I had a lot of fun choosing the front door. Hours of late night pinning on Pinterest https://uk.pinterest.com/Buildmumahouse/buildmumahouse-front-door/ ..digging around looking at doors – I decided to keep it modern, solid, simple panels and oak. It was this Pinterest board that set the look of the rest of the house; the internal doors, oak parquet floor and the oak kitchen.
But when it came to the door locks, well…it began to look like I was looking for the impossible- a latch and a deadlock that could be opened and also locked easily from the inside.
I needed the locks, a latch and a mortice deadlock, to be:
- A latch that is easy to open from the inside for a weak grip and arthritic hands
- A deadlock that locks from the inside WITHOUT a key and with a large, smooth action lever
- Key turning that has a smooth, positive action, easy for a weak grip
- Secure and solid
- Chrome (it looked modern and bright on Pinterest boards)
I began to investigate around and what I read began to make me sad. There were references to people who found opening the latch difficult and so they didn’t go out much. Stories of people not locking their front door properly, leaving it open but on the chain so that they could answer the door easily. I read stories of how some people were helped by innovative ways of extending the latch. These guys at remap who design and custom-make equipment to help with accessibility issues, made a door latch extension with a screwdriver:
A lady with arthritis that restricts hand movement asked if we could help her get out of her house. The problem was that she found it difficult to operate the small latch on the front door. Remap engineers looked at the problem and provided a simple solution: they made the latch bigger by grafting on a screwdriver handle! The client now gets out more.
and then there are websites with all sorts of innovations, such as the
The Doornuts Door Knob Turners are great for arthritis, MS, Carpal Tunnel, recovery from stroke or surgery, weak hands, or fingers. As an arthritis product, the door knob turner allows the doorknob to be turned without the use of the hand. Door opener fits any size doorknob and installs in 1 second, no tools needed. Openers and enlargers make a door easy for anyone to open.
I was determined to find a latch and deadlock that solved the problem and looked smart. I just didn’t want to install something that needed me to start going all Blue Peter.
Back to Google and Pinterest and a lot of latches with tiny handles and loads of deadlocks that need to be locked internally with a key. I did find a few Yale latches that I though might be ok but the deadlock became my bugbear, I started to fret about lost keys, getting locked in and that keys can be difficult to turn in a hurry.
And then I found the easy way to unlock a front door from the inside (by the way I had also ruled out a keypad lock) : the Banham Rim Deadbolt and their Thumbturn deadlock.
The latch handle is large and easy to grip it can be pulled forward with a flattened hand. I was delighted with the deadlock mechanism, it’s designed so that an internal lever that is easy to turn and its not fiddly, flips to lock the deadbolt.
…and all in chrome finish – perfect!
The next few steps weren’t as easy as they should be, firstly I couldn’t find a supplier so I rang the London office. On the phone I found it difficult to get a quote, get a booking and for Banham to get the address right. But, I persevered and because I had done my research I got the locks that I wanted. The Banham engineer who did the installation was brilliant. He positioned the locks so that they would be easy to reach, not too high, not too low. That bit was EASY and I’m very pleased with the result. There is an added bonus, Banham can set the locks up so that both can be unlocked by the one key. Have you seen the size of the mobility, arthritis aid key holders?
This Banham set was the only set of locks that I found that address accessibility issues, that are secure and look good. I’m just wondering if any of you have found an easy lock solution too? I would love to hear from you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your finds.