• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to install a dead bolt lock.


    1 Position paper template on door edge; mark center holes on face and edge.
    2 Drill face hole using hole saw; drill from both sides to prevent splintering.
    3 Drill edge hole with spade bit.
    4 Insert dead bolt into edge hole and mark its outline.
    5 Chisel out mortise for dead bolt.
    6 Screw dead bolt to edge of door.
    7 Screw dead bolt mechanism to door, with keyed cylinder on the outside and turn lever on inside.
    8 Mark end of dead bolt with felt-tip pen.
    9 Close the door, throw bolt to leave mark on doorjamb.
    10 Use strike plate to mark dead bolt hole on doorjamb.
    11 Drill dead bolt hole in jamb with spade bit.
    12 Use utility knife to mark mortise outline for strike plate.
    13 Cut strike plate mortise with chisel.
    14 Set strike plate in jamb mortise and secure with long screws.
    15 Close door and test dead bolt.
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      Chopping out the mortises takes patience, but all other steps are very doable
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • drill
      • speed square
        Speed square
        used to ensure drill is square when boring holes
      • keyhole saw
        Hole saw
        used to bore hole in door face
      • spade bit
        Spade bit
        used to bore hole in door edge
      • utility knife
        Utility knife
        used to score mortise outline
      • hammer
      • chisel
        used to chop out mortises

      Shopping List

      1. Dead bolt with mounting template
      2. Felt-tip pen

      used to transfer dead bolt position to doorjamb