February is the month of Valentine’s Day, that time when some suitor reveals himself as the key to unlocking your heart. Okay, so maybe that is exceptionally cheesy. But it really does make for a nice introduction to an otherwise overlooked part of house construction: the door handle.
An entry door handle and accompanying hardware is perhaps the most important point of any persons home. It keeps predators out and offers a sense of security to those inside. In fact, wooden doors and door handles first came to be nearly 5,000 years ago during the days of the Egyptian empire. By the 1500’s royal palaces and stately manners expanded on the medieval one-room home allowing for individual rooms within. The spaces were at first separated only by woven hangings, but were soon replaced with “wooden doors hung from basic hand-forged strap hinges supported by bolts fixed directly into the stonework of the door opening”. 1 These wooden doors introduced leather straps and bars as handles. Directly before and even during the Civil War more than 100 U.S. patents were granted for door knobs. It wasn’t until the Reconstruction though that the idea of a composite metal knob was introduced. Even then the knob itself was iron or steel, covered with a veneer of bronze or brass. We have come a very long way since then as desire and need have found their way into a union with design.
When planning a house (even one with one door) it is essential to be on point in terms of proper door fittings and door locks. But even with that in mind who says style can’t come into play? Below are three very different ideas you may want to consider when adding the final – yet most important – touch to your tiny house.
Craftsman design was a brilliant time in design and architecture flourishing at the turn of the 20th century. Focusing on natural and simple design characteristics even the door hardware was sophisticated in its simplicity. The Arts & Crafts Style Tubular Handleset produced by the House of Antique Hardware in Portland, OR, is a beautiful example of the rugged and artistic work during the Arts & Crafts period. The Bastile pattern on the handleset was originally designed by Pacific Hardware of Los Angeles around 1912 and is a compilation of copper plating over forged brass, with a dark bronze finish. Choices like this one have multiple interior knob or lever choices as representative of the time period.
The best part is that vintage-style doorsets like this one feature modern mechanics for simple entry and are created for modern, pre-drilled doors, making installation quite easy.
Sometimes there is no need or desire for ornamentation or ornate design. In many cases budget dictates the type of hardware and accouterments we include in our build(s). Those situations are the more common and are typically when doorsets like the Schlage Plymouth come into play.
Constructed with metal working parts, the Schlage Plymouth Single Cylinder Bright Brass Knob Combo Pack features a deadbolt lock with a solid 1-piece design for security. It isn’t much in the way of looks but it is high in both function and budget. As one would expect, the triple option latch is designed to fit residential interior and exterior door preparations.
For a few years now major lock manufacturers like Kwikset, Schlage, and even MasterLock, have been working on developing a truly smart lock for home entry. Couple that with a number of crowd funding sources like the Friday Smart Lock, the Nucli, and the Goji, and you have a motivated market with a number of competitors. The choices for a smart entry lock are numerous now but still remain a mystery to most homeowners and even home builders.
The most talked about choice as of late is the Kwikset Kevo but due to some security issues within the Smartphone App I don’t truly feel like this is the future of smart home entry. Instead, I think the future can be found with a technology just a couple years old: the Kwikset SmartCode Deadbolt.
With a SmartCode keyless entry deadbolt you can use your own personal code to enter your home with just a few simple pushes of a button and then lock it with just one button. With this technology you also get more control over who has access to your home. You can assign a temporary code to who ever needs one and delete it when you see fit. Absolutely no need for keys, Apps, or fobs. Each button has an audible tone and you can literally hear the deadbolt engaging when the lock button is pushed. If you enter the passcode incorrectly or there is some other issue a secondary tone sounds as an alert. SmartCode is easy to install, program and use and operates on 4 AA batteries. The best thing (and the point that keeps any homeowner within budget) is the SmartCode electronic deadbolt complements any Kwikset knob, lever or handleset!
So which handleset are you currently using? Which one would you rather use? Do you prefer something tried and true like the Arts & Crafts or something more contemporary and “smart” like the Kwikset?