Weekend Project: Alternative Garage Door Weatherstrip

Not pleased with the standard vinyl weatherstrip that is installed on most garage doors? Me either. It seals well enough but they discolor, you can’t really paint them, and depending on how they are installed they often warp and just look bad. When I had some new garage doors installed last year I asked the door company what other options I had. They told me if I didn’t like the standard weatherstrip i should just not install it. I’m in a cold climate, and I like to use my garage year round so I couldn’t just go without. I ended up ordering the plastic stuff because i didn’t know what else to do, but I just wasn’t happy with it and never put it up. It’s still in a box in my garage if anyone wants it, i’ll give you a great deal.

The other day I decided I was going to do something about this situation before winter hits again. I ordered some Pemko Bronze colored weatherstrip (Pemko Q102D 121 Inch Length Weatherstrip) that is generally used on exterior man doors. We don’t have it on our website, but we can order some in for you if you like, just contact us. It’s relatively inexpensive weatherstrip and just mounts into a saw kerf.

My doors are trimmed out in Smartside siding, so I orders some 1×4 Smartside trim for this little project. Using my table saw I cut a 5/8″ deep kerf in the edge of the 1×4.

Saw Kerf in 1x4 Smartside


With the kerf cut it’s really easy to install the weatherstrip, just press the ribbed edge into the kerf all the way down the 1×4.

Installing weatherstrip in saw kerf


I debated for a couple of months if this type of weather strip would work on a garage door. I was worried that as the door came down it would push the weatherstrip down and out of the kerf. However, if you watch your garage door close it comes down at a slight angle towards the ground and the door isn’t completely vertical until it hits the ground. I closed my doors and lightly tacked the 1×4 with weatherstrip against the door making sure it was compressed slightly between the board and the door to assure a good seal. After opening and closing the door a few times, testing the seal and making sure it wasn’t obstructing anything I used some longer finish nails to solidly attach the 1×4 to the jamb. I just need a little caulk and paint and we’ll have a nice clean seal with no warping or discoloring. This was a simple project to do and really not very expensive. weatherstrip installed

Standard Door Prep

What is standard for door prepping? We talked all about door thickness in this post, so then what is the standard door prep? The door prep is basically talking about the part where the door hardware goes, you know the holes in the door where you will eventually install the door knob, lever, handleset and/or deadbolt.  I am reminding you now that I am talking about standard door prep, that doesn’t mean your door can’t be prepped differently. Standard prep is the easiest to find replacements for and standard prep is how the door will come if you were to buy a door at home depot or something like that. Starting with an Entrance door,

Exterior/Front Door Prep

Entrance doors usually have two bore holes. Because it requires a deadbolt above and that goes for if you order a handleset, sideplate or just a basic deadbolt with entrance knob/lever. And the standard bore hole size is 2-1/8 inches in diameter and the cross bore hole is 1 inch diameter. If you measure the standard distance from bore hole to bore hole or the center to center (CC) measurement, it is 5-1/2 inches (there are some other commonly used size CC preps like 3-5/8″, 2 7/8″ or even 6″ CC – so don’t think you are at a loss if your door is not standard – call us). You can see where the backset’s measurement is shown at the bottom of the image – standard backset is 2-3/8 inches or 2-3/4 inches.


This other standard door prep is for basically any other door that does not require a deadbolt lock like a passage, privacy or and keyed entrance function. You will see most of these type of preps on interior doors. It’s pretty much the same as the first, 2-1/8 inch diameter bore, 1″ cross bore and 2-3/8 inches or 2-3/4 inches backset.

If you have standard prep, you can pretty much order any type of hardware you want as most everything easily accommodates the standard prepping, but don’t fret if you don’t have standard doors, we have hardware for that too! All you have to do is measure then contact us and we can help find what will work on your door whether it’s standard or not!


I Need Help Finding a Handleset That Will Fit My Door…

Is there a way to search for a new handleset with my measurements?


We have this handy new page added to our site to do just that!

Make sure and make your measurements before and read through the important paragraphs to better help you.

All of the Handlesets are grouped by manufacture and listed in order by measurements. Be sure to let us know if you have any questions, we would be glad to take the order over the phone.


What if I have existing holes in my door, but want a new handleset?

No problem! That’s what all the measurements were taken for! We made this easy to read grid to help you find exactly what Handlesets will fit your existing holes.

One of the most important measurements, is the “C” measurement shown here.

Your handleset will have a through bolt attaching the bottom of the exterior grip. It’s important to match this length with your new handleset to avoid drilling a new hole in the door and unsightly patching.

There is about 1-1/2″ of adjustment on the “C” measurement for these handlesets; 3/4″ shorter or longer than the length shown.

The standard door prep for an entrance doors is two 2-1/8″ bore holes that are 5-1/2″ center to center (measurement “B” in the image to the right) If you have more or even a little smaller than 5-1/2 inches, you can still use a sectional handleset, which have a seperate deadbolt.


This is made to make it an easier search for the perfect hardware for your door.

We are watching out for you.

Give us a call if you need any help!


How do you clean it?

Well let me tell you folks, its definitely possible.

You see, Paint the Town came to my neighborhood. They came and painted our apartments. It was really amazing.

What does this have to do with anything?

Well, it all started with a Schlage Handleset and a little paint.


Schlage Camelot Handleset - Polished Brass

I was like HOLY SMOKES!! They kinda missed the door!

Soo…. I took some dish soap and poured a little into a bucked of warm water.

(Now Mind you, this Handleset is old and a little scratched and tarnished)

With a little scrubbing… PRESTO!

Pretty much GOOD AS NEW!

So just remember, before you panic try a little bit of mild soap and warm water!




Skeleton Keys in the Closet…Door

Do you have a Skeleton Key Type Mortise Box?

You may know what that is, but if you don’t… GRRREAT! Because I can show you.

A skeleton key type mortise box looks like this…

Requiring a certain prep for your mortise door, it slides right in.


The more modern doors are prepped like this…

Tubular Latch


And the tubular latch would slide in the cross bore of the door. But that’s another post in it’s self.


The skeleton key type mortise box is for those old fashioned doors. You know, like the one’s with the crystal  or porcelain knobs and the key hole you can spy through, with those sweet skeleton keys. Yeah, those!

We carry brand new replacement hardware for those type of doors.

Like this one


Nostalgic Warehouse New Yor Plate with Porcelain Knob - Mortise

See more here. Or go under antique hardware on our site.

So, if you need some replacement antique hardware, we’ve got you covered. We even carry the mortise boxes. If you have the modern or standard door prep with the tubular latches like we talked about and want that antique look, don’t worry, we have that too! (Click here)


EZSet Commercial Door Lever – Install

Installing a commercial door lever is a little intimidating at first, but it’s really quite simple once you understand how the lock assembly works in the door. They are even more challenging to install in doors that are prepped for residential locks. Commercial doors are generally prepped a little differently as the heavy duty locks used in commercial construction are a bit bulkier.

I recently installed some ezset commercial levers and took some pictures along the way to help illustrate how they are installed. Commercial Locks like these are cylindrical locks which means that they have a cylindrical housing that fits into the bore hole. The latch then attaches to that cylinder. Cylinderical locks are a more stout than your regular tubular latch type lock, so they hold up better in commercial applications.

This type of commercial lock is designed to fit a 2 1/8″ bore hole, but two additional holes are required – one above the bore hole, one below. Other Commercial locks from Schlage, Falcon or other brands will also require this same type of preparation. To prep the bore for the new lock, you’ll need to drill these holes. You can either measure, or use the template included in the package. You can see the supplied template has both standard backsets marked out. Just line up the edge, and center the circle over the bore hole. Pretty easy to do if you have some light shining behind the door. Now drill your holes. Since I installed these locks on steel residential doors, I first made a small hole in the surface to start the drill bit and keep it accurate. If you don’t, you’ll likely get some floating on your bit and the hole won’t be in the right spot.

Ezset Door Prep

Punching a starter hole for the drill bit.

You can see in this photo below, the latch is installed in the cross bore. Those little tabs will align into the housing when you install the door lever, we’ll show you how to install that in the next couple of steps. First you need to drill your holes and now that you’ve made a starter hole, it will be a bit easier. Make sure you’re using a good drill bit designed to drill through steel as other types of bits may pull too hard and damage the surrounding surface of the hole you are drilling. If you are installing in wood doors, you may still want a starter hole just to help you keep it straight and on target.

Drilling Commercial Lock Installation Holes

Drilling top and bottom holes for commercial lock installation.

Before you start installing the lever set, you’ll want to verify your door thickness. Out of the box these commercial levers will fit 1 3/4″ thick doors which is pretty standard for exterior doors. If you are installing on a thinner interior door, you may need to adjust the cylindrical housing of the lock so that it will fit. To do this, you’ll need to remove the outside lever with the little tool provided, pull the rosette and then twist the housing. Its hard to see in this picture but the spindle between the cylindrical housing and the rosette is threaded. As you twist the housing on the threaded core, you can fit it to your door thickness. Once your done adjusting, put the rosette back in place and slide the lever back on until the spring loaded pin pops into place. By the way, you cannot remove this outer lever unless you have a key in the cylinder, this protects you from someone removing your outside lever to get in your door. It’s not possible to take apart unless you have the right key.

Adjusting a Cylindrical Lock

Removing the lever to adjust the cylindrical lock.

Now, insert the latch into the cross bore on the edge of the door and slide the outside half of the lever set into the bore hole. You’ll want to hold the latch in place and make sure it slides into the square notch on the edge of the cylindrical housing shown in the picture below. You can install the latch with screws on the mounting plate before hand if you wish.

Installing the commercial lever

Sliding the cylinderical housing into the bore hole.

Now that you have the latch and outside housing in place you’ll need to attach the inside mounting plate. There is a little arrow on the edge of the plate. That arrow needs to be pointed to the edge of the door where the latch is. You’ll use the screws provided to attach the plate to the other side of the lever using the inner holes on the mounting plate as shown below. You can see there is a hole right above the bolt we are installing below, you’ll use that hole in the next step, so be sure and put that first bolt in the correct hole.

Installing the inside mounting plate for an ezset door lever.

Installation of the inside mounting plate.

Now you’ll mount the outer mounting ring. Again, be sure that the little arrow along the edge of the circular mounting plate is on the side, pointing to the edge of the door. Use either the short black screws, or longer screws provided for added security if you wish.

Installing the outer mounting plate on an EzSet commercial Lock

Installing the outer mounting plate on an EzSet commercial Lock

Now you can Install the rosette. Just slide it over the outer mounting ring in the slots top and bottom and twist.

Installing the rosette on an EZSet Commercial Lock

Installing the Rosette

Then slide on your interior lever until the spring loaded tab locks it in place. If you ever need to remove the lock, you can use the tool provided (shown in previous picture) to depress the tab and slide the lever back off. You can also use a paper clip or something similar. As I mentioned before, to remove the outside lever you have to have a key for security reasons, the inside lever you do not.

Installing the inside lever

Installing the inside lever.

That’s it for the lock. Now all you have to install is the strike. These levers come standard with a heavy duty T Strike, installation of strikes is pretty simple so we won’t get into it here. I hope this article gives you a bit more confidence installing a commercial lock if you have not done so before.

Why is Determining Door Handing So Confusing?

Door handing is something a lot of people struggle with and something we have a lot of calls about because people often order the incorrect handing. Many of the problems seem to lie with the difference in the way carpenters determine handing and how we do. It’s not that we’re trying to be difficult, the door hardware industry as a whole determines door handing differently than carpenters do – we have to in order to get you the right setup. Customers usually side with their builder, probably because they’ve already been working with them for months before they finally need door hardware. I think it’s great that they trust their builder, but the way door handing is determined for carpentry is a bit different than it is when you order door hardware. So while the carpenter is adamant that he knows how to determine door handing, he may be right [for carpentry] but when ordering door hardware, you should trust the people that do it every day. Why?

When a carpenter is hanging doors all he has to worry about is the swing – right or left. When you order door hardware you need to know the swing, but you also have to know which side of the door the lock will be on. This makes things seem a little more complicated but it’s actually quite easy if you just follow some simple rules.

Follow These Steps:

step 1 Stand facing the door on the outside – If it’s a locking door, stand on the side of the door where you would insert a key (or unlocking tool if it would be a privacy lock). For interior doors you would stand on the side of the door you enter from – i.e. in the hall if a hall closet, in the bedrooom if a door opens to a bath, in the kitchen if a door opens to the pantry.
step 2 If the hinges are on the left, it’s a left hand door. If the hinges are on the right, it’s a right hand door.

Door Handing Image

To make things a little easier, Schlage and Kwikset have designed their levers to be reversible so you don’t have to worry about specifying handing when you order, but most of the other brands you do. It’s really pretty simple if you just follow these simple steps above.

Make Your Own Modern Door

I don’t know these guys, and I generally don’t blog about doors so much as door hardware but…. I just like these modern door kits Crestview Doors has come out with. A great, simple solution to make an other wise boring door that much better. Or, if you’re building new.. why not start with a slab door and make the look you want, there is a good chance I will very soon. I’m glad I found these guys.

Just one of the many door kits available at Crestview Doors.

They have a lot of different styles that I like. I think the hardest for me would be deciding on the modern door hardware to install on my new door.

Key Stuck in Your Door Lock? Key Won’t Turn?

We’ve had customers ask us from time to time what might be wrong with their door lock if the key won’t come out of the cylinder after trying to unlock the door. There are a number of reasons for this to happen, so I thought I’d mention some of the possibilities here – maybe someone could benefit.

If your lock is brand new:
Keyed cylinders are spring loaded with a series of pins that allow the cylinder to be turned if the correct key is inserted. There is a chance when the lock was re-keyed (assuming you had some door locks keyed alike or keyed to existing locks) the person who did the re-keying didn’t get the pins completely seated in the key cylinder. This will sometimes allow the key to be inserted, but then difficult to remove. If this is the case, it will be better to have a locksmith take a look at it to get it keyed properly. If you have purchased the lock from DirectDoorHardware.com let us know and we can get the problem resolved. This doesn’t happen very often, but we’re humans and sometimes make mistakes. Luckily, this is a mistake that can be resolved. Before we go to the trouble of replacing or fixing the key cylinder, be sure to check one more thing…

If you take the two halves of the lock off the door, on the inside of the keyed cylinder you will see a little set screw holding the cylinder in place and there is a thin piece of metal (referred to as a tail piece) connected to it. The tail piece connects the two halves of the lock so that when you turn the cylinder the mechanism is activated and unlocked/locked. Sometimes this set screw is not completely tightened (probably because the person rekeying the lock was in a hurry and just didn’t get it tightened properly). Sometimes if you have an existing lock, this set screw can loosen over time. In either case, just give it a couple of turns to snug it up and then try working the door lock again. Keep in mind that every brand is slightly different so this might not be the fix for every brand. I snapped a quick picture back in the shop to illustrate what I am talking about – this is a Schlage lock shown. Many brands are assembled in a similar fashion.

Schlage Door Lock - back view

Back side of a Schlage Deadbolt.

If Your Lock is Older:
You could have a loose set screw inside the lock as I just described so you may want to check that first. Other possibilities might be:

– Worn Cylinder/Pins
In this case, there is no easy fix unless you have the proper tools and parts. I would suggest taking the lock into a locksmith as they will have the know how, tools and parts necessary to fix the issue. If possible, remove your lock and take it into a locksmithing shop. They will charge you a lot more if they have to come out to your house, usually it’s fairly inexpensive if you just take the lock in.

– Dirt and Grime
Yep, could just be dirt and grime inside your keyed cylinder. Locks are installed with the keyed cylinder outside so over time dirt and grime can get their way into the lock.  You don’t want to go overboard with lubricant. Try and find a good dry lubricant to start with, if that doesn’t work you can use a little wd40 or something similar. Just squirt a little in the cylinder and work the key back and forth inside the cylinder to get the lubricant back into the pins. I’ve also heard you can insert a thin piece of wire along the bottom of the keyway to try and jar loose pins that may have jambed up. I haven’t tried this myself so I couldn’t tell you how successful it might be; and you could make things worse if you’re not careful. But, i guess you could feel like James Bond picking a lock, so if you like that kind of thing, give it a go.

Around here its just a few bucks to have the cylinder rekeyed, so I’d recommend just taking the lock into a locksmith and getting it done right. I just know i’d be the guy that monkeys with the cylinder for a couple of hours in attempt to make an old cylinder work a little better when it would have taken me 15 minutes to stop by a locksmith. And a few bucks later I’d have a new cylinder without issues. But, i like to save a buck just like the next guy so I’ll leave that up to you.

Building an Entry Door

Sorry. This post is kinda long and contains many photos, it will take a bit to load.

Several months ago I had the privilege of helping a freindly customer named Phil who was looking for some entry door hardware. Typically customers call for help when they need to replace door hardware, or have a brand new door that needs some hardware ASAP to keep it locked.

Phil was different. He was building his own entry door from scratch and planned ahead by finding his door hardware first. Phil sent me a few pics of his door construction which interested me so I asked him to send some more. I’ve always thought it would be fun to build my own front door and I figured someone else might be interested in seeing what is involved in the process. So, with Phil’s permission I’ve posted some pictures of his progress. I’ve also included some of his notes explaining what he has done. Thanks Phil, the door looks great.

these door panels are 1 1/4 ” thick. A backband molding will cover the dado in which they are to be placed

I don’t have a shaper so I used a router and multiple router bits to create a profile. This molding was then ploughed to make the molding a back band .I ran enough for the four panels and to be used as glass stop.

I put a coat of thinned spar varnish on the panels and in the daddos that will receive them before I glued the door up. The walnut pegs are ” draw bored ” to pull the mortises tight. I used gorilla glue in the mortises and a damp rag on the tenons.

There is no sense in sanding the door until the boring and mortising is completed.I’m making the sill, the jamb lugs, and mortiseing for the lock

There is a shelf with corbels on the exterior side.The hinges probabley should have been 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2 “. I drilled the screw holes so there’s no going back.

Installing the moldings and the shelf. The glass molding will be fastened later.

The time to fit the hardware and the weather strippimg is before the finish is applied. I intend to use a long varnish with added tung oil, linseed oil, and thinner. The first coat will be applied and the wood will be wet sanded with # 220 paper, using the finish as a lubricant This will help fill the pores and knock down the raised grain . Then the wood will be wiped clean because the floating saw dust will tend to streak on the first coa

It’s a luxury to work on the jamb hardware before assembling the jamb. The finish is 50 % varnish. 25 % thinner 15 % linseed oil. and 10 % tung oil. Less oil and thinner on the following coats

This oil varnish dries slowly, so this second coat will have to drya couple of days. Enough to level with #320 and not gum up the paper instantly .I don’t have the glass yet.$600 to $800 for stained glass . This mortise lock works perfectly and doesn’t move even though it’s just sitting there. Serious mass.