When I began rehabbing the apartment above my office, I promised myself I was not going to cut corners. I was going to make the place all it could be, no matter the cost or time it took. One of the things I was always unhappy about was the handles and back plates on the original doors. Most of the door hardware for my mortise locksets had been damaged or replaced through the years and the result was hideous hodgepodge of handle types and finishes. I scoped out the replacement opportunities at the local hardware stores and the big boxes (Lowes and Home Depot), but all they had was cheapo polished brass and fake glass sets. Luckily, the internet provides.
The number of sites out there selling antique door hardware is somewhat daunting. But after a couple of weeks of sifting through them all, I finally found a couple of options that had a good variety of styles and finishes, along with reasonable prices. My favorite is the House of Antique Hardware. I ended up buying all my ceramic white handles and nickel back plates from them. Their inventory is extremely diverse, with choices for a budget and some truly amazing high-end pieces. They have a lot of supplies for old mortise lock doors, but they also have setups for modern doors too.no
As great as House of Antique Hardware was, there were a couple items I could not find there. Or at least, not for the price I wanted. Specifically, the uniquely sized knob spindles and two replacement mortise locks I was looking for. In my renewed search for these items, I came across another site called Rejuvenation. They offer a similar product lineup to the House of Antique Hardware, but have a slightly different inventory and pricing. I was able to find the rest of what I needed there. Between the two of these sites, anyone should be able to find what they need.
It wouldn’t be hard to drop well over $500 replacing knobs in your property, but I can tell you first hand that the finished product really stands out. I love my new handles (set the pic above) and plan on giving a similar treatment to my next rehab. The quality of setup is obviously going to depend on the quality of the home, but no matter the budget, it is worth it stepping, up you rehab quality. Sometimes, it’s the little things that stand out in a building and with careful planning, antique knobs could make the difference.