How to install a doorbell

How to install a doorbell

You will need:

  • Door bell kit
  • Screwdrivers
  • Drill masonry/wood bits
  • Combination wire-cutting tool
  • Cable clips
  • Hammer
  • Bell wire

Modern doorbells are simple to fit, even for a novice DIYer. You can opt for a battery or mains-powered bell that runs from a transformer. Here's how to install a battery-operated doorbell.

Time to complete job: About 2 hours.
Approximate budget: Door bell systems start from around £20.

Tip: You could opt for a model that's wire-free and relies on a radio signal to trigger the bell. This means that you can take the bell unit into the garage or garden so you'll always know when a visitor calls.

For professional advice, visit the Electrical Contractors Association.

  • Step 1: Fit the bell push

    Step 1: Fit the bell push

    Fit the bell push to the door frame or side of the exterior wall in a conspicuous place. As the bell push will be connected by thin two-core bell wire, try to fit the unit so that you can run the wiring directly into the house without too much exposed cable to spoil the look of the front entrance.

    Strip back the insulation from the two wires and connect them to the bell push.

    Screw on the cover plate.

    Tip: If you fit the bell to the door frame edge, you should be able to drill through the frame and lead the wires directly into the house from the back of the bell casing.

  • Step 2: Complete the circuit

    Step 2: Complete the circuit

    Most units will have the bell and its battery in the same box. If so, all you need to do to complete the circuit is to connect the two wires to the two terminals of the battery unit.

    Tip: If the battery is separate from the bell, you will have to make a 'mini' circuit. Check the maker's instructions for wiring up the parts.

  • Step 3: Fit the cover

    Step 3: Fit the cover

    Put the cover on the unit.

    Tip: If you're wiring a mains-operated doorbell, fit the transformer as close to the door as you can and follow the maker's wiring instructions. You can buy extra two-core insulated bell wire from DIY stores.

  • Step 4: Fix the wire

    Step 4: Fix the wire

    Run the thin bell wire neatly along the top the door frame or skirting board and fix with small plastic cable clips.

    Tip: Try to keep the wiring as short as possible to preserve the battery life.