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Do you need to replace the handles of your door?

Changing a door handles is pretty easy! All you need is a cool new door handle set and a flat screwdriver. If your old handle is getting old or you just want a fancier one, no big deal. Just go to the store, pick a handle you like, and get ready to use your screwdriver. Before you know it, your door will look totally different and awesome!

Removing the Existing Handle

Open the door and stick a door stop under the bottom edge of the door. Open up the door about halfway, so you can easily access both sides of the door handle. Push a door stop under the bottom edge of the door to keep it from moving and closing while you replace the handle.

If you don’t have a door stop, you could use a wedge-shaped piece of wood or any other wedge-like object you can find around your home that will fit under the door.

Push the handle’s pressure release in with a screwdriver and pull it off.

If you want to take off a door handle, first, check if there’s a small slot on the side of the handle or on the cover plate. The cover plate is the thing that hides the inside of the handle and makes it look nice.

If you find a slot, use a flat-head screwdriver to push in and then pull off the handle. If you don’t see a slot, try unscrewing the knobs or handles. But remember, different handles come off in different ways.

Sometimes, the handles might not come off by themselves. If your handle has a rectangular plate, the handle might be stuck to the plate, so you have to remove the whole thing. Just be careful and ask for help if you need it!

Unscrew and pull off the door handle’s cover plates

To take off the flat plates on both sides of the door, use a flat-head screwdriver. Stick the screwdriver under the plates, gently lift them until they pop off, and then put them aside.

Not all plates have screws. Some just snap on, so use the screwdriver to gently lift them off. Look for a little slot on the side or bottom of the plate where you can slide in the screwdriver.

If the plates are round, they might be screwed on. Try turning the plate to the left if you can’t get it off by unscrewing or lifting it.

Take out the screws holding the latch and inner plates in place

Take out the screws from the inside edge of the door that are holding the latch in place. Also, remove the screws that are holding the inner plates on both sides of the door.

The inner plates are right under the plates you took off earlier. They keep the part of the door handle that grabs onto the door in place inside the hole in the door.

The latch is the metal piece that goes in and out of the hole on the inside edge of the door. When you shut the door, this latch grabs onto a hole in the door frame to keep the door closed. Turning the door handle makes the latch move in, so you can open the door.

Pull out the latch plate and door latch mechanism

Gently take out the metal plate and the part that helps the door lock from the hole on the inside edge of the door. Put them in a safe place. Also, take off the plates from both sides of the door and keep them aside too. Now, your door only has holes where you can put in a new door handle.

Attaching the New Handle

Choose a new door handle that fits on your door

Use a tape measure to see how far it is from the inside of the door to the middle of the hole. This is called the backset measurement. Then, choose a new handle that fits this measurement.

Pick a handle or knob that has cover plates (the parts that go around the handle) the same shape and size as the old ones. This way, it can hide any marks on the door, like holes from screws or scratches. Most handles have a standard backset of either 60 mm or 70 mm, so it’s easy to find one that fits the holes in your door.

For example, if your old handle had rectangular cover plates, it’s a good idea to get a new handle with similar rectangular plates instead of round ones.

Insert your new handle’s latch into the hole on the door’s inside edge

Put the wardrobe handles (the metal part that keeps the door closed) in the hole on the inside of the door. Make sure the smooth, slanted part faces the same way the door closes. Push the latch into the hole until the flat part is against the inside of the door where the old latch used to be.

The latches that come with door handles are usually the same size, so the new one should fit in the old spot easily. If it doesn’t seem to fit right, you can use a tool called a chisel to change the depth and shape of the hole in the door a little bit.

Screw the new handle’s inner plates to the door

Line up the cylinders on the insides of the inner plates with the corresponding holes in the latch mechanism and slide them into place. Fasten the plates flush against the door using the provided screws and your screwdriver.

If the inner plates are different from each other, make sure to look at the instructions on your new handle to see which one goes on the inside and which one goes on the outside of the door.

Put the cover plates in place on top of the inner plates. Slide the new cover plates on and press them against the inner plates until they snap into place. Attach any provided screws that hold the plates in place using your screwdriver.

These plates should be the same for both sides, since they are just the cosmetic plates that cover up the inner plates.

Press the new knobs or handles into place. Slide the door knobs or handle onto the handle mechanism’s cylinder on the outside of the door and press it until it snaps into place. Do the same for the inner knob or handle.

Remember that some knobs and handles screw on. If you see threads on the door handle mechanism cylinders, screw the knobs or handles on instead of pressing them into place.

If your new door handles are already attached to the cover plates, you don’t have to put them on separately. They will already be in place after you attach the new cover plates to the door.

About the author

Jack Reuben Fletcher

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