Guess what I did this this evening?
This simple switch of doorknobs can completely update and transform your entire house! The directions on the package are ridiculous, so here’s my “how-to,” FYI…
What you’ll need:
A phillips head screwdriver
A butter knife you don’t care much about
Maybe a hammer
Get a replacement doorknob. Besides the style (I like the Tuscan bronze), look for something solid that will last a long time. Also, figure out ahead of time whether this will go on a bedroom, bathroom or closet (they make different knobs for different rooms). I like the roundies, but if you want lever-style handles, you will need to get a right- or left-handed handle appropriate to the door direction. Buy a doorknob with a pawl (a pawl is the door “tongue” that makes the door click) the same length as the one you are replacing (sometimes, they are adjustable).
Remove the two screws on the face plate (that’s the plate that surrounds the pawl, or door tongue). Remember – righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.
Remove the two screws on the knob plate (those are the screws you see when you’re looking directly at the knob).
Pull the handles off both sides.
***Ok, just in case the door accidentally closes when the door knobs are off (it can happen), don’t freak out. Just poke your screwdriver in the middle of the pawl, and pull towards the door hinges. (I am Batman. …or at least MacGyver)***
Push the faceplate and pawl out through the opening.
Loosen the two screws on the strike plate and remove the strike plate. You may need a butter knife to pry the plate off (if it’s painted-on stuck).
Size up the new strike plate and pawl mechanisms with the holes in your door and door jamb.
Push the new pawl mechanism and face plate into the door. Be sure the pawl faces the way the door will close, so the slanted side will meet the strike plate. Pushing with your hands should work. Otherwise, you may need to get your hammer out.
Screw down the pawl mechanism, making sure it is as level as possible.
Insert the handles into the door so that the peg fits through the opening and the screw holes align with the threaded cylinders on the other side. Check that levers and locks face the right directions.
While the doorknobs are together, but slightly loose, insert the long screws and get them started (so you can see where they’re suppose to go). Tighten the screws that hold the handle.
Install the strike plate.
Check that everything fits and closes properly, and make any necessary adjustments.
Ok…now who needs a bunch of old doorknobs?