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How to fit a door lever

Whether it be your kitchen door, bedroom door or the door to that bathroom cabinet, at some point, you will find the need to replace the door lever. Replacement door handles, knobs and levers come in a variety of styles and materials. Choose your antique knobs, brass handles or chrome knobs to suit your décor. Here is a brief guide on how to fit the replacement lever.

Remove existing screws

Start by locating all the screws which will be holding your existing lever in place. These may well be located on the interior side of the door. Unscrew all the screws and place them in a jar.

Pop the lever loose

Alternatively, if the old lever has no screws, it may be held in place by a small metal piece on the side that is located in a small slot. Use a very small screwdriver to push on the metal piece which will cause the lever to pop loose.

Remove the underlying plate

Pull off the lever. You should now see the underlying plate below. Locate the slot in the plate, this is generally found across the seam where the plate butts against the door. Then, push a flat-head screwdriver into the slot. Give the plate a half twist and the plate will simply pop off.

Remove the old screws and latch

Once you have removed the plate, you will find the screws that are securing the existing latch. It may be necessary to remove these screws using a power screwdriver.

Adjust the backset

The backset is basically the distance between the edge of the door and the centre of the door lever. While the majority of door levers will accommodate various backsets, you may need to adjust this slightly by increasing the size of the hole.

Install new lever

If you have chosen a similar lever to the old one, then the existing holes should be suitable. If not, you will need to drill new holes to accommodate the new lever. Any remaining holes that are visible once the new lever has been installed will have to be filled with filler and then painted over. You can then install the new lever by reversing the removal procedure. Make sure to point the new striker in the correct direction so that the door will close properly.

Finish the job

Insert the new latch in. Tighten the screws first by hand, ensuring the latch is in the correct position and that it functions. You can then tighten the screws with a power screwdriver. Insert the lever in place, and again tighten the screws by hand at first, tightening them once you have made sure that it functions properly. Be careful here not to over-tighten the screws or this will cause the lever to bind.

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