Replacing a door handle is a simple task that you can do yourself, and the only tools you need are a screwdriver and a ruler. Before tackling this project, we recommend you spend some time determining what type of handle will fit well with your door. Take a careful look at the type of door lock you currently have and evaluate whether it has the features you need.
Is your current handle broken? Or do you want to upgrade the look and security of your door? If you are looking to upgrade the security of your door, consider the current configuration of your handle set. If your door has a multipoint locking system, you will not be able to replace your hardware with a standard operating lock. If you want a deadbolt, but your current door doesn’t have one, you may wish to consult with a professional. If you are simply replacing your current configuration with a similar but updated version, you can follow our simple steps below.
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Step 1: Measure the door opening
Before you purchase a new door handle, you need to make sure it will fit your door. Measure the distance from the center of the knob opening to the edge of the door. This measurement is called the backset, and it is easier to obtain after removing your existing doorknob. Purchase a door handle that will fit the backset of your door.
When you are purchasing the handle, you also must remember to buy one that is oriented in the correct direction, so the piece that locks the door will be on the inside and the keyhole will be on the outside.
Step 2: Figure out the latch plate you need
The latch plate is a piece of metal that surrounds the opening in the door where the latch comes through. The package that your door handle comes in will probably include a standard rectangular latch plate and a round latch plate. The rectangular one usually fits, but if necessary, switch it for the round plate.
Step 3: Remove the current handle
Use a Philips-head screwdriver to remove the screws that are holding the door handle in place. For most handles you will only need to remove the screws on one side of the door. But there may be some that have screws on both sides.
Once you remove the screws, both sides of the door handle should come out easily, along with the piece that covers the hole in the door (knob plate).
Step 4: Remove the latch
The latch is the part of the door knob or handle that secures the door in the door frame and locks the door. You might be able to remove the latch simply by pushing it through the hole. In some cases, there may be screws holding the latch in place that you will have to unscrew.
Step 5: Remove the strike plate
The strike plate is the metal piece that surrounds the opening in the doorframe where the latch holds the door closed. Remove it by unscrewing the two screws that hold it in place.
Step 6: Install the latch
Slide the latch into the opening of the door. If you are using the standard rectangular latch plate, you will need to screw it into place with two screws.
Step 7: Install the handle
Once the latch is firmly in place, you can install the handle. You must start with the side of the handle that has the square steel peg. That peg will go through the latch mechanism when you place that side of the handle into the door. Once that piece is in place, line up the other half of the doorknob with the steel peg. Secure the handle in place with screws.
Step 8: Attach the new strike plate
The last step is to screw in the new strike plate, which you can do by simply screwing it in place.
After you have followed these steps, take some time to confirm that your door handle is properly operating. Ensure that the latch and lock are working as they should and that the door opens and closes smoothly.
There are different types of door handles available. The most common type is a doorknob, but door levers with long horizontal handles are also readily available. You might prefer the appearance or convenience of a lever. But no matter whether you are installing a doorknob or a door lever, the installation process should be the same.