How to Fit Door Handles

Fitting a door handle (1)

Whilst every door handle has its quirks, there are some commonalities for every door handle installation. Here at Handles4Homes, we’ve created this handy guide to get you ready for installing new door handles in your home.

What tools are needed to fit door handles?

Before you start, you’ll need:

  • Power drill
  • 25mm spade drill bit
  • 2mm drill bit
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Workman’s knife
  • A door wedge (or two)
  • Masking tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Door handles

You will also need larger drill bits, but the exact size will depend on the door handle you are installing. Make sure to check the instructions that came with the door handle kit you purchased.

1. Measuring and marking out on the door

Fitting a door handle (2)

The first step is to measure out and mark where you will install the door handles. 

To determine how high to install your door handle, you can either check the height of all the other handles in the house or go for the commonly accepted 1000mm from the floor. UK regulations state that door handles must be installed between 900mm and 1050mm off the floor.

It’s best to stick with the same measurement throughout the house, but do bear accessibility issues in mind (such as accessibility for wheelchair users) when installing new door handles.

Mark off the chosen measurement on either side of the door with a pencil, either on the wood if the door is unpainted or on masking tape if it isn’t.

Door handles sets can come with templates that help mark out where you need to drill, so use this if your purchase came with one. Make small pencil marks where you need to drill.

2. Drilling holes into the door

Fitting a door handle (3)

Before drilling, use door wedges to force open your door, so it doesn’t move when drilling.

Check the depth you require against the barrel of the door mechanism and use masking tape to mark off the length of drill bit that will be inside the door.

When initially drilling into the door, use a 2mm drill bit for making pilot holes. Subsequent drill bits will depend on the door handle you have purchased, and the instructions should tell you this.

Next, using a 25mm spade drill bit, drill out the holes for your handle’s spindle and the faceplate on either side of the door and on the narrow edge. 

Note: Don’t drill entirely through your door – drill partially from one side and finish the hole from the opposite side. This will prevent your door splitting. Also ensure that you drill horizontally, level to the ground, for best results. 

When drilling for the barrel of the faceplate, be careful, as the narrow width of the door can make it tricky to drill. Take extra care not to damage your door at this step.

3. Installing the faceplate and handles

Fitting a door handle (4)

To begin installing your door furniture:

  • Insert the barrel of the faceplate into the hole you have drilled and, using your pencil, mark the outline of the faceplate on the edge of the door.
  • Next, measure the depth of the faceplate, and using a chisel and hammer, remove the wood inside the section you outlined for the faceplate. Before chiselling, you can use a workman’s knife to cut the edges of your outline to ensure a clean edge on your chiselled area.
  • Then, check the faceplate is flush with the edge of the door, and adjust your chiselled section as needed. Once ready, screw the faceplate into the narrow edge of the door into the pilot holes you created.
  • Once the faceplate is in place, insert the spindle through the hole you drilled earlier, and attach the first handle to the spindle, ensuring to check that the handle moves in a downward motion.
  • If you are happy with the placement of your handle, check the alignment and screw it in place. 
  • Repeat on the other side. At this point, check that your handles both operate the bolt in the door.

Installing the strike plate

Fitting a door handle (5)

Now, add your strike plate. To ensure that your strike plate is in the correct place:

  • Close the door and mark the centre of the bolt as it hits the door jam. 
  • Then, similar to before, mark out the outline of your strike plate on the door frame, ensuring the mark you made for the centre of the bolt is in the centre.
  • Once you have marked out the strike plate, you can once again use your chisel to remove the excess wood for it to fit. 
  • Drill pilot holes, and then screw the strike plate into the door frame similar to the before steps.
  • Once complete, shut the door and ensure that the strike plate and faceplate align properly.

Congratulations, you have installed your door handles! Looking for brand new door handles for your home? Check out our full range here at Handles4Homes, which includes door handles and latch packs.

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