So, you’ve finally had enough of that loose, rattling doorknob. Or, maybe the doorknob has had enough, and finally gave in and expelled its last screw. Whatever the means, the end is here for your old doorknob, and the time has come to finally replace it. It’s not as hard as one might think, and after replacing the initial knob, an overhaul of all knobs may be in order. So, grab your keys and head for your nearest hardware store. Your knobs are about to be replaced.
Now, before you jump into the car, take a quick look at the old knob. It’s probably best to replace the knob with the same type of hardware that was originally installed. The time for upgrading may well be on the horizon, but let’s grasp the basics first. Some important things to note are a number of screws, locking or non-locking, and width of the door. Once these are recorded, you will find the most complicated aspect of choosing a doorknob to be style. Doorknobs, unless they are custom-made, are all pretty much the same. Pay attention to locks, however.
A closet doorknob may not require a lock, where a bathroom, bedroom, or secondary entrance door most likely will. Also, be sure and have the right type of screwdriver on hand. Most doorknob screws will require a Phillips screwdriver, but a glance at the requirement list, located on the doorknob packaging, will save you a second trip to the hardware aisle. Bringing the old knob to the store is always a sure way of getting the right hardware. Show the knob to a salesperson, and simply ask for a replacement.
Once you and your doorknob are safely back at the replacement site, the first order of business is to remove the old doorknob. Simply unscrew the knob from the door. One side of the door will contain a sleeve that holds the doorknob in place. Once the screws are removed, grasp both the inside and the outside knobs and pull apart from the door. Examine the door itself for any damage, especially the hole in which the knob has been removed.
If there is extensive damage, a replacement knob may not fit properly and may cause further damage to the door. If you feel your door has been damaged to the point that a knob will not fit securely within the doorknob hole, have the door examined by a professional. Your hardware store may be able to recommend someone for this job. Assuming all is well with the door, let’s move on to the next step.
Remove your knob from its packaging, taking inventory of all parts listed. One side of the knob will usually have two cylinders designed to fit the screws included in the packaging. Note which side has the locking mechanism, if there is a lock, and be sure and install the knob so that the correct part of the lock is accessible. For example, if there is a lock and key, be sure that the keyhole is facing the outside of the door. Always test your key before locking a new door.
Mistakes can happen, and it is much easier to return doorknob than it is to get a locksmith to open your door. Once the correct alignment has been achieved, simply match the doorknob to its other half by following the included instructions. Tighten the screws, and you are the proud owner of a self-installed doorknob. Again, test any locks before engaging them. Usually, doorknob sets come with two keys. Testing both is a good idea, as is keeping your spare handy.
Now that you’ve changed that knob, and see how simple it is, you may be up for replacing the rest of your doorknobs. Remember to dispose of all old keys along with old doorknobs, as not to create confusion, and as always, be cautious of using locks on doors used by children. There are child-proof locks available, and a good salesperson will introduce you to different types of knobs.