How to replace an exterior door handle

Written by darcy logan
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How to replace an exterior door handle
Replacing an exterior door handle is easy. (Creative Commons: Chimothy27)

If you need to replace an old worn out exterior door handle, then now is the time. This is an easy project that can be done in a few minutes, provided you have the right tools and a replacement door handle that fits your door. The instructions below are written for more traditional types of door handles found on wood and metal doors. However, they will also work for other types of door handles, such as those found on storm doors and screen doors. You simply need to skip the steps that talk about removing or inserting the latch.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Replacement door handle
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open your door slightly before beginning.

  2. 2

    Look at the interior side of the door knob for screws.

  3. 3

    If screws are not visible, pop off the door knob by pressing a flathead screwdriver into the slot on the side of the handle and turning slightly. The door knob should come loose and you can remove it by pulling.

  4. 4

    Remove the screws with a screwdriver. You should be able to remove both sides of the door handle.

  5. 5

    Remove the screws from the strike plate on the side of the door. You can now remove the latch.

  6. 6

    Measure the distance from the edge of the door to any holes on the door. This is considered the "back set." You want to ensure that your new handle will work for your door.

  7. 7

    Take your old door handle and your measurements from Step 6 to a hardware store to purchase a new one. This will ensure that the new door handle is compatible with your door.

  8. 8

    Screw in the new latch. Start the screws by hand, then switch to a screwdriver. It is better to get both screws started before tightening them.

  9. 9

    Set the exterior door knob and the interior door knob into place.

  10. 10

    Replace the screws. This can be tricky because you need to make sure that they are going into the holes correctly. Start both screws by hand before tightening them with your screwdriver.

  11. 11

    Test your door handle and lock to see if it is working correctly.

Tips and warnings

  • Use WD-40 to loosen screws on an old doorknob.

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