How to Replace and Upgrade Door Handles in Your Home

Door handles are more than just functional components; they are the finishing touches that can enhance both the style and the usability of your home's doors. Whether you're looking to modernize with a fresh, contemporary look or restore historical charm, updating your door handles can make a significant impact. This guide will provide you with a detailed walkthrough on how to replace and upgrade the door handles in your home, ensuring that your new hardware not only looks great but also functions smoothly.

Assessing Your Current Door Handles

Before diving into purchasing new door handles, take a moment to assess your existing setups. Consider the style, finish, and function of your current handles:

  • Style and Finish: Do your current handles reflect the overall aesthetic of your room or home? Are they a mismatch in style or color?
  • Functionality: Are there any issues with the way the handles operate? Are they difficult to turn or do they not close securely?

Understanding what you have helps in making informed decisions about what you need.

Choosing the Right Door Handles

When selecting new door handles, consider the following elements:

  • Design: Door handles come in various styles, such as lever handles, knob handles, and bar handles. Choose a design that complements the interior design of your home.
  • Finish: Brass, chrome, nickel, and matte black are popular choices that can either coordinate with your current decor or serve as a striking design element.
  • Function: Consider if you need locking mechanisms, especially for bathrooms and bedrooms, or if non-locking handles are sufficient for hallways and closets.

Tools and Materials Needed

To replace your door handles, you’ll need some basic tools and materials:

  • Screwdriver set
  • Allen wrench (depending on the handle set)
  • New door handles
  • Optional: A small drill if new holes are required

Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Door Handles

  1. Remove the Old Handle:
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the screws on the faceplate of the handle. These are usually located on the interior side of the door.
  • Pull the handles apart from both sides of the door.
  • Remove the latch mechanism by unscrewing it from the edge of the door.
  1. Prepare the Door:
  • Check the existing holes and the latch area for any damage or wear. Clean out any debris and dust.
  • If your new handles require different hole placements, mark and drill new holes as necessary. Make sure to measure accurately to avoid misalignment.
  1. Install the New Latch:
  • Insert the new latch into the side hole of the door, ensuring the tapered side faces the direction in which the door closes.
  • Screw the latch into place, making sure it's flush with the door edge.
  1. Attach the New Handles:
  • Align the new handles on either side of the door, making sure the square spindle from the exterior handle fits through the square hole in the latch mechanism.
  • Once aligned, screw the handles together. Check for smooth operation before tightening fully.
  1. Test the Functionality:
  • Once installed, test the handle by opening and closing the door several times. Ensure that the latch engages and disengages smoothly.
  • Adjust the tightness of the screws if the handle feels loose or if the latch does not operate smoothly.

Maintenance Tips for Your New Door Handles

To ensure longevity and maintain the appearance and functionality of your new door handles, consider these maintenance tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Wipe down your handles regularly with a soft cloth and mild soapy water. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the finish.
  • Tighten Screws: Periodically check and tighten any loose screws to prevent wobbling or misalignment.
  • Lubricate the Latch: Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the latch mechanism annually for smooth operation.


Replacing and upgrading the door handles in your home is a simple yet effective way to refresh your living space. Not only does it ensure greater functionality and security, but it also adds a touch of style that complements your home’s interior. With the right tools, a bit of time, and attention to detail, you can easily enhance your doors and make a lasting impact on your home's overall aesthetic.

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