How to Install a Door Knob

Instructions for Installing a Door Knob in a Pre-Fab Door

By Mark J. Donovan

The instructions below are for installing a door knob on a door with holes already cut out for the door knob latch assembly and the striker pate. Moreover, the instructions are for installing a door knob consisting of two halves, a striker plate and a latch / pawl assembly.

The first step in installing a door knob is to install the pawl assembly with faceplate into the hole on the side of the door. The faceplate should sit flush with the surface of the door. If it does not you’ll need to use a chisel to increase the size of the recessed hole area in the door.

Also, make sure when installing the pawl assembly you have the tapered side facing the striker plate on the door jamb when closing the door. Try to use your hands only to push the pawl assembly flush with the door surface. If you are unsuccessful using just your hands use a block of wood and a hammer to press it in flush with the door edge surface. The block of wood should be used between the door edge and the hammer. Once the pawl assembly is flush with the door, secure the faceplate to the door with the screws provided, if any are provided.

Next, insert the outer door knob handle into the pawl mechanism. This side of the door knob should not have any screws required.

Now insert the other door knob handle into the pawl mechanism on the back side of the door. The back side of the door is considered the inside of the door. Inserting this door knob handle into the pawl mechanism can be a little difficult as you need to line up the screw holes with the other door knob handle.

Next, insert the screws into the backside door handle and tighten them up with a screwdriver.

Typically a Philips screwdriver is required. As you tighten up the screws the two door handle halves should come together and fit snuggly up against the door.

With the door knob installed you can now move on to installing the striker plate on the door jamb. Simply attach it to the recessed area on the door using the two screws that come with it. The striker plate should be positioned so that it lines up exactly with the door latch assembly.

Now test that the doorknob functions properly by closing and opening the door from both sides. Make sure that the door knob latches properly with the striker plate. If not, you’ll need to slightly adjust the position of the striker plate.

How to install a door knob

For information on how to install interior door trim, see the “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook from  The “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook provides step-by-step instructions on how to install interior door trim. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

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