How to Change a Left-Handed Door Lever to Right-Handed

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Drill

  • Wood drill bits

Tip

Keep the key to the door with you in case the replacement of the latch jars the locking mechanism and accidentally locks the door against you, preventing your access.

Plan ahead with this installation, as some latches may not function appropriately when reversed due to their sticking out of the plane of the door and into a space where they would hit the door frame when opened.

Reversing a door knob is a straightforward procedure.
Image Credit: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Changing a door's handle from left-handed operation to right-handed is simply a matter of orientation. Removing the door lever itself, rotating it 180 degrees and installing it on the other side of the door will cause the lever to be inverted, yet it will still operate the latch mechanism in exactly the same manner. The keyholes and the decorative affects of the lever and will be upside down, making this not necessarily a practical method for latches or knobs with writing on them. The process requires only very simple equipment and little or no experience.

Step 1

Loosen the lever attachment to the door by rotating any screws that hold it together. Use a screwdriver or a drill to remove these screws and set them aside to use later. Remove the portion of the latch that sticks out the edge of the door by twisting it in place until it comes out or by unscrewing another attachment point possibly contained within the interior lever assembly and visible only after the external levers are removed.

Step 2

Take the various lever pieces out of the door. Rotate the lever setup and hold it against the door so that it is upside down and backwards. Check to see if any additional portions of the door need to be drilled or enlarged to allow the lever to fit in with this orientation. Make any necessary adjustments.

Step 3

Set the internal latch portion within the door and slide the edge latch piece back into place. Rotate it to attach it, or secure it with the internal screw that was removed earlier. Reinstall any external sections or door levers that you removed earlier, using the original hardware and a screwdriver or drill.

Step 4

Test the door by closing and opening it. Make any necessary adjustments if there is a problem with the fit of the door lever mechanism in the door frame.


Nat Fondell

Nat Fondell has been writing professionally since 2006. A former editor of the "North Park University Press," his work has appeared at scientific conferences and online, covering health, business and home repair. Fondell holds dual Bachelors of Arts degrees in journalism and history from North Park University and received pre-medical certification at Dominican University.