Do carpenters fit locks? What types of lock do they fit?

Carpenters are multi skilled trades people. They undertake a wide variety of jobs on site and have a broad skill set.

One job a carpenter will perform regularly, is fitting locks. This will usually be carried out after they hang a door and ad the other furniture such as latch, keep and handles. However, they can also add locks to an existing door quite easily.

There are lots of different types of lock, and a good carpenter should be able to fit all of them. This will include any locks installed in wooden doors. As well as multi point door locks in UPVC doors.

do carpenters fit locks

If you need some locks fitting and want to hire a carpenter, make sure you shop around. Comparing quotes can save you a considerable amount of money for this type of work.

A good way to do this, is via online comparison sites that compare prices from local carpenters. This will ensure you hire a reliable trades person, and prices tend to be discounted by 20-30%.

You can compare lock fitting prices from local carpenters by Clicking Here

Different locks and how a carpenter fits them

Some of the most common locks that a carpenter will fit can be seen below with a short description of how they are fitted.

Mortice lock (sash locks)

A mortice lock is a very common key operated lock, they come in two main types, 3-lever, and 5-lever. A 5-lever mortice lock is more secure. This is due to more levers in the locking mechanism, which make it harder to pick and duplicate keys.

This type of lock is usually an external door lock, fitted to your front or back wooden door. For this reason, a 5-lever lock is often preferred by insurance companies, due to their added security. They may also be used internally, on doors that need to be secure and locked with a key.

A mortice lock has a faceplate and cassette on the back that houses both the locking and handle mechanism. When purchased, they will usually come with a decorative faceplate, a door keep, and some keys. In most cases handles are purchased separately.

To fit this type of lock, the carpenter will cut a mortice hole into the edge of the door. This will house the cassette inside the door. Two holes will be drilled through the door, lining up with the mortice lock holes for the door handle and lock spindles.

The carpenter will also mark and chisel around the faceplate. This will be cut to the faceplate depth, allowing it to sit flush with the edge of the door. Following this, the handles can be added, and the latch and lock mechanism can be tested.

Finally, the door keep is cut into the door casing, in a similar way to the faceplate. A section will be cut deeper in order to account for the deadbolt and door latch.

Once this is done the door should latch and lock correctly.

Privacy/bathroom door lock

This is quite often a mortice lock, so the components are almost identical to the lock we mentioned previously.

The main difference is they will usually have a thumb turn lock on the inside of the door. Chopping the lock out and fitting faceplates is exactly the same as a standard mortice lock.

Some bathroom locks can also be separate from the handle mechanism. These are simply two plates either side with a tubular mortice bolt. This variety is very simple to fit, and the mortice can usually be drilled out in one go.

The overall method of fitting is still very similar though.

Security bolt (rack bolt)

This is a very simple type of concealed door bolt. It is key operated. However the lock is operated with a simple spline key.

Rack bolts are often placed at the top and bottom of external doors, to add a secondary level of security. They can also be used as simple internal locks, to secure things like cupboard doors.

This is another tubular mortice lock, so installation is very similar to previous examples. A mortice hole will need drilling/chiselling in the door for the lock, and a smaller hole in the casing for the bolt to lock into. Both the door and the casing, will have rectangular faceplates that are fitted flush with the timber on both sides.

Night latch (Yale lock)

A night latch is usually a secondary lock, added to external doors. The main locking mechanism is fixed on the inside of the door and is operated with a thumb turn handle.

A cylinder passes through the door to a keyhole on the outside of the door. These locks are designed to lock as they latch. This means that you need a key to unlock from the outside. The latch can usually be fixed in place when you aren’t using the lock.

Fitting is reasonably simple, with the main lock and latch surface mounted on the inside. Therefore, they only need screwing in place. However, the rim cylinder for the external key lock will need cutting out.

The tail bar (spindle) from the rim cylinder goes through the door and into the night latch. In some cases, this will need cutting with a hack saw to the appropriate length. This will allow the night latch and rim cylinder to fit tight to the door.

Once the main body of the night latch is screwed in place. You can fit the latch plate on the door casing. Sometimes this is surface mounted, but in other cases it will need chopping into the frame. A carpenter will usually do this with a hammer and chisel.

Internal door bolt or chain

These are extremely simple secondary locks and are very easy to install. A carpenter would certainly do this for you. However, they can really be fitted by anyone. It is just a case of securing in place with screws.

This means even someone with very basic DIY knowledge should be able to install them.

Multi point door lock

A multi-point door lock is the lock mechanism that you will find in a UPVC door. Most carpenters will have some experience with this type of door. Even if they don’t, the process of replacing an entire lock is relatively simple, so an experienced carpenter would have no problem figuring this out.

If it is only the cylinder being replaced, then literally anyone can do this. You simply need to remove one screw and the cylinder slides out.


As you can see, carpenters do fit locks of all kinds and they are generally the best person for the job. For simple locks or replacements you could even hire a handyman or do the job yourself.

For UPVC doors, make sure you mention this, because some carpenters may only work with wood. Alternatively you can look for a UPVC specialist. As we mentioned, the process is relatively simple, so most carpenters will be OK working with UPVC locks.

The only time you might not use a carpenter, is if you are locked out and need to gain entry. For this, a locksmith would usually be a better choice. A locksmith will also be able to fit new locks and make any replacements needed, once they have gained entry to the property.