Door Knobs
October 10, 2012 9:36 AM   Subscribe

What is the best and cheapest way of being able to lock your door from the outside with the minimum amount of alteration made to either the door and frame?

At the moment I have a standard door knob with no locking mechanism. I have very limited tools (a screwdriver really).

I looked online for a replacement door knob which allowed you to lock with a key of some description from the outside, without having to drill or alter the door/doorframe. No luck.

posted by ashaw to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not obvious to me what the issues is. Why do you think you'd have to drill the door frame? I've replaced a few doorknobs and that looks pretty much just like they did. Have you tried one of the hundreds of "keyed entry door knobs" and had a problem with the install?
posted by anti social order at 9:49 AM on October 10, 2012

You should be able to replace that knob with virtually any keyed entry door knob without having to alter the door.
posted by brainmouse at 9:50 AM on October 10, 2012 [3 favorites]

Just realized the video shows the guy shaving wood to have the latch sit flush. On your pic, that isn't the case with your current door and skipping it shouldn't cause any problems.
posted by anti social order at 9:52 AM on October 10, 2012

I'm having a hard time understanding why you can't just swap out the current knob assembly with a new one that has a key on the outside and a thumbturn on the inside. Just doing that should work with the existing holes in the door and frame. You can get something like this at Home Depot - it should just go in the penetrations you already have.
posted by LionIndex at 9:52 AM on October 10, 2012

You shouldn't have trouble finding a keyed door knob. Some include a deadbolt, which you don't want, but here's all of Lowe's deadbolt-less keyed door knobs. Looks like prices start under $10, but I suspect the locking mechanism is probably not very good (gets stuck, doesn't work) in the cheapest ones.

I've installed locks like this before and they're very easy. You might need both a phillips head and a flathead screwdriver, but shouldn't need anything else (assuming you find one that fits correctly in the hole you have, as anti social order mentioned).
posted by katieinshoes at 9:54 AM on October 10, 2012

I have installed a replacement keyed doorknob like LionIndex links to with just a screwdriver.

Can you get to a hardware store/Lowes/Home Depot/equivalent? You could remove the old doorknob, bring it to the store, and ask them to recommend a doorknob that will fit in the same hole but with a lock.
posted by mskyle at 10:02 AM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

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