How to Change Door Handles and Locks

Updated February 21, 2017

Door handles and locks are a common item in any home, and they often need to be replaced. A new door lock adds more security to a home, and a new handle improves the look of your door. This DIY project is one virtually any homeowner can do in about an hour.

Locate the screws which secure the door handle to the door. Most are located right beside the handle on either side of it.

Remove the screws using a Phillips head screwdriver. If you have a power driver, use a Phillips head bit and remove the screws with this tool. Position the handle by moving it up or down to gain the best clearance and access to the screw head.

Locate the screw on top of the knob handle which secures the door handle assembly together. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove this screw.

Grasp the handle on the other side of the door and pull the handle on the opposite side to remove it.

Insert the new door handle into the door hole, placing 1/2 of the handle on each side of the hole. Make sure the long rod in the door handle slides into place securely. Hold the assembly in place and turn the handle to ensure a proper fit.

Insert the screw in the top of the door handle and hand-tighten. Insert the screws for the side of the door handle into the holes in the door handle faceplate and tighten them. Then tighten down the door handle screw.

Locate the screws which secure the lock to the door. They are located on the inside of the door. Remove these using a Phillips head screwdriver. Pull the two halves of the lock away from the door carefully.

Insert the exterior half of the new door lock into the hole in the door on the outside. While holding this half in place, slide the inside half into the hole on the inside of the door. Make sure the rods line up. The key slot will be vertically aligned as you insert this half.

Insert the screws into the mounting holes on the side of the door lock and hand-tighten with a Phillips head screwdriver until the lock is securely in place.

Test the door lock by turning the lock back and forth in the locked and unlocked position.

Remove the screws securing the faceplate on the door edge with a screwdriver. Insert a new faceplate into the door and secure it by screwing two new screws into the mounting holes.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips head screwdriver
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About the Author

Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.