How to Change a Door Lock

Here’s why and how to change a door lock… How to Change a Door Lock

Why, you may ask would I bother to change the lock on our new house door when the door is this ugly one?

Well, it’s a lot easier to give the contractors coming in and out of the house the code to the door instead of a key. Then the beauty with a Schlage electronic keypad, I can make a different code for each contractor and when they’re done working on the house, just erase their code, instead of having to change the whole lock. In my case, the door will eventually get changed, but when that happens we’ll transfer this Schlage lock to the new door.

(You can click to this page to see all the posts on our new house: Mid-Century to Colonial Revival)

So, 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!) How to Change a Door 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.

Here’s the old lock: How to Change a Door Lock

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) How to Change a Door Lock

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: How to Change a Door Lock

Here are all the ingredients to the new lock, with the instructions: How to Change a Door Lock

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

Then to install the new lock, I basically did it all in reverse. How to Change a Door Lock

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. How to Change a Door 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: How to Change a Door Lock

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. How to Change a Door Lock

The battery was provided in the Schlage box.

Here it is all screwed together: How to Change a Door Lock

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.

Thanks for following along with me on the renovation of our new house project. Changing this door lock was a tiny step in renovating, but one that I figured maybe some folks have wondered how to do… maybe this has helped you have the confidence to do it yourself too!

To read more about our new house renovation project, be sure to check out this page: ‘Mid-Century to Colonial Revival‘ It’s new to us, but the house itself was built in the 1960’s/70’s… and needs lots of renovating indeed!

Shopping link: Schlage electronic lock, available in 5 different colors)

Here are more carpentry tips and ideas:

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