Door Knob Switch-a-roo

Jan 20, 2015 | Projects, Whole House

We are slowly purging all things ’80s in our house and the interior door knobs have died a Milli Vanilli death.  It may not seem like a big change to update door knobs, but it really is- especially when the ones you originally had were outdated and in some cases, broken.  These are the old ones:

Old Knobs

And now for the new ones:

New KnobThe knobs are Weslock – Elegance Collection, Impresa knobs

Much better, right?

I liked the fact that these have a backplate because of the way they look (fanciness) and also because they cover any “mistakes” in taking out the old knobs.  All nicks, scratches, and scrapes in yanking out the old knobs are covered by the back plate.

Installation was easy and it took about 10 minutes per knob.  The only tool that I needed to buy was a one inch hole drill bit  to enlarge the hole that the latch slid into.  The other tools I needed was a Philips screwdriver,  a flathead screwdriver, and a drill.

The steps were simple:

1.  Take out the old latch and knob by unscrewing the latch and pulling it out and unscrewing the knob and pulling both sides of the knob out.

Taking Off Latch


Taking off knob1

Taking Off Knob

2.  Remove the old strike plate by unscrewing.

Unscrewing Latch

3.  Enlarge the hole where the latch slides into (if needed) with a one inch hole drill bit.

Hole Bit

Drilling Hole

4.  Slide the new latch into the hole but don’t screw in yet.  Remember that the curved part of the latch faces the strike plate.

Putting Plates Together

5.  With my knobs, I had to take off the interior knob to access the screws on that side but you may not have to.

Taking Knob Off

6.  Insert exterior knob first (normally the one without the screw holes on the backplate or knob base).  If it’s a bathroom/bedroom type knob, it will have a lock on it and obviously the lock goes on the inside of the room. Closet/hallway knobs do not have a lock.  Stationary knobs are ones that don’t turn and that can be used on pantry doors, linen closets, etc.

Putting Plates Together

7.  Align the parts of the interior and exterior knob with the latch and screw together.  Make sure that the backplates are straight before screwing.

Back Plate

8.  Screw in the latch.


9.  Install the new strike plate.  You might have to notch out a bit of wood if the hole is uneven or not deep enough.

Notching Hole

Latch1Note: Some knobs come with multiple strike plates and you just have to match up the old one with one of the new ones.

Different Latches10.  Test the knob to make sure that the latch fully lodges into the strike plate hole when you close the door.  If not, then you need to adjust the strike plate either forward or back to catch the latch.

New Knob

And that’s it.  Easy peasy.  I had the kids each do one knob installation from beginning to end to teach them some basic DIY.  I try to have them do at least one piece of every project I do because I don’t want them to be DIY-helpless as adults.  Anyway, if they can install doorknobs, anyone can.

My next project won’t be so easy…  I plan on removing a closet near the garage door.  Another not so endearing trait of our 80s house is that there is no open floor plan.  We have boxed off, distinct rooms so removing the closet is a first step to making the flow a little better and opening things up a bit.  I have an electrician coming on Monday so I need to at least remove the drywall from the closet before he/she gets here.  More on that soon!