How To Install a Door Knob Yourself

By HomeAdvisor

Updated February 28, 2017

DIY_Gauge_Web_Vector_Series2_doorknobIs your loose doorknob driving you crazy? Or are you ready for a new look altogether? If so, use this guide to help you change out your doorknob.

Click to view downloadable guide

Find a Sanding Pro

Materials Required:

  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Doorknob with Installation Materials
  • Thin Nail or Flathead Screwdriver

Door knobs play a key role in managing traffic flow inside a home and providing an extra measure of privacy to various rooms. Replacing a worn out, outdated, or poorly functioning interior door knob is a fairly simple endeavor that can enhance the satisfaction you get from your home. Though handyman teams will be happy to take on a job like this, you can save yourself some time and money by doing the job yourself.

New door knob sets can be purchased from hardware stores, home improvement centers, and specialty suppliers. Used or vintage knobs can also be installed, though these sets are unlikely to include the required screws. Should you wish to install a vintage door handle set, you will need to source the appropriate hardware to go along with it. Select your screwdriver to correspond to the screws you select. Otherwise the manner of replacement is exactly the same.

Cost To Replace A Door Knob

Door knob replacement is a relatively inexpensive task to undertake. You can expect to pay around $20 for a new knob set.

  • Exterior knob sets are likely to cost a little bit more, usually under $30.
  • Vintage sets may cost more or less than that depending on their particular features and another few dollars is required to obtain the right screws.
  • If you do not already have the correct screwdriver, one can be purchased inexpensively at a department store or hardware store. Exterior knobs can be installed with standard screwdrivers though some people prefer to use a power drill for this task. These can be rented from large home improvement shops if you do not have one.

For professional door knob installation, handyman services typically charge by the hour. You can expect to pay anywhere from $30 – $50, though many factors influence the final cost. Agencies serving areas with a high cost of living are likely to charge more; professional handyman agencies are likely to charge more, too. Many agencies have a minimum rate of $150 – $300, which does not include any extra trips or materials that the job may require.

7 Steps for Changing a Doorknob

#1 Remove the Old Door Knob

Begin by locating the faceplate of the old knob; this is located on the narrow edge of the door. Use the screwdriver to remove this plate. Next remove the screws on the knob plate, the portion of the knob that sits against the door itself. Do this on both sides. The knob elements will now be loose and can be set aside.

#2 Remove the Pawl

You will be able to see the pawl inside the door. This is a horizontal bar running towards the faceplate at the edge of the door. Slide the pawl and faceplate out of the door. Once the old knob mechanism is completely removed from the door, you can use the screwdriver to remove the strike plate from the door frame. This is the corresponding bit of hardware that kept the door in place when shut.

#3 Prepare the New Knob

Some door knob sets come with multiple faceplates; choose the one that best corresponds to the available shape on your door and place it onto the pawl. The pawl and faceplate can now be slid into place.

#4 Double-Check the Alignment

Check to be sure that the pawl’s direction corresponds to the way the door will open; the slanted side should meet the strike plate when the door is swung closed. A plastic sleeve can be placed onto the pawl if it is loose once slid into place.

#5 Insert the Pawl

Check to make sure the pawl is as level as possible inside the door, then screw the faceplate into place. The new handles will have small posts and pegs inside that correspond to slots and other posts inside the pawl mechanism.

#6 Place New Knob Plates

Align the new knob with the posts and fit into place; make sure the handle is facing the right way. Secure the knob plates with screws.

#7 Screw in the Strike Plate

Finally, screw the strike plate into place on the door frame.

Enjoy Your New Hardware

Replacing a door knob is a simple and inexpensive way to improve the style and function of your home. Select the knobs and handles that best suit your family members and feel good about saving money by handing this task on your own.

HomeAdvisor Tip:

If you don’t have a standard door or need a new plate and latch holes, call a professional.


No Comments Yet

Are You Familiar With This Topic? Share Your Experience.

Compare quotes from up to 4 pros
Find Local Pros