Sunday, January 19, 2014

It's those little things...

...that make a big difference. 

Any guesses as to what today's post is on?  Yep.  Door bling.  We have 4 exterior doors in this house, and every single doorknob was gross.  They were hard to use, worn, poorly painted and in bad shape. And every door in the house had a deadbolt, except the front door, all of which were just as bad.

After dragging our feet, and even returning our first set of locks, we bought high quality Schlage locks.  I didn't want to pay so much money on just locks, but after looking up reviews, I decided to just pony up.  At $50 each, the four knob/deadbolt kits came to about $200, but thankfully we had a 10% coupon we could use which saved us $20.

I won't go into detail on how I installed them, as pretty much everyone replaces their locks in when thy move into a new house..... but man, it makes such a huge difference on the feel of our house.  I liked these locks not just for the security, but also how easy the deadbolts are to latch and tell that they are latched.  They just feel high quality.  I'm telling you, we did this upgrade about 5 (!) months ago, and I still think of the change every time I walk in the door.  It was so worth the money.

I will step through installing a dead bolt, since that wasn't something I had ever done before.  Like I mentioned before, for some odd reason our front door was the only door without a deadbolt.

I did end up buying a Dewalt door lock kit to install the deadbolt for $30.  It was pricy, but almost the same price as buying the bits separately.  But this is the good part - it actually sat in our basement for a month waiting for us to pick out locks.  While we were picking out the locks in homedeopt for the 3rd time, I saw the same one had been clearanced for $15!!  I snatched it up, and on the next trip returned our unopened one from home.  This tool was definitely worth $15 (but later in the project I could see why it should be updated).

So the first part, I read the instructions and marked the door at the right height.  Changed a few settings and it was good to go.  I started on the big hole and the bit got pretty hot during drilling, so I let it cool a few times.  Then I went to change the drill bit to accommodate the smaller hole saw.  It was nearly impossible to take off.

  We tried many configurations of trying to get that stupid thing apart, but the drilling actually tightened the thing down with each spin.  Finally I smartened up and using the biggest socket wrench I had, my husband and I were able to get the stupid hole saw off the black bit undone as illustrated above.  Only to find out, there were two connections in the black holder and the small bit just needed one of them.  The connector itself also needed to be unscrewed.

It was impossible to get that thing off without modification.  I really don't think it could have been done.  But thanks to some creative thinking, I prevailed!  By hand filing two flats on the round part, I was able to use an adjustable wrench on one side and the socket wrench on the other.

So after about an hour of fighting with that tool, I could finally drill the second hole into the door and frame.

 After the hole was drilled, I marked out the plate and started chiseling.

Pre-drilling the corners was the way to go.  In addition to making some really nice looking faces (22's my favorite), it made the corner nice and smooth when I did it before chiseling (not all of the holes above show where I drilled the hole first).  Additionally, if you put a piece of tape on the drill bit to drill to the correct depth, you can use the bottom of the hole as a guide to how deep you need to chisel.  I found chiseling across grain first and cleaning up with grain worked best.

And that's that!  We now have a deadbolt for each of our doors (and excuse all the crappy nighttime photos - it is winter)!

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