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
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  • 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. Changing a door can be more costly than you’d think, but a mere change of door handle can make all the difference in some cases – for a fraction of the price.

    As well as being cost-effective luckily replacing a handle or knob is a quick and easy DIY and decorating project – just follow our step-by-step instructions on how to fit a door handle.

    How to fit a door handle


    Image credit: Future PLC/ Paul Raeside

    What you’ll need to replace a door knob

    • 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 and handle designs will need to have screws removed from both sides of the door.

    2. Take off the plate and latch

    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.


    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain

    4. Fit your new door furniture

    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.

    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.


    Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme

    Changing a door handle can instantly change the aesthetic of an internal door.

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