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What First Impression is Your Front Door Making?



The first tangible interaction a guest has with your home occurs with one touch of your doorknob. Your front door hardware—whether old and rusty or updated and polished—can say a lot about your home.

Choosing the right type of hardware for your front door can improve your home's curb appeal and even your overall security. But it's hard to make a choice if you don't know what you're looking for.

Here are a few things to consider before replacing.

A COHESIVE LOOK

Front door hardware includes all the individual elements that make up a door’s opening and locking system: keyless or keyed locks, deadbolts, handles, levers and knobs, hinges and other accessories like doorknockers, doorstops and doorbells. Whatever options you decide to install, make sure the elements match in style and finish, so that you will have one cohesive look.

THE RIGHT KIND OF LOCK

There are two kinds of residential locksets: mortise or tubular. As the most popular, least expensive, and easiest to install, tubular models are operated by a key inserted into the exterior knob—called a key-in-knob. When looking for this type of lockset, look for one that comes with a dead latch or deadlocking latch bolt that engages when the door is closed and will not retract.

Mortise locksets fit into a rectangular pocket that’s cut into the door’s edge and normally come with a deadbolt. When you turn the key from the outside, it releases both the knob and the deadbolt, making this the securest lockset available.

For a lockset that doesn’t already have one, deadbolts add an extra layer of security and are a fundamental part of the exterior door hardware. You want a deadbolt that has a low locked-side profile, which will protect the lock subassembly or cylinder from forced entry.

SIZE AND PLACEMENT

Before replacing, pay close attention to the size and placement of your existing hardware. Look for the same size and shape of what you currently have or something larger to ensure you don’t expose the unfinished part of your door. For a more meticulous approach, you can measure your door's backset before replacing an existing lock or latch to ensure you get the right fit.

FINISHES

Just as the design and color of a home’s door adds to its curb appeal and highlights its style, the hardware is a finishing touch that can really set it apart.

Choose a finish that suits your taste and will create a striking first impression. Door hardware comes in almost every finish imaginable—bright brass, antique brass, satin nickel, polished nickel, polished chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, distress bronze… the list goes on and is dictated by your preference.

THE RIGHT KIND OF LOCK

There are two kinds of residential locksets: mortise or tubular. As the most popular, least expensive, and easiest to install, tubular models are operated by a key inserted into the exterior knob—called a key-in-knob. When looking for this type of lockset, look for one that comes with a dead latch or deadlocking latch bolt that engages when the door is closed and will not retract.

Mortise locksets fit into a rectangular pocket that’s cut into the door’s edge and normally come with a deadbolt. When you turn the key from the outside, it releases both the knob and the deadbolt, making this the securest lockset available.

For a lockset that doesn’t already have one, deadbolts add an extra layer of security and are a fundamental part of the exterior door hardware. You want a deadbolt that has a low locked-side profile, which will protect the lock subassembly or cylinder from forced entry.

Tim Glidden is the General Manager of Retail for Pella Windows and Doors Denver, which sells a variety of energy-efficient windows and doors. Contact him at (303) 350-5617. 

Content for this article provided by Pella Windows.

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