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How to Fit a Door Handle to a New Door?

If you are reading this article, you are probably wondering how to fit a door handle to a new door.  Fitting door handles may appear complicated at first, but it is an easier task then you think.  Follow our handy guide to fitting interior door handles.  But first, let’s make you aware of the materials and tools you are going to need.

Materials Needed

Door Handles

Buy these designer Marvel door handles from the Amazon store

There are many styles of door handle (also known as levers).  We recommend the door handle below due to its modern and sleek design.

Door handle

Door Latches

Buy these door latches from the Amazon store

We recommend you buy a good quality door latch, such as the one in the image below.  Cheaper door latches may not feel as solid or smooth as more expensive ones.

Door handle latches

Tools Needed

Carpentry Chisel Set

Buy this Irwin Marples Carpentry Chisel Set from Amazon

Chisels are needed for carving out the hole where your latch, and latch striker plate will go.  When it comes to chisels, Irvin Marples is a premium brand.  They have a sturdy neck and excellent shock absorption.  Each blade is forged in one piece, and hardened and tempered to last a very long time.

Door handle chisel set

Drill Piece Set

Buy this Bosch 70 peice drill set from the Amazon store

You will need spade (flat) wood drill bits in particular.  But it may be worth you buying a drill set like the one below that offers a wide variety of drill bits and sizes for most household DIY tasks.

Drill set

Sharp Pencil

Buy carpenters pencils from the Amazon store

Marking wood can sometimes be diffulcult to mark using a standard pencil.  Mark up your work easily using these carpenters pencils.   

carpenters pencils

Tape Measure

Buy this tape measure from the Amazon store

tape measure


Screwdriver set

Stanley Knife

Step 1.  Marking the Door Handle Positions

Before you can fit a door handle to a new door, you will first need to mark regions to be drilled and cut.  Mark your brand new door with the location of your handle.  In general, internal door handles are usually positioned at a particular height.  A typical rule of thumb is to mark the door 1000mm (1 metre, 39 inches) from the floor.  Start by drawing a horizontal line on your door (handle side), 1000mm from the bottom as shown in the diagram below:

Fitting a new door handle

Now you will need to mark the position where a hole will be drilled for your handle spindle bar (bar that connects both handles).  The diagram and image below show you where to mark the position of the hole, on the line drawn in the previous step.  Hold up the latch against the door, so that the face plate is flush with the door edge.  You then mark where the spindle hole in the latch intersects the horizontal line you drew.

Interior door latch

fit a door handle to a new door

Step 2.  Drill Holes in the Door

You should drill a pilot hole where you have made the markings in step 1. For such a task, you need a 2mm drill bit.  Below is a diagram of a drilled pilot hole for the handle location.

Diagram of an interior door

Now drill over this pilot hole using a larger diameter drill piece.  Your door handle instructions may tell you the exact size spade drill bit you need.  It needs to be larger then your door handle spindle.  When drilling, always keep the drill level to the ground.

Below is a diagram of a larger hole drilled over the pilot hole.

fit a door handle to a new door

After you have drilled your hole, it should look similar to the image below.

New door

Step 3.  Mark the Latch/Lock Position

Once you have drilled the hole for your handles, you can now mark the location of your latch/lock.  Simply place the latch/lock against the door, so the sliding latch part is inline with the door hole, as in the image below.

Mark door latch

You then need to mark the outer part of the latch, and the inner part.

fit a door handle to a new door

After you have marked the inner and outer parts of the latch/lock.  Use a knife and cut along your marking lines.  This creates a nice line for you to start chiseling.  The red lines in the diagram below represent your marked, and knife cut lines.

fit a door handle to a new door

Step 4.  Drill the Latch Hole in Door Side 

Mark the centre of these lines, and drill a 2mm pilot hole.

Fitting interior door diagram

Now drill over the pilot hole with a spade drill piece.  The diameter of the drill price should be 2mm more than the 2 inner latch/lock lines, in the diagram below.  Drill through until you reach the handle spindle hole.

Interior door diagram

In order for your latch to slide in, the hole must be chiseled into a square.  Make sure you use a long thin chisel for this part.  You should end up with a square hole (as in the diagram below).  You should be able to see the handle spindle holes drilled previously through this hole.

Interior door side view

Step 5.  Chisel the Latch Region in Door Side

Now you will need to chisel away 1mm depth around this hole.  Do this until you reach the outer markings, as in the diagram below.  The reason you need to remove 1mm of material is so the latch/lock face plate will sit flush within the door side.

fit a door handle to a new door

The chisels below are ideal when you need to fit a door handle to a new door.

Carpenters chisel set for door handles
Carve out latch for door

Step 6.  Attach the Latch and Face Plate

Once you have drilled a hole for your latch, and chiseled away 1mm of material for your face plate.  You can then slide your latch into the hole you drilled.  The square hole on your latch should line up with your door handle holes, as in the images below.  You can then screw the latch along with your face plate to your door, using screws provided.

Attach latch and face plate to door
fit a door handle to a new door
Drill hole in new door to fit door handle

Step 7.  Marking the Keep / Striker Plate

Now you need to fix the keep/striker plate to the door frame.  This involves making a hole in the door frame, so that the door latch/lock can slide into the hole.

fit a door handle to a new door

Place the keep/striker plate against the door frame, so that it lines up with the door face plate.  Once in position, mark around the striker plate.  Ensure you mark the striker plate hole (where the door latch slides into place).  Remove the striker plate from the door, you should now see pencil markings.

Use a sharp knife to cut along the pencil markings.

Stanley knife on door latch slot

Step 8.  Drilling the Keep / Striker Plate

Use a spade drill bit to drill out the striker plate hole location.

Drilling a door latch slot
Drill out door latch slot
Drilling out door latch slot

Use a chisel to remove 1mm of wood where the striker plate will sit.  This ensures the striker plate will sit flush with the door frame edge.

fit a door handle to a new door
Chisel out door latch

Step 9.  Screw on the Keep / Striker Plate

Once this has been done screw the striker plate to the door frame using the screws provided.

fit a door handle to a new door

Step 10.  Placing the Handles

You should now be ready to fit a door handle to a new door.  Screw a door handle to both sides of the door, but ensure the handle spindle bar is linking them together within your door.

fit a door handle to a new door
fit a door handle to a new door
New door handle
New door handle and latch
new door handle

We hope you have enjoyed this guide on how to fit a door handle to a new door.


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Posted on 21st November 2018 at 5:00 pm


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