CHOOSING DOOR AND WINDOW IRONMONGERY FOR YOUR PERIOD HOME
Choosing the correct Ironmongery for your home is vitally important because as well as being functional it can also be decorative and it will add the finishing touch to the look that you have spent so long trying to achieve.
Perhaps the most basic item on a door is the hinge. The type of hinge you choose will depend upon a number of factors including the style of the door and its frame and also the weight of the door. The most basic type of hinge is a butt hinge which is designed to be cut into the frame and the door so that it is largely hidden from view when the door is closed. Thought should be given to the weight of the door in question as heavier doors may require additional hinges. Hinge fronts or dummy hinges can be added to the door as decoration.
More ornamental hinges are also available and are particularly suited to ledged and braced doors.
Consideration will need to be given to whether a Door Knob or Lever Handle is preferred for opening and closing the door. You will need to decide whether the door is going to be locked or not. Generally, (but not always), internal doors are not locked so a normal latch plate on a lever handle will suffice. On more traditional properties a Thumb Latch can be used for securing a door. These are available in a number of different designs.
Lever handles will also be available with a privacy bolt for bathrooms, for example.
External doors will require a lock. A traditional lever handle will operate a 5 lever mortice lock. A modern front door may have a multipoint locking system which can also be operated by lever handle.
Door knobs can be more difficult to operate by anyone of restricted mobility and consideration should be given to this. Door knobs can be used in conjunction with Rim locks. Additional security can be given by the use of a separate British Standard 5 lever mortice lock and by the use of rack bolts.
The finish and style of your door furniture will complement the age and style of your home. It will also be possible to match your door furniture to a certain extent so that a handle and a letter plate on a front door will match.
Similar consideration will need to be given to your choice of Window fittings. The type of fitting will depend upon your window. Window fasteners, for example can be fixed with a Hook Plate or Mortice Plate depending upon the style of frame. In addition, they can be lockable and can also operate a three point locking system. Window fasteners can generally be matched with a stay. To add to security locking pivots are available. Sash type windows will require different fittings.
If uPVC windows have been specified it is still possible to give a period feel by the use of specially adapted stays and fasteners. Additional variations also cater for night vents. It is also possible to add further security by the use of window rack bolts.
Certain considerations need to apply to both window and door furniture. Care instructions are generally included with most products and these should be adhered to so that your furniture retains its look and functionality.
Because Door and Window furniture is both functional and decorative it is always advisable to look for the highest possible quality. In recent years the UK market has been flooded with products with English sounding names but which are actually imported from India and China. However, it is still possible to obtain much higher quality British products. They will last longer and look more authentic.