The last time we installed a new door lock, we had a hell of a time getting everything lined up. A pro we were talking to last week turned us on to the easy way to do the job: a door lock installation kit like this one available from Irwin.
These kits are essentially a jig that clamps right to the door and properly positions two hole saws — one for the lock and the other for the mechanism. Irwin also includes a slick bolt-plate template, so all you have to do is align it with the mechanism hole on the side of the door and run the included custom router bit through the slots to create a recess for the bolt plate.
Separate kits are available for wood doors and metal doors, though Irwin now offers a kit with bi-metal blades that’ll work with either type. Street pricing starts around $21 for the bi-metal kit, which means you can afford to pick one up even for a single door installation. And when you’re done, you can become everyone’s best friend by loaning it out.