For the past six months or so, our front door knob has become…dysfunctional. When it first began having issues, I mentioned it to the husband. It steadily got worse until it was taking both hands under the knob and hoisting upward with all my strength for it to latch. It finally gave up the ghost when the whole door latch bolt assembly fell out the side of the door a couple days ago (which the puppy promptly tried to eat the various broken parts).
I called the husband to ask him to pick up a new one on his way home and beg him to fix it that night, since the door was swinging wide open and required propping my never used 20-lb. handweights in front of it to keep it closed. It took him only 15 minutes or so to replace it, leaving me slightly disgruntled (because he could have done that six months ago), but relatively happy to have a working door knob again.
Fast forward to yesterday afternoon when I stepped out to the porch to refill the water bowl for the cats and outside dog. I found out quickly that this new doorknob assembly allowed you to open it from the inside even though the little button was still turned in the “locked” position. I was locked out. No keys. No phone. No other unlocked windows or doors. No shoes even. And no spare key anywhere since it was brand new. It took a five minute hike in my socks through a wet field and two gravel driveways (did I mention I hate the outdoors and have tender feet?) to get to a neighbor to use the phone and have the husband come home from work to let me back in. I don’t think he’s ever laughed that hard.
I decided that kind of knob was not going to work for me and bought a new one this morning. My original plan called for the husband to install it when he got home, but the more I looked at it sitting on the counter, the more I thought about how easy he made the installation process look. I’ve used a screwdriver before (at least I’ve used the handle of one to drive in a nail when I couldn’t find a hammer). It came with directions. I am woman, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Let’s just say, it wasn’t quite as easy as he made it look, but I did have it replaced in about 25 minutes. Until I discovered that I’d managed to put the latch bolt in backwards, so that the door kept sliding open. It was much easier on the second try. Then came the dilemma of what to do with the deadbolt. The old one still worked fine, but then I’d need to use two different keys. Efficiency overcame laziness and I replaced the deadbolt as well. And they both worked. Hurray!
That’s when I realized…I should have done it all myself six months ago.