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Door handles are subject to plenty of abuse, especially in the commercial world. Whether you are dealing with a knob, lever or pull handle, these pieces of door hardware are fairly simple to remove when it comes time to replace them. You'll need only simple tools to complete this project, and depending on the type of handle you're dealing with, you can expect to complete this project in about an hour.
Remove simple push/pull handles by removing the screws in each corner. Once the screws are removed, you can pull the handle off the door. Use wood putty to fill the holes left behind.
Slide the cover plate, or rose, off of a door knob or lever handle to expose the screws. The cover plate typically has no fasteners, and simply clicks into place. If it is on too tightly, try twisting it until you are able to slide it forward.
Unscrew the set screw that holds the knobs or levers in place. Once you have removed these screws, you can grasp one knob or lever in each hand, and slowly pull them apart until they are removed from the door.
Look for a small hole or opening in the handle. Some types of handles won't have any screws or fasteners at all. These handles will have a visible hole, typically somewhere on the handle that is inside the building (to prevent tampering from outside).
Slip a straightened paper clip or screwdriver into the hole. Gently prod the inner workings until you hit the release button. Once you hit that button, the handle will become unattached from the door. After the handle is removed, you can easily remove and replace the lockset.
When replacing a commercial door handle, keep in mind that commercial buildings are subject to regulation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA lists specific mounting heights for door handles, depending on the type of building and the size and type of handle selected.