The options for securing your front door come down to two elements: the doorknob or handle and the secondary lock. Outfitting your home with interior locks, on the other hand, may require a more nuanced approach. What kind of door handle should you use (read: how badly do you want to keep your roommate out)?
This checklist should make things a little easier:
There are many reasons to lock an interior door — whether simply for privacy purposes or to keep the kids out of your home office. Before you make a trip to the hardware store, make sure you have an idea of what function you want your door handle to serve. Knowing the difference between a privacy lock and a free interior entrance lockset can make your trip to the store much quicker.
There are two different types of door handles you can choose from: knobs or levers. Your choice will depend upon what kind of functionality you’re looking for (see #1).
Knobs are round, often blend well with traditional decor, and can be difficult for children to open (which might be just what you’re looking for). Knobs are also suitable for both left-handed and right-handed people since they can be turned either way.
The second kind of handle is the lever, which has more of a contemporary look. These handles are a little more difficult to childproof than knobs, though. Levers also aren’t the best option for ambidextrous usage.
There are four types of door handles: passage, privacy, keyed entry, and dummy. A passage handle turns, but doesn’t have a lock — it’s useful for closets and hallways. A privacy handle locks with a button on one side and doesn’t require a key. These types of handles are often used on bedroom and bathroom doors. Keyed entry locks are like privacy locks, but they can be locked on both sides. These are ideal for home offices. Finally, a dummy knob does not turn or lock. These are often used for closets or as decorative embellishments.
Now that the hard part is over with, get your inner interior decorator on and choose the finish of your handles. Some options that you might consider: brass, chrome, nickel, bronze, black, copper, crystal, or even hand-painted.
Brass tends to be found in more traditional homes and will give your door a vintage look. Chrome, nickel, and bronze work with almost any type of decor and can vary in appearance based on the specific finish you choose.
Black and copper finishes will give your home a more contemporary look. Copper in particular can have a rustic vibe, depending on whether you choose a knob or a lever. Crystal and hand-painted handles are both unique options and can add some flair to your home. Hand-painted knobs in particular can be found at vintage stores and are well-suited to homes with an eclectic style.
When budgeting for home renovations, people rarely account for the cost of doorknobs and handles. But if you have a lot of doors in your home, this can add up to a significant expense.
Doorknobs tend to be cheaper than door levers, but the price can vary based on the finish and size. While it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest available knobs or levers, remember that you’ll be using these door handles everyday. Invest in hardware that will last you for the long-term.