Fix-It Chick: Replace a classic deadbolt lock with electronic version

Replacing an existing deadbolt with an electronic deadbolt can eliminate the need for house keys and make getting into your home easier for those who you want to let in. Most keyless deadbolts have the ability to be programmed with multiple security codes. It is easy to program a code to give a guest or handyperson access temporarily and then delete the code once they are gone.

Step 1: Choose an electronic deadbolt that matches the existing decor and has the best mix of options for you. Wi-Fi accessible deadbolts often require additional technology to operate. Electronic deadbolts that do not have a traditional key option can be opened even when the battery is dead.

Step 2: Unscrew the mounting screws located on the interior faceplate of the existing deadbolt. Remove the front and back portions of the deadbolt.

Step 3: Unscrew the mounting screws located on the side of the door and remove the bolt portion of the existing deadbolt.

Step 4: Thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instructions for the electronic deadbolt before installing it.

Step 5: Insert the latch portion of the electronic deadbolt into the side of the door. Make sure that the correct side is up, per the manufacturer’s instructions. The faceplate should sit flush with the door and the latch should be level. If necessary, use a chisel to remove additional wood beneath the faceplate. Once it is flush, tighten the mounting screws.

Step 6: Install the keypad portion of the new deadbolt on the exterior of the door and pull the battery cable through the door to the interior side.

Step 7: Attach the battery cable to the latch portion of the deadbolt and use the mounting screws to secure the deadbolt into place.

Step 8: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and program the access and entrance codes as desired. Be sure to write these numbers down on the instruction manual. Keep the manual in a safe and accessible spot, so it can be referred to when time comes to add or delete entrance codes on the new deadbolt.

Step 9: Remove the old strike plate and install the strike plate that came with the electronic deadbolt.

Step 10: If the old door knob has a lock on it, consider replacing it with a passage knob set. Having a passage knob below the electronic deadbolt will assure keyless access to the home at all times.

— Have a home improvement question for Fix-It Chick? Email it to Linda Cottin at