Thursday, December 11, 2014

Aging House

Our house isn't that old... it was built in 1990, but then I guess that's coming up on 25 years. SHEESH!

We already took care of some of the big things that needed to be replaced (roof, furnace, etc.) but now the little things are starting to pile up.

I have done some little fixes...
When we moved in, all the toilets were running just a bit so I replaced seals and inner parts. The sink and bath handles were sticking/dripping so I fixed those, we fixed the drafty door to the garage, etc.

Those had all been existing when we moved in, but now that we have been in the house a couple years, new things are wearing out. A couple weeks ago, the front door latch broke. Dangit!

The lock and inside handle still work fine, but on the outside, the thumb lever you press down on handle no longer engages the mechanism.
(To the right, see how the latch has "collapsed" onto the handle?)

So I bought a new one.... in brushed nickle of course.

First I replaced the lock mechanism which was pretty straightforward.

The only catch? now the front door has a different key than the other doors. (This is actually good because it will incent us to  finally get the rest of our locks changed.)

One of the biggest differences? Making sure you have a security "strike plate."  This is the metal plate in the door jamb that your deadbolt goes into.

What was there? The thin metal plate on the left side. A heavy booted kick could easily bend that plate out of place.
It takes extra work to install, but well worth putting in the security plate that comes with the new handle. On the right you can see the two plates. The bottom is the security plate which is at least twice as thick, solid brass, and screwed into the studs with 3" screws. Then the decorative silver plate goes on top of that.

Replacing the handle part took a little bit more work, and it wasn't the same size as the previous one... I had to pull out a lot of tools to make it fit, but finally got it in.
 You can see the hole in the door where the other handle came through, but I have since patched it up and stained it to match.

Finally, our new solid (working) front door latch!
While it was a little tricky and the directions were a bit confusing, it was still better than hiring someone to come and install it at $80 minimum.