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How to Change a Door Handle

How to Change a Door Handle: A Complete Guide

Doors are a crucial part of any home, providing security, privacy, and style. However, over time, the door handles may wear out or simply not match your interior decor anymore. Changing a door handle may seem like a hectic task, but with the right tools and a step-by-step guide, you can change the door handles all by yourself. 

In this step-by-step guide, we will explore all the necessary steps to change a door handle.

Materials and Tools

Before you begin changing your door handle, it's essential to gather all the necessary materials and tools. Here's a list of the items you'll need:

  • New Door Handle
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Latch Plate
  • Strike Plate
  • Chisel
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Wrench
  • Door Handle Set (Optional)

Now that you have all your materials and tools ready let's proceed with changing the door handle.

How to Remove Door Handle

Begin by removing the old door handles. For this:

  • Use a screwdriver to remove the screws on the face plate of the old handle, both on the interior and exterior sides of the door.
  • Once the screws are removed, the face plate should come off easily, revealing the latch assembly.
  • Pull the latch assembly out (This is the part that goes into the door frame and keeps the door closed).
  • If there's a strike plate on the door frame, remove it by unscrewing it.

How to Change a Door Handle

Follow the below-mentioned steps to change a door handle:

  • Select a New Door Handle

Choosing new door handles can give an attractive appearance to your door, refreshing its complete look. Consider the style, finish, and functionality you desire. Ensure that the new handles matches the existing holes in your door, or be prepared to drill new ones if required.
  • Prepare the Door

Preparing the door involves creating holes for the latch and spindle. Follow these steps:
    • Measure the height of the latch with a tape measure from the bottom of the door, and mark it with a pencil.
    • Place the latch assembly on the door edge, aligning it with your mark. Trace the outline of the latch plate with a pencil.
    • Using a drill make a hole for the latch, following the traced outline. Be cautious not to drill too deep.
    • Measure the appropriate height for the spindle from the bottom of the door, and mark it.
    • Align the new spindle with your mark and trace its outline.
    • Drill another hole for the new spindle, following the traced outline.
  • Install the New Door Handle

To install your new door handle 
    • Insert the New Latch into the Edge of the Door

Insert the new latch into the hole you just created for it. Ensure that the curved edge of the latch faces the side of the door. Secure the latch and screw it in place with the screws provided in your door handle set.
    • Install the Door Handle on the Spindle

To install the door handle:
      • Slide the spindle through the hole you created for it in the door.
      • Place the interior door handle on the spindle, ensuring it aligns with the holes for the screws.
      • Secure the interior handle in place by tightening the screws using a screwdriver.
      • Ensure that the handle is levelled by using a level tool before fully tightening the screws.
  • Slide the Spindle into the Hole

With screws holding the interior handle attached to the spindle, slide the door open and insert the spindle into the hole drilled on the inside edge of existing backset the door.

    • Slide Your New Door Handle onto the Spindle

    Now, it's time to attach the exterior edge of the door to the handle. Here's how:
      • Slide the exterior handle onto the spindle from the outside of the door.
      • Ensure that both the exterior and interior handles align with each other.
      • Secure the exterior handle in place by tightening the screws provided in your door handle set.
      • Again, use a level to ensure the handle is straight before fully tightening the screws.
    • Testing and Adjustments

    Before considering your door handle installation complete, it's important to test its functionality and make any necessary adjustments where required:
      • Close the door and check if the latch bolt easily engages with the new strike plate on the door frame. If not, you may need to re-adjust the position of the latch assembly by slightly loosening the screws and moving it upwards or downwards.
      • Ensure the door handle operates smoothly. It should turn easily without any obstructions.
      • Check the alignment of the handle, making sure it sits level and looks aesthetically pleasing.
      • Finally, test if the door handle is working properly, if not, try tightening the screws.

      If you encounter any issues or misalignment when testing the door handle's movement, don't hesitate to make adjustments until your door handle operates flawlessly. 


      Changing a door handle not only improves the aesthetics of your home but also enhances your door’s functionality. For the door handle to function properly, the quality of the door also matters. Check out Emerald Door’s complete collection of high-quality Internal Doors and External Doors for your home.

      By following the steps outlined in this guide and having the right materials and tools by your side, you can successfully replace your door handle and enjoy the smooth operation of your door. Remember to take your time, make precise measurements, and conduct thorough testing.

      FAQs on How to Change a Door Handle 

      Read on to find out the most frequently asked questions that we get the most:

      • Is it hard to change door handles? 

      Changing door handles can be relatively easy, typically requiring just basic tools. The difficulty level can vary based on your experience and the type of handle, lock, latch mechanism or door you have. Simple knobs or levers are generally straightforward, while complex installations may be more challenging.
      • Do all door handles fit all doors? 

      No, not all door handles will fit in all doors. Door handles come in various sizes and styles, and its compatibility depends on factors such as the type of door (interior or exterior), door thickness, and the specific handle's design. It's essential to choose door handles that match your door's requirements for a proper fit.
      • How do you know if a door handle will fit a door?

      To ensure a door handle fits a door properly, measure the door's thickness, check the type of door latch mechanism (e.g., tubular or mortice), and check the door face and the existing holes for compatibility with new door handles. Additionally, consider the new handle's design and style to match the door's aesthetics.
      • How much does it cost to replace a door handle? 

      The cost of replacing a door handle varies depending on factors like the handle's quality, design, and complexity of installation. On average, it can range from £15 to £150 per handle, including materials and labour. Custom or high-end modern door handles may cost more.

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      Author: Shabana kauser

      Shabana Kauser, the Director of Emerald Doors, brings over 20 years of invaluable expertise in the door industry. Her visionary leadership has steered the company to new heights, offering an extensive range of internal and external doors while prioritizing quality and customer satisfaction. The website's glowing reviews stand as a testament to her commitment to excellence. To learn more about Emerald Doors, connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.