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How to Fix Your Broken Storm-Door Handles

Updated: Feb. 19, 2023

Five easy steps to upgrade or replace any storm door handle.

FH99JAU_BROHAN_01-2 broken door handleFamily Handyman
Don't let a broken or ugly storm-door handle ruin the look of your home's entrance. Replace your old storm-door handle in five easy steps, which include drilling new holes if needed.

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How to replace a broken door handle

broken door handle

1. Remove the old broken door handle

Remove the old storm-door handle by unscrewing the two screws that hold the two halves together.

2. Mark new hole locations

Mark the door for the new hole locations using the template provided with the new door handle. Position the template so the new holes do not land over the existing holes.

3. Drill holes for new handle

Drill 1/8-in. pilot holes through the door at the locations you marked with the template. Then enlarge these holes to 5/16 in. by drilling halfway through the door from both sides with a 5/16-in. drill bit.

4. Assemble the door handle

Assemble the door handle according to the instructions. Screw the two halves together with the machine screws provided. Start the screws by hand to make sure the threads are aligned before tightening them with a screwdriver

5. Attach the strike plate

Close the door and hold the strike plate in position while you mark the screw slots. Remove the plate and drill 1/16-in. pilot holes in the center of each slot mark. Use the plastic shims provided to shim the plate if necessary. Then screw it to the door frame. Adjust the strike plate until the door latches firmly, then tighten the screws.

Broken storm-door handles are easy to replace if you buy the same kind, but upgrading to a top-quality brass handle as we’ve done takes a little extra work. At first glance, it appeared that this handle would fit in the old holes. A closer look at the instructions revealed that the handle had to be shifted slightly away from the edge of the door. Rather than attempt to enlarge the holes and risk a sloppy fit, we moved the handle down slightly and drilled new holes. The manufacturer had anticipated this problem and provided a cover plate to conceal the old holes on the inside of the door.

You’ll need a drill with 1/8-in. and 5/16-in. bits and a Phillips screwdriver to complete this job. We purchased the replacement handle at a large home center for about $24. There are a few different styles available. You can even buy a matching deadbolt if you like the idea of locking your storm door.

Required Tools for this broken door handle Project

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

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