Changing a Door Knob

Using a screwdriver to uninstall a door knob

When trying to decide what to write about first, I was debating among all the projects we’d done and the ones that we’re in the middle of right now (namely, the kitchen). I wanted it to be something approachable if this was your first project. The first thing I did when we moved into our house was change out all the door knobs, and I feel like it’s a great first skill to post about! I’m sure you’re wondering why changing a door knob is what I honed in on. First off, it’s super easy. All you need is five minutes and a screw driver for each one. Second, it’s a good bang for your buck. They’re cheap and can make a bigger difference than you think. If you live in an older place, your door knobs are probably paint stained or scratched and while you may not notice it every day, those little imperfections can take away from your home feeling fresh and updated.

Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I earn a small commission if you click the link and purchase the item. I’ve only linked items I’ve used in the past and would use again (unless otherwise noted) 🙂

Tip: Often, when you’re selling your house, your realtor will recommend replacing all the interior door knobs as a quick and inexpensive way to make things look fresh.

Choosing an Exterior Door Knob

The exterior door knobs and locks are important to change from safety perspective (you don’t want the previous owners coming back for a walk down memory lane). Since my husband is gadget-happy, we went with a keypad electronic lock for the front door. We picked the Schlage Connect lock in Satin Nickel. It’s definitely a more expensive purchase (we got it for $175, plus we bought the matching front entry handle for $100). But, for us, it was 100% worth the convenience (and the matching entry handle was worth the prettiness for me). I balked at it at first, but I have to say, it’s great to be able to unlock your door from your car when it’s raining and you have groceries to bring in. And, say you’re out of town and you have an expensive package on the porch. You can call your nice friend, give them their own lock code, and they can bring the package in for you. It’s battery operated, so I was worried we’d be changing them constantly, but we’ve only changed them once in the 18 months we’ve had it.

Choosing an Interior Door Knob

These are the knobs we picked for the bedrooms and bathrooms–the Defiant Hartford Satin Nickel Privacy Bed/Bath Door Knob. They’re $12 at Home Depot. I liked that the locks can be opened from the outside with a coin, so no need to save one of those funny looking keys on the door ledge. And, they have entry door knobs with deadbolts and door knobs without locks all in the same style, so we were able to have our knobs throughout the whole house match. It definitely helps the ‘style’ of the house flow throughout all three levels (who knew our house has a personal style?).

doorknob
This is one of the closet knobs (You can see it’s missing the lock mechanism).

TIP: When you’re replacing your exterior locks (or any locks that require a key), you can buy the locks already keyed to the same key! When you’re buying the locks, look for this number on the box–matching numbers mean the keys match. I was able to find 3 matching ones at the first Home Depot I went to. This saves me the annoyance of having to carry an additional key on my key ring AND the money to have the locks all keyed to the same key by a locksmith!

doorknob box
It’s the number on the white sticker that I colored out (I may have started crossing out the wrong number first, hence the purple on the yellow sticker.

So, let’s get right to it–here’s how I installed our interior door knobs. You may notice that the pictures below are of removing and replacing the same door knob (since I don’t have any old ones to demonstrate on right now)–sorry! I have much better live action shots coming up for the kitchen and bath renovations.

Also, to be 100% upfront, I did not know the fancy names of all the knob parts until I googled them while writing the post 🙂

Step 1: Gathering Your Supplies

This is always the first step, and luckily for you, for this first project, there’s not a whole lot to gather. You need a screw driver with a Phillips head end and a new door knob. That’s it!

TIP: If you don’t have a screw driver, or have a cheap one, it’s so worth investing in this one! (It’s a Buck Brothers 6-in-1 screw driver. You can buy it at Home Depot in the store, but they don’t sell it online). My dad gave me one of these when I moved into my first apartment. It has two Phillips heads and two Flat heads built in, so you never need to worry about grabbing the wrong screwdriver. It works for 97% of projects (the only time I’ve had issues is if I need a super tiny one). I like it so much I have 3 🙂

screwdriver
Literally, the BEST tool I own!

Step 2: Remove the Old Door Knob

Remove the screws from the strike plate and take that off.

strike plate in the door jamb

On the inside of the door knob, remove the screws holding the rose on (that’s the round flat part of the door knob–who knew they had such fancy names?!).

using a screwdriver to uninstall a door knob

Now you should be able to pull the interior knob and exterior knob off!

inside of a door knob
Halfway there!

Locate the screws on the face plate and latch assembly of the lock (more new fancy words). Remove the screws.

Screwing in the latch of the door with a screw driver
Screwing in the latch of a door knob
You’ll notice I use my fingers sometimes instead of a screwdriver–I can get a better grip if the screws are wobbly because they’re almost out.

And, out comes the face plate and latch assembly. Look at you! You’ve removed your old door knob!

door without door knob
Go you!!!

Step 3: Install your New Shiny Door Knob!

Now, you’re basically going to do the reverse of what you just did! Take your new latch assembly with faceplate and insert it into the side of the door. Screw it in place.

Installing the latch
Install the latch with a screwdriver

Now, taking the exterior knob and place the long straight piece through the locking mechanism.

Installing the door knob over the latch

TIP: If the locking mechanism and exterior knob doesn’t line up to allow the long straight piece to slide through the locking mechanism, you  may  have  to slide the locking mechanism over a little bit. You can just grab the locking mechanism inside the hole and slide  it over to the right spot, to allow the straight piece to go through and line up with the knobs. 

Holding the exterior knob in one hand, line the interior knob up with the long straight piece with the other. Insert the screws into the holes, so they line up with the corresponding holes on the exterior lock.

Using a screw driver to install the door knob

While holding the exterior knob and interior knob together (like above), tighten both screws on the interior knob. And, voila! You have a brand new door knob installed!

door knob
It’s so pretty, right? (And, now you think I’m little crazy because I just said a door knob was pretty.) It’s ok.

This took me 10 minutes, including stopping to take a few pictures and give a few butt scratches to this cutie:

black dog sitting
This is Sadie doing her Bunny Rabbit pose, where she sits back on her hind legs and holds her front paws up like a bunny rabbit.

I spent an hour replacing door knobs on each floor after work and was done with the whole house in 3 days! It was a great first step in making our house our home.

I hope you found this helpful and feel free to ask any questions in the comments below! Now, back to working on our kitchen (and the many posts that will go along with that). See y’all in a few days!

~Lauren

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