How to Install a French Door Lever Handle
Installing a French door lever handle lends an element of authenticity to the style effect of the doors, and will provide years of beauty and function to the doors. Lever handles come in a variety of styles and finishes, from simple "dummy" knobs that do not have any latching mechanisms for interior french doors to fully functional exterior doors. The purpose of the door will likely have a lot to do with the type of lever handle that is selected, so keep this in mind when purchasing yours. The doors will likely be finished with openings for the appropriate type of lever handle that is needed. The installation is almost the exact same, regardless of the style or function of the door. Once you have selected your handles, you are ready to install them.
Unpack Your Handle
Unpack the handle that you have selected and read all directions that have come with the hardware. Ensure all the needed fasteners are present and identify all the components of your handles.
Remove Existing Handles
Remove the existing handles. Using the screwdriver, loosen and remove the bolts that secure each side of the knob to the door. Once the bolts are disengaged, the other side may fall out or off, so be ready if you do not want it to hit the ground or floor and possibly become damaged.
Dry fit the handle in the opening in the door to make sure that it will fit as it is meant to. If needed, widen the opening.
Install the New Handle
Insert any latching mechanism in the space on the inner edge of the door. Insert one side of the handle into the opening in the door, ensuring that the stem controlling the latch is inserted in the appropriate opening in the latch. Fit the other side of the handle so that the handle is oriented in the right direction, and the openings for the bolts match up with the handle on the other side of the door. Secure the entire ensemble with the two bolts that should have come with the lever handle. Test the function of the latch with the door open by depressing the handle to make sure the latch engages. Test the locking mechanism by engaging the lock and ensuring that the handle will not depress with the lock engaged.
Install Latch Plate
Install the latch plate if applicable. This is a metal plate that fits over the latching mechanism on the inner edge of the door. Fit the plate over the latch and secure it with the screws that should be provided.
Install Striker Plate
Presuming the bottom edges of the two doors are even, measure from the bottom of the door with the latch. Be sure and note the measurement to the bottom edge of the latch plate. On the other door, measure from the bottom of the door to that same measurement. This will give you the placement of the striker plate installation. Drive the screws into the existing opening on the strike plate to secure it in place.