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Door handles/knobs in 1930s house

(13 Posts)
crazyhead Wed 22-May-13 14:14:18

Any experts who can help?

We’re renovating our 1930s house. We have six lovely original doors where the whole door knob/handle/latch needs replacing – the knobs/handles are awful and the doors have been hung very strangely and don’t close, with stuck latches.

Has anyone got any info on

-does the latch need to ‘go’ with the knobs/handles in any way, or is it a completely separate issue.
-what are the advantages of knobs or handles?
-Any ideas of where to buy stuff? I’ve seen original Bakelite knobs and 30s brass handles on ebay – should I go for these, or should I go for repros?
-How much should I be paying for reasonable stuff?
THANKYOU for any help – I’m stumped

MiddleEnglish Wed 22-May-13 14:30:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ginformation Wed 22-May-13 14:32:03

Are they rim locks? If so then you can get the rim lock separately to the knobs. Knobs are more traditional than handles, more in keeping with the age of the house.

My last house was a 30s renovation and I bought most of my bits and bats from a local reclamation yard v cheap, they needs a scrub and polish but came up well. I used wooden knobs.

Now I am renovating a Victorian house and the reclamation yard went out of business sad so I am relying on ebay. I have these silver rim locks and similar to these black knobs and escutcheons similar to this . Our doors are very thick so I had to get extra long knobs (oo-er) and the advantage is that even though they are low on the door, ds can not open them yet.

Ginformation Wed 22-May-13 14:35:21

Oh, and if you are getting reclaimed rim locks, you may not get a keeper with it, you can buy keepers separately on ebay if you need.

crazyhead Wed 22-May-13 20:16:23

That's very helpful, thankyou Gininformation.

They are currently mortices, with one rim lock....they have keyholes drilled in different places and one upside down. I suspect I could go either way with them really.

MiddleEnglish, I think we are going to have to do some woodfilling/tarting up here - maybe it'll be the same for you.

Cosmosim Wed 22-May-13 20:35:54

We have these... They look very "right" in the 30s house but ...they aren't cheap, but certainly do make our cheap pine doors look/feel much better than with the old b&q handles

Cosmosim Wed 22-May-13 20:37:03

Try again

FishfingersAreOK Wed 22-May-13 20:45:23 This is what we went for throughout our 1930s house. So not original bakelite but a similar look.

And this a useful read for PigletJohn's expertise on the subject.

crazyhead Thu 23-May-13 09:49:33

Thank you so much! I will get myself to the shops at the weekend to see this stuff.

We're doing a total refurb so there are so many choices to be made.

FlowersBlown Thu 23-May-13 14:47:39

I've gone for plain black handles. Chrome or brass doesn't seem right on 1930s style doors.

Handlehub Thu 23-May-13 19:08:53

Hi Crazyhead,

Hope these answers help:

Does the latch need to ‘go’ with the knobs/handles in any way, or is it a completely separate issue?

If you have rim locks then generally both are independent of each other, but it is worth checking the escutecheon and base of the door knob do not touch each other when fitted.

If you move to lever handles then the latch would need to suit the backset distance that you drill within the door (distance between the edge of the door and the centre of the spindle hole). You can buy packs with the handle and latch together but it is not necessary in most scenarios. Just beware that if you are choosing a heavy lever then you may also want a heavy duty tubular latch.

What are the advantages of knobs or handles?
Generally it is pure preference but from comments we have have heard door knobs are generally seen as more decorative especially on period/cottage type styles. However lever handles are generally much more comfortable to use, especially if you have children or elderly people around.

Any ideas of where to buy stuff? I’ve seen original Bakelite knobs and 30s brass handles on ebay – should I go for these, or should I go for repros?
We can help source specific handles if you need, just send an email to us and we would be more than happy to help.

How much should I be paying for reasonable stuff?

I hope that the above information has helped and we would be more than happy to provide any further help if you need.

tb Fri 24-May-13 18:50:55

I find 'lever' type door knobs a pain - they keep attacking the bottom of my sleeves. Given the choice, I'd have knobs. However, we've got solid brass levers, so, at about €100/handle, they're staying put.

There's also knobs&knocers, and if you're any where near Helmswell, one of their antique rooms used to be full of door knobs and locks.

crazyhead Fri 24-May-13 20:59:28

Thank you very much to all.

I think having done more research that I'll be looking at rim latches and I may actually need to fill in the various holes in latches and doors currently in the door as they are such a state, and go for a full on refit. I'll think about the handle/knob choice Handlehub.

I'm in London so not that close to Helmswell, but thank you for that tip too....I am honing in!

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