There’s nothing quite like restoring an older home to its original beauty. There’s just something about the charm of a century-old Craftsman bungalow that makes visitors feel welcome and creates a warm living space for its occupants. And very few modern homes hold a candle to the architectural grace and elegance of a Queen Anne or a stately Dutch Colonial. But renovating an older home is not without its challenges, which range from major projects like siding replacement to minor plumbing and lighting fixes.
At Minneapolis Lock & Key, we’ve served as a residential locksmithing company to the Twin Cities for more than a century. One of our specialties is in helping homeowners restore and preserve antique door hardware to keep the original materials and look of their home.
Preserving Vintage or Antique Door Hardware
It’s fairly common for homeowners of antique or vintage homes to put a good deal of effort into source original materials to keep a home’s traditional look. When they put in that much work restoring a home’s original appearance, they’re often reluctant to replace older fixtures with modern ones. However, a home’s original door hardware is often not as secure as today’s modern locks. This creates a conundrum for homeowners who are torn between security and aesthetics.
One of the most common questions we are sometimes asked is whether it’s possible to restore an antique lock or upgrade an antique door so it’s more secure for homeowners. We’re happy to answer that it is often possible to add to the security of an existing lock, and if it’s possible to keep the existing hardware, we will do everything we can to make it work.
We provide the following services for older homes:
● Lock rekey services
● Mortise lock services
● Antique key services
The Important Role of Door Security for Older Homes
When you think about points of entry for burglars and home intruders, there’s a good chance you associate this kind of home invasion with a prowler breaking a backyard or side window. But the truth is that most burglaries occur in broad daylight, and many home intruders come right in through the front door like they own the place. Frequently, an intruder will look for a door that’s either open or easy to break into by simply kicking the door or picking the lock.
Although there are plenty of great ways to beef up your home security, one of the simplest and most effective is simply to upgrade your existing door hardware. When would-be intruders don’t find an easy target in your home, they’ll often move on down the road. As with many things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to having a more secure front door and lock.
When a Lock No Longer Works
Another problem frequently found in older homes is that the existing door hardware is simply less functional. At one point or another, we’ve all encountered a door that required a special trick to open like lifting up on the handle or wiggling the lock a certain way.
This is very common when dealing with older door hardware. Not only is this frustrating to live with, but it can also create a vulnerability for homeowners when they are coming home late at night or no one else is around.
Working with Older Doors and Hardware
At Minneapolis Lock & Key, we’re uniquely qualified to work with antique door hardware and locks because our company has been working with many locks since they were new. While new homes are all manufactured with standard door codes, older homes are frequently grandfathered in, which can create a unique set of challenges for locksmiths.
When we encounter older locks and doors that no longer function properly, we collaborate as a team using our in-depth knowledge of mechanics and locksmithing to create a solution. Although it’s not always possible to preserve the original hardware, if there is a way to do so, we will find a solution.
The Case of the 1905 Mortise Lock
We recently worked with a 1905 home with a barely usable front door, antique lock, and working modern deadbolt. Our goal was to determine if we could restore the door to its original functionality while preserving the original character of the hardware.
The old mortise lock had a patent date of 1892 and broken parts inside, and the door itself was an unusually thick size. Opening the door required a hip check, and even then, it was difficult to open. This created a safety hazard for anyone needing to exit the home in an emergency. Although we were uncertain if the lock could be saved in the face of these unique conditions, we were eager to accept the challenge.
Here’s how we saved the lock:
● Replaced the knob return spring
● Pinned the deadbolt and buttons to prevent accidental lockout
● Straightened the edge faceplate
● Ensured the latch could fully retract so the knobs could return to their normal position
Contact Our Twin Cities Mortise Lock Services
Do you live in an older home with a sticky lock or a tricky front door? If so, give us a call and see if we can repair your hardware, making your door safer and more secure. At Minneapolis Lock & Key, our residential locksmithing company team loves taking on a challenge, and we’ll work hard to preserve your old antique door hardware.
As an essential service, we’re taking extra precautions to protect our customers during this difficult time by practicing safe distancing and using disinfectant throughout every job. To discuss your lock replacement needs, give us a call at 612.823.8148 or contact us online today.