The door leading outside from my garage has two holes for locks -- the
top one is the kind with a lever, up is unlocked and down is locked.
The lever is on the inside.
The second hole just has a door knob - no lock - and it has broken
off on the outside. The knob came off and is just sitting there on
the stem. The door still locks fine ... but it looks bad and I want
to change it myself.
If I buy just the bottom part - it looks like the kind that is used
on interior doors - no keys. How hard are those to install? The one
that is on there has two screws.
I can call a handy man service to come out and do it but would like to
save the money if I can. Thanks.
It should be easy. Remove the knobs and parts from the door inside
and outside. Then there should be a couple of screws holding the
latch and the rest of it in from the side of the door. Remove those
and pull the mechanism out through the side.
Installation is simple (nowadays illustrated by pictures in the packaging
of most lock sets.) The practical question for the novice is whether she
owns already the right tools (drill, screwdriver, etc.) for the task. It
be too frustrating if you cannot make a pilot hole for a new screw, or
if the screwdriver slips (because too small.)
Consider: for exterior doors, many people prefer lever handles (to
doorknobs) because they are more easily operated by cold hands.
Exterior doors do not need expensive locks if you can bolt them
securely from inside.
To improve appearance, any locksmith can make for you a
scutcheon (cover plate) that covers both handle holes and itself
has only one hole, matching the one you plan to use, for est.
$5 to $10. All you need do is bring him an exactly accurate
paper tracing of the holes and door edge.
You're right, that lever sets are often easier to use.
The term is "escutchion", I've probably spelled it wrong. It starts
with "E". As to making one, please plan on spending much more than
If your hand fits a screwdriver, the task is trivial.
Doorknobs, especially those with no keys, are almost all standardized and
come with graphic instructions.
Look down and say: "Feet, make tracks to Home Depot!" When you get there,
even the most depraved clerk can help you pick out a cheap doorknob set.
If, by some strangeness, you can't install the sucker and have to employ a
handy-man, at least you'll have the parts without the contractor mark-up.
re: "Doorknobs, especially those with no keys, are almost all
standardized and come with graphic instructions"
With some caveats.
Depending on the age/style of the door, the setback might slightly
On every door in my house, interior and exterior, I had to file a
groove in the "back" (hinge side) of the hole in order for the "nut-
shaft" to fit into the hole. Even though the handle set was now set a
bit further than the original, the rose still covered the hole.
Before I replaced the front entry door, all of the doors in my house
were of the same vintage - mid-50's
True only if either:
-- screw positions for the new lockset fit exactly the
old screw holes in thee door, or
-- your hand is strong enough to drive screws into the
door (without a drill to make pilot holes.)
A Phillips screwdriver is all you need. I am convinced you can do it. There
are usually 4 screws. The two through the face of lock and two on the edge
of the door, holding the latch in place. You might need a utility knife if
the door mortise need to be trimmed to fit the new latch but for the most
part they are all the same anymore.
What you want is called a passage lock. I actually have a lever model
installed on my back door as knobs are hard to turn when running in and out
to grill. A privacy lock is used on bedrooms and bathrooms. An entry lock
comes with a key.
Just be sure to buy one with an "adjustable backset". The directions will
tell you how to set that for your door.
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
Thank you. I am going to Home Depot. The door is not very old - it's
got a sticker saying it's Miami-Dade Co. approved so we bought it
after Andrew in 1992. I do have a lot of tools so that's no
problem.....and I will look for one that is for outside so the knob
won't fall off because of the weather.
I've been a locksmith for about 25 years. From your description, the
whoever did those locks sure did an odd job of it.
As others have mentioned, replacing a knob lock is relatively simple
with a screw driver. For the value you'd get (quality, and workign
properly) sounds like a locksmith or handiman is a good investment.
Nobody else said it, so I will- since you are able to lock the door with
the deadbolt, take the old lockset and striker out of the door, and take
it to the hardware or big-box with you. Find somebody wearing a colored
apron, and tell them you want one just like it, except not broken.
Hopefully, the one you have is one of the major brands, and they will
have one that will plug right in without having to whittle on the door any.
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