One of the first things you should do when you move into a new place is change the locks. Before we moved, I’d called around and found out that Locksmiths charge about $20 a lock for rekeying around here. We have 4 exterior doors on this house (and 2 needed deadbolts – That’s 6 locks!), and I knew that I wanted to change the hardware from brass to chrome. So when we found a Kwikset SmartKey Handle & Lock on the front door on Day 1, I knew I could do this job myself!
I had changed every piece of door hardware at our old house from brass to chrome, and it made a HUGE difference! I used the SmartKey locks and hardware there too, so I already had the little tool you needed to change the locks (the sellers didn’t leave us one). I still remembered how to do it, so I quickly changed the lock to my old house (that we were still living in at the time) key.
I used Build.com to get all of the door hardware last time, and after some price comparison research, I found that they were still the best deal for what I wanted. Plus, they have FREE Shipping for orders over $49! So I ordered new keyed Kwikset SmartKey Door knobs and Kwikset Smart Key Deadbolts in Polished Chrome for the three other exterior doors. I also ordered all new door knobs for the rest of the house. These pieces come in many different styles, but I like the simplicity & price of the Polo style. I want my door knobs to blend in, not make a statement, and I feel like the Polo knobs in chrome accomplish that.
It only takes a few minutes to change a door knob or deadbolt, and once you change one, each subsequent knob installation gets faster! All you need is a Philips Head Screwdriver & a power drill with a Phillips Head Bit. You might also need some needle nose pliers.
The first step is to remove all of that yucky brass from your door and throw it away! You could try to sell it, but no one wants that stuff. Seriously, we went to the Habitat ReStore the other day, and there were boxes and boxes full of brass door knobs. Just put it out of its misery! No seriously, donate it to the ReStore and take the tax deduction. They’ll even come pick it up!
Now it’s time to install the plate that goes on the door frame. Make sure the curved part faces the open door, so that your latch can slide on it when you close the door. This is an easy task with a power drill and the Phillips Head Bit.
Next, figure out what shape your plate on the door is. Each knob comes with a cornered plate, a rounded cornered plate, and a circle (for doors with no plate). Choose the appropriate plate, discard the rest, and put it over the latch piece. Then, take the little brassy-plate, and put that on the other end of the latch, so you can snap them together, one on each side of the latch. The snapping bit was tough for my little hands, so this is where the pliers came in handy. I just used the pliers to snap the pieces together.
Slide the latch with your attached plates into the hole on the door, making sure the slanted part is facing the curved part of the plate on the frame, and screw in the plate.
Finally, put your knobs through the holes in the latch by depressing the latch so that the knobs slide through, twist until the screws are visible, and screw in the screws.
After your door knob installation is complete, it’s time to change the lock to match your key. It’s really easy! Insert the key that comes with the knob and turn one quarter turn right (so it’s horizontal). While your key is sticking out of the door, push the SmartKey Tool in and pull it out. Carefully, without twisting, remove the key from the lock and switch it out for they key you want to use. Finally, turn the key, and it should lock or unlock.
That’s it! New door knobs AND you rekeyed your own locks! No need for that locksmith. You can now change your locks anytime you want. All you need is the key that works now, the SmartKey Tool, and the key you want to use.
There are all types and styles of door knobs. Some have handles, some are knobs, some have cool backplates, there are glass knobs and the ever-popular oil rubbed bronze. I personally like chrome fixtures, but it’s all a personal preference.
I’ve got a few more to switch out and then I will be done with door knobs! Yay! This is an easy update that makes a big impact!
**You might be wondering why there’s a key on the inside-the-house side of the deadbolt. We use double-cylinder deadbolts (key holes on both sides) on all patio doors because we have a pool. We don’t leave keys hanging around, and we leave the doors and deadbolts locked, so its one additional hurdle to a toddler getting to the pool. We also have a pool fence, and the alarm chimes when the door is open. A single-cylinder deadbolt is just as easy to install.
If you have brass hinges, don’t forget to swap those out as well! All it takes are replacement hinges and a drill or screwdriver!
Check out all of the Stacy’s Savings Total Home Makeover posts here!
Do you still have brass door knobs in your house, or have you changed them? What style did you go with or do you dream about installing in your home? What’s your favorite finish? Tell us in the comments!