Door Accessories

Door Bells

These websites will help all those homeowners, renters, or home builders find the best prices, brands, and options that are involved with the difficult decision of choosing a door bell for your home. When your door bell rings, would you like to hear the chimes of bells, the playing of one of Mozart’s classical masterpieces, or just one loud ding noise? There are many things to consider, especially how much one might want to pay for a door bell. This research will help identify questions and give helpful tips and answers to said questions.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Doorbell Expressions
  2. The Doorbell Factory
  3. Modern Doorbells

Exterior Door Locks

When purchasing exterior door locks for your home, there are many important things to keep in mind. There are many well-known, quality companies who will help you in deciding what kind of lock you need, help you through the process of deciding on a lock step-by-step, and will even allow you to order the lock you decide on right on their website. When considering locks for your home, some of the most important things to consider are: the amount you are willing to pay for a lock, the level of security and strength you want your lock to provide, the style of your home, and the kind of lock you want to have.

Some of the most common types of exterior (or locking/keyed) locks are single cylinder deadbolts, double cylinder deadbolts, Handle set, and exterior keyed knobs or levers.

A single cylinder deadbolt is typically used on front and back doors and has a thumb turn on the inside and a keyed lock on the outside. A handle set also works this way.

A double cylinder deadbolt is similar to a single cylinder one, except it is operated with a key on both sides. This kind of lock is advisable near a window, where a criminal could break the window and turn a thumb turn to unlock the door.

Exterior keyed knobs or levers are recommended for use on entry doors and garage doors, or along with a deadbolt.

If your door handle is handed (often this means a curved design) you need to determine if it is left- or right-handed. Look at your door from the exterior side. If the hinges are on the left you need a left-handed lever and vice versa.

Some brands of locks have devices that come with their locks that already have screws and other things ready and aligned in them to minimize installation time. These will also help to insure correct installation of the locks. Kwikset's device for this is called Kwik-Install and is patent-pending.

There are four types of latches; plain latches, deadlatches, deadbolts, and adjustable latches. Plain latches offer the lowest amount of security and are usually used on interior doors, while deadbolts allow for, maximum security with a 1" bolt that is even saw-proof. Deadlatches are somewhere in between plain latches and deadbolts is security. Some brands offer adjustable latches that will fit either a 2-3/8" backset or a 2-3/4" backset (the backset is the measurement from the outside of the door to the middle if the pre-drilled hole).

There are also four types of faceplates: square, radius, drive-in, and universal. Universal faceplates utilize interchangeable faceplates and are also called 6-way latches.

More information on strikes (the metal attachment put on the door frame), measuring door thickness (this is very important when choosing locks, as the sizes vary and you must pick the right size for your door (standard for most doors is 1-3/4")), and door preparation can be found on the below websites, with the clearest information I could find on the Kwikset site. Sites will often tell about their policies on keying as well. Many of the top companies will key your new locks to match your existing doors/keys as long as they are the same brand. Some may even be able to do it with different brands. Researching what different companies can offer will help you to find the best exterior door locks for your home's needs. Many of the leading companies are also certified by BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association) which is accredited by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). The Kwikset site offers a reasonably detailed explanation of these standards, which will help you know what to look for when searching for the best lock for your personal needs.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Kwikset: The Beauty of Strength
  2. Schlage: Real Security Sets You Free
  3. Weiser Lock

Garage Door Openers

Once seen as a luxury, a garage door opener is now seen as a convenience. There are many factors that should be taken into consideration in buying a new garage door opener. The first step in purchasing a garage door opener is to choose which kind of drive system would best be suited for your needs and budget. There are three different types of garage door drive systems: belt, chain, or direct drive. The most important consideration is what type of motor you should buy to go with your drive system. Horsepower and speed is something else you should consider. Openers are usually noisy, but with the right combination of drive system and motor unit, the opener can be quick and quiet. In general, the more you spend on a garage door opener, the faster and quieter it will open. Garage door openers can also have a remote control and a wall operator, as well as the option of single/two/three button transmitters- all depend on the consumer’s budget.

Safety is another thing the consumer should be aware of when buying a new opener. Some come with warranties and mandatory features such as being equipped with a non-contact invisible beam that can sense the approach of a person and re-open the door if necessary. Other features to look for are: automatic lights, a manual emergency release cord, and a timed reversing feature. On the whole, garage door openers should be weather resistant, safe, and should have minimal wire exposure for long life.

The websites listed give reviews and specific information of the major brands and types of garage door openers, providing very general information as well. There are also resources listed in finding local professionals to help with the installation of any new hardware.

Top Online Resources:

  1. Garage Door Openers
  2. Consumer Guide: Garage Door Openers Product Reviews
  3. Garage Door Openers Reviews: Product Reviews Comparison Reports