French doors give you the option of opening up a wider passage into a room only when it is needed. One door is held in place by two sliding bolts while the other moves freely. When you need more space, you can unlock the bolts and open the second door. Installing the door hardware is not difficult, but it must be lined up perfectly across the two doors or the door latch will not fit into the strike plate.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Door hardware
- Hole saw
- Electric drill
- Spade bit
Mark your handle location near the inside edge of each door. Use a level to make sure the two handles will be lined up evenly.
Cut a hole for each door handle with a hole saw, using your mark as a guide for the centre of the blade. Reduce the pressure on the saw as you get close to breaking through the wood. Pushing the blade all the way through can cause the back of the door to splinter.
Decide which door will be the main entrance. This door will have the lock hardware while the other will have a fixed knob.
Use the template included with your door hardware to outline the strike plate location on the edge of each door. Make sure the strike plate lines up with the door handle hole. Use an electric drill with a spade bit to make the hole for the strike plates. Switch to a regular bit to drill holes for the mounting screws.
Slide the lock assembly into the side of the entry door. Insert the front and back of the door handle into the handle hole according to the installation instructions. There will usually be several tabs on one side of the handle with matching slots on the other side to hold the two pieces together. Insert and tighten the necessary screws to secure the handle and lock assembly.
Attach the strike plate to the side of the other door. Insert and tighten the mounting screws.
Affix a sliding latch bolt to the top and bottom of the second door. Install the strike plates above and below the door so that the hole in the plate lines up with the bolt. Shut the door and slide the two latches to the locked position.
Close the entry door and test the fit of the latch and the strike plate on the non-entry door. Lock the door and pull gently on the knob to make sure the latch does not slip out of the strike plate.
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