Home Improvement

Lock It Down: Guide on How to Fit a Door Lock

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Like it or not, sooner or later, you will have to fit a new lock on your front door. Perhaps you bought a new door, and now you need a lock. Or maybe you moved to a new apartment and don’t feel like the front door lock is secure enough.

Regardless of the case, you can gather your tools and get to work. And since tools are useless without knowledge, here is all you need to know about how to fit a door lock by yourself.

If you:

  • Are replacing your old door with a new one and need to buy a new lock as well;
  • Are moving into a new property and want to change the old, worn-down lock;
  • Had a roommate leave and want to change the front door lock as an extra measure.

Then read along…

Can you fit a door lock yourself?

The answer to this question mostly depends on your skills and the type of door lock. Given that there is a simpler locking system, you should be able to do this alone, provided you have the right kind of tools.

Still, we need to point out that if you’ve never done this before, it would be best to ask for advice from a more experienced friend or directly consult with a professional locksmith. Also, when it comes to installing a more complex locking system or fitting a front door lock, it is better to involve a specialist for security reasons. 

Also, before getting down to the lock fitting process, familiarise yourself with some safety precautions.

  • When drilling, wear safety goggles;
  • When chiselling, wear safety goggles and protective gloves, and be sure to chisel away from your body;
  • Use only screws provided or recommended by the manufacturer;
  • Keep locks clean and lubricated with products suitable for their material and finish;

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How do you successfully install a door lock?

Whether you’re enhancing security or upgrading your home, understanding how to fit a door lock can save you time and money. A well-installed lock not only provides peace of mind but also adds an extra layer of protection to your living space, contributing to your home’s overall safety and security.

Main tools you will need:

  • Screwdriver – Use a screwdriver suitable for the screws provided by the lock manufacturer. Compatibility is key for effective installation;
  • Tape measure – Accurate measurements for both the door and the lock components are crucial for a proper fit and functionality.;
  • Chisel – A chisel is a fundamental tool for creating accurate cutouts in the door to accommodate lock components. This tool allows for meticulous carving, ensuring the lock fits seamlessly into the door structure.

Now that you’re properly equipped for fitting a door lock, let’s proceed.

How to install mortice locks

Mortice locks provide enhanced security for doors, offering a robust mechanism that fits into the door itself. Installing a mortice lock involves creating a cavity, or “mortice,” in the door where the lock body is fitted. Here’s a breakdown of how to fit a mortice lock.

  1. Marking – Position the lock against the door edge at the desired height and mark the top and bottom of the lock body to indicate where the insertion space should be;
  2. Creating insertion space – Drill a series of holes into the door along the marked outlines. This initial drilling creates a rough hole that will accommodate the lock body;
  3. Chiselling – Use a chisel to refine the hole, ensuring a snug fit for the lock body. It’s essential to take your time during this step to avoid overcutting and to maintain precision;
  4. Test fit – Periodically check the fit by placing the lock components into the chiselled cutout. This step allows you to make any necessary adjustments to ensure a secure and proper fit;
  5. Final adjustments – After confirming the fit, smooth any rough edges around the mortice using the chisel, providing a polished and finished appearance.
Need more details? Check out:
Home Improvement
How to Fit a Mortice Lock Like a Pro

How to fit cylinder locks

Cylinder locks, such as euro cylinder locks, offer effective security for various door types and are way easier to install than mortice locks. So, here are the fitting steps for a cylinder lock:

  1. Assessment and measurement – Begin by assessing the door’s compatibility with a cylinder lock. Measure the correct size based on the door’s thickness;
  2. Release existing lock (if applicable) – If you’re replacing a lock, remove the existing cylinder lock. This process is typically straightforward and DIY-friendly;
  3. Insert the new cylinder – Position the new cylinder into the lock cavity. Ensure it aligns correctly with the door edge;
  4. Secure in place – Follow manufacturer instructions to secure the cylinder. Tighten screws to hold the lock securely in position;
  5. Test the lock – Ensure the key turns smoothly and the door locks securely.
Want to know more? Check:
Home Improvement
DIY: Mastering Cylinder Door Lock Fitting

Adding rim lock to a door

A rim lock is a valuable addition to your door, providing an extra layer of security. Here’s a condensed guide on how to fit a rim lock. For more information, refer to our more detailed rim lock installation guide.

  1. Select the location – Choose an appropriate location on the door, considering both its functionality and appearance;
  2. Mark the placement – Hold the rim lock against the door at the desired height. Mark the top and bottom of the lock body to indicate the insertion space;
  3. Drill holes – Drill holes along the marked outlines to create a rough space for the lock;
  4. Insert the lock – Place the rim lock into the chiselled cutout to test the fit. Make necessary adjustments for a secure and snug fit;
  5. Secure the lock – Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure the lock in place. Ensure all screws are tightened appropriately;
  6. Check operation – Test the lock to ensure smooth operation, both from the inside and outside;
  7. Final adjustments – Make any final adjustments for appearance and functionality. Address any rough edges for a polished finish.
You may also like:
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How to change a lock on uPVC door

Replacing a broken uPVC door lock can seem daunting due to the complexity of the multi-point locking mechanism. However, with the right guidance, you can change the uPVC door lock yourself. All you need to do is follow these instructions:

  1. Assess the type of lock – Identify the specific multi-point lock used in your uPVC door. Different mechanisms may require slightly varied replacement processes;
  2. Gather additional tools – Ensure you have the required tools, including screwdrivers, pliers, and a new uPVC door lock that matches your existing mechanism;
  3. Remove the old lock – Unscrew and remove the screws holding the faceplate in place. Carefully detach the old lock from the door. Pay attention to any additional screws securing the gearbox;
  4. Install the new lock – Position the new multi-point lock in place, aligning it with the existing screw holes. Secure the lock by tightening the screws;
  5. Test the operation – Insert the key and test the new lock’s functionality. Ensure it engages smoothly with all locking points, providing secure closure.
  6. Adjustments if necessary – If the door doesn’t align correctly or there are issues with the locking points, make necessary adjustments. This may involve minor tweaks to the positioning of the lock.
You may also like:
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uPVC Door Won’t Lock When Closed – What To Do

Changing a garage door lock

When it comes to securing your garage, ensuring a functional and secure lock is essential. Changing the lock on a garage door may seem like a challenging task, but with the right steps, it can be accomplished.

  • Determine the garage door lock type – Identify the type of lock your garage door currently has. Common garage door locks include T-handle locks, deadbolts, and electronic locks;
  • Get the tools – Equip yourself with a screwdriver, pliers, and a new garage door lock that matches the existing mechanism;
  • Remove the old lock – Unscrew and remove any screws securing the faceplate or cover of the existing lock. Extract the old lock carefully, noting its orientation;
  • Install the new lock – Position the new garage door lock in place, aligning it with the existing screw holes. Secure the lock by tightening the screws. Ensure smooth operation of the locking mechanism;
  • Test the mechanism– Insert the key or operate the lock as per its design. Confirm that the lock engages smoothly and securely, providing effective closure for the garage door;
  • Adjust – If there are alignment issues or the lock doesn’t function correctly, make minor adjustments. Ensure that the lock integrates seamlessly with the door.
Need more details? Check out:
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Secure Your Space: Step-by-Step Guide on Changing a Garage Door Lock

How to change bathroom door lock

Upgrading or replacing a bathroom door lock is a simple yet impactful way to enhance privacy and security. This brief guide provides a summary of how to install a thumb turn lock (the most common type used on bathroom doors), with more detailed instructions available in our comprehensive thumb turn lock installation guide. So, here are the main steps:

  • Select the appropriate lock – Choose a bathroom thumb-turn lock suitable for your door type and preferences;
  • Remove the existing lock – Unscrew and remove the existing lock from the door. Take note of the orientation of the screws and the lock components for reassembly;
  • Measure and mark – Measure the dimensions of the new thumb turn lock. Mark the location for the new lock on the door, ensuring it aligns with the door frame;
  • Drill holes – Drill holes for the thumb turn and the lock mechanism according to the marked measurements;
  • Install the thumb turn – Insert the thumb turn into the drilled hole from the interior side of the door. Secure it in place following the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • Insert the lock mechanism – Insert the lock mechanism into the corresponding hole from the exterior side of the door;
  • Secure the lock – Attach the lock components using the provided screws. Ensure all components are tightly secured;
  • Test the lock – Test the thumb turn lock to ensure smooth operation from both sides. Make any necessary adjustments.

Changing lock on a sliding door

Many homeowners wonder if they can change a sliding door lock themselves. The answer is yes! With basic tools and the right guidance, replacing a sliding door lock can be a manageable DIY project. In the instructions below, we’ll focus on latch locks, known for their simplicity in installation.

  • Choose the right lock – Select a latch lock suitable for your sliding door type and security needs;
  • Prepare the tools – Ensure you have a screwdriver, a drill, and a pencil for marking;
  • Remove the old lock – Unscrew and remove the existing latch lock from the sliding door;
  • Measure and mark – Measure the dimensions of the new lock. Mark the centerline on the door where you want to install the lock;
  • Drill holes – Using the marked centerline, drill holes for the lock cylinder and latch;
  • Install the lock cylinder – Insert the lock cylinder through the exterior side of the door. Secure it in place according to the lock’s instructions;
  • Install the latch – Insert the latch mechanism through the interior side of the door. Align it with the lock cylinder and secure it tightly;
  • Test the lock – Test the newly installed sliding door lock to ensure it operates smoothly. Make any necessary adjustments for a secure fit.

How long does it take on average to fit a door lock?

On average, fitting a door lock typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes. However, several factors can influence the duration of this task:

  • Type of lock – The complexity of the lock design plays a crucial role. Simple locks may be installed more quickly than advanced electronic or high-security locks;
  • Skill level – A skilled locksmith or DIY enthusiast may complete the installation faster. Beginners might take longer to ensure precision;
  • Preparation – Having all necessary tools and materials readily available speeds up the process. Lack of preparation can cause delays;
  • Door condition – The state of the door affects installation time. Older doors or those with existing lock complications might require additional adjustments;
  • Security features – Installing additional security features alongside the lock, such as deadbolts or strike plates, can extend the overall installation time;
  • Customisation – If the lock or door requires customisation, such as modifications to fit non-standard sizes, it may add extra time to the installation.

How much do locksmiths charge to fit/replace door locks?

Well, the pricing for either fitting a new lock or changing an old one in the UK can vary based on several factors.

On average, the cost to fit a new door lock in the UK falls within the range of £100 to £150. However, this price can be influenced by factors such as the type of lock, materials used, and the complexity of the job.

If you’re considering a lock replacement, the average cost typically ranges from £100 to £150. Similar to fitting, the specific lock type and any additional complexities involved may impact the overall cost.

For a detailed breakdown of locksmith prices and more information on door lock fitting and replacement costs, you can refer to our comprehensive locksmith cost guide here. This guide covers various aspects, including average prices, duration of the job, and factors that may influence the overall expenses.

Call in professionals

If you lack the time or tools to fit a door lock, why not get professional help? Book a lock installation & replacement expert and get the job done in no time. Fantastic Services works with skilled and fully-equipped locksmiths situated all around London.

Whatever door lock you need installed, we can take care of it in a stress-free manner. No need to worry that you might accidentally damage your new door or waste numerous hours trying to figure out what size drill bit is the best. Arrange a visit from an emergency locksmith today and get this task out of your way.

Thinking about changing your lock?

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  • Different lock types require distinct installation approaches;
  • Fitting a door lock yourself is feasible, but it depends on your skills and the lock’s complexity;
  • Essential tools for door lock installation include a compatible screwdriver, tape measure for accurate measurements and a chisel for creating precise cutouts in the door. A pair of pliers may also be needed for certain types of locks.
  • Following manufacturer recommendations for screws and lock maintenance is essential for safe and effective installation.


Do you have a door which needs a new lock? What other information do you need to do it? Let us know in the comments below!

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