changing lever handle for knob on Andersen doors?

flseadogFebruary 11, 2010

Our Andersen french doors have lever handles which I hate because the edges are very squared off and this makes it uncomfortable for me to lock and unlock them. Also, the handles stick out so far that I will not be able to mount blinds on the doors. Is it possible to switch out the lever handles for either a round or oval door knob? Thanks in advance for your help.

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I recently worked with an Andersen rep to get new hardware for a casement window due to a minor issue. I found them actually helpful and even offered to send me replacements covered under warranty. I would think this is a question they have heard before - maybe start there.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 7:40AM
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There is no way to change the levers to knobs as a knob would not have the capability nor the strength to trigger the multipoint mechanism.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 10:05AM
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Thank you both. I just got off the phone with Andersen and they said that afsa is completely right. They do, however, have extenders that will give me more space between the lever and the handle. So I guess I'll be trying that. Thanks, again.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 2:34PM
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The information posted above is not entirely accurate. Although most window and door dealers do not have "standard" non-lever handle styles, they are common and are available. They also perform well, if not in a round design, because the multi-point door gears do require additional torque to disengage. Levers work best, but oval handles are sufficient. Your door representative should simply apply some minor research and I'd bet that Andersen can supply them for you. If not, there are custom hardware manufacturers that make the correct hardware for most major window and door manufacturer's size specifications. One that comes to mind is named Emtek or Emtec, and their products are reasonably priced.

Oval knobs have become quite common in bear country, as bears quickly determine how to use a lever handle to gain access into homes. We use oval handles on the exterior sides of almost all of our mountain home construction, and they are supplied by our window and door vendors. It was not an easy product to acquire up until about 5 years ago, but now it is a very common handle style.

As for clearance on the interior, we have also used the extensions (we commonly use a combination of lever interior and oval exterior handles). The extension allows the interior blind to slip between the lever handle and the door. However, the blinds often requested on our projects consist of wide wooden slats, so the extensions still don't work well. We often suggest a cloth shade with brass rods top and bottom, in leiu of blinds, for door applications. This affords privacy, while also allowing some natural light through the fabric, unless they are pulled to the sides for full light exposure. Most importantly, this eliminates swinging blinds each time the door is used.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 1:50PM
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By the way, I must state how irritating I view inaccurate comments, such as "there is no way (to do something)", from posters on these types of forums. When inaccurate information is provided, the whole forum loses credibility, and I value the fact that some good information can be learned from reviewing sites like this one. Therefore, it is not of any value to read responses on this or other sites that must then be further researched, due to a lack of credibility shown by inaccurate responses that claim absolutes, like noted in the previous post.

It may be best to refrain from "absolutes" when sharing information that directs consumers to inaccurate assumptions about building products. In these circumstances, it is best to simply state what a poster's common experiences might be, and what products they have commonly used, and refrain from indicating that something is not available in an absolute manner -this is a disservice to the folks that come here for credible and helpful information.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 2:12PM
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Well, i agree that i should have said "no way" as if there is a will there is a way but there is a reason most don't recommend it and that is because it is not easy at all to operate a multipoint lock with a knob of any type. It is a retro fit no matter how you look at it and is not advertised as an available off the shelf package unlike levers. Also i would be interested what the building departments would say in regards to the codes and egress in case of an emergency or a fire. A child, older person or handicapped person can operate a lever which is why they are ADA approved, a knob trying to unlock a multipoint device in an emergency i am not so sure of!!!Just my thoughts oh mighty expert of the forums

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 4:10PM
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Thank you for sharing your experience, mcsbldr. Now that you mention the bears, I do remember that our family had a cat that learned to open interior lever door handles by hanging on them so I can see where this would be a problem in bear country. We currently have Emtek levers on our interior doors so I will contact them to see what they suggest. Also, afsa, your point about the safety aspect is a good one. The lever handles were suggested to us as we intend to age in place. Although our health is fine we wanted to prepare for the day when we will be much more creaky. I also would not want to do anything to compromise the safety of my prospective grandchildren. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 8:01AM
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