Do It Yourself Home Repair: Removing A Doorknob

Learn to remove an old doorknob and install a new one yourself. Installing new doorknobs will keep your doors working well and looking great.

Removing a Doorknob

Removing an old or faulty doorknob is a home improvement project that even the least experienced do-it-yourself homeowner can handle. You will need both a Phillips and a flathead screwdriver and about ten minutes of your time. If you are planning to replace the doorknob you remove, have your new hardware handy so that you can immediately install the new doorknob. Home improvement stores offer a wide variety of door hardware, and sizes are standard. You shouldn't have too much trouble finding replacement hardware that suits your personal needs and style.

Removing an Old Doorknob

Pull up a short stool or a chair to the door on which you will be working. This will keep you from having to crouch or kneel on the floor as you work on the door.

The first step is to detach the doorknob trim from the door. The trim is the metal ring located between each of the doorknobs on each side of the door. Use a screwdriver to loosen and remove the screws holding the trim in place. On doorknobs that do not have screws attaching the trim, simply slide a flathead screwdriver well under the edge of the ring and gently pry off the trim. Be careful not to damage the door as you remove the trim.

Next, remove the two long screws that hold the doorknobs together. One screw will be located on each side of the doorknob. Remove the screws one at a time, and set them aside. Now you should be able to pull the two doorknobs apart and remove them from the door completely. If you are planning to keep the doorknob for use elsewhere, put the pieces back together and store the unit in a plastic storage bag or other container to avoid losing screws or trim.

If you wish to remove the door's strike plate (the metal plate on the edge of the door that catches the bolt), now is the time to do it. Remove the screws attaching the strike plate to the door and pull it off of the door. Note that it is not necessary to replace the strike plate when you are replacing a doorknob.

Once the doorknobs have been removed, you will be able to see two more screws on the narrow edge of the door that hold the locking mechanism, or bolt, in place. Remove both screws and the bolt from the door.

Installing a New Doorknob

To install the new doorknob, you will basically reverse your removal steps. First, insert the new locking mechanism into the door by pushing it into the hole in the door and attaching it using the two short screws provided with the new doorknob. Be sure that the slanted edge of the bolt faces the direction the door will close. Next, place a trim piece on one side of the door and insert the new doorknob on that side. Repeat this on the other side. Line up the two doorknobs to ensure that the long screws will hold them both in place. Use two long screws to connect the doorknobs until they feel solid and come together evenly. Test the doorknobs by closing the opening the door a few times.

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