How to Install a Night Latch Door Lock

Written by kenneth crawford
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Night latches were a common way to lock doors in older homes. Unlike a deadbolt, a night latch automatically locks when you close the door. You can install a night latch yourself and enjoy the extra security that these types of locks provide. Most hardware stores carry night latch kits that include templates and instructions. Night latch locks come in a wide variety of styles and colours to match the decor of your entrances.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Night latch door lock
  • Masking tape
  • Drill
  • ¼-inch drill bit
  • 1½-inch paddle saw
  • Assorted drill bits
  • Wood chisel
  • Hammer
  • Phillips-head screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Tape the template that comes with the night latch lock kit where you want to locate the lock. The most common location is 46 inches from the floor to the centre of the night latch lock. The template will indicate where the corner needs to wrap around so that you can mark location where the lock plate wraps to the edge of the door and the mounting holes for the outside of the door.

  2. 2

    Use a pencil or sharp nail to mark the locations of the screw holes and lock hole to the door from the template. Trace the edge door outline with a pencil from the template.

  3. 3

    Drill a small pilot hole through the door at the centre of the large lock cylinder location with a ¼-inch drill bit. Use a 1½-inch wood paddle bit to drill the lock cylinder hole halfway through from the inside of the door. Once halfway through the door, pull the paddle out and drill from the outside of the door. This will avoid splintering the door on either side.

  4. 4

    Drill the two outer mounting holes with the appropriate size drill bit ½-inch deep. The instruction sheets and mounting hardware should be your guide as to the size bit to use. Drill the mounting holes from the inside of the door as well. You are drilling step mounting holes for the outside key lock. The heads of the mounting screws will rest against the larger hole from the inside of the door.

  5. 5

    Cut and chisel out the area on the inside edge of the door according to your tracings with a sharp wood chisel and hammer. This will provide the recess for the part of the lock that fits over the door edge.

  6. 6

    Insert the key lock plate to the outside of the door and secure the plate by threading the retaining screws from inside the door. The plate will have two threaded holes for the screws to thread into. Tighten the screws with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

  7. 7

    Pull the mounting plate off of the back of the inside lock mechanism and place the plate on the inside of the door. Position the cross hair on the back of the plate over the stem of the protruding key lock in the cylinder hole. Use the securing screws to secure the plate to the door with a screwdriver.

  8. 8

    Fit the inner door mechanism over the mounting plate and flush against the door. The part that wraps around the edge of the door should be flush to the edge surface. Secure the inner mechanism to the mounting plate using the retaining screws. There are tabs at each corner that the screws will thread into and secure. Use a screwdriver to secure the screws into the edge of the door securing the door latch to the door.

  9. 9

    Close the door and mark the upper and lower edge of the door latch to the inside door jamb with a pencil. Position the jamb piece, called a staple, on the jamb inside the home between the markings. Attach the staple to the inside jamb with the supplied securing screws and a screwdriver. Test your new night latch.

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