Home Updates on a Budget — Little Changes That Go a Long Way
12/09/2019, 10:31 PM
Looking for a small way to make big improvements to your home?
Take a look at your doors.
Yes, that’s right. Updating your doors and their hardware is a great way to give your home a facelift without having to shell out a lot of cash or spend a lot of time making extensive improvements.
Why does a door update make such a big difference? Although doors don’t seem glamorous, they are one of our home’s most predominant features. Every room has a door, and you can easily see at least one — sometimes several — doors from other rooms in your home. When you update the look of your doors and their knobs, you are upgrading major surfaces and home features you look at all the time.
Wondering where to start? Read on for more.
1. Updating the Paint
A fresh coat of paint can cover a multitude of small flaws.
One of the simplest ways to update your home’s look is to change up the trim around your doors. If you’re living in an older home and there are gaps between the wall and the door, it might be time to update with some new trim that covers the gaps and creates a more flush, even look between the wall and the door frame. If your trim is still in good shape, you can probably get away with applying a fresh coat of paint.
If you opt to paint the trim, the next question you’re probably going to ask is: What color should I paint the trim?
In recent years, home decorating seems to have applied the traditional wisdom that trim around doors and windows should be some shade of white. But there’s no reason for this and, in some cases, it can make the wall color around the door look washed out or distorted. If you’re looking to get a little more adventurous, consider selecting a tint, shade or tone that plays off the wall color in the room.
“Tint” is typically a color that is one shade lighter than the walls. “Shade” is one shade darker than the paint on the walls. “Tone” typically refers to a grayed-out version of the color, which is another way of saying it’s a grayer version of the color on the walls. You can figure out which tint, shade and tone correspond with your wall color by looking at the colors above and below your wall shade on the paint sample at the hardware store.
While you’re considering painting trim, it’s a smart time to consider painting the door itself.
Again, there are lots of options when it comes to choosing a door color. White is always a safe color, but if you’re looking to spice up your decor, consider choosing something a bit more daring. If you’re painting a door in a small space, it can make the room seem larger to paint the door and corresponding trim the same color as the walls. Or, you could try painting the door and trim a darker color that contrasts with lighter walls. It all depends on your style and what kind of visual effect you’re hoping to accomplish.
2. Replacing Exterior Doorknobs
Another great way to improve your home’s appearance is to replace the hardware on your exterior doors. This change is especially significant if you live in an older home that still has a lot of its original fixtures. When you replace the exterior doorknobs with more modern hardware, you can turn an out-of-date home into a modern oasis by upgrading to more modern locks. Replacing doorknobs with new, modern knobs or handles also improves the safety and security of your home. And who doesn’t want that?
When you’re looking at options for replacing exterior doorknobs, you’ll notice there are a lot of products on the market.
Although you may be picturing a traditional rounded doorknob, today’s more modern exterior knobs come in a variety of lever and handle styles designed for a more modern look. You can choose from a variety of finishes — black, nickel or brass — as well as a variety of styles to complement your home’s architecture, as well as your taste.
Exterior door locks are stronger, heavier and more durable. They will provide more security and protection than an interior lock. But besides their protection value, a new exterior doorknob is an ideal way to update your home. It’s one of the first things people will see when they enter your house. What better way to make a great first impression?
If you’re transitioning from an old doorknob to a more modern system, you may find you need to drill additional holes in your door to fit the locking mechanism. If you want to avoid drilling any extra holes in your door, make sure you research the lock’s construction and any tools or accessories required for installation before you purchase. The best way to do this is to talk with the lock’s manufacturer.
3. Deadbolt Locks and European Locks: A Great Way to Upgrade a House on a Budget
When it comes to interior and exterior locks, you’re going to get what you pay for. A high-quality lock will cost more than its inexpensive competitor, but that’s because it’s a better lock that’s going to do more to protect your family when it counts.
Home security systems are excellent, and a dog can make you feel safer late at night, but the best way to secure a home is by installing a high-quality deadbolt lock. A deadbolt is a type of lock that pushes a steel bolt into the door jamb, preventing someone trying to force their way inside from moving the door away from the frame. Because of the steel bolt, deadbolts are incredibly difficult to bypass, which makes them one of the best home security measures you can take. So, if you’re in the market for a new exterior doorknob, it’s a good idea to go for a deadbolt. There are plenty of secure, yet attractive, sets on the market today.
An alternative to the deadbolt is a European lock. Although these are not as common in North America, a European lock is an excellent option if you’re looking for the ultimate in safety and security. Why? Unlike its American counterparts that contain either one- or two-cylinder locking mechanisms, European locks latch at three different points. European locks are a perfect choice if you are trying to find a good exterior lock for a door that’s taller or wider than a standard exterior door.
When it comes to installing a deadbolt or its European cousin, you’ll need a drill, a wood chisel, the correct drill bits and a hole saw. You’ll also need to purchase and have the lockset already in hand, since you want to make an even switch. Never remove one lock before you are ready to put the other in its place. Doing so can leave your home vulnerable to burglars.
- Use the manufacturer’s template included in the lockset to mark the spot on your door where you’ll need to drill. Of course, if you’re able to swap an old set for a new without drilling, you can skip this step!
- Once you’ve used the template to mark the location of the hole for the deadbolt, use the hole saw to begin cutting into the door itself. Once you’ve driven the hole saw through and the bit comes out of the other side, move to the other side and finish it from that side, so you avoid leaving rough edges or splinters.
- Using the correct bit, drill a hole through the edge of your door. At this spot, the steel bolt will go through when the lock is in place.
- With a wood chisel, mortise — or recess cut — the area around the faceplate to make it flush with the door. Continue to do this until the faceplate sits flush with the door.
- Fit the exterior part of the cylinder into place first, then add the interior components into place. Once you’re satisfied they fit the way they’re supposed to, screw them into place.
- Mark the place where the bolt hits the door frame by closing the door, then throwing the bolt several times. Doing so will make a mark that will show you where to create the hole for the strike plate. Once you’ve drilled the holes, install the strike plate using screws. This plate is what will hold the door closed when you engage the deadbolt.
Because they latch at three different points, European locks are a bit trickier to install, although the process is similar. But don’t let that deter you. Just because they take a little bit more time doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it. Multi-point locks are typically even safer than their one- and two-point counterparts.
4. Replacing Interior Doorknobs
Another way to refresh your home’s doors is to replace the doorknobs on your home’s interior doors. These doors separate bedrooms, bathrooms and other areas within the four walls of your home. For these doors, you don’t need to purchase a deadbolt or other exterior locking system, because you won’t use these doors for the protection of your home itself.
However, don’t overlook the value of installing high-quality doorknobs. It’s aesthetically pleasing, and it can help you protect your family, especially when you have young children who are prone to wander or explore areas of the house they shouldn’t.
The good news is that interior doorknobs are straightforward to install. Their design typically enables them to fit the preexisting holes in your interior doors. Most of the time, that means you won’t need to do any drilling or measuring. You’ll only need to screw them into place. However, you may find you’ve purchased a new knob whose latch assembly is larger than the holes in your interior doors, so there’s a chance a bit of drilling might be involved. Even if this is the case, it’s not going to be complicated, and you’ll have a fresh, updated interior look in no time at all!
So how do you install an interior doorknob?
- Remove the old doorknobs from all interior doors you plan to update.
- Hold the new knobs up to the existing holes to see if they match.
- If they match, slide them into place and tighten the screws. If they don’t match, you’ll need to use a file or appropriate drill bit to widen the hole in the door as needed. Always make sure to chip only a little bit away at a time, so you don’t accidentally make the hole bigger than you need.
- Don’t forget to replace the door hinges, too, so all your hardware matches.
Remember, a cheap doorknob will look just that — cheap. When you invest in a high-quality doorknob, you are ensuring it will last for a long time and give your home the style and substance you’re looking for.
Easy and Affordable Home Upgrades
Upgrading your home’s doors and corresponding hardware is a simple and affordable way to update your home’s appearance. But, if you’re like a lot of the homeowners we know, making those small changes is going to inspire you to make other small changes. Looking for other ways to upgrade your home?
- Add a chandelier in the laundry room for a bit of sparkle while you’re doing those whites!
- Mount a row of hooks near your family’s primary entrance for a unique coat rack and an out-of-the-way place to keep backpacks on the weekends.
- Convert a closet into a small home office by removing the doors and add shelves where the rods used to hang.
- Install a ceiling fan to get the air circulating around your house and give it a more relaxed vibe.
- Give the illusion of larger windows by hanging drapes at ceiling height. Doing so gives the illusion that your room is bigger and brighter than it is.
Little Touches, Big Impact
Although replacing doorknobs and painting trim may not seem like a big deal, you’ll be amazed at how much value making small changes over time adds to a home. But we’re not just talking about dollars and cents. We’re talking about creating a home you can’t wait to come back to at the end of each day. A house should make you smile and feel relaxed every time you walk through the door. And that’s something you can accomplish with the turn of the right doorknob.
If you want to upgrade your home, but you’re not sure where to start, start small. At Premium Hardware, Inc., we pride ourselves on offering high-quality products that will take a home from good to great. If you’re in the market for attractive, high-quality doorknobs and accessories, browse our products online or contact us directly for the supplies you’ll need to begin your home makeover today!