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Choosing door handles and locks

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Four easy steps to choosing the perfect door hardware

Door hardware is an extension of your home's personality, and selecting the right door handles and locks is a great way to give your home a new look. As with most home improvement projects, executing a well thought out plan for upgrading door knobs, handles and other accessories will yield better results.

Step 1. Decide on your needs

The first question to ask yourself when considering new door knobs, handles and other door hardware is the function of each door - this will help you decide the type of door hardware you need.

Door knobs

Door knob

Door lever

Door knockers

Door knobs or door levers

The door knobs you choose depends on the use of each door in your home, as well as the style you prefer. Some people prefer door knobs, while others like door levers (these are easier to open for people with disabilities and children).

There are three types of door knobs or handles to consider for your home: exterior dead locks, interior privacy locks, and passage suite knobs (no locks). Most homes require all three types, so take careful note of the doors in your home and the types of knobs or levers you would like to install.

Door knockers

Adding a knocker to your front door gives it more presence, and can give the front of your home more character. Door knockers come in all shapes and sizes – they can be whimsical or sophisticated, and they are usually made out of durable materials for outside climates.

Coat Hooks

These are convenient to add to interior doors, like the bedroom and bathroom. Adding hooks gives you an extra place to hang towels and bathrobes, so you don’t have to find another place to put them.

Door stops

Whether you live in a quiet home or one full of children, door stops are a must to prevent damage to the walls adjacent to an opening door.

Door plate

Hinges and door plates

The hinge and door plate should match or complement the door handle, as well as the rest of the room. For example, in your kitchen you would want your door hardware to go with your cabinet ware.

Latches and other door handles

Door handles

Stylish door handles

Instead of a regular door knob consider adding latches, pull handles, or pull knobs to a pantry door or other door to create country feel. The fixed knobs can match other hardware in the room – such as handles on drawers and cabinets. They can also offer a cheap alternative to full door knobs.

Sliding pocket doors can use finger pulls, pull plates or flush pulls, which allow the door to fit into the wall when open. French doors need to be installed with flush bolts so they remain closed while not in use.

Step 2. Research materials and styles

There are as many different styles of door hardware as there are doors to fit them, so be prepared to spend some time researching. Door hardware in brass or antique bronze may look better in a warm-coloured home, while cooler schemes fit with stainless steel, porcelain, or chrome hardware. If you are using an interior designer they may be able to help with this decision.

Secondly, take a look around your home and decide on your style. If you like modern designs then you should find door hardware with simple and clean lines. Those who prefer more classic designs may want to look for ornate door hardware instead. Ultimately, your choice should complement the architectural style of your home. You may even want to take a look at commercial door ware for more ideas or to find exclusive deals.

Step 3. Consider the environment

If you live near the ocean, then your door hardware has to be able to withstand the elements. Look for premium materials like stainless steel, that are salt resistant and will stand up to the test of time. No matter where you are located, your door hardware needs to be long lasting and remain operable for as long as you need it to.

Step 4. Set a Budget

A budget is extremely important when you get to this point, as it can keep you from going overboard with your accessories and end up with an expensive project. Your exterior front door will take up most of your budget, as it is the one that requires deadbolt security, as well as having the most accessories (door knocker or bell push, security screens, door letter plate doors, etc.)Additionally, the exterior door tends to use more hardwearing materials since it is exposed to the elements, and other added features to enhance security and durability, like escutcheons. While you can find economical options for exterior doors, you want to make sure your home is protected.

Find a budget you are comfortable with, and stick to it. Above all, try to get the most cost effective or economical door accessories you can, while choosing premium materials that will last.

More about locks

See our article entitled Different Type of Locks for your Home.