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A homeowner installs a door lock in a wooden door.

How To Change a Door Knob? Common Mistakes To Avoid

The best way to change a door knob is to get a professional handyman to do it. But if you prefer to do it yourself, you have to follow a particular set of steps.

It may have happened to you once or twice (or more) that you got locked out of your room, or you desperately need to get a door knob changed. Depending on the door knob you use, the task at hand may or may not be easy enough to DIY.

Here’s a quick walkthrough on how to change a door knob and which common mistakes you should avoid.

Key Takeaways

  1. Changing a door knob requires you to skillfully remove the old door knob, remove the latch mechanism, change the latch plate, and place the new door knob.
  2. If it’s your first time, you may encounter mistakes like misalignment, loose door knobs, measuring from the bevel, and locking yourself.
  3. Great Valley Lockshop can install basic and advanced door knobs and locks for your home.

How to Change a Door Knob With a Lock?

Changing an old or broken door requires understanding the locking mechanism and taking precise but easy steps. All you need is to religiously follow the prescribed steps to remove the knob and install a new one.

Follow these simple steps on how to install a door knob with a lock:

Step 1: Remove the Old Door Knob

  1. Locate the screws on the interior side of the door knob. These are typically found on the base plate or collar of the knob.
  2. Use a screwdriver to loosen and remove these screws. In some cases, there might be a decorative cover over the screws that need to be popped off first.
  3. Once the screws are removed, the knob and latch assembly should easily come apart. You may need to turn or wiggle the knob to release it from the spindle.

Step 2: Remove the Latch Plate

  1. Locate the screws on the edge of the door that secure the latch plate.
  2. Unscrew and remove these screws to release the latch plate from the door jamb.

Step 3: Install the New Latch Plate

  1. Take the new latch plate and align it with the indentation on the edge of the door.
  2. Secure the latch plate in place by screwing it into the door jamb using the provided screws.

Step 4: Install the New Door Knob

  1. Insert the spindle of the new door knob through the latch mechanism in the door.
  2. Position the exterior knob (with the keyhole) on the outside of the door and the interior knob on the inside.
  3. Align the screw holes on the base plates of both knobs with the spindle and push them together.
  4. Secure the knobs in place by tightening the screws with a screwdriver.

Step 5: Test the Door Knob

  1. Test the functionality of the new door knob by turning it from both the inside and outside of the door.
  2. Ensure that the latch retracts smoothly and that the lock engages and disengages properly with the key.

Step 6: Adjustments (if necessary)

  1. If the latch doesn’t align properly with the strike plate on the door jamb, you may need to adjust the position of the latch plate slightly.
  2. Test the door knob again after making any adjustments to ensure everything functions correctly.

Step 7: Cleanup

  1. Dispose of the old door knob and any packaging from the new one.
  2. Clean up any debris or dust left behind from the installation process. What Tool Do You Need for Door Knob Replacement?

Watch this video for guidance on properly installing a residential door lock, doorknob, and deadbolt.

What tool do you need to change a door knob?

Changing a broken door knob is pretty straightforward with the right tools. It may seem easy to dismantle the door knob by hand, but it can be difficult without tools.

Make sure you have the following tools when changing a door knob:

  1. New door knob set
  2. Phillips head screwdriver
  3. Allen wrench (may depend on the type of knob being installed)
  4. Pliers (optional if there are stubborn screw holes)
  5. Lubricating screw

You may need a few more tools depending on the type of lock you are installing. More advanced locks may require assistance from the service provider.

Let Great Valley Lockshop do the installation for you! Our team of experts can easily install any lock, including smart locks, for your house and help you improve your security system.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Installing a Door Knob

One of the most common mistakes in installing a door knob is failing to understand the door lock parts and hardware. People seem to rush head-on and dismantle the old door knob without studying how to put a new one.

Installing a new door lock or doorknob always seems like a simple task to homeowners, but it only takes one minor mistake to prevent a lock from working properly, thus putting your security at risk.

These are the most common door lock installation mistakes.

Orienting the New Lock Incorrectly

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is placing the new doorknob or deadbolt improperly and only realizing this after the screws have been installed. Make sure you’re looking at the new lock in the correct orientation.

Misaligning the New Lock

If you’re replacing a deadbolt door lock, you must be sure the deadbolt is aligned correctly. Otherwise, you could end up having to purchase an entire new door. Make sure all three holes are aligned correctly.

Drilling Holes in the Wrong Way

If you have to drill the saw hole in the door, start from the inside and look for the drill to begin to show on the other side of the door. When you begin to see it, stop drilling and switch sides to continue drilling. This will minimize splintering and potential damage to the door.

Measuring from the Bevel

Your door will not close correctly if it’s not measured properly. Make sure to measure the position of the lock from the side of the door that is not beveled.

Locking Yourself Out

If you’ve made it far enough where the new lock is installed, the next thing you’ll probably do is test the lock. Make sure you have the keys in your hand! Few things are as embarrassing as making the amateur mistake of locking yourself out of your home.

Not Following Instructions

If this is the first time you’re installing a door lock or doorknob, it’s a good idea to review the instructions. They’re included for a reason. Give them a good once-over before throwing caution to the wind.

Troubleshooting Door Knob Installation Mistakes

Troubleshooting a door knob installation mistake is always possible. All you have to do first is identify the problem and systematically plan your approach.

Here are easy solutions to the common mistakes we presented:

Orienting the New Lock Incorrectly

  • Issue: The lock cylinder is installed upside down or reversed.
  • Troubleshooting: Remove and reinstall the lock cylinder with the keyhole facing the correct direction. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper orientation.

Misaligning the New Lock

  • Issue: The lock doesn’t engage smoothly or align with the strike plate.
  • Troubleshooting: Check the alignment of the lock with the strike plate and adjust as needed. Ensure that the door latch bolt extends and retracts smoothly without friction.

Drilling Holes in the Wrong Way

  • Issue: Holes drilled for the lockset components are misaligned or too shallow/deep.
  • Troubleshooting: Carefully measure and mark the correct positions for drilling holes using the template provided with the lockset. Use the appropriate drill bit size and depth to create clean, accurately positioned holes.

Measuring from the Bevel

  • Issue: Incorrect measurements lead to misalignment of the lock components.
  • Troubleshooting: Measure from the edge of the door to the center of the lockset, ensuring to account for the bevel (angled edge) of the door. Use a combination square or ruler to make precise measurements.

Locking Yourself Out

  • Issue: Accidentally locking the door without testing the new lock.
  • Troubleshooting: Before closing the door, test the lock with the door open to ensure it functions properly. Have a spare key, or keep the door unlocked until you’re confident in the installation.

Not Following Instructions

  • Issue: Ignoring or misunderstanding the manufacturer’s installation guidelines.
  • Troubleshooting: Review the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully before beginning. Follow each step precisely, paying attention to details such as orientation, measurements, and hole drilling techniques.

troubleshooting door knob installation

Make Door Knob Installation Easier With the Help of Great Valley Lockshop

Whether it is a smart or traditional door knob, following the manufacturer’s instructions is critical when installing a door knob. At Great Valley Lockshop, we’ve seen every kind of door knob available.

Great Valley Lockshop offers professional assistance for all your door knob and lock replacement needs. Whether you’re upgrading your home security or refreshing the aesthetic appeal of your doors, their comprehensive services cater to a diverse range of requirements.

Contact and consult with us for better solutions, including unlocking a jammed door, replacing a door knob, or upgrading to a smarter solution.

Trust Great Valley Lockshop to simplify the process and deliver exceptional results that enhance the safety, functionality, and aesthetics of your home.

Fill out a service request for any of your residential locksmith needs – we service the Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania.


How to replace a door knob?

Follow these simple steps to replace a doorknob:

  1. Remove the screws from the old knob and take it off.
  2. Take out the latch assembly from the edge of the door.
  3. Install the new latch assembly in the same position.
  4. Insert the new door knob through the latch assembly and align the screws.
  5. Secure the new knob in place by tightening the screws.

Who do you call for replacing door knobs and locks?

The best individuals who know how to replace door hardware include a locksmith or a handyman

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