Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I had no idea they could do this with locks...

As I mentioned, we're in the process of doing over our house. And when I say "we're" I mean Mr. Tall Guy because I don't really help out all that much and we didn't hire anyone to do the work. Not yet anyways, but that's another story. Continuing...
So with any home improvement project you find yourself visiting the local home improvement chains quite a bit. In fact you may find yourselves there several times over the same weekend or even the same day. Sometimes it's because you were forgetful and forgot to pick up something critical. Other times it may because you uncovered something during the project that you didn't expect. (Have I mentioned that I now refer to my house as Mr. McRot?) Other times is because that chain store that you've grown to depend on seems like it just wants to screw you.

Today was my third trip to try and purchase locks. As part of our home improvement, we're replacing all our exterior doors and as part of this I thought it would be nice to switch to satin nickel hardware. Mr. Tall Guy and I went and had a reasonably successful trip last week to purchase a new front and screen door. This is where I made the satin nickel decision. The first thing Aunt P learned on this shopping trip was that when you get a screen door (it also comes with glass so why is it a screen door? Or is that what a storm door is and that is what we got? So many questions, so little time) it comes with the hardware. Or at least the one we decided on did. Well the only one they had in stock in the model we liked with satin nickel and not brass was an extra $50. Not for the hardware finish, but for insulated glass. Not a bad idea since we live in New England and since Mr. Tall guy wanted to do the door installation over the weekend we needed to get. NOTE: Doors weren't really installed over the weekend, but other work was done leading up to it, so I can't complain.

So with the door and storm (?) door picked out, we make our way over to the knobs and locks section. After some debate, we picked out what we wanted, but they don't have any sets with the same key number in my finish. What is the point of having the "Buying more than one? Match the key number" sticker on it if they aren't going to carry any matching f'ing sets! Nothing to get stressed out about. Don't worry honey, I'll go to the other home improvement chain tomorrow at lunch. (Having all of your doors keyed the same is great. Highly recommend it).

Attempt number two. Well they had two of the sets with matching key, but they didn't have the extra knob with the same key number. So I purchased the two sets and figured I'd just order a knob with the key number online. That's not as easy as it sounds, but in fairness I didn't search around too long. Anyways it turns out that I need a third doorknob/deadlock set (forgot about the 3-season porch door) so I decide to go back to see if they still have a set with my key number.

That brings us to today. My third attempt. I find a set in my finish with the right key number. Yeah! I grab that and the knob I need, albeit with the wrong key number, and go to customer service. I figure screw it. Make them order it for me. And this is where I learn my second big lesson. Turns out that they can rekey it to match my key number right there! Is this common knowledge? Am I a big loser for not knowing this? And why didn't I know this before?

And watching them do it is fascinating. This is where the geek in me comes out. They pull out this box of metal bits of varying lengths. Take the lock apart.shake out the existing bits of metal. Stick in the key of the lock I want it to match and then put in the appropriate length metal bits in about 8 different slots to make it match up with the key. Voila! And all done is less than 5 minutes or so! I love stuff like this!

Granted my newly rekey'd knob didn't come with any keys, but I guess I can live with only 12 matching keys (4 per set) instead of the 14 it would have come with.

This is an example of why it just can't be done in a single trip.


Mrs Big Dubya said...

I didn't know that -- good information -- Dad would be proud

Lizina said...

This is great info to know.

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