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Do It Yourself or Not: Install a deadbolt lock

Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

Eighty percent of home break-ins occur at the front and back entries, so mechanical deadbolt locks installed on these doors can vastly add to the security of your home. If the door has a window, it’s a particularly good choice because the lock is keyed on both sides of the door so an intruder can’t break the window and reach through to open the door. This type of lock has been around for years, but today there's a growing number of finishes available to make them an integral part of door design and hardware.

If you want to install the lock yourself, choose one designed for a do-it-yourself installation. It comes with a paper template to tape onto the door so you can align the holes for accurate cutting. Buy a door lock installation kit, which includes a hole cutter for a drill and a spade bit to bore smaller holes in the edge of the door. For tools you’ll need a screwdriver, a try square, a chisel and an electric drill. If you have basic carpentry experience, you can make the swap for $60, the cost of the lock, and save 60%.

If doing it yourself is intimidating, a locksmith will replace an old lock with a good quality brass deadbolt lock for $149.

If the new lock holes don't line up with the old ones, plan on patching the holes and painting the door to conceal the patch. This makes the project more complicated because it involves applying a filler, building up the area to match the surface of the door and then sanding it smooth and painting. Do this after you've removed the old lock, and before installing the new one. And if you plan to paint or refinish the door, do so after removing the old lock and before installing the new one. To give you an idea of what’s involved you can watch a home safety video about installing a deadbolt lock at www.kwikset.com.

To find more DIY and contractor project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.


Pro Cost: $149 — DIY Cost: $60
Pro time: 1.1 — DIY Time: 2.0
DIY Savings: $89 — Percent Saved: 60%


©2021 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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