Many people don’t really pay any attention to their exterior door handle, seeing it merely as a means to open and close the door. Certainly, the door handle is the most functional part of your exterior door furniture, but it can also be decorative and fit a theme.
The front door is the first part of your home that visitors see, and choosing an elegant, ornate door handle, in brass, iron, or a contemporary modern chrome design, will individualize your home and speak volumes about your personality.
When combined with complimentary door knobs, door knockers, and address plaques, a well-chosen exterior door handle can enhance the architectural feel of your home, personalizing it and making it stand out from the other homes on the street.
What to Look for in an Exterior Door Handle
Buying an exterior door handle is a tough choice, simply because of the range of materials and multitude of styles. An exterior door handle must blend in with your exterior decor and match the unique look of your door. It must also be functional, secure, and durable.
Home Improvement Guide – Cheap is not the Primary Consideration
Door handles come in for a lot of abuse and misuse, and buying a cheap, poorly made option, which breaks within a few months, does not save any money. Ultimately, cheap does not always the equal best value, and you should look for a solid door handle from a reputable company. Door handles are one of the most important components of your door furniture because they must combine elegance with durability.
Cheap brass door handles, for example, are usually plated brass, and once this wears away, it exposes the ugly base metal or cheap, tacky plastic. They will see heavy use over their lifetime, so you want to avoid buying cheap, plated door handles, or soft, low-quality iron that is prone to snap. If you have to replace your door handle and backplate, this will mean drilling yet more holes in your exterior door.
How will Your Exterior Door Handle be Used?
This is another question that you should answer, long before you think about the stylistics or appearance. For example, if you have children, then it may be an idea to go for aluminum or stainless steel door handles because they are easy to clean and, in the case of stainless steel, provide a very hostile environment for bacteria.
If the door is going to be used by the elderly or disabled, then a simple, large, ergonomic aluminum door handle will be more suitable than a tiny, intricate brass design. Iron door handles are beautiful, but they will deteriorate if you live on the coast, with the sea air carrying corrosive salt.
Home Improvement Guide – The Theme
If you are buying an exterior door handle for functionality, rather than style, then the theme is not quite so important. However, if it is meant as a decorative feature, then you want to ensure that it suits the overall decorative feel of your home, especially if you intend to match it with other door accessories, such as door knockers and letter slots.
If you have a large wooden door, then brass or cast iron fittings are an elegant addition, combining rustic charm. On a modern, uPVC door, however, they look a little overdone, and keeping things simple, with contemporary chrome or oil rubbed bronze, is far more suitable. Less is sometimes more and, whilst you want to personalize your home, you must ensure that your choice fits the architecture. Door furniture should add a subtle twist, not become the main feature.
Exterior Door Handles and Security
If your door handle incorporates a lock, then security should be one of your major concerns, because you need a robust locking mechanism that will withstand the attentions of criminals. Cheap, poorly made door locks are an invitation, easily picked or removed by brute force.
The door handle should be sturdy and resilient, and preferably from a well-known, reputable brand, even if this means paying a little more. A good door lever should be made from tough, resilient metal, securely fitted into place.
Home Improvement Guide – Selecting an Exterior Door Handleset
Armed with this knowledge, you can find an exterior door handle that blends elegance with security; practicality with a price; and durability with style. The right choice will tick many boxes and ensure that you buy an exterior door handle that makes a statement and lasts for many, many years.