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How to Replace a Deadbolt Lock on a Metal Door? – 9 Steps

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to replace a deadbolt lock on a metal door

Compared to other types of locking mechanisms for doors, deadbolts boast higher home security because they have to be engaged with keys to close or open. This feature prevents unauthorized entry because there is no spring one can force down with a credit card.

However, like most locks, deadbolts are also susceptible to rusting due to weather conditions and damage due to break-in attempts. That is why changing deadbolt lock with a new one maintains the security you need.

In this article, I will show you how to replace a deadbolt lock on a metal door.

Step-by-step to Replace a Deadbolt Lock on a Metal Door

Before diving into the process to install a deadbolt in a metal door, you might want to prepare the following necessary tools and materials first:

  • Installation kit

The installation kit should contain the new deadbolt, screws, and a mounting jig, which is for buyers who don’t already have a deadbolt lock installed.

  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Metal rod
  • Circular faceplate (if you have a circular hole)
  • Drill (if the door is without hole)

After you have gathered the materials and tools, follow these steps to replace a deadbolt for metal door:

Step 1: Measure the backset of your door


Measure from the center of the knob to the edge of the door frame and note down the number.

Step 2: Measure the deadbolt height


With your measuring tape, measure the distance between the center of your deadbolt and the center of your door handle. This step is necessary in order for you to buy a new deadbolt that corresponds to your existing lock. The height is usually 5.5 inches.

Step 3: Remove the screws


To remove a deadbolt from a door, start by grabbing your Philips screwdriver and remove the screws from the inside cylinder housing and the strike plate. Keep the screws, since you may need them for reinstallation.

  • Note: If you have a deadbolt lock without screws, it might be covered with little caps which you need to remove first before you can access the screws.


Remove the cylinder housing from the inside.

After removing the screws from the inside cylinder housing, gently detach it from the door to expose the mounting plate of the lock.


Remove the inner screws.

With your screwdriver, loosen the screws from the mounting plate to take the lock from the door.

  • Note: If you are going through the last inner screw, open the door slightly and with your other hand and hold the other side of the deadbolt. This way, the old lock will not fall off the door.


Remove the outside cylinder housing from the outside.

The outside cylinder housing and the lock should fall off the door when the inside cylinder housing is removed. Otherwise, take a hammer and a rod and tap the outside housing through the hole of the door.


Remove the strike plate and latch assembly.

With your screwdriver, push the deadbolt through the strike plate hole.

Step 4: Prepare your new deadbolt


There are adjustable deadbolts that can adapt to both standard back sets (2 ⅜ and 2 ¾ inches). Before installing the deadbolt, adjust it first to the back set that you have measured.

Step 5: Determine the bolt plate type


If you have a mortise-style strike faceplate, you do not need to modify your deadbolt anymore. However, if you have a circular faceplate, you should remove the default faceplate of your deadbolt and replace it with a circular one.

Step 6: Insert the new deadbolt


Stick the new deadbolt inside the door hole through the hole of the strike plate. Push down on the deadbolt so that it stays in place and will not fall off.

Step 7: Install the outside housing and the lock


Position your housing so that it is flushed onto the door and the tailpiece of the lock is inserted through the lock assembly. Secure these parts until the inside cylinder housing is installed.

Step 8: Install the inside housing


Position the inside housing so that it is flushed to the door. Make sure the other side of the lock isn’t disturbed before installing the fittings. If there are a battery and wires, this is the time to set them up.

Step 9: Put on the cover and install the screws on the lock


Lastly, grab the screws and push them onto the strike plate. You now have successfully put a deadbolt on a metal door all by yourself!

Helpful Tips


Tips to install a deadbolt lock on a metal door

Here are some helpful tips that you might want to know before you replace a keyed deadbolt lock:

  • When you add deadbolt to metal door, tape the bolt plate of the new lock during installation so that it will not fall off the door.
  • If your strike plate doesn’t match your new deadbolt lock, replace it with the one that comes with your new commercial steel door deadbolt.
  • When you change deadbolt lock on front door, make sure to buy a device with the same measurements, so you won’t have to do major adjustments.

Related tips: 3 easy steps to replace a front door lock with a keyed deadbolt.

What is the average cost to replace a deadbolt lock on a metal door?

If you are going to change a deadbolt lock on a metal door, you will only have to pay for the deadbolt, which costs around $25 to $300. However, if you do not have the necessary tools and materials to do it yourself, the task might incur additional costs.

If you are going to hire a locksmith to replace a Schlage deadbolt lock or any brand really, you have to pay for the lock and the installation. Your locksmith might charge you $75 to $400, depending on the number and state of the lock.

How long do deadbolts last?

If you have just done deadbolt lock replacement, expect that the deadbolt will last for about 7 years, with natural causes of deterioration considered such as wear and tear, weather conditions, and the make of your lock.

However, with maintenance, they can last longer than what is expected. You should also look out for incorrect installation, since this can affect the life expectancy of your deadbolt on a security door.


It is important to keep a keen eye on the status of your security measures. Not being observant enough can risk a security breach due to a faulty lock, which endangers you, your family, and the valuables you hold dear.

Knowing how to replace a deadbolt lock on a metal door gives you the leverage to do your own maintenance inside your home. In this way, you can save money from hiring a locksmith to replace deadbolt lock cylinder and improve your DIY skills.

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