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Install a New Deadbolt in Nine Simple Steps

One of the key elements to home security is to have good locks on entry doors. A deadbolt lock is an excellent deterrent to burglars. However, newer criminal techniques such as "lock bumping" have raised the bar (and the expense) of protecting your home. Deadbolt locks that are impervious to this technique are more expensive, but probably worth it in the long run. If you are replacing an existing deadbolt, it's a fairly simple task. Installing a new deadbolt is a little trickier. Here's how.

1. Purchase high quality deadbolt lock with a horizontal bolt at least one inch long with a reinforced strike plate secured with screws at least three inches in length. If your entry door has glass near the doorknob, choose a deadbolt or lockset that requires a key to open from both sides.

2. Carefully read the manufacturer's installation instructions, then tape the template provided to the door. Mark the door according to the template, and then drill holes for the screws.

3. Drill the large hole for the deadbolt assembly using a hole saw, then use the proper size spade bit to drill the hole in the edge of the door for the bolt.

4. Close the door and mark the bolt hole location on door jamb. Open the door, insert the latch bolt, and trace around the plate on the edge of the door.

5. Make a mortise (notch) for the plate using a wood chisel, so that plate fits flush

6. Try-fit deadbolt assembly and adjust as necessary. When you get it to line up correctly, fasten it to the door with the screws provided.

7. Mark the hole in door jamb that will receive the bolt. Use the spade bit again to drill this hole.

8. Use the chisel to make a mortise for the striker plate in the door jamb.

9. Attach the striker plate with the screws provided, and make sure the bolt seats properly.

You have now added an extra level of security to your home. If your new deadbolt lock is one that requires a key to open it from the inside, make sure the key is in a location not accessible by breaking a window, but close enough to the door that you can easily find it to exit the house in case of fire, earthquake, or other natural disaster. You might also consider adding a chain bolt for additional security when you open the door to speak to a stranger.