Tips for Replacing Door Knobs

by Paul Sanders

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There are several situations that require you to change one or more doorknobs in your home. You may have painted and need to update your door hardware, or you may have broken doorknobs and door handles you want to replace. Whatever your situation may be, here are some common tips for replacing doorknobs to help you know what to expect, and how to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.

Replacing Door Knobs:

  1. Change door knobs that are loose or broken. Broken door knobs may not seem like a significant bother until you find yourself locked out of your house or trapped in the bathroom. Likewise, loose door knobs can create wear patterns or other damage to door frames, moldings, and even the door itself. It's best to repair or replace malfunctioning door knobs as soon as you notice a problem.

  2. Update door knobs to accent your decor. When you remodel or repaint, those old door knobs may not seem to fit with your new style. Maybe those old knobs just seem a bit too rough, worn, or outdated. You can always use old working knobs in places that are out of sight, like on a garage or basement door.

  3. Place locking door knobs facing inward. A common mistake made when replacing a door knob is to put the interior lock on the wrong side of the door. Make sure to preview the end result of your work by holding the knob in place before you attach any bolts. Every time you have to remove a door knob, it can get scratched. Getting it right the first time will keep your door hardware looking pristine.

  4. Remember to change the strike plate and hinges. It can be easy to forget to replace the strike plate, which is the metal plate surrounding the latch hole on the door frame. Unless the strike plates and hinges match your new door knobs, you will probably want to replace them at the same time.

  5. Check the alignment of the bolt. An improperly installed door knob can also mean that the bolt cylinder is crooked or off-center. Weather stripping can also affect how the door closes. Make sure that the bolt moves in and out properly when you turn the knob. Also make sure the door closes and latches properly.

  6. Child-proof your home by replacing door handles. Some rooms in your home may not be kid-friendly, or you may just want to keep your little ones in a certain part of your home. You can make it a little tougher for the kids to open off-limits doors by installing door knobs in place of door handles. Round door knobs are a bit trickier for small toddlers to operate.

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