Replace a Broken Storm or Screen Door Handle

This is an easy ten minute repair

Storm door handles break or become tarnished long before the door need replacing, but installing a new handle is a simple job that can usually be finished in a few minutes.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Install the new handle and latch

Trade in the broken, shabby push-button handle on your screen door for a shiny new easy-opening lever handle. Replacement handles will fit most aluminum, steel and some wood doors. The handles are available at hardware stores and home centers.

You can swap out the handle in about ten minutes. Typically, two mounting screws hold the old handle together. Remove the screws and discard the old handle (Photo 1). You'll see three vertically spaced mounting holes in the screen door (wood doors may require different hardware). Measure the distance from the edge of the door to the center of one of these holes. This distance is called the backset (Photo 2). Buy a new handle with the same backset, or use the enclosed drilling template to relocate the 5/16-in. mounting screw holes. Assemble the outside lever components, insert the center spindle and install the new handle (Photos 2 and 3).

If the old strike plate isn't compatible with the new handle, remove it and install the new one that’s included in the handle kit (Photo 4).

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Drill bit set
  • Cordless drill

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Replacement storm door handle and latch