New locks

The front door on our new house is a hardwood door, it had some brass handles. These would be more in keeping with a Victorian theme than the contemporary style of the house. The handles also kept getting snagged on bags and coats as we went through the door, so they had to go.

I also wondered if it was possible to have a more modern lock that did not have a drafty keyhole. And on researching, I discovered that there is a modular lock system called the euro cylinder. If you’ve got a UPVC door you’ll likely recognise this style. It is also available for wooden doors. The style with a handle and a deadbolt is known as a sashlock.

When choosing a lock there are lots of key measurements to consider. A good supplier will have detailed guides on taking these measurements and fitting them. The lock be bought came with a paper template to help fit it correctly on a new door.

The first measurement is the backset. This is the distance from the edge of the door to the keyhole or spindle hole for the handle. There do seem to be some standards here and ours was a 57mm one.

The case size is how deep a hole you’ll need for the lock, this is less critical although when replacing a lock it makes sense to get one a similar size.

The centres or PZ measurement is another critical dimension as this is the separation between the keyhole and the handle spindle (also known as the follower). Again if you don’t get the same size as the lock you are taking out then there will be a lot of extra woodwork. If you are replacing a traditional lock with the cylinder lock there’s a bit of extra wiggle room here as the cylinder is larger than the old keyhole.

The last critical measurement is the cylinder length. The cylinders are purchased separately to the lock. The shape and dimensions are standard, so you don’t need to worry too much about the width and height. The length, however, is critical as you don’t want the cylinder either sticking out of the door or recessed inside it. The cylinders come in lots of different styles, as our door is solid then a thumbturn seemed to make sense so it can be easily opened from the inside. We picked handles in a brushed stainless steel, matching the centres dimension to the lock.

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