How to fit a door handle – change your door knob for a new one

Our guide explains how to change a door handle for a shiny new replacement

Doors looking a little on the shabby side? Internal doors can play a big role in the overall look of your home, 
and they’re worth a little TLC so they look their best. Luckily, replacing a handle or knob is a quick and easy DIY project – just follow our step-by-step instructions on how to fit a door handle.

Check out more of our DIY and decorating ideas.

How to fit a door handle – the kit you’ll need


Image credit: Paul Raeside

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • New doorknob or handle

1. Remove the old door handle or knob

First you need to remove the screws holding the existing knob or handle in place. These will be either on the cover plate, or if not, look for a small slot on 
the side of the handle. Press in the metal piece in the slot and the doorknob 
should come loose. Some knob designs will need to have screws removed from both sides of the door.

2. Take off the plate and latch


Image credit: David Brittain

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There should be a slot along one 
edge of the plate. Insert the screwdriver into the slot and twist to pop off the plate. Remove the screws under the 
plate, and then unscrew and then slide out the old latch. Unscrew the strike 
plate from the door frame.

3. Check the backset

The backset is the distance from the centre of the big hole on 
the front surface of the door to the edge of the door. Measure it to check that your chosen replacement handle or knob will work with your existing backset.

4. Fit your new door furniture


Image credit: Lizzie Orme

Slide the new latch into the edge 
of the door, and then screw in place 
by hand, then tighten with a drill. Insert the half of the knob or handle with the peg into the door first, inserting the 
peg into the latch mechanism, then 
push on the other half of the knob or handle, and then screw in place.

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5. Fill in any old holes

If any holes or marks from the previous door furniture are visible, sand them and fill with wood putty, then touch up with paint if necessary. Finally, screw the new strike plate to the door frame.

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