How to Install a Deadbolt Lock

Install a Deadbolt Lock

Deadbolts are a sure way to keep your home and property safer. If you do not have a deadbolt, you need to consider installing one. With the right tools and know how, you can easily do it yourself.

This article walks you through the steps on how to install your own deadbolt on a normal door that has no holes drilled whatsoever. We start by explaining what you need and how to drill the holes, then offer tips for how to line the holes up perfectly. We conclude with installing the deadbolt hardware.

Let’s get started!

Tools and Equipment

You will need:

  • deadbolt system
  • jig
  • drill
  • safety goggles
  • small marker
  • set of drill bits
  • set of hole drill bits
  • way to fasten the door while drilling the holes

Once you have the tools and equipment you need, you can start installing your deadbolt.

Step 1: Determine where you want your deadbolt

The first thing you need to do is decide where you want your deadbolt. It should be located in relation to your doorknob. Most people install deadbolts about 6 to 12 inches away from the doorknob.

Step 2: Drill the hole for the lock

Once you know where you want the deadbolt, you need to drill a hole to install it. You can most easily and accurately do this with a jig.

A jig is a stencil that is designed to help you drill an accurate hole in the shape of a deadbolt lock system.

Simply slide the jig onto the door and hold it in place with a couple of screws. It might be easier to drill pilot holes and then install the screws. The jig is only here temporarily.

Once you have your jig on the door, you need to drill the hole with a hole drill bit. Your drill needs to have a large amount of torque because you will need a lot of force to drill this type of hole.

Fasten your door so that you can push up hard while you are drilling, put on your safety glasses, then start drilling your hole halfway through the door. The drill bit should just barely break through to the other side when you stop

Now, switch sides, use the pilot hole from the drill bit as a guide, and finish drilling out the hole from the backside.

Step 3: Drill the holes for the latch

The next step is to drill a hole for the latch on the door and in the jam, which you will do by using another hole drill bit.

On the door, drill the latch hole in much the same way you drilled the bolt hole. Now, you need to mark the precise spot where you will drill the hole in the jam.

You need a small marker that will fit in the deadbolt hole. You can even use lipstick. Once you have your marker in place, close the door, then press the marker up against the jam wall to make your mark. It needs to be perfect otherwise the latch will not have a place to go.

Once you have your mark, drill your latch hole on the mark in the jam an inch deep.

Install the hardware

Here is the fun part. You have drilled all your holes, so now you can remove the jig and install the hardware.

Your latch goes in first, and it needs to go in the direction where the arrow points up. To push the latch in flush, grab a small block of wood and place it over the end of the latch, then hammer the latch in. The wood protects the latch from getting damaged.

Next, install the deadbolt. It is just like threading a needle. Keep adjusting the hardware until it slides in place. Now, go to the backside of the door and install the corresponding plate. Install the screws on the deadbolt.

The moment of truth has arrived: test it to see that the holes line up. Close the door and turn the latch.

Installing the latch plate

Now that you know you did a good job, you need to install the latch plate. First, however, you need to chisel the jam out so that the latch plate is flush.

Line the latch plate up over the jam hole and drill a few pilot holes, then attach the latch place with screws. Close the door one more time to test that the latch works with the plate in place.

Next, use a utility knife to score the perimeter of the latch place, then remove the latch plate.

Very carefully, chisel out just enough wood to where the latch plate will be flush and the door will shut smoothly. You want to be careful not to split the jam.

Finally, put the latch plate back on and install the screws.


As you can see, it is relatively simple to install a deadbolt yourself, so long as you have everything that you need. If you still need help and are from Colorado, you can always call a  professional locksmith in Denver to help you out. Once you have your deadbolt in place, you will be more at ease

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About the Author: Derek John

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