lock cylinder replacement

The Best Ways to Change a Lock Cylinder

So, you’ve found yourself in a situation where you need to change a lock cylinder. Congratulations, this is surely the highlight of your day. But fear not, for we are here to guide you through the best ways to tackle this thrilling task.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your security or simply replace a faulty cylinder, we’ve got you covered.

So sit back, relax, and prepare to embark on a journey of lock-changing wonderment. Trust us, you won’t want to miss this.

Overview of the Best Methods

When changing a lock cylinder, there are several best methods that you can use to ensure a smooth and efficient process.

Firstly, start by gathering all the necessary tools, such as a screwdriver, pliers, and a new lock cylinder.

Next, locate the set screw on the lock cylinder and use the screwdriver to loosen and remove it. Once the set screw is removed, use the pliers to pull out the old cylinder from the lock. Be careful not to damage any surrounding parts while doing this.

After removing the old cylinder, take the new lock cylinder and insert it into the vacant slot. Make sure it’s properly aligned and pushed in all the way.

Then, reinsert the set screw and tighten it with the screwdriver. Test the new lock cylinder to ensure it functions smoothly by turning the key to lock and unlock the industrial style door. If it works correctly, you have successfully changed the lock cylinder.

Remember to take your time and be cautious throughout the process. Following these best methods will help you change the lock cylinder efficiently and without any issues.

Types of Lock Cylinders

Now let’s explore the different types of lock cylinders, which play a crucial role in the overall security of your locks.

Lock cylinders come in various forms, each offering different levels of security and functionality.

The most common type of lock cylinder is the pin tumbler cylinder. It consists of a series of pins of varying lengths that align when the correct key is inserted, allowing the lock to turn. Pin tumbler cylinders are widely used in residential and commercial locks due to their reliability and affordability.

Another type of lock cylinder is the wafer tumbler cylinder. Instead of pins, wafer tumblers use flat, spring-loaded wafers that align with the correct key, allowing the lock to open. These cylinders are commonly found in automobile locks and some low-security applications.

For higher security needs, you may opt for a dimple cylinder. Dimple cylinders have multiple sets of pins that are arranged in a circular pattern, requiring specially designed keys with corresponding dimples to operate. These cylinders offer increased resistance against picking and manipulation.

Finally, there are also tubular lock cylinders, which are commonly used in vending machines and bicycle locks. These cylinders feature pins or wafers arranged in a circular pattern, and are opened using a key with a cylindrical blade.

Understanding the different types of lock cylinders is essential in choosing the right one for your specific security needs. Whether you’re looking for affordability, convenience, or maximum security, there’s a lock cylinder to suit your requirements.

Signs That a Lock Cylinder Needs Changing

If you notice difficulty in inserting or turning your key, it may be a sign that the lock cylinder needs changing. Ignoring these signs could result in a lockout situation or even a broken key.

To avoid such inconveniences, it’s important to pay attention to the following signs:

  1. Key resistance: If you find it increasingly difficult to insert or remove your key from the lock, it could be a sign of a worn-out lock cylinder. This resistance can indicate that the internal components of the cylinder are no longer aligned correctly.
  2. Key turning issues: When your key doesn’t turn smoothly in the lock or gets stuck, it’s a clear indication of a problem with the lock cylinder. This could be due to worn-out or damaged internal parts.
  3. Key breakage: If your key breaks while turning it in the lock, it’s a definite sign that the lock cylinder needs to be replaced. Broken keys are often a result of excessive force or a misaligned cylinder.
  4. Lock damage: Physical damage to the lock, such as rust, corrosion, or visible wear and tear, can also indicate the need for a lock cylinder replacement. These issues can compromise the security of your property and should be addressed promptly.

Tools and Materials Required

If you’ve determined that your lock cylinder needs changing based on the signs mentioned earlier, you’ll need a few tools and materials to complete the task.

The first thing you’ll need is a screwdriver, preferably one with a flathead. This will be used to remove the screws that hold the lock cylinder in place. You may also need a pair of pliers to help with the removal process, especially if the screws are stubborn.

Additionally, you’ll need a new lock cylinder. Make sure to choose one that’s compatible with your existing lock and keys. You can find lock cylinders at most hardware stores or online.

It’s also a good idea to have a lubricant, such as WD-40, on hand to help with the installation process.

Finally, you’ll need a pencil or a marker to mark the position of the old lock cylinder before removing it. This will make it easier to align the new cylinder correctly.

With these tools and materials, you’ll be well-equipped to change your lock cylinder effectively.

Step-by-Step Guide

To begin changing the lock cylinder, gather the necessary tools and materials. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Remove the old lock cylinder:

  • Start by unscrewing the screws that hold the lock cylinder in place.
  • Use a screwdriver to carefully detach the cylinder from the door.
  • Be cautious not to damage any surrounding parts.

Insert the new cylinder:

  • Take the new lock cylinder and align it with the hole on the door.
  • Ensure that the keyhole is facing the correct direction.
  • Insert the cylinder into the hole and secure it by tightening the screws.

Test the new lock:

  • Before fully assembling the lock, check if the new cylinder functions properly.
  • Insert the key and turn it to see if the lock engages and disengages smoothly.
  • Test it a few times to ensure it works consistently.

Reassemble the lock:

  • Once you’re satisfied with the functioning of the new cylinder, reassemble any other parts or accessories that were removed during the process.
  • Make sure everything is securely fastened before testing the lock one final time.

Tips for a Successful Lock Cylinder Replacement

For a successful lock cylinder replacement, ensure that you have the correct size and type of cylinder that matches your door. This is a crucial step to guarantee a seamless installation process. When choosing a lock cylinder, take accurate measurements of your existing cylinder to ensure a perfect fit. The size of the cylinder is determined by the thickness of your door. Using a cylinder that’s too long or too short can lead to poor functionality and compromise the security of your door.

Additionally, make sure to select the right type of cylinder for your specific needs. There are various types of lock cylinders available, such as single-cylinder, double-cylinder, or thumb-turn cylinders. Single-cylinder lock cylinders are the most common, featuring a keyhole on one side and a thumb-turn on the other.

Double-cylinder lock cylinders require a key to open from both sides, providing enhanced security. Thumb-turn cylinders, on the other hand, have a thumb-turn on one side and a blank plate on the other, eliminating the need for a key.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One common mistake to avoid when changing a lock cylinder is failing to properly align the cylinder with the door. This is a crucial step that’s often overlooked and can lead to various problems down the line.

To ensure a successful lock cylinder replacement, here are four important things to keep in mind:

  1. Measurements: Take accurate measurements of the door and the lock cylinder before purchasing a new one. Failing to do so can result in buying a cylinder that doesn’t fit properly, causing difficulties during installation.
  2. Lubrication: Apply lubricant to the lock cylinder before inserting it into the door. This allows for smoother operation and prevents unnecessary wear and tear.
  3. Tightening: Make sure to tighten the screws or bolts that hold the lock cylinder in place. Loose fittings can lead to instability and compromise the security of the lock.
  4. Testing: After the new lock cylinder is installed, test it thoroughly to ensure it functions correctly. Check if the key turns smoothly and the lock engages and disengages properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re still unsure about changing a lock cylinder, you may have some questions that commonly come up during the process. It’s natural to have concerns when it comes to something as important as securing your home or property. Here are a few frequently asked questions to help address any lingering doubts you may have.

One common question is, ‘Do I need to hire a professional locksmith to change a lock cylinder?’ While it’s possible to do it yourself, hiring a professional locksmith is recommended, especially if you lack experience or are unsure about the process. They’ve the necessary tools and expertise to ensure that the lock is changed correctly and securely.

Another question often asked is, ‘How long does it take to change a lock cylinder?’ The time it takes to change a lock cylinder can vary depending on factors such as the type of lock and the locksmith’s skill level. On average, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

Lastly, people often wonder, ‘Can I rekey a lock cylinder instead of changing it?’ Yes, it’s possible to rekey a lock cylinder instead of replacing it entirely. Rekeying involves rearranging the pins inside the cylinder to fit a new key, rendering the old keys ineffective. This can be a cost-effective solution if you want to maintain the same lock but need to change the key access.


Changing a lock cylinder may seem daunting, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be a straightforward process. By following the step-by-step guide and avoiding common mistakes, you can successfully replace a lock cylinder and enhance your home security.

Remember to pay attention to signs that indicate a lock cylinder needs changing, and always use the appropriate type of lock cylinder for your specific needs.

With these tips, you can confidently change a lock cylinder and ensure the safety of your home.

Letterbox To a Door

How To Install a Letterbox To a Door?

Installing a letterbox in your door is like opening a personal gateway for communication, connecting you to the world beyond your doorstep. You don’t need a professional to do it; you can do it yourself with some basic tools and a bit of time.

This guide will walk you through the process, from choosing the right letterbox for your industrial style door to the actual installation.

You’ll get tips on how to prepare your door, correctly position and secure your letterbox, and finally, how to maintain it.

Let’s help you create that tangible link to the outside world right at your front door.

Importance of a Letterbox

You’ll find that having a letterbox significantly increases the convenience and security of your mail delivery. Imagine not having to worry about your mail getting lost, damaged, or stolen because you’ve got it securely tucked away in your letterbox.

It’s not just for letters, either. The right-sized letterbox can handle larger items, like magazines or small packages. Plus, you won’t have to rush home to get your mail out of the elements. Rain or shine, your mail stays safe and dry in your letterbox.

It’s also a nice touch of personal style on your home’s exterior. With a wide variety of designs to choose from, you’ll easily find one that suits your taste.


Before you start installing your letterbox, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary tools and materials for the installation process. You’ll need a drill, a jigsaw, a pencil, a tape measure, a screwdriver, and screws.

Don’t forget the letterbox unit itself, which should ideally match the aesthetic of your door. Measure the door’s thickness and the letterbox to ensure they’re compatible.

Prepare your working area too. Clear the space, ensuring there’s enough room for you to move around freely. Protect the floor and surrounding areas from dust and debris with a drop cloth.

Safety should be your priority, so don’t forget your safety glasses and gloves. Take the time in this preparation stage to ensure a smooth installation process.

Installation Steps

Now that you’re prepared, let’s move on to the actual installation steps.

This will involve choosing the right spot on your door, making correct measurements, and finally attaching the letterbox.

Selecting the Location for the Letterbox on the Door

Considering the aesthetics and practicality, it’s crucial to choose the right spot on your door to install the letterbox. Usually, it’s placed at a comfortable height for the mail carrier, about 41 to 45 inches from the ground. Make sure not to place it too close to the door handle. It could interfere with the operation of the door or might look awkward. Remember, you also need enough room for drilling and fixing the letterbox without damaging the door.

Make a template of the letterbox and tape it on the door. This gives you a visual cue of how it’ll look. Adjust the position until you’re happy with it. Now, mark the corners of the template on the door.

You’ve successfully chosen the perfect location for your letterbox.

Prioritizing Safety and Security

Ensuring the security of your mail is paramount when installing a letterbox on your door. You’ll need to place it high enough to deter would-be thieves but low enough for the postman to reach. Consider using a letterbox with a security feature, such as a lock or a one-way flap.

When installing, always double-check the alignment of the letterbox. Misalignment might compromise its security features. Use a level to ensure it’s straight.

Lastly, don’t forget to properly secure the letterbox to the door. Use screws that are long enough to penetrate the door but not too long that they’d protrude on the other side.

Following these steps will ensure that your mail is safe and secure.

Measuring and Marking the Door

After ensuring the security of your letterbox, it’s time to start the actual installation process by accurately measuring and marking your door.

First, determine the best position for your letterbox. It should be easily accessible yet not obstruct the door’s function. Use a tape measure for precise measurements and bear in mind the size of the letterbox.

Consider these important points:

  • Always double-check your measurements for accuracy.
  • Use a pencil to mark the door. It’s less permanent and can be easily adjusted.
  • Measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of the letterbox. It should be at a comfortable height for both posting letters and retrieval.

Proper measurement and marking are crucial for a successful letterbox installation.

Drilling the Hole Using Appropriate Tools

Once you’ve marked your door, it’s time to grab your drill and start making the hole for your letterbox. Ensure you’re using a drill bit that’s suitable for your door material. For wooden doors, a hole saw works best.

Begin by drilling a pilot hole in the center of your marking. This will guide your larger drill bit or hole saw. Now, drill the hole for your letterbox, taking care to stay within your markings. Remember to apply steady pressure but avoid forcing the drill. Let it do the work.

Once you’ve drilled halfway through the door, stop and repeat the process from the other side. This will prevent splintering and ensure a cleaner finish. Lastly, smooth the edges with some sandpaper.

Attaching the Letterbox to the Door

Now that you’ve successfully drilled the hole, it’s time to attach the letterbox to your door. This part is easier than it seems, but it’s important to be careful not to damage the door or the letterbox.

  1. First, align the letterbox with the hole you’ve drilled. Make sure it’s straight.
  2. Second, using the screws provided, start attaching the letterbox to the door. Be careful not to overtighten the screws as it could damage the door or the letterbox.
  3. Lastly, once all the screws are in place, make sure the letterbox is secure and opens and closes smoothly.

There! You’ve done it! Your letterbox is now installed. With patience and a little bit of elbow grease, you’ve added a functional and stylish addition to your front door.

Additional Tips and Recommendations

Frequently, you’ll find it’s easier to install your letterbox if you invest in quality materials and tools. Don’t skimp on your letterbox; it’s the first impression visitors get of your home. Choose solid, weather-resistant materials that can withstand the elements.

It’s wise to use a template or guide to ensure your letterbox is level and properly aligned with your door.

Remember, safety first. Always wear protective gear when drilling or cutting. If you’re not confident in your DIY skills, don’t hesitate to hire a professional.

Lastly, consider your postal carrier’s convenience. Ensure your letterbox is easily accessible and large enough to fit regular mail, so you won’t miss any important post.

Frequently Asked Questions

While you might still have some questions after reading the previous tips and recommendations, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions to further assist you in installing your letterbox to your door. These include:

  • What tools will I need?Usually, you’ll need a drill, jigsaw, and a screwdriver. But, the specific tools can vary depending on the type of door and letterbox.
  • Can I install a letterbox on any door type? Yes, you can. However, the process might slightly differ for metal, wooden, or glass doors.
  • What if my door is too thin or too thick for the letterbox? In such cases, you might need to get a customized letterbox or use special fittings.


Installing a letterbox to your door isn’t as daunting as it might seem. With the right tools and a bit of patience, you’ve got this! Just remember the importance of proper placement and follow the installation steps closely.

Keep our additional tips in mind and don’t hesitate to refer back to the frequently asked questions. You’ll be enjoying the convenience of your new letterbox in no time.

Good luck with your DIY project!

Security sliding doors London

Top 10 tips for maintenance of sliding doors

Sliding doors are some of our top selling doors here at Secure House thanks to their versatility and functionality. If they’re glazed sliding doors, they’re great at helping to bring the outdoors indoors. And if they’re solid sliding doors they’re perfect for saving space in a variety of different situations from room partitions to garage doors.

It’s imperative to keep sliding doors well-maintained to ensure optimum operation so we’ve compiled our top 10 tips for the maintenance of sliding doors in your home. And, if you’re considering purchasing sliding doors, here’s what you need to know!

Check our sliding doors here→

1. Keep it clean

Key to the longevity and smooth function of your sliding doors is to keep their tracks clean. Make sure you regularly clean the tracks of your sliding doors to remove any dirt, dust, and debris that might have become lodged. Use a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush to clean the tracks effectively at least once a week.

2. Slide on

As with any moving parts of a door, it’s vital to lubricate the tracks of sliding doors. Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the tracks to ensure smooth sliding motion. Avoid using oil-based lubricants as they can often attract more dirt.

3. Don’t forget the rollers!

So you’ve lubricated the tracks on your sliding doors, now don’t forget to clean and lubricate the rollers. It is essential that the rollers of your sliding doors are lubricated too. You can use the same silicone-based lubricant used for the tracks and this will prevent them from getting stuck or becoming noisy during operation.

4. Still weatherproof?

Any external sliding doors are, of course, specifically designed to withstand all types of weather from rain and wind to sunshine and snow. As such, it’s imperative that you inspect the weatherstripping on the doors. By checking the weatherstripping around the sliding door for any signs of wear or damage you can often spot any issues before they arise. This way, you can replace any worn-out weatherstripping and maintain energy efficiency and prevent drafts.

5. Sparkle and shine

If your sliding doors are glazed, make cleaning the glass, both internally and externally, part of your regular maintenance routine. Cleaning the glass panels of your sliding door will help to keep them clear and free of smudges so you get the very best view. Select a purpose-glass cleaner and a soft cloth for this task repeat on a fortnightly basis.

6. Tweak it

It’s perfectly normal to have to make ok to make slight tweaks to sliding doors over time. Adjusting the doors’ alignment is common practice in the door industry. If your sliding door begins to drag or becomes misaligned, you can adjust its alignment. Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions or contact a professional to make the necessary adjustments.

7. Check it out

External sliding doors are designed to protect your home. If a handle or lock is loose not only could it hamper operation, but it could also provide an intruder with a way in. So, make sure you secure any loose handles or locks on your sliding door to ensure they are as secure as possible. Tighten any loose screws or bolts and replace any damaged hardware too.

8. Keep clear

This might sound like quite an obvious tip but avoid placing any objects or obstacles on the track that could interfere with the sliding motion of the door. Be sure to always keep track area clear to prevent jams and damage. Every time you slide the door open or closed, just take a cursory look to see if anything is in the way, especially if you have young children who might have left their toys laying around!

9. Protect against the elements

Here in the UK, we’re on an island and we all know that means one thing when it comes to the weather: it can be completely unpredictable! So, it’s essential to protect your sliding doors against harsh weather. If you do happen to live in an area with particularly extreme weather conditions, consider installing a storm door or applying window film to protect your sliding door from the elements.

10. Inspection due

It goes without saying, to get the best from your sliding doors, we recommend performing regular inspections. By doing this, you will be able to identify any potential issues early on. Look for signs of damage, wear, or malfunction and address them promptly to prevent any further damage.

If you follow these maintenance tips, you can keep your sliding doors in tip top condition and ensure they operate smoothly and efficiently for many years.

If you’d like to find out more about sliding doors and how to best maintain them, or you’d like to add sliding doors in your home, please contact any of the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 [email protected]