How to install a door handle

How to install a door handle

Michael, Professional and passionate welder, Sheffield

Guide written by:

Michael, Professional and passionate welder, Sheffield

Comprising socket screws (connector bolts) that attach the handle to the door on both sides, a spindle and a backplate, door handles fall into the category of locksmithing. In this guide, we cover the various installation steps, and offer advice for replacing or installing interior or front door handles.

Important features

  • Disassemble the old handle and its fittings
  • Remove the handle trim
  • Install the new handle
  • Test out the door handle
Shop our door and window handles

Installing or replacing door handles

Installing or replacing door handles

Door handles have become a significant element of home decor thanks to the variety of styles on sale. Whether you're installing a new door or replacing existing handles, there is a wide range of handles available (handles with a backplate, handles with a rose, external door handles, handles with cylinder locks, handles with blind bolt, etc.) and you'll need to decide which features are right for you, including measurements, centre distance, spindle size.

Steps

  1. Disassemble the old handle and its fittings

  2. Remove the handle trim

  3. Install the new handle

  4. Test out the door handle

Explore the ManoMano catalog
Circlip pliers

Installing a lock door handle in 4 steps

1. Disassemble the old handle and its fittings

Half-open the door and put a wedge underneath it to stop it from moving around while you work.

Remove the handle by unscrewing the mounting screws with an allen key. What you will have is the 'male' handle comprising the linking spindle with several holes and a 'female' part with a threaded hole into which you insert the hex screws.

The spindle can also be separate.

2. Remove the backplates

Installing a lock door handle in 4 steps

Using a slotted screwdriver, lift off the caps that cover the backplates.

There are normally plastic mounting plates under these fittings. These are connected together with connector bolts. You will notice that on one side (exterior) the screws lack a screwdriver slot. This prevents them from being dismantled from the outside.

Unscrew the connector bolts and keep them somewhere safe. On certain models, the screw sleeves might be built into the backplate. If this is the case, such plates should be attached on the outside.

If you're installing a handle on a bathroom door, remove the deadbolt and its spindle.

3. Install the new handle

Installing a lock door handle in 4 steps

New handles are simpler - made up of a trim plate featuring a locking bolt that is, logically, on the interior. Be aware that the lock can be disassembled using circlip pliers.

Position the plate over where you want it to be and check that the spindles are correctly aligned with the respective holes. Regarding connector bolts, it's unlikely that the old holes will match up with the new plate. In this case, use a drill to make new holes to insert the connector bolts into.

You might find that the new spindles are too long or too short. Use a hacksaw to cut off any excess in the first case, or the old ones you carefully stored away in the second. If not, you can buy spindles that can be cut to length.

4. Test the new door handle

Installing a lock door handle in 4 steps

Insert the connector bolts and screw them in loosely.

Check it sits parallel to the edge of the door and the decorative trim, then try out the handle and lock.

Close then open the door. If everything works correctly, fully tighten the socket head screws.

Tightly secure the handle and lock using hex screws. It's a good idea to lubricate the mechanism a little with a special lock lubricant. Do not use oil or grease.

Don't forget you'll probably need to redo some paintwork - it's unlikely that your new handle/ trim will match up exactly with the old one you've removed.

Explore the ManoMano catalog
Hacksaws

How to install a door handle

Required skills

Required skills

There's no need to hire a professional to remove and install a door handle, and you won't need any specialist skills. This is a job that can be done by any DIYer. Just disassemble the old handle using a few suitable tools then take accurate measurements to ensure the new handle is in the right place. All the installation requires is a bit of logic in order to not make things easy for a potential burglar. For example, if it's an exterior door, putting the screws on the wrong side and making it easy to remove.

Time required

Required time

Around 30 mins including paintwork.

Number of people required

Required time

1 person

Tools and equipment

Tools and equipment

  • A slotted or cross-head screwdriver

  • A tape measure

  • An allen key

  • A drill

  • A drill bit matching the size of the screw sleeves

  • Adjustable pliers

  • A hacksaw

  • Circlip pliers

  • A door handle set

  • Lock lubricant

Explore the ManoMano catalog
Hacksaws
 
Shop our door and window handles

Guide written by:

Michael, Professional and passionate welder, Sheffield

Michael, Professional and passionate welder, Sheffield

I was trained as a pipe worker and a pipe-welder and after having travelled for 35 years working around the UK, I became the head of a metal shop, then a designer and in the end the head engineer. I have designed and built a workshop where I make metal sculptures: I managed to find a piece of paradise where I can let my imagination run wild. Auctions and garage sales are no secret to me. I find unusual objects and old tools there that I collect or transform into works of art. I also like decoration, painting on canvas, and gardening. I am developing new technologies concerning tools. To share my passion and advise you in your choice of materials is a real pleasure.

  • Millions of products

  • Delivery to your home or click & collect

  • Hundreds of dedicated experts online