Repairing door locks is a common problem. Sometimes the locks themselves malfunction and need repair or replacement. Other time the door gets out of alignment and the locks won't operate correctly.
Not sure if the lock is your problem? See the article 'How To Fix Doors' for a list of all the door repair topics. Some popular lock repair topics are 'Replacing Door Locks', 'Adjusting Door Strike Plates' and 'Lubricating Door Locks'. Follow these links for more information.
Purpose of Door Locks
Door locks and door knobs provide various functions for the door. They give you something to grip while opening or closing the door. They provide varying levels of security. For instance a bedroom door may have a privacy latch that you can open with a bobby pin in a jamb. Your front door may have both a lock and a deadbolt, to keep strangers out.
Door locks have moving parts and therefore, can stop working or not work well. The door lock also aligns with other features on the door, and can not work if the alignment is not good. Door locks also provide an architectural element in the home. It could be that your door lock repair is actually a door lock replacement. There are some things that can be done to repair door locks. Tightening, adjusting and lubricating are simple fixes that can get things working. Read on and learn which door lock repairs you can do yourself.
Door Lock Repair - Information
What Can You Save?
To have someone come out and take care of a door lock for you should cost between $50 and $100. That is assuming that you don't have a more serious problem or the repairman convinces you that you have a serious problem. Getting sold on a new door could cost several hundred dollars. Much cheaper to make your own door lock repair.
How Hard Could It Be?
Door lock repairs are not that difficult and do not require exceptional skill.
For and explanation of the terms in this section, see 'How to Use This Site'.
Check the Simple Things!
The simplest thing with a door lock would be lubrication. Locks that stick or are hard to operate may need to be oiled. Take a look at Step Four, you may be able to save some time. A door lock repair could be that easy.
What Can Go Wrong?
The worst thing that could happen is that you will take a lock that is working poorly and turn it into a lock that does not work. For an exterior door, this could leave you with no way to lock the door. Replacement locks are fairly inexpensive and you could probably get a new one and change it in short order. Temporarily bar the door if it is too late.
Troubleshooting Door Lock Problems
The article 'Troubleshooting Door Lock Problems' discusses what to look for when your lock is malfunctioning. It can be the lock itself or it may be that the door is not aligned properly.
The article 'How To Fix a Door Knob' has information on fixing the door knob itself.
'Adjusting Door Strike Plates' is the article that tells you how to move this plate. It may not be neccessary to move the plate if the door is adjusted correctly. See the links above for adjusting doors.
The easiest thing to do with a door lock is to lubricate it. This will solve most problems. 'Lubricating Door Locks' gives you all the information you need.
As a last resort, 'Replacing Door Locks' tells you what you need to know about getting a new lock.
You probably have many door locks and door knobs in your home. The inner workings of a door lock are usually not practical to try and repair, unless it is a high end commercial lock.
The good news is that even if you can't get your door lock working, a replacement is not that expensive. We hope you were successful with your door lock repair. Now you can move on to other projects or just relax.