How To Replace a Screen Door Handle

Updated: May 13, 2024

This is an easy 10 minute repair. Learn how to replace a screen door latch yourself.

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

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 and you can swap out the handle in about 10 minutes. Ahead, learn exactly how.

Tools Required

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

Materials Required

  • Replacement storm door handle and latch

Project step-by-step (4)

Step 1

Remove the old handle and screen door latch

  • Typically, two mounting screws hold the old handle together. Unscrew both interior latch-mounting screws.
  • Pull the interior and exterior handles apart and remove the center spindle.
  • Discard the old handle.

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Step 2

Insert the spindle

  • 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. Your new handle should have the same backset, or use the enclosed drilling template to relocate the 5/16-in. mounting screw holes.
  • Assemble the new exterior handle according to the instructions on the packaging, and slide the spindle through the center hole.

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Step 3

Screw the inside and outside together

  • Slide the interior screen door latch over the protruding spindle, and screw together the interior and exterior handles with the two mounting screws.

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Step 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.)

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Note: If the old strike plate isn’t compatible with the new screen door latch, remove it and install the new one that’s included in the screen door latch kit.

Need to replace more than the handle? Here’s how to replace the screen on a screen door: