Deadbolts on Doors: Benefits and How to Install One

October 17, 2023



Reasons To Use A Deadbolt On Your Door - Clera Windows + Doors

As a homeowner, one of your main priorities is likely ensuring the safety and security of your property and those who live in it. This is especially true as safety remains a concern in Canada. Just last year country-wide robbery rates increased by 15%.

One way to reduce your chances of falling victim to this crime is by installing a deadbolt lock on your high-quality exterior doors. Some property owners opt to install alarm systems that can alert them instantly if an attempted burglary or break-in occurs. Meanwhile, others put their trust in guard dogs to ward off would-be intruders. However, not everyone has the budget to install high-end security cameras or the patience to train pets.

Security starts with your doors. In this blog, we’ll go over why deadbolts on doors are such a powerful deterrent against break-ins and provide step-by-step instructions on how to install a deadbolt lock.

What Is a Deadbolt Lock?

Typically found on exterior doors, a deadbolt lock comes with a steel bolt that reaches the door jamb and the strike plate of a door frame. Unlike traditional locks, deadbolts offer a higher level of resistance to forced entry, making them an indispensable line of defence.

Their hardened steel bolts are difficult to pick. When the lock is properly secured—meaning the bolt is fully extended into the door jamb hole and the metal strike plate—it becomes nearly impossible for the average burglar to break in through your exterior door.

Deadbolts can last for decades and aren’t prone to systemic errors or glitches like you might experience with a smart lock.

Lastly, installing deadbolts on doors can reduce your annual homeowner’s insurance premiums. Most insurance companies recognize installing a deadbolt as an action with extreme safety benefits and will adjust rates accordingly.

Deadbolts have two basic designs: the single-cylinder and the double-cylinder.

Single Cylinder Deadbolt

Single-cylinder deadbolts are the most common types installed in homes. They have a keyhole on the outside and can be locked and unlocked via a thumb turn on the inside. Once turned, the deadbolt lock is inserted into the metal strike plate or released.

Single-cylinder deadbolts provide ample security to your home, but they are most effective on doors with no glass pane or window near them.

Double Cylinder Deadbolt

Double-cylinder deadbolts offer the best security for your home. They can be opened with a key on both the internal and external sides of a door. This type of lock is more often used if there are windows or glass panes near the doorknob.

That said, there are safety concerns surrounding the use of these types of deadbolts on doors due to it being an added obstacle during emergencies. Always ensure you have the key in a safe and accessible place for this reason.

Double Cylinder Deadbolt - Clera Windows + Doors

Single Cylinder Deadbolt vs. Double Cylinder Deadbolt

There are many key aspects to consider when choosing which deadbolt meets your needs. Here are a few elements to check before buying and installing a deadbolt:

  • Security rating
  • Material and build quality
  • Brand reputation
  • Type of deadbolt
  • Ease of use
  • Key control
  • Budget consideration

Most residential property owners will choose single-cylinder deadbolts because of their simplicity and low cost. This type of deadbolt provides effective security when used on doors without glass panels, but not as effective as their double-cylinder counterparts.

Commercial properties and small business owners should opt for double-cylinder deadbolts because they offer enhanced security, especially for doors in areas where security is a higher priority, such as back entrances or doors in less visible areas.

Now, let’s go over how to install a deadbolt lock.

How to Install a Deadbolt Lock

Learning how to install a deadbolt lock yourself is easy enough if you have the right materials. While it could take an hour or two, installing deadbolt locks is typically a non-complicated DIY project. Prepare the following tools:

  • Door lock installation kit (this should include the deadbolt lock assembly, strike plate, keys, and screws)
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Hole saw kit
  • Drill and drill bit set
  • Chisel (if necessary)
  • Hammer (if necessary)

Step 1:

When installing a deadbolt lock, you need to first bore a new hole into your door.

Mark your door for drilling by taping the metal template (included in the deadbolt installation kit) to the inside of the door, but make sure to place it so the centre of the deadbolt is six inches above the centre of the doorknob.

You’ll also need to mark the backset or the horizontal distance of the door to the centre of the deadbolt. This could either be 2-3/8 inches or 2-3/4 inches.

Step 2:

Next, use a 2-1/8 hole saw and a power drill to drill a hole through the door for the deadbolt assembly. Keep going until your hole saw reaches the other side of your door and remove any scrap pieces of wood as you go along. Then, finish boring the hole from the exterior side of your door.

Step 3:

Next, move to the edge of your door and drill a hole for the bolt latch assembly using a 1-inch hole saw and your power drill. Keep drilling until you reach the drilled hole.

Step 4:

Chisel a rectangle on the edge of your door that’s big enough to fit the bolt latch. Then, insert the bolt latch assembly into the hole that you’ve just drilled.

Mark around the edge of the latch faceplate, remove the latch assembly, and then gently chisel enough of the door material so that the faceplate will be flush with the edge of the door.

Installing A Deadbolt Lock - Clera Windows + Doors

Step 5:

Move on to the door frame to create the strike plate mortise slot. Transfer a mark from the centre of the latch bolt to the door jamb, then move the plate to this centre and trace around the plate in the strike box.

Drill multiple holes using a 1-inch hole saw within the strike box and chisel out the rest of the area to create a recess for the plate.

Step 6:

Place the strike box into the slot and mark the screw holes before removing it and drilling pilot holes into the door jamb. Place the strike box into the slot, then secure the strike plate above it using screws.

Step 7:

Install the deadbolt on each side of the door, ensuring that the keyed section is on the exterior side. Secure it in place using two 2 1-2 inch mounting bolts into the deadbolt lock from the interior side. Using your cordless drill, screw the bolts in place.

Step 8:

Close the door and check that the deadbolt aligns with the strike plate and extends smoothly. If necessary, adjust the strike plate or deadbolt assembly for proper alignment.

Get Safe and Secure Entry Doors at Clera

Now you know how to install a deadbolt lock and why doing so is a great choice if you’re looking to keep your property and family safe.

But before investing in deadbolt locks, you need the foundation of a high-quality steel door to reinforce the security of your home. These powerful, weather-resistant doors are built to last, providing your family with unparalleled comfort.

For over 40 years, Canadian families have counted on Clera Windows + Doors to deliver superior doors that keep their homes safe and looking great. We manufacture and install all our products to guarantee the highest standard of quality across the entire process.

Contact us today to learn more about durable entry doors for your home!

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