How to Replace a Sliding Door Pull Handle

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 15-50
What You'll Need
Replacement Handle
Drill Bit for Drilling on Metal

There are any number of reasons one may want to replace a sliding door pull handle: the existing one may have broken, the door was replaced and needs a new one, or it may just need updating. In any of these cases, it is not difficult to replace the door handle, and is a simple do-it-yourself project that will take little time, but can have a dramatic effect. There are several key elements to keep in mind when selecting your new handle, and a few issues to consider before purchasing the replacement.

There are typically two standardized sizes, but your door may have specific sizing needs. Measure the handle at the attachment points, that is, the two screws that attach it to the door. This measurement will determine up front the styles to choose from. Additionally, keep in mind the size of the door that the door pull will be handling. It will quickly break or fall apart if the door is too heavy for it to keep up with. Finally, if the door is meant or desired to lock, you will want to ensure that the pull you select comes with a locking mechanism.

Step 1 - Remove Existing Pull

Removing the existing handle and it's correlating hardware is a simple matter of unscrewing the existing fittings. There are generally two screws that secure the pull to the door, and two for the lock latch on the door frame. Unscrew these using a drill or screwdriver and remove the hardware.

Step 2 - Size New Pull

Dry fit the new door pull to make sure that the existing holes for the screws that will attach the pull and the locking mechanism line up with the new handle. You may need to drill holes for the fittings if there are none existing or if the holes need to be relocated. If you do have to drill new holes make sure that they are not overly large for the new door pull or the new handle will shift around, which will result in the new pull breaking prematurely. Many come with diagrams and templates to use to properly measure new holes that need to be drilled.

Step 3 - Install New Pull

Read all directions on the installation of the new pull, if available. Generally, this will entail fitting the outer pull on the outside of the door, and the inner pull on the inside of the door, inserting two bolts or screws in the upper and lower holes, and tightening them down.

Step 4 - Install New Lock Latch

Attach the new lock latch with the two screws provided with the hardware. A lot of times, this step is not necessary if you have simply replaced the handle; the new lock should match up with the height of the existing latch. However, if you have changed the location of the new handle, or this is a first time installation, measure (exactly) the height of the opening in the edge of the door of the opening of the locking mechanism, and install the new lock latch at the same height.