Step-by-Step Guide to Fitting a Door Handle

Door Handle

By Low LTD Joinery and Building Contractors

Fitting a door handle might seem like a simple task, but it requires precision and attention to detail. Whether you’re renovating your home or simply replacing a worn-out handle, this guide will walk you through the process from start to finish. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Choose the Right Door Handle

Before you can begin the installation, selecting the right handle for your door is crucial. Consider the door’s design, the finish of other hardware in the room, and the level of security you require. Handles come in various types, including lever handles, knob handles, and pull handles. Make sure the handle you choose fits the door’s existing lock mechanism, or plan to replace the lock as well.

Step 2: Gather Your Tools

To install a door handle, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Screwdriver (Phillips or flat-head depending on the screws)
  • Tape measure
  • Drill with appropriate drill bits
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Pencil for marking
  • Level (optional for precision)

Gathering all the necessary tools before you start ensures a smooth installation process.

Step 3: Remove the Old Handle

If you’re replacing an old door handle, start by removing it. Use a screwdriver to take out the screws on the handle plates. Some handles also have a small pin on the neck that you’ll need to depress with a thin tool to release the handle from the door. Keep all components and screws in case you need to reuse any for the new handle.

Step 4: Mark the New Handle Position

If there’s no existing handle, you’ll need to determine where to place the new one. Standard practice is to position the handle between 34 to 48 inches from the floor, depending on the height and type of door. Use a pencil to mark the spot where the handle will go. Ensure that it is level by using a small spirit level.

Step 5: Drill the Necessary Holes

Using the marks you’ve made as a guide, drill holes for the handle’s screws and the spindle (the square rod that turns the latch). The size of the drill bit should match the size of the spindle and screws. Be careful not to drill too deep to avoid damaging the other side of the door.

Step 6: Chisel Out the Area for the Faceplate

If your handle has a faceplate, you might need to chisel out a small area in the door so that the faceplate sits flush against the surface. Mark the outline of the faceplate, then use a chisel and hammer to carefully remove the wood within this outline to the depth needed.

Step 7: Install the New Handle

Now, insert the spindle through the hole in the door, aligning it with the hole on the opposite side. Attach the handle on both sides of the door, ensuring that the spindle fits into the square socket of the handle mechanism. Screw the handle plates into place firmly.

Step 8: Test the Handle

Once everything is secured, test the handle by turning it and pressing the latch. The door should open and close smoothly without resistance. If the handle or latch sticks, check to see if everything is aligned correctly and that no screws are loose.

Step 9: Add Finishing Touches

For a professional finish, you might want to caulk any gaps around the faceplate or paint any exposed wood where the old handle was removed. This will also help protect the door and handle from wear and tear.


Installing a door handle is a straightforward task that enhances the functionality and aesthetic of your door. By following these detailed steps, you can ensure a successful installation, showcasing the craftsmanship and expertise of Low LTD. Remember, if you encounter any complex issues during installation, it might be wise to consult with or hire a professional to avoid any damage.

For more helpful guides and the expertise in joinery and building solutions, remember to visit our blog at Low LTD.

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