Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Entryway

I thought what I would do over the next series of posts is cover some of the projects I took on in my house immediately after moving in. That is, B.B. (Before Blog). I was reluctant to make too many changed when I first moved in until I got a "feel" for the house. But there were a few hideous things that needed immediate attention.

This is what my front door looked like when I first moved in. It had a fine, shiny brass security plate paired with an equally fine deadbolt...and topped off with a non-functioning door knob. From the outside, you put your key in the deadbolt and pushed the door open......or used the knob to pull it shut. From the inside, you pulled on the security chain to open the door....or just pushed on the door to shut it. The deadbolt was the only lock. The brass in all of it's glory was losing it's finish.....and a strange plastic-type coating was peeling off. I'm sure the entire set could be had at a big box store for $5.00. One of the previous owners also had the idea that slapping a security sticker on it might be a good idea. I had a combination of old holes, new holes, and old holes that had been modified. It was awful.

I had some fun that first month watching people try to silently figure out how to leave my house. I also had nightmares of not being able to get out of my house in a fire.

As luck would have it, I locked myself out of the house a few weeks after buying the place. After hours on a Sunday. I was determined to get my overtime money out of this call, so I picked (no pun intended) the locksmith's brain for more attractive solutions to my shiny brass situation. He shook his head and told me the door had too many holes in it and needed to be replaced.

I couldn't believe it. I started visiting locksmiths & hardware stores and one after another they told me the same thing - replace the door. I scoured the internet and found nothing. I was NOT going to replace and original, oak door so I resigned myself to accepting my situation....or patching the holes & painting the door.

But, I am not one that gives up easily.....and fortunately, one who also locked herself out of the house again. This time I called another locksmith. Turned out he, Dana from Floyd Total Security, lived in an old house in my neighborhood. While he was picking my lock, I asked him if he had any ideas of how I could replace my current set up. Much to my surprise he said "yup."

He pulled out a tablet of paper. The tablet was made up of a little questionaire for locks. He took measurements. He muttered to himself. He jotted notes on the tablet. In the end, he handed me the completed questionaire and the name of the store where I could get the new entry set I needed. Nob Hill. I was given a salesperson's name and instructed to hand her the worksheet. She would show me my options.

Clutching this piece of paper like the Holy Grail, I visited the hardware store. Their motto is "jewelry for the home." When they refer to "jewelry," they are not talking gold filled.....they are talking Tiffany. I located my salesperson and she silently read the information contained on the tablet sheet. She then ushered me to a display of locks. I could choose from three sets. Each one was lovely. The price of each one made my heart palpitate.

I knew I wanted oil rubbed bronze, so this narrowed down my choice to two. I also knew I wanted an Arts & Crafts inspired set. This further limited my selection down to one set. The entry set that fit my qualifications was an Ashley Norton. I rationalized that this entryset was going to be one of the first things everyone saw as they approached my house. I was also going to be using it every day. It made sense to choose top quality.

I ordered the set. It arrived, and Dana installed it. Not a day goes by without me thinking how cool my old door with it's new entry set is.

It was also my first old house owner lesson in: It Is Out There, You Just Have To Find It.


Carol said...

What a great story. I love the happy ending. Your door and lockset are beautiful.

Patricia W. said...

I'll second that. The lockset is gorgeous. I love the black metal hardware.

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