Fit a New Door Handle in 8 Steps

What You'll Need
Pair of door handles
Tape measure
Drill with wood drill bits
Construction tape and pencil
Safety goggles

Whether you're building your own home, adding on to a current home or just doing some remodeling, you may have to work with a door as part of project, which means you may need to fit a new door handle. Follow these 8 steps for a professional result, even with inexperienced hands. 


Step 1 – Gather Materials

Gather all necessary tools, including the door handles of your choosing.  Make sure you pick a type and style that matches your décor or is practical for your home.  Once you've installed your new door handles, it can be a difficult process to replace them with a new set.

Step 2 – Position Latch 

Decide the current position for your latch. Take into consideration the latch heights of other doors in your home so there will be some consistency between them. Mark with a pencil the position of the new latch. This will require you to measure the height as well as the middle of the edge of the door, lengthwise. Fit the latch and mark where screws will go.

Step 3 – Drill Latch Holes

Choose the correct drill bit by measuring the depth of the latch and the position of the latch hole. Wearing your safety goggles, adopt a secure position and drill the holes where marked from previous step.  Clean hole of debris.

Step 4 – Create Latch Position

To create a recess where the latch will go, first mark the correct position of the latch by outlining lightly with your pencil. Now cut along the outside edges with a chisel and hammer, then chisel out the rest of the recess. It is important to go slowly with this process so as not to make the recess too deep, otherwise the latch will not fit correctly. Check the depth periodically by placing the latch against the recess.

Step 5 – Drill Handle Spindle Hole

Measure for the handle spindle on both sides of the door, making sure they match.  Choose your drill bit for the handle spindle hole and drill the hole, once again using safety goggles and all other precautions.  Keep the drill steady and when you are almost through to the other side, stop drilling and finish the hole through the opposite side of the door. This will ensure the hole goes straight through and each side meets the other.  Clear out the wood debris and check the spindle to make sure it moves through the hole freely. 

Step 6 – Attach Latch

Now you can securely attach the latch with screws, making sure the latch and spindle work together properly. 

Step 7 – Connect the Handle

Place the handle onto the spindle on one side of the door, then drill the screws in to attach the handle.  You will need to test the handle to make sure it works correctly with the spindle and the latch.  Then drill the screws in for the handle on the other side of the door. 

Step 8 – Attach Latch Plate

After this final step, the last thing to do, of course, is to test your final project for alignment and functionality.