When moving into a new home, one of the first things most people do is change the locks. You want to feel secure in your new home and changing the locks helps with that. This is the time when a lot of people make a common mistake.
They run out to purchase their new doorknobs immediately only to find out later that it doesn’t fit. In all likelihood, the issue stems from the existing doorknob hole not being big enough. The good news is that problem can be fixed.
Begin by cutting a sheet of plywood into two squares big enough to cover the opposite sides of the hole. Clamp the plywood sheets on to the door and mark the center points on both sides. Use the hole saw to cut through one side of the plywood and then work on the other side to finish.
Securing your home is always a must and you can start with installing your doorknob properly. Learn more about creating the right-sized doorknob hole and other relevant topics such as the door latch by reading on.
Table of Contents
- How to Enlarge a Doorknob Hole
- Step 1: Gather Your Tools
- Step 2: Select the Right-Sized Hole Saw
- Step 3: Create the Guiding Sheets of Plywood
- Step 4: Mark Where You Need to Cut
- Step 5: Start Cutting
- Step 6: Clean Out the New Doorknob Hole
- How to Enlarge the Door Latch Hole
- Step 1: Purchase and Prepare Your Tools
- Step 2: Adjust the Door Latch Installation Kit According to Your Needs
- Step 3: Use the Hammer and Kit to Resize the Door Latch Hole
- Step 4: Clean the Newly Created Latch Hole
- How Do You Plug Existing Holes in a Door?
- Step 1: Get Your Tools Ready
- Step 2: Measure the Size of the Hole and Pick the Saw Size
- Step 3: Cut Out Some Wooden Disks
- Step 4: Stick the Wooden Disks Together
- Step 5: Fit the Stacked Disks into the Hole and Sand if Needed
- Step 6: Glue the Stacked Disks into Place
- Related Questions
- How Big Should the Holes on the Door Be?
- Why Do Older Homes Tend to Have Smaller Holes for Doorknobs?
- Can You Make a Large Doorknob Hole Smaller?
How to Enlarge a Doorknob Hole
Enlarging the doorknob hole is a simple project you can complete relatively quickly. Find out how to complete that project by following the tips in this section.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools
For this project, you’ll need a hand saw, some wooden clamps, and a sheet of plywood about half an inch thick. You may also want to use a pencil or marker to improve your precision. A hole saw is also needed, but you cannot just pick one randomly.
Step 2: Select the Right-Sized Hole Saw
Refer back to the packaging of your doorknob and look at its measurements. You should find its size there and that will tell you how big the hole saw should be.
Step 3: Create the Guiding Sheets of Plywood
Take the sheet of plywood now and cut it into two squares big enough to cover the existing doorknob hole. You want one sheet covering the front and another covering the back of the hole.
Those sheets of plywood are needed to guide the hole saw. Without them, the hole saw may just spin around aimlessly and create a jagged opening.
Step 4: Mark Where You Need to Cut
Grab one sheet of plywood and place it over one side of the hole. Use a wooden clamp to hold it in place. Next, position it in a way that it lines up perfectly with the center of the existing doorknob hole.
Pick up the other sheet of plywood and do the same thing on the opposite side of the door.
With the sheets of plywood now in position, take your marker and use it to note the center of the hole. Marking the center of the hole will make it easier for you to work accurately and prevent unnecessary damage.
Step 5: Start Cutting
You can now position the hole saw over the center of the sheet of plywood and start cutting. Do your best to keep your hands steady so that you remain on target.
Eventually, the saw will power through the first sheet of plywood and start to cut into the next one. Once the pilot bit of the hole saw cuts through the other sheet of plywood, stop. Go to the other side of the door next and start cutting from there.
After cutting from both sides, the holes should be even and large enough to fit your new doorknob.
Step 6: Clean Out the New Doorknob Hole
All that’s left to do now is to clean out the newly created hole. Make sure you clear out any sawdust to prevent the components of the doorknob from jamming.
How to Enlarge the Door Latch Hole
Aside from the doorknob hole itself, you may also have to work on adjusting the slot for the latch. Leaving the size of that opening unchanged can lead to the new latch jamming consistently or possibly breaking.
Thankfully, the process of resizing the door latch hole is easier than enlarging the doorknob hole. That’s assuming you’re willing to make an additional purchase though.
Step 1: Purchase and Prepare Your Tools
You’ll only need two tools for this next job. The first one is a hammer that you probably already have and the other is a door latch installation kit.
Spending money on a door latch installation kit may seem unnecessary at first, but it really makes your life easier. They are also quite inexpensive and readily available.
Step 2: Adjust the Door Latch Installation Kit According to Your Needs
Open up the kit next and take a look inside. You should see that it has templates ready for different door latch types. Choose the template that fits your door best. The kit can also be adjusted according to your door’s thickness so tweak that too as required.
Step 3: Use the Hammer and Kit to Resize the Door Latch Hole
Now that you’ve made the necessary adjustments to the kit, you can position it over the existing hole.
Begin by lining up the template with the door latch itself and hammer that to create an indentation. Hammer the sharp edges of the template into the wood until they go about a 1/4 of an inch deep. Hit the kit with the hammer as many times as you need to in order to create clear marks.
Change the position of the kit now and point its chisel into the door latch hole. You can now hammer the top and bottom of the kit in order to carve out space for the new latch.
If you’re encountering some resistance while chiseling out the latch, go a bit deeper into the hole. It should be easier to carve out the wood from that point.
Step 4: Clean the Newly Created Latch Hole
Creating the new latch hole won’t be nearly as messy as making the new doorknob hole. Even so, you should take a few seconds to make sure the hole is clear to prevent issues later on.
How Do You Plug Existing Holes in a Door?
Let’s say that the new home you moved in to has a beautiful door you wish to reuse. Unfortunately, it has way too many holes in it because it was used to hold numerous locks previously.
Can you do something to plug in the holes and reuse the door? You can indeed accomplish that by following the steps below.
Step 1: Get Your Tools Ready
You’ll need a piece of wood similar to the door, a tape measure, some wood glue, and some sandpaper. A hole saw is needed as well, but it has to be the right size.
Step 2: Measure the Size of the Hole and Pick the Saw Size
Use your tape measure to determine the size of the hole. Be as accurate as you can be and take multiple measurements if needed. After determining the size of the hole you want to plug, go ahead and find a hole saw that’s slightly bigger.
Step 3: Cut Out Some Wooden Disks
Pick up the hole saw and start cutting out disks that are slightly bigger than the hole. Create as many wooden disks as you need to match the door’s thickness.
Step 4: Stick the Wooden Disks Together
Stack the wooden disks on top of one another and start gluing them together. Take a moment to make sure the disks are perfectly aligned before you add another layer.
Step 5: Fit the Stacked Disks into the Hole and Sand if Needed
Try placing the stacked disks into the hole now and see if it fits. If it doesn’t, sand down the sides until it gets to the right size.
Once in the right position, you should also check if the stacked disks are flush with the door. Check if the thickness is just right or if you have to sand further.
Step 6: Glue the Stacked Disks into Place
Now that the big disk is the right size and thickness, you can glue it into place. Line it up as best you can with the rest of the door to disguise the fact that its filler.
How Big Should the Holes on the Door Be?
You can usually refer to the packaging of the doorknob to find out how big the accommodating holes must be. If you’re looking for general figures though, Direct Door Hardware has some measurements to offer.
They say that the standard borehole for the doorknob should be about 2 1/8 inches in diameter. Meanwhile, the cross bore for the latch should be an inch across. You should also chisel out about 1/8 of an inch from the wood to accommodate the latch.
Why Do Older Homes Tend to Have Smaller Holes for Doorknobs?
This is simply a function of their era. The doorknobs made back then tended to be smaller and so the door openings reflected that. If you’re moving into an older home sometime soon, expect this to be among the issues you’ll have to address.
Can You Make a Large Doorknob Hole Smaller?
There’s no real way to make an already existing hole smaller. The solution is to have special hardware installed instead.
Go to a locksmith in your area and inquire about your specific issue. The locksmith will likely suggest installing a mag or escutcheon plate so that your new lock fits better. The locksmith can handle the installation part too.