How to fit door handles
Once installed, internal doors can last for years, especially if they are well maintained and cared for. One piece of hardware that may need to be replaced in a shorter timeframe is the handles.
The great news is that these are incredibly easy to remove and replace, and with so many options available, you can give your door and room a new focal point.
How long should door handles last?
While doors can last decades, handles don’t quite have that lifespan.
On average, door levers have a lifecycle of around seven years.
Similarly, doorknobs tend to last for approximately seven to ten years. Of course, both of these statistics will vary depending on the level of maintenance carried out for your particular item.
When is it time to replace your door handle?
You may need to replace your handles if they have been through vigorous wear and tear. If you see notice these three things:
- The knob or lever isn’t ‘bouncing’ back to its original position once released.
- It has fallen off entirely (you may be able to screw it back in but if this happens regularly it’s time for an upgrade).
- Parts of the handle have fallen off and gone missing.
It’s probably time for an upgrade.
Alternatively, you may simply want to make a change and replacing your door accessories is a cheaper option than replacing the door entirely.
How easy is it to fit a door handle?
It’s incredibly easy to fit a handle. In this post, we’re going to provide step-by-step instructions to replace both a door lever and a doorknob.
It’s so simple, you can usually swap out a lever or knob in five minutes.
Are door handles left or right?
Handles can be positioned both on the left or right side of the door. However, placement is essential! Handles must be installed on the opposite side of the hinges, and so, while the handles can be repositioned higher or lower than the original, they must stay on the same side to function properly.
It’s worth also considering that if you do reposition the handle, you will have to fill, sand, treat and potentially paint the area of the door where the handles used to be.
What you’ll need to replace a door lever
Here are the tools and materials you’ll need to remove your old lever and install a new one:
- Door wedge.
- Flathead screwdriver.
- New handle and screws.
How do you install new door handles?
Here’s how you replace the levers on an interior door in eight steps:
Step one – Wedge the door open so that it doesn’t move backwards while you work. It will also stop the door from closing once the handles are removed, trapping you in or out.
Step two – You’ll need to identify what type of cover you’re dealing with. If you can see the screws on the plate, you can move on to the next step four. If you can’t, then move on to step three.
Step three – You can use the flathead screwdriver to prise the cover plate off. There will be a notch positioned either at the bottom or side of the plate, this is where you should place the screwdriver to gently prise it off.
Step four – Using your drill, remove the screws from the plate and gently pull it away from the door. Remember that this will cause the lever on the opposite side to become loose, so it may be worth asking someone to hold on to that lever so it doesn’t fall off.
Step five – Combine your new door handle with the latch plate (if not already done) and gently place it into the same holes you removed the old lever from. Your plate should align with the old holes and the door mechanism should be poking out of the other side.
Step five – On the opposite side, attach the second handle by sliding it onto the handle mechanism.
Step six – Test the door handle to ensure it’s operating correctly.
Step seven – Insert the new screws into the old screw holes and screw them in using your Philips head screwdriver.
Step eight – test the handle function one more time before closing the door.
And you’re done!
Next, we’ll take a look at how to replace a doorknob.
What you’ll need to replace a doorknob
Here are the tools and materials you’ll need to remove your old knob and install a new one:
- Door wedge.
- Flathead screwdriver and/or drill.
- New latch plate.
- New knob and screws.
How do you install new doorknobs?
Here’s a quick and easy way to install new knobs on an internal door in ten steps:
Step one – Position your wedge so that it keeps the door steady while you work and prevents it from closing while the knobs are off, essentially locking you out or in.
Step two – Using your screwdriver or drill, remove the screws from the old doorknob. Keep hold of the knob on the other side of the door as this may fall off as you loosen the screws.
Step three – Check what kind of latch plate you have. If you can see the screws then you can move on to step five. If you can’t then please move on to step four.
Step four – If your plate doesn’t have any visible screws then it’s likely because you’re dealing with a latch plate cover and the screws are just beneath. If you look to the side of the plate, you should see a little groove where you can position a screwdriver to gently prise it off. You should then be able to see the screws.
Step five – Using your drill or screwdriver, remove the old screws from the plate. You can take this out by inserting your screwdriver into the hole where the knob was and gently pushing the latch out.
Step six – Insert the new latch, making sure that the curved side faces the door. Think of when you close the door, the curved latch has to be the first thing that touches the strike plate.
Step seven – Insert the new screws and tighten using your drill or screwdriver.
Step eight – Now it’s time to install your new knobs. If it has a lock mechanism, make sure that you’re placing the right knob on the correct side. Insert one knob into the hole where the old one sat, this should sit nicely in place because of your newly installed latch.
Step nine – Next slide the other knob into position and check that it works properly.
Step ten – Finally, secure the new screws using your screwdriver or drill and give it one more test before closing the door.
Buy door handles and doorknobs from Doors and More.
Now that you know how to quickly and easily install a new door handle or knob, it’s time to go out and buy a stunning new accessory for your door. Check out our door handle buying guide for more help and advice.