A Nod to a Knob

I bought a duplex in 1986. When I first moved in I removed the front door latch and doorknob and replaced it with a modern, stronger latch assembly. Tenants and I have lived comfortably with this arrangement for decades, and inspectors never mentioned it. But I live in an 1890’s historic conservation district, so I have to pay for an inspection every time a tenant moves.

This year we had a new inspector who took one look at the front door, and told me that it must have a doorknob. I suspect that this was only necessary to prove the need for inspections, because all the actual structural and safety issues exceed code. So it annoyed me that I had to “fix” something that had neither ever been a problem, nor changed.

It is an easily remedied issue. I dug into my box of salvaged door parts, and pulled out a selection to take over there and hoped to find a fitting solution.

It took me only a quarter hour to mix and match knobs, shaft, and cover plate on the old door from this collection. It is handy to have handyman skills. But the lesson of this object at hand is that sometimes, admittedly not often, piles of old parts come in handy.


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