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Replacing a Door Knob? Avoid These Amateur Mistakes


Is replacing a loose door knob on your “honey-do-list” for this upcoming weekend? It may sound simple, but we hear from beginners all the time about these basic mistakes.

Before you attempt to replace a doorknob, take a look at this list of common mistakes so you can avoid making them! While the information is fresh in your mind, jump on over to our step-by-step guide to learn how to properly remove an old door knob!

Common Door Lock Purchasing Mistakes:

  • Going too Cheap:
  • Buying a cheap door lock makes it easier for the most novice burglars to “bump” or pick them. When you’re shopping, look for at least grade-two locks! The lower price is not worth the sacrifice in security.

  • Going too Fancy:
  • Just as you can go too cheap, you can also go too fancy. Digital door locks can be a great security solution, but be sure to give thought to the installation process and the level of difficulty.

    There’s no shame in hiring a locksmith to do the installation here if you’re insistent on a certain high-tech product!

  • Disregarding Weather Conditions:
  • If a door lock is being used on an external door, you shouldn’t neglect weather conditions. Extreme weather fluctuations can cause doors to warp which will prevent them from locking. Look for weather-proof locks that are waterproof, don’t require batteries and don’t have any push-button codes.

  • Not Checking Your Door Material:
  • Certain door locks are meant for specific types of door materials or styles. For instance, you may purchase a lock that is meant for a solid-core door and not a glass, steel or fiberglass door. Be sure to check or ask a store assistant for help!

Common Door Lock Installation Mistakes:

  • Orienting the New Lock Incorrectly:
  • One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is placing the new doorknob or deadbolt improperly and only realizing this after the screws have been installed. Make sure you’re looking at the new lock in the correct orientation!

  • Misaligning the New Lock:
  • If you’re replacing a deadbolt door lock, you must be sure the deadbolt is aligned correctly. Otherwise, you could end up having to purchase an entire new door. Make sure all three holes are aligned correctly.

  • Drilling Holes in the Wrong Way:
  • If you have to drill the saw hole in the door, start from the inside and look for the drill to begin to show on the other side of the door. When you begin to see it, stop drilling and switch sides to continue drilling. This will minimize splintering and potential damage to the door.

  • Measuring from the Bevel:
  • Your door will not close correctly if it’s not measured properly. Make sure to measure from the side of the door that is not beveled.

  • Locking Yourself Out:
  • If you’ve made it far enough where the new lock installed, the next thing you’ll probably do is test the lock. Stop! Go no further until you have the keys in your hand! Few things are as embarrassing as making the amateur mistake of locking yourself out of your home.

  • Not Following Instructions:
  • If this is the first time you’re installing a door lock or doorknob, it’s a good idea to look through the instructions. They’re included for a reason. Give them a good once-over before throwing caution to the wind.

Installing a new door lock or doorknob always seems like a simple task to homeowners, but it only takes one minor mistake to prevent a lock from working properly, thus putting your security at risk.

A combination of these tiny mistakes will undoubtedly make an extremely frustrating situation out of what could have and should have been a simple task to check off your “honey-do-list.”

If you find yourself in a particularly frustrating situation, there’s no shame in contacting Great Valley Lockshop for help! Give us a call at 610-644-5334 for assistance with any of your residential locksmith needs – we work ‘round the clock in PA, DE, NJ & MD!

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