Replacing Doorknobs In Your Home!
A doorknob. Probably one of the simplest mechanical components in the home, but one of the most useful.
Aside from the value that a doorknob offers as regards to privacy and security, it can have a significant impact on both the interior and exterior appearance of a home. Case in point. You’ve decided to replace the tired looking entry door of your home with a new more handsome model with glass to bring more natural light into your entry. You have spent hours upon hours finishing the door in such a way as to best enhance your home’s exterior. The new door is installed and the old lockset gets installed on the new door. Oops! Unless the lockset is reasonably new or has been well taken care of, chances are that it will diminish rather than enhance the appearance of your entry.
The same is true for the interior of the home. Unless you live in a custom or semi-custom home, the door hardware is most likely “vintage subdivision” or builders basic. This is one area where most volume builders don’t spend a significant amount of money. Unfortunately, it is a design element that can be used to dress up the home’s interior. The good new is that changing a lockset is one of the most cost effective and user-friendly do-it-yourself project that a home owner can tackle.
A lockset generally consists of several elements which come together to form what most affectionately refer to as a doorknob. Actually, a doorknob is only one of the components of a lockset.
There is some information that you’ll need to know before heading out to your local home improvement center for new door hardware. Specifically, you’ll need to know the bore and the backset. The bore is the diameter of the hole through which the lockset’s cylinder is installed. While bore size can be as varied as hardware style, two and one eighth inches is among the most popular. This can be determined by measuring the diameter of the bore once the old hardware is removed. The backset is the distance from the center of the bore to the face edge of the door. Here, too, the combinations are almost infinite with two and three eighths inches being among the most prevalent. The backset is the space required for the latch assembly to attach to the cylinder. It typically consists of a bore of about an inch within which the latch assembly is inserted.
The final element that will influence the lockset’s fit is the size and configuration of the face plate which is attached to the latch assembly. It is through two holes in the faceplate that screws are inserted to fasten the latch assembly to the door. Some face plates have square corners while others have rounded corners. In either case, be prepared to do a bit of mortising with a sharp chisel or some patching with a wood dough or vinyl spackling compound. This process may also need to be used when installing a new strike plate at the door jamb.
A word about replacement hardware. If you are going through the expense and trouble to replace the hardware, don’t cheap out! Choose a style that will not only dress up your home, invest in a quality piece of hardware that will operate smoothly and offer good lasting quality. Brand name product with a medium price point is a good place to begin. The pricier the hardware, the better the finish and mechanical components.
With new hardware in hand, the replacement process is simple. Aside from the chisel mentioned earlier, you’ll need a small hammer and a couple of screwdrivers; a flat blade and a Phillips head.
Remove the existing hardware by inserting a flat bladed screwdriver into the slot on the shank of the inter door knob. The decorative trim plate or “rose” can be pried off with a screwdriver or unscrewed, depending upon the model. Next, unscrew and remove the mounting plate which resides immediately under the rose. This will allow for the removal of the exterior knob and cylinder. Unscrew and remove the face plate, latch assembly and strike plate. The door should now be completely free of hardware. The new hardware can now be installed.
One side note. If you are considering painting the door, now would be the time to do it. The new hardware should be installed after the door is painted to make painting easier and to avoid dripping paint on the new finish.
The new lockset is installed essentially like the old hardware was removed except in the reverse order. Insert and screw on the new latch assembly and face plate. Holding the exterior know and cylinder, slide the cylinder in and engage it with the latch assembly.
Attach the mounting plate and snap on the interior rose and knob. Screw on the new strike plate and check that the latch engages into the strike plate. Adjust the strike place as needed for a solid connection.