Home Maintenance

Tips on Replacing the Front Door Lock

door lock
Door Knob and Deadbolt Combo Pack

It is not very often that we have to do any work on our front door lock, apart from occasional maintenance now and then. However, there are times when it needs to be completely replaced, either due to some kind of malfunction, losing all the keys or moving into a new home and wishing to be completely certain that we are the only ones who may access the premises. These hints will make sure that you replace your front door lock properly and without hassle.

Buying a new lock

Naturally, getting a new lock is the first thing you should do. There are several types of house locks, all with their pros and cons. Study them and choose the one that meets your requirements, aesthetic and functional. Before making a purchase, make sure that the dimensions of the new lock fit those of the one you are replacing to save you the trouble of having to drill additional holes in order to fit it and prevent the possibility of ruining the aesthetics of your front door.

Removing the old lock

Old Door Lock
Old Door Lock
Electronic Touchpad Entry Keyless Door Lock
Electronic Touchpad Entry Keyless Door Lock

What you need in order to remove the old lock is a suitable screwdriver, WD40 and some patience. You start by unscrewing the interior door knob. The location of the screws may be obvious or hidden by a cover or the door handle. Remove the cover patiently, in order not to damage the door, or turn the handle if it gets in the way. Unscrew the interior knob and simultaneously remove it with the exterior one. Next, unscrew the latch on the side edge of the door and remove it. Take your time. If screws seem hard to turn, which could easily be the case since the locks are not usually changed often, spray WD40 on them, give it a minute or two and then complete the task. Do not forget to remove the strike plate on the door jamb too.

Things to consider before installation

If you plan to use the same type of lock, it would be practical if you kept the existing latch and strike plate. Compare your new plates with the old ones and if they are of the same dimensions, leave the old ones in their place. Sometimes changing the plates causes expansion of the screw holes, which in turn causes weakening of screw holds and makes the latch loose. If you opt for new plates, using screws that are a bit longer will guarantee that they will firmly hold the latch, claims a locksmith operating in Bondi. Naturally, make sure these longer screws have the same heads as the original ones to make them seat properly.

Installing a new lock

First, clean the side hole and remove all wood remains. Install the new latch by inserting it in the hole with the tapered side facing the outside door surface. Fit the new door knobs making sure that the one with the screws is on the interior side. Screw the door knob and screw the latch if you used new latch plates. Finally, screw the new strike plate, if you did not keep the old one. Make sure you tightened all the screws firmly. This is required for the lock to work smoothly. To call the operation a success, test the installation by locking and unlocking several times. If this goes smoothly and the knobs feel secure, you are done.

As you can see, there are several steps that need to be taken in the exact order for the door lock change to go smoothly. As long as you follow them you will have no problems whatsoever, aesthetic or functional, and your front door will have a new lock in no time.


Article written by Lillian Connors. If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement projects and spread the word about them. As the Co-Editor at SmoothDecorator, she cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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  1. My family recently had a problem with a lock on our front door, so we had to completely remove it. Sadly, we hadn’t had WD40 on hand, so we did a bit of damage to the wood around the old lock. Do you have any tips for fixing up the scratches on the door? It works fine; it just doesn’t look as pretty as we would like. Thanks!

  2. Thank you for the help. My wife and I just moved into a new house and want to replace the locks as soon as possible. I definitely want to buy the right lock, as you mentioned. Are there several types of deadbolts?

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so happy I’m able to provide insight and inspiration.

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