Can You Change a Door Lock Yourself?

You can save money by changing a door lock yourself if you know what you are doing. At IKS Locksmiths we are specialists in lock fitting and repairs in London. As an experienced wooden, aluminium and UPVC door lock repairs locksmith I can confirm that if you don’t know how to change a lock it is advisable to call a reliable locksmith to avoid expensive mistakes.

Changing you own lock can be quite risky if;

  • You are not changing the lock for a like for like lock
  • You choose the wrong size lock

As 24 hr emergency London locksmiths we are often called out when DIY lock changes haven’t gone to plan.

How do you change a door lock?

People often ask how to change a door lock? Can I do it myself? You can if you know what you are doing and have the correct tools.

On many occasions all you will need is a standard Pozi or Philips screw driver. On many older locks a flat screw driver may be required. You may also need some long and short nosed pliers to break down the connecting bar on the lock (this is usually applicable to rim style cylinders on timber doors).

How easy a door lock change is really depends on the type of lock as well as your skill set.

Changing a Mortice lock

There are many different types of mortice locks on the market and if you do change a mortice lock yourself you need to ensure you have the correct one. Otherwise you may need to chisel out parts of the door which could get very messy.

mortice door lock change

Changing a Cylinder Lock

When replacing a door lock which is a cylinder lock it is important to have the right size lock for your door.

Yale lock change

Can you change the lock on a UPVC door?

You can change a UPVC door lock but it is particularly important to have the correct size locks for UPVC door locks.

upvc door lock change

Things to consider before embarking on a DIY lock change;

  • Are you certain you have got the right lock?
  • Is the lock the right size?
  • Does the lock meet the British Standards required by your contents insurance policy?
  • Does the lock comply with health and safety regulations?
  • Is it a lock change that requires carpentry skills? (some do, some don’t)
  • Do you have the carpentry skills required to change the lock?
  • Do you have the carpentry tools required to change a door lock?
  • If yes to all the above and it doesn’t work out what would you do?
  • If the lock stops working a few months down the line will the company you purchased the lock from guarantee the lock?
  • Is the security of my family and belongings worth the risk?

How much is it to change a door lock in the UK?

A standard lock can cost anything from £20+ with labour in addition to this. Labour charges would depend on the time of the day. You can read more about how much it costs to change door locks here.

Choosing a Cheap Locksmith for Changing Locks

Choosing a reliable approved locksmiths for a lock change is important. As an MLA approved locksmith in High Barnet I am aware of many inexperienced locksmiths operating and overcharging for poor standards of work. You can read about the risks of choosing a cheap London locksmith here. They use a tactic called Bait and Switch where they hook a customer with a ridiculously low price and then increase it on the job.

Cheap Locksmith London
Main Image Courtesy of katemangostar

You can read about how not to fall for rogue locksmith tricks and how to choose a reliable locksmith for changing locks here.

How much does it cost to change a lock on a UPVC door in the UK?

The cost of replacing a UPVC door lock in the region of £30+ with labour charges on top of this. It would depend on the type of lock required and chosen by the customer.

High quality anti snap and high security locks cost more and are a good investment providing higher levels of security. It can be hard to know if you are genuinely getting value for money when choosing a lock. You can read about why locksmiths prices vary here.

Is it cheaper to rekey or replace locks?

Many locks will be cheaper to rekey but there are many others that are not worthwhile rekeying and replacing the lock will be more economical. It really depends on the type of lock and the condition it is in.

A professional locksmith specialising in locks will be able to give you sound advice on which is the most economical option for your particular lock.

How long does it take to change locks?

How long is a piece if string. Some locks are very simple and quick to change whilst others can be more challenging, especially if you do not have the right tools.

Main Image Courtesy of ciocci

Is changing locks easy?

Anything is easy if you know how. The key to a smooth DIY lock change is knowledge and experience. If you don’t know how to replace a lock it is advisable to call a locksmith experienced in changing locks.

Saving Money by Changing Your Own Door Lock

Almost any job can be done as a DIY job, accounting, website design, hairdressing, and the list go on. However if you don’t know what you are doing it can turn out to be a false economy. In the case of security and changing locks on your doors it can be risky business on many levels.

Yes there are videos you can watch on YouTube on how to replace a lock but they don’t necessarily tell you what can go wrong and they can’t cover every lock change scenario.

Potential DIY Door Lock Change Scenarios;

  • The job goes wrong and you end up paying a locksmith for the job in addition to your efforts and outlay.
  • The job goes wrong and the locksmith has to charge extra to correct damage that has been done.
  • You are burgled and realise that your insurance policy won’t pay out because the lock isn’t the standard required in your policy.
  • Your property is burgled and the police tell you that the lock has been changed incorrectly.
  • You try to change a door lock at the weekend, it goes wrong and you find yourself calling a locksmith and paying out of hours rates.

Fixing a Lock Change Gone Wrong

When a customer asks me how much to change a door locks I need to assess the situation before quoting a price.

Recently I did a job in Totteridge where someone had attempted a DIY lock change and called me on Saturday. Weekends are charged as an emergency call out with the majority of Locksmiths. When I arrived he had the lock case in his hands in pieces. It had actually fallen apart during a botched attempt to change the lock.

Had he called us out initially he would have saved himself £100.

MLA locksmiths

Locksmith Experienced in Lock Changes in London

If you need a locksmith in Totteridge or whetstone call us for a quote. We are local and will be happy to offer you a competitive price, even at the weekend!

In the meantime we have lots of useful security tips and advice on our website. Including this post which may give you some food for thought about when changing locks on a door is necessary.

I hope this information has been helpful and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Should you require a quote for a lock change or even a free security advice following a survey of your property we would be delighted to hear from you.

How can we help you?

For professional security advice and information call to speak directly to Martin, our Master Locksmith and security specialist.


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Master Locksmiths Association

Master Locksmiths Association



Contact Us


  • IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    Unit E2,
    Queens Rd,
    Barnet EN5 4DJ
  • Our Totteridge Address:
    IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    44 Greenway
    North London
    N20 8ED
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