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Home Sweet Solutions

How to Change a Lock Set

Replacing a privacy door knob is a project that you can do under an hour! And it''s an easy way to u...

Changing a door knob takes minutes, and you don’t have to be a DIY expert to do it. All you need are a few tools. Read on to learn how to replace an old privacy knob set with a new one that locks.


A heavy book

Philips head screwdriver

Traditional screwdriver

New lock set

1. Steady the door. It’s easier to work on your door knob when the door is not moving, so take a large, heavy book such as a dictionary and place it on the floor to allow the door to stay in one place.

2. Remove the old knob. Loosen the screws on the door knob with either a Philips head or traditional screwdriver, depending on the screws. As the screws loosen, grab both knobs so they don’t fall and damage the floor. Gently pull knobs in opposing directions -- the knobs should come right off.

3. Remove the old strike plate, the metal plate on the edge of the door that faces the door frame, by unscrewing it. Then, pull out the plate and the latch.

4. Test the fit of the new latch. Put the new latch in the existing hole to make sure it goes in smoothly. Check the manufacturer’s directions if the sizing is not quite right. Most latches are adjustable.

5. Make sure the latch bolt is facing the right direction. Think of the latch bolt -- the piece that moves -- as an arrow. The pointed/beveled side should be pointing in the direction the door will close.

6. Install the new knob. Line up both sides of the knobs and thread the spindle through to make it fit. Refer to the instructions to make sure everything is right-side-up.

7. Tighten the screws. Once your knobs and latch are in place, tighten up the screws. Test the knob and the lock before you put the strike plate on; if a piece is upside down or misaligned, the lock won’t work, so you may have to make adjustments as you go.

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