Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lock it Down

When we bought SIX TWELVE, we considered ourselves lucky that no one (i.e. a transient) was living inside. While it wasn't open to the public, it wasn't exactly a "secured" property.

The front door was not accessible from the exterior but it wasn't actually locked on the interior (uh?). The side entrance from our covered porch into the living room was secured with only a padlock and I don't think I ever even tried or went through the backdoor.

Thankfully, our new neighbor kept a close watch on our property while it was for sale and was paying attention to every person and animal that went on the premises.

But, the minute the closing was complete and we we're allowed to spend our money to remodel the house, we knew that new exterior locks and hardware sets were to be the first item on our agenda. While we aren't planning to work on the doors (paint, etc) until later in the project, we didn't want to begin work, or store anything in the home until we felt it was secure.

So off we went to the hardware store.

The problem with being in this industry is that you know that there are THOUSANDS of options available to you for THOUSANDS of products. It's almost impossible to ever pick anything (for my own home) because I know there's another 97,001 options to be explored. It's exhausting. Exterior hardware and lock sets are not to be excluded. It took us FOREVER to decide on what we wanted and to find all the coordinating items.

The Home Depot aisle we lost a good hour of our lives to.
We wanted to be able to operate all three entrances to the home with one key. Lucky for us, hardware manufacturers are getting smarter and smarter and many of them have come out with systems that allow for re-keying by the home owner. Cha-ching. Cash in our pocket. If we had hired a locksmith, this would have cost us some cash.

We went with Kwikset because their re-key technology and capabilities seemed to be vast and available on almost every product at the store. We purchased this set for the front door:

We are planning to use satin nickel fixtures throughout the house (bath fittings, door knobs, etc.) but the front door has some existing faux brackets that are black/bronze and we didnt want our nickel entrance set to stick out like a sore thumb.

For the back and side doors, we've gone with the same interior knob style (Juno) with a coordinating deadbolt (both in the satin nickel).
We installed the hardware right away on each of the three doors thanks to the handiness of Paul. We might just make it through this project if Paul sticks around. It took way longer than we had hoped it would (welcome to a remodel job) due to the existing conditions.

Original Side Entrance Hardware
Replacing Wood
DeWalt's genius tool that allows for easier installation of door hardware.
Worth the $20.00 out of our pocket.  

The new hardware on the door (consider this the pre-final).

Then we used the SmartKey tool and reworked the side and back door key to match the one for the front door. It was so simple to rekey the doors.

Funny story: Just like every other project and remodel in an old home, this project took WAY longer than expected. Not because we didn't know what we we're doing but because there we're all sorts of weird and funky things about the original locksets. It seemed like such a simple task. At church this week we talked about Christianity being "simple" and someone mentioned, "Just because something is simple, doesn't mean it's easy". Paul leaned over and under his breath muttered, "Yea, just like door locks." It took everything I had not to die from laughing. The length of time for this simple task had already become a bit of a sore spot for Paul and it was so good to hear him joke about it.

The doors still need to be cleaned up with wood putty here and there, sanded and scraped and then properly painted but we now have three doors, properly secured, without the hassle of fumbling through a key ring.

With the house fully locked down and each of us having our own key, it's starting to feel like we actually own the place.

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