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Change entry door hardware

Materials: An entry set (This will include all the parts you need.)
Budget: $80–$400

There are a few things to consider before starting:

Lock type

There are two options: A tubular lock—which installs in two holes in the door—and a mortise lock, which goes in one hole. Tubular locks are easier to find, easier to install, and less expensive. Mortise locks, which tend to be more solidly built, need to be installed by a locksmith.
Unless you plan to buy a new door, make sure your new kit has the same lock type as the old one.

Door swing

Most entry sets with handles or knobs can typically be adapted to a right- or left-side door swing. (Sets with levers may specify right or left.) The package will be labeled right swing or left swing, or interchangeable. Many sets have a lever that allows you to easily adjust this.

To determine whether your door has a right- or left-hand swing, stand outside and note on which side the hinges attach. A door that is hinged on the left side, for instance, swings to the left.

Steps

“Read the instructions!” says Jones. “The instructions will walk you through it.” That’s good advice—read the instructions that come with your door hardware and follow them.

  1. Remove the interior knob and thumb-turn lock hardware to expose the holes in the door.
  2. Measure from the center of the knob hole to the center of the lock hole to determine the spread. On a replacement set with a one-piece exterior escutcheon (a metal plate used for protection around a keyhole or door handle) that holds both the lock cylinder and latch, the holes match exactly. Choose a two-piece set for wiggle room.
  3. Measure the backset, which is the distance from the inner edge of the door to the center of the knob and lock holes. Backsets are typically either 2-3/8 or 2-3/4 inches. Most are 2-3/8. Some newer sets can be adjusted to either measurement; again, read the instructions that come with it.
  4. With the door closed, the new escutcheon should fully cover the holes, leaving at least 1/4-inch between their outside edges and the doorstop.
  5. Use a screwdriver or drill to attach the hardware.
    Hint: Some new sets have a handle that requires you to drill an additional hole in the door.

Also, most sets come with the needed screws, but occasionally a screw will not be long enough, and you will have to purchase longer screws.

Use reclaimed materials to create a new look

Old is new again, according to Jones.

“We are incorporating a lot of reclaimed materials such as shiplap, barn wood, old tin, old beams, and natural elements,” says Jones. “We are also incorporating architectural elements that bring a different element, such as arches and columns.”

One of the trendiest materials is shiplap, a type of wooden board often used in the past as exterior siding for homes, barns, sheds, and outbuildings. Today this board is used decoratively to cover interior walls or parts of walls, with subtle spacing between planks to create a distinctive look.

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