How to Install Your Own Entry Door Lockset

Skywalker Windows and Siding

Entry Doors Are a Key Point of Focus for Your Home, for Many Reasons

As you probably know from personal experience, first impressions can make a lasting impact. And when it comes to your home’s essential curb appeal, the primary entrance areas are natural points of focus. The main entry doors, patio doors, and any storm doors you choose to install will play a big role in how your home looks from a distance, and will also help define the first impression your guests have when they step up to your door for the first time.

But of course, not all would-be visitors to your home are necessarily welcome, either! Entry doors aren’t just meant to let the right people in; they should also be designed to keep the wrong people out. So while entry door aesthetics certainly matter, none of that will really do you much good without also having the right door hardware in place for the sake of home security.


Entry Doors Defined

In a very basic sense, an entry door is exactly what it sounds like – it’s any walk-in point of entry for your home or other connected building. The most prominent entry door is typically the front door, but many homes also have side-entry doors or rear-entry doors. In fact, some homeowners choose to make a side door their primary functional entrance – that is to say, the side door is the one they actually use the most themselves. And a well-designed entry door does much more than just allow for easy access. It should also provide for reliable security performance, too.

glass door

Introduction to Entry Door Locking Hardware

When do we mean by entry door locking hardware? We’re really describing things like door handles, levers, knobs, handle locks, deadbolt locks, and other types of locking mechanisms. Most entry doors that are designed for maximum security will include a coordinated lockset comprised of both a locking handle and a deadbolt lock. Below are some of the more common examples of entry door locking hardware in use today:



• Entry Doorknobs

These are the most common type of exterior door locks, and they’re comprised of a turnable doorknob with an embedded key lock mechanism.

• Entry Door Levers

These feature a door handle that’s easy to grasp and easy to engage – great for those individuals with special accessibility needs. The lever itself also includes its own keyed locking mechanism.

• Deadbolts

Deadbolt locks provide maximum security for entry doors, and are installed separately from the knob or lever. A single-cylinder deadbolt is operated by a key on the outside, and by a latch on the inside. A double-cylinder deadbolt is even more secure; it can only be operated by a key on either side.

• Knob/Deadbolt Lockset

In many cases, a matching doorknob and deadbolt can be purchased and installed together in one uniquely-keyed set.

• Lever Handlesets

A lever handleset combines a lever’s ease of operation with the greater security afforded by having a deadbolt lock included as well.

• Sliding Door Locks

Sliding door locks can be added to main entry sliding doors, as well as to lighter patio doors and screen doors.

• Electronic Door Locks

This is a keyless door option which utilizes an electronic keypad to grant access. Installation of these types of locks works similarly to that of other door lock options.

• Smart Locks

The newest technology to emerge in entry door locking systems is that of the smart lock. There’s a punchable keypad option, but the smart lock can also be opened with the wave of a fob. It can even be operated remotely through the use of a dedicated app on your smart device.


Essential Hardware & Tools Needed for Handle & Lockset Installation

Interested in installing a new entry door handle and lockset yourself? Even those who aren’t seasoned DIYers have been able to tackle this particular task with success. Here’s an essential list of the items you’ll need to make it happen:

  • The doorknob/handle kit you’ve chosen for each door
  • The deadbolt kit to accompany each
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver (may need both Philips and/or straight, depending upon your particular hardware)
  • Pencil for marking your measurements, mounting spots, & places to drill
  • Power drill with countersink bit (unless the needed bore holes are already pre-drilled in your door)
  • Other items you *may* need include a hammer, block of wood, utility knife, and chisel
hardware tools


Basic Installation Steps

In most cases, you really can replace your own door handles and locks without having to hire a professional locksmith. The handle/lever/deadbolt coordinated lockset you choose to purchase should come with its own step-by-step instructions, but here’s a good general idea of what your door handle & lock replacement will entail:

1. Measure for needed dimensions

Most doors nowadays come pre-drilled to accommodate popular lock dimensions. If you’re replacing an existing lock, just make sure that your new lock will fit your existing hole. If not, you’ll just need to plan to do some door drilling on your own.

2. Choose a lock that matches your door

Door locks aren’t one-size-fits-all, so you’ll want to use the door/lock measurements you captured in order to find a similarly-sized replacement. Pro tip: if you’re able to shop for the same brand as your existing lock, the sizing is very likely be the same for your new lock as well.

3. Insert the new bolt and fasten it

Once your hole is bored, and you have your new lock in hand, installation is really pretty straightforward. Just slide the bolt into place from the outside door’s edge, and then secure the mounting plate with the fastening screws provided in your kit.

4. Connect the interior and exterior plates

Using the two long machine screws that came with the lock, now connect the exterior plate to the interior base plate. Before tightening completely, just make sure the lock cylinder connects properly to the locking bolt. Then use a Phillips or flat head screwdriver (whichever is called for) to tighten everything in place.

5. Attach the decorative base plate (if provided)

If your lock came with any type of decorative base plate, now’s the time to attach it. Just make sure the lock is still in place, and everything still works smoothly before you put the tools away.


For All the Best Entry Doors, Sliding Doors, Storm Doors, & Related Hardware Installation Services, Look No Further Than the Pros at Skywalker!

Skywalker Windows & Siding only features the best exterior entry doors for your home or business, including premier products from preferred makers, including Pella Doors, ProVia Doors, VinylMax Doors, and West Window Corporation Doors. And if you’re not interested in taking on door or hardware installation as a DIY project, that’s certainly not a problem – Skywalker provides the best installation services you’ll find anywhere! No matter what type of exterior door solution, we can make it happen for you.

And on top of that, Skywalker does much more than just entry doors. We also provide complete replacement services for windows, exterior siding, and other home features. We even construct porch and deck additions, too! Nobody in NC or VA can serve your needs better than Skywalker! And no one provides a better customer experience or better-personalized customer service, either. Check us out for yourself, and better still just go ahead and give us a call at (336) 265-9595 today. We’d be happy to have you experience the Skywalker Windows & Siding difference for yourself!

Luke Wilson

Luke Wilson

Owner - Skywalker Windows and Siding

Luke Wilson started working on roofs with his dad when he was a teenager, and eventually launched Skywalker Roofing in 2003. Skywalker operates in 5 locations across NC & VA, and now includes windows, siding, and other exterior services. Luke also hosts the popular Roofing Mythbusters series on YouTube.


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