Whether it’s time for a brand new Bespoke front door, or just an update by replacing some worn-out hardware, we’ve put together a few handy tips for when it comes to installing a new handle and lock for your door.
As well as looking fresh and clean, adding a new handle and lock system is a great way to boost curb appeal to your home, showcasing the fact it is up-to-date, well-looked after, and also safe and secure.
To begin, it’s vital to ensure your new handles will be the perfect fit. Firstly, consider the dimensions of the backplates to ensure they’ll cover old existing holes and fixtures. Secondly, check the backset. This is the distance from the edge of the door to the centre of the borehole for the doorknob assembly. Most handles you can purchase are compatible with the two standardized backset dimensions of 2 3/8 or 2 3/4 inches.
1. Installing the Latch
Insert the new latch assembly into the existing borehole in the edge of the front door. Make sure the latch bolt is facing in the correct direction. By this we mean, the curved side of the latch bolt should be facing the strike plate on the jamb as the door is closed. Secure the latch assembly’s faceplate to the door with the screws.
2. Joining the Handles
Align the exterior handle on the door by inserting the spindle or axle on the handle through the latch cylinder at a 90-degree angle. Then, carefully place the corresponding doorknob or lever on the interior side of the door, fitting the two parts together. It should feel slightly snug when the two parts join.
Fit the latch bolt into the upper cross borehole, making sure the top is facing up. Then, screw the faceplate in to secure. Install the deadbolt mechanisms on the inside and outside, making sure the keyed cylinder part is on the outside of the door. The inside thumb turn should point up when unlocked, and point towards the door jamb when locked.
4. Installing Strike Plates
Align the strike plate for the handle against the door jamb and attach using a couple of screws. Ensure that the lip of the strike plate is facing the direction in which the door opens out. Next, align the plate for the deadbolt, drill your holes, and install the strike plate to the door jamb with two screws for extra reinforcement.
It’s vital to test your new handle and locks work correctly, or there could be danger of your house not being securely locked up if you should go out or lock-up for the night. Do some quick tests by shutting the door and checking to see if the handle sticks or binds. If it does, make sure the latch faceplate is flush with the door edge and doesn’t rub against the strike plate on the jamb. If the latch bolt isn’t properly aligned with the hole in the strike plate, remove the strike plate and use a chisel to extend the mortise in the direction needed to realign the bolt with the hole. Again, screw the plate back on and test the fit.