Install the new handle and latch
Photo 1: Remove the old handle
Unscrew both interior latch-mounting screws, pull the interior and exterior handles apart and remove the center spindle. Discard the old handle.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Insert spindle
Assemble the new exterior handle according to the instructions on the packaging, and slide the spindle through the center hole.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 3: Screw the inside and outside together
Slide the interior latch over the protruding spindle, and screw together the interior and exterior handles with the two mounting screws.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 4: Mount the strike
Hold the new strike plate in place with the door closed (have a helper push it tight from the outside). Mark the center of the mounting slots for maximum adjustability. Drill 3/32-in. pilot holes in the door jamb and screw down the new strike plate. (Use enclosed shims, if necessary.)Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
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).
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
- Cordless drill
- Drill bit set
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