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    8 bifold closet doors that will inspire your next DIY project.

    September 30, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Friday, September 30, 2022

    Bifold closet doors | Schlage

    Don't settle for drab folding closet doors. Here are eight easy ways to turn your home's bifold doors into a style statement.

     

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    Bifold doors are great for closets in tighter areas because they take up very little space when opened. While these hinged doors may seem difficult to customize, we beg to differ. Whether your closet doors are made from dated wood slats or are just plain boring, it's easy to refresh them. Here are eight DIY folding closet door makeover ideas to inspire your next project.
    Young girl standing next to Chevron painted bifold closet doors.

    1. Refresh with a moody color

    If you want to make over your closet doors but don't have a lot of time to devote to a DIY project, make a quick update with bold color. Jewel tones, pastels, and dark shades like black or navy blue can completely change how your folding closet doors look. Transforming your closet doors with color is also a great way to bring your room's design scheme together.

     

    Those boring beige doors don't need to interrupt the décor flow of your room anymore. We love this update from @beydindesign because it's easy to redo in the future if your design scheme changes. Here's an example of how a little color change can make a big difference.

     

    2. Add latticework

    You might associate latticework with gardens and outdoor spaces, but it can transform indoor features, too. Adding inexpensive latticework to bifold closet doors is a great way to upgrade a plain-looking surface. Most home improvement stores stock several types of latticework. Of course, you can also fake this look by using basic wood trim. If you're using trim, be sure to carefully measure and mark out your design before you start cutting.

     

    Add a fresh coat of paint after the latticework is attached for a monochromatic look. For a bolder look, paint the latticework in a shade that contrasts with your closet doors. Decorator Casey Finn shows just how easy and effective this update can be.

     

    3. Make it mirrored

    Bifold closet doors are often used in areas where space is tight. To visually expand these little spaces, add mirrored panels to your folding closet doors. You can attach a single mirror to each door panel or use multiple mirrors for a more geometric effect.

     

    To achieve this look, you'll permanently affix mirror panels to the closet door. Then, use standard wood trim that you've prepped and painted to create a finished border. Be sure that your trim covers all mirror edges so that you haven't left a sharp surface on your closet door. This technique works well for closets, as MCH Custom Trim & Cabinets shows, but it can also be used for home offices and laundry rooms.

    4. Go from bifold to French doors

    Unfortunately, bifold doors can make it difficult to see everything in your closet. One solution is to turn your bifold closet doors into a functional pair of French doors. While it might sound daunting, it's easier than you think to transform those bifolds into wide-open French doors.

     

    French doors differ from bifolds in that they swing open toward you rather than fold in half on tracks. As Decor By the Seashore shows in their how to turn bifold doors into French doors guide, you only need some basic tools (drill, measuring tape, and wood filler). You can order the necessary hinges, magnetic catch, and pair of knobs from Schlage. The final look is sleek and professional.

     

    5. Let the sun burst in

    A bold, geometric sunburst can add texture to an otherwise flat wall. Bifold doors are an ideal surface for a bold, sun-inspired project. A sunburst door looks great in any hue. Of course, bright yellow is a great choice if you want to add a burst of color to your room.

     

    This project is best for experienced DIYers. However, dedicated beginners who are willing to follow detailed instructions can pull it off, too. The sunburst look does require significant planning so be sure to check out the full tutorial from Studio DIY.

     

    6. Upgrade to barn doors

    If you love the farmhouse look, you can easily turn your boring bifold closet doors into faux barn doors. Choose wood stain for a rustic look, or paint the doors a solid color for an upcycled farmhouse vibe. If you have enough space on both sides of your closet, you can even put your doors on a hanging track for a true barn-door look. This is a great project for experienced DIYers who have access to a table saw.

     

    7. Shape up with shiplap

    Shiplap is one of the most popular design trends of the last decade. You see these wooden planks everywhere in home design now, and closet doors are no exception. Adding shiplap will instantly transform your doors into an upscale design feature.

     

    The possibilities for color and texture are truly endless. You can go with a basic, flat color or distress the wood to match your doors to your overall design style. The biggest advantage? Shiplap can turn cheap folding doors into sturdier, more appealing décor pieces. This makeover from Ugly Duckling House works particularly well if you need to cover slatted or grooved doors.

     

    8. Paper it

    Wallpaper isn't just for your grandma's house anymore. With thousands of interesting designs available out there, wallpaper is one of the most versatile choices you have for any DIY project. You can easily use it to transform a plain closet door into a vibrant statement piece.

     

    This project works best with flat doors that don't have any grooving or molding. Be sure to remove all doorknobs or pulls before you start papering to make application easier. If you chose a wallpaper that needs to dry to set, wait at least 48 hours before you reattach hardware.

     

    Closet doors are just the beginning. After all, you should never settle when it comes to your home's appearance. With a bit of planning and work, you can tackle a wide variety of DIY projects to update and beautify your home. Check out the Schlage blog for even more home improvement project ideas.

     

    How to properly install door knobs and levers.

    September 27, 2022 by monica.reedy

    Tuesday, September 27, 2022

    How to install a door lever

    Here are all the steps you need to follow to properly install a door knob or lever in just a few minutes.

     

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    Updating your interior door knobs and levers is the perfect project to take on when every detail matters for your home. Coordinating a new style and finish with your lighting, plumbing and other décor is an easy way to give your home a finishing touch. And with the right durability and security, it also can help you protect what matters most. Fortunately, door hardware installation is one of the simplest DIY projects.

     

    Before we get to the step-by-step guide, be sure your door is properly drilled and aligned with this door prep checklist.

     

    Next, gather your door hardware installation tools. It’s simple – all you need is a tape measure and a screwdriver. Keep in mind that an electric drill is not recommended for installation as it can easily strip the screws and damage your hardware.

    Woman installing door handle.

    Door lock installation checklist

    Now you're ready to get started installing your door knobs or levers. The first step is to ensure you have all the parts. Here's a checklist to help. If there are any terms you don’t understand, check out these definitions for parts of a door lock.

    Parts of a door lock

     Outside housing: The "exterior" portion of your hardware with the spindle extending from the back
     

     Inside housing: The "interior" portion of your knob or lever. For privacy knobs and levers, you'll want to be sure the push-button lock is on the inside
     

     Latch: The spring-operated bolt with a beveled face to permit a latching action when the door closes
     

     Round drive-in faceplate: An optional faceplate that may replace the rectangular faceplate already attached to the latch if your door calls for it
     

     Strike plate: The metal plate that will be affixed to the door frame
     

     Short screws: Used to secure the latch and faceplate to the door
     

     Tapered long screws: Used to secure the inside housing to the outside housing
     

     Pin tool: Used only for installing lever door handles that are curved and may need to change handing

     

    Door Knob and Lever Installation instructions

    1You'll begin by preparing the latch.
    door knob latchbolt

    The latch comes with a pre-attached rectangular faceplate. If you’re using the rectangular faceplate, continue to Step 2 now.

     

    If you need to replace it with a round drive-in faceplate, follow steps a-c below. You'll need a flat head screwdriver, hammer and block of wood with this setup.

    a. Remove faceplate by gently prying it away from the rest of the latch component with a flat head screwdriver.

     

    b. Twist and remove remaining support plate.

     

    c. Install round drive-in faceplate with just a snap.
     

     

    2Now we install the latch. If you're using the standard rectangular faceplate, slide the latch into place with the bevel facing the doorjamb and secure with the two short screws.
    How to install a door knob

    If you’re using the drive-in faceplate, slide the latch into the latch bore with the bevel facing the doorjamb. Gently tap it in to place, using a block of wood to protect the latch, until the faceplate is flush with the door edge.

     

    Installing round faceplate latch

    3Next, you'll install the strike plate on the doorjamb using the two short wood screws.
    Door strike plate

    4Begin installing the lever or knob by placing the outside housing first. Remember, this is the part with the spindle extending from the back. If you're installing a lever, you'll want to make sure the lever is pointing away from the door edge.
    Lever and door knob installation

    5Align the spindle with the slot in the latch and slide into place.
    Door lock installation

    6Now install the inside housing. If you're installing a lever, orient the lever just as you did with the outside housing, pointing away from the edge of the door. 

    7With the screw holes in a vertical position, align the square in the back of the door knob or lever with the square spindle. Slide the inside housing into place.
    Door knob installation

    8Secure with the two remaining screws.
    How to install a door lock

    To see all these steps in action as well as how to change the handing and test your lock, watch our installation video below. You can also try these interactive instructions for installing privacy and passage door hardware.

     

    Find more videos for installing a deadbolt, front door handleset or smart lock at the Schlage How-To Center.

     

    Transform your home with these garage storage ideas.

    August 05, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Friday, August 5, 2022

    Garage organization

    Interested in a garage that works with your lifestyle? Explore these garage organization ideas.

     

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    Garages are often neglected and easily end up with random odds and ends piled everywhere. To turn your space into a functional and enjoyable part of your home, you need some good garage storage ideas. Whether you want a workshop for all your projects or just a convenient spot to park, organization is essential. Check out these great garage organization hacks to get some inspiration.
    Organized garage with wall storage and Schlage keypad lever on blue door.

    Maximize vertical storage

    When you're looking for ways to add storage to your garage, turn to the walls. Adding spots to hook or hang items will instantly make your space more organized. You can add storage by installing permanent fixtures like pegboards, or just set up some shelves. Like NEAT Method Boston shows, vertical storage has many benefits. It increases your floor space so that you can park a car or set up exercise equipment in your garage. It also makes it easier to see all your belongings at a glance. Instead of having to dig through a pile in a corner, you can just look at the wall and instantly locate a toy or tool.
     

    Organize your garage in zones

    One of the big challenges of garage storage is that it often contains so many items. The typical garage can end up holding everything from power drills to tennis rackets and coolers. How do you find a particular item you need? This genius idea from Consumer Reports recommends creating storage zones throughout the room. Carefully consider the types of items you store and sort them into categories. Then, create a defined storage space for each piece. Try to take into account how you use each category. For example, if you have a lot of power tools, you might want to store them near an outlet. Meanwhile, your overhead storage is perfect for items you rarely use.

    Get creative with boxes and bins

    Garage storage can get tricky when you have several small items to organize. How do you organize screwdrivers, gardening stakes, batteries, or other small tools? This is where storage boxes, bins, and baskets come in handy. You can get a sleek, minimalist aesthetic by creating a monochromatic color scheme like Peterreis on Reddit does. Another option, like this design from Abby Kahn of @abbsolutelyorganized, is to use clear boxes that let you see what's inside. Once you have everything sorted, you can stack the bins on shelves to create a tidy, accessible row of belongings.
     

    Upcycle your old furniture for extra versatility

    If you have old storage furniture lying around your home, you don't have to spend a lot of money to organize your space. A few simple alterations make standard dressers, cabinets, or bookcases perfect for your garage. For example, Amanda Hendrix from LoveRenovations turned old kitchen cabinets into a row of tool storage. A fresh coat of paint, some pegboards, and a Schlage Touch lever on the door make the space both practical and charming
     

    Another neat option is this saw table on wheels from ladieswhodiy. It provides both storage space and room to work on projects. And thanks to the wheels, you can do tasks in the middle of the garage or clear up floor space as needed. It might look expensive and complicated, but it's actually just an old dresser with wheels attached to the bottom and butcher's block attached to the top.
     

    Think outside the box with your storage

    When it comes to garage organization ideas, there's no "one size fits all" solution. Many items stored in this area are abnormally shaped and won't easily fit in a drawer or hang on a pegboard. With a little patience and some basic DIY know-how, you can craft custom storage solutions that fit your needs. Here are a few of our favorite ideas from Pinterest:
     

    • Cut small pieces of PVC, and screw them to the wall to slide rakes, shovels, and other long-handled tools into.

    • Mount jar lids to the underside of shelving and then screw on containers filled with bolts, nails, and other tiny items.

    • Install rows of bungee cords along the front of a shelf to make a ball corral kids can quickly grab toys from.

    • Hang 5-gallon buckets sideways to make a cheap storage rack.

    • Use over-door shoe storage racks to store cables and small tools.

    Don't Forget About Your Interior Door

    For attached garages, don’t forget the space that is available around your interior door. We like how this homeowner created a charming space to sit with baskets for storage and a convenient place to hang a jacket before heading inside. A few finishing touches can make your interior door even better. To complete your adorable landing space, consider adding a cute sign and some decorative hardware.

     

    Upgrading the space around your door is also a great opportunity to enhance your security. Many homeowners make the mistake of leaving their interior door unlocked, which can lead to problems if someone gets inside your garage. Try using a Schlage Keypad lever or Schlage Touch lever to let you easily access your home. Our electronic keypad locks keep your home secure without requiring you to remember a key every time you step into the garage.
     

    Interested in more great ideas for upgrading your home? The Schlage blog provides expert advice on products like electronic locks, affordable DIY projects, and more. Browse our guides to learn how you can make your home comfortable and functional while reflecting your personal style.

     

    Take the stress out of hosting parties last-minute this summer.

    August 03, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, August 3, 2022

    Hosting summer parties

    If you don’t know the first thing about hosting guests, read this blog to ease some tension.

     

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    Let’s say you have kids. The neighbor to your right has a pool; the one across the street has a basketball goal. What do you all have in common? You and your neighbors are all vulnerable to being forced into hosting spontaneous gatherings. Blame the kids or the heat, but summer just isn’t as fun without off-the-cuff nights with friends and family.

     

    Maybe you’re the type to throw parties on a whim—or maybe you’d like to, but the idea is overwhelming. Here is some advice for when you’re itching, begged or held against your will to suddenly party at home. If you don’t know the first thing about hosting guests, read this blog to ease some tension.

     Family standing over grill during backyard summer party.

    Cleanliness is subjective

    No matter the occasion, we find it’s almost always best not to vacuum until a party’s end. Regardless of the type or size of your crowd, there is no need to deep clean or light nine candles before they arrive.

     

    Last-minute summer shindigs are never a formal affair and that’s a relief from the start. If you’re going to clean at all before hosting company, we suggest a quick primp of your living space and leaving it at that. You certainly do not need to disinfect or rearrange things to make an impression with your home.

     

    The illusion of a clean house often boils down to space, but beauty shows in the details. Clear dishes off the counter, place garbage and debris where they belong. Make room around gleaming accents like faucets and drawer, cabinet, door hardware to visually open your space and help guests feel welcome.

     

    When finishes show through in your interior design—like brass or matte black against dark hardwood—it does more than turn heads. Decorative touchpoints in your home communicate accessibility, your personal taste and your attention to detail. When you’re short on time, consider livening up a room by showing off the shiny things.

    Don't worry about entertaining

    The most fun parties are arguably one of two things: ironically themed or totally unstructured. No need to decorate or bake; store-bought snacks, spirits or the sheer kindness of opening your home can be enough to spark a good time.

     

    Kids are on their own agenda at times like this; secure your home office or anywhere off-limits before letting them run loose. Throw on a movie or hand them a few board games if they end up staying inside.

     

    If you’re the type of host who loves a good theme, there are plenty to try last-minute that everyone can join in on, like a funny dress code or a “secret” password for entry. Themes are an awesome way to spice up a party without really trying—but summer doesn’t always call for that.

     

    Clear skies call for a cookout but make it a potluck for a more eclectic and relaxing barbecue experience. When you’re not slaving over a hot grill and bowls of potato salad all day, you get to enjoy yourself a whole lot more.

    Home safety and security for hosts

    We mentioned keeping the kids out of your precious work files and wine collections, but there are a couple of ways to add an extra layer of home security. If you’re throwing a party outdoors and want to limit who enters your home, consider setting temporary access codes on your Schlage smart lock.

     

    If your guests are rained in or roaming indoors, it’s worth considering locking the rooms you prefer to keep private. Even a house full of good friends can feel safer when your valuables are secured.

     

    Schlage works with Ring Video Doorbell to help you monitor your front entryway remotely. If you regularly host pool parties or sleepovers, you can be sure of who’s arrived and unlock the door from your smartphone.

     

    We are here to make sure you feel secure whenever new and familiar guests stop by. It’s summertime and your house is the life of the party. Take a breath and reread this blog as your guide to making it seem like your home is always casually party-ready.

     

    Can I paint that? New looks for tile, fridges and more.

    July 07, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Thursday, July 7, 2022

    Can I paint that?

    Some surfaces just won’t accept paint well, while others will but only if you do the proper prep work first. It’s time to start narrowing down those color swatches as Schlage answers, “Can I paint that?”

     

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    Painting. It’s a great way to flex your DIY muscles and get a new look without a huge investment. There might be some things you’d love to update but you’re wondering how. Some surfaces just won’t accept paint well, while others will but only if you do the proper prep work first. It’s time to start narrowing down those color swatches as Schlage answers, “Can I paint that?”
    Woman thinking about painting home.

    Ceramic tile

    Can you paint tile? Yes and no. When the avocado green bathroom tile isn’t to your liking, painting can be a cheaper solution than a total gut job. But if there’s one thing that experts agree on when it comes to painting tile, it’s that you should never attempt it on surfaces that get wet. That means no painting in the shower or on the tub surround.

     

    Wall tiles in other locales might hold on to a paint job better, but be sure to prep them first. Clean and repair cracks in the tile. Then sand to remove the top layer of glaze and give the paint something to adhere to. Use primer before applying your first coat of epoxy paint. Finally, and especially if it’s an area with high moisture or traffic, apply a clear coat of polyurethane.

     

    Painting tile backsplashes is also a popular way to update the kitchen without breaking the bank. And don’t forget tiled laundry rooms and mudrooms.

    Sink

    Yes, if it’s an acrylic or stainless steel sink. Start by removing or covering anything you don’t want painted. This includes faucets, water lines, drains and nuts. You’ll then want to clean the sink thoroughly, maybe more than you’ve ever cleaned it before to avoid painting over food particles and grease. Like the tile tip above, sand and scuff the sink surface, then wipe everything down with acetone. From there, apply a primer if you have a stainless steel sink – acrylic sinks don’t need to be primed – and you’re ready for paint. Be sure to wear protective gear throughout the process as some of these materials are toxic to breathe. Many DIYers have found that a simple mask wasn’t enough to handle the fumes and quickly switched to full respirators. Cassity at Remodelaholic even sent the kids to Grandma’s house during her bathroom sink/countertop overhaul.

     

    If you want to paint or refinish a porcelain sink, it’s best to call in the pros.

    Floors

    Yes! But you’ll need to do some extra planning, maybe take a few extra steps (no pun intended). Because you’ll literally be walking on your paint job, be sure to choose the right kind of paint and sealant as well as take care of cracks and other imperfections in the floor itself if you want your hard work to last. Find more tips for painting floors in this Schlage blog.

    Wallpaper

    Technically yes, but would you want to? We’ve all heard stories of the fixer-upper with 57 layers of wallpaper, one on top of the other, and about 16 coats of paint on top of that. Don’t be cursed by future owners – or yourselves in a few years – and take the extra time to remove the wallpaper before painting. You’ll be glad you put in the extra effort.

     

    If you don’t have a choice and need to paint over wallpaper, try these steps so you don’t end up with a case of DIY regret. First, use adhesive to reaffix any seams or bits of paper that are peeling away from the wall. Then clean the walls really well. Vacuuming is actually a good way to clean most wallpaper. You might also use a damp sponge, depending on the type of wallpaper. Finally, prime, paint and paint again.

    Kitchen appliances

    Yes, with caution. Generally considered a quick, temporary fix, most kitchen appliances can be painted. You just need to choose a paint type that is heat resistant, particularly if you’re going to be using it on or around a stove, toaster or similar appliance. Note, however, that glass cooktops cannot be painted, regardless of what the paint’s made of.

     

    Painting your refrigerator pale yellow could help give your kitchen a fun retro look. Or if you love stainless steel appliances but not the price, look for a paint like Liquid Stainless Steel. BobVila.com offers more tips for painting kitchen appliances.

    Hardware

    It depends. Like flooring, your cabinet and door hardware can take a beating due to frequent use. This means, that while you can paint it, be prepared to see chips and scratches before too long. If you’re unhappy with the look of your hardware, we think you’re better off replacing it, especially if we’re talking locks and door hardware. You need them to work right every time, so if they’re starting to look rough, it might be worth the investment to upgrade the whole unit.

     

    That being said, a little paint can add some fun to cabinet pulls or knobs. Classy Clutter shares some inspiration for painting furniture hardware.

    Vinyl siding

    Yes, and it’s actually not too tricky. Painting vinyl siding is much like painting any kind of house exterior. The key difference is that you probably want to use a sprayer instead of roller. Apartment Therapy offers its tips, and Schlage has its guide for how to choose exterior paint colors.

    Fabric

    Sometimes. Obviously, fabric is made of different materials and is used on a variety of furniture, so painting may be suitable in some situations more than others. It is possible to paint a chair or couch without it feeling crusty. The trick is to use a fabric medium and the right kind of paint on a cotton or poly blend. If the upholstery is highly textured or tufted, you can still paint it, but it’s going to be a tougher job.

     

    For those who are intimidated by painting a whole couch (and we don’t blame you), stick to smaller items like lampshades, pillows or outdoor patio cushions.

     

    Why stop there? Painting a door is a great way to boost your curb appeal without a lot of sweat or cash. You can also switch up a room’s look by painting the trim, and it’s probably not as tough as you think. For more DIY tips and inspiration, turn to the Schlage blog or find us on Pinterest.

     

    25+ things you need the first night in your new home.

    June 20, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Monday, June 20, 2022

    Moving

    After an exhausting day of moving, make sure these items are accessible first. Here’s what you’ll need the first night in your new home.

     

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    One of the most common moving mistakes is thinking that we have to buy all the new furniture and unpack all the boxes and get all the décor just right as soon as we get the keys. In reality, moving is more of a marathon, not a sprint, and in many cases, you’re better off living in the house for a bit before you make any lasting design decisions. However, there are some items you’ll want from the very start. Here are 25 things you need the first night in your new home.
    Young girl moving into new home with family and Schlage smart lock on the door.

    Security

    New locks

    Replace the locks on your new home ASAP. It’s impossible to know if the previous owner handed over all the keys or if there’s still a spare floating around out there. Protect what matters most – your new investment, your family, all of your belongings – with high-quality deadbolts. To help choose the right locks for you, try Schlage’s Product Selector. Or if you have your eye on a smart lock, use our Smart Lock Selector to find the one that fits your family’s lifestyle.

    Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

    Test the smoke and CO alarms in your home right away. Even if they’re functioning, replace the batteries to be on the safe side. If there aren’t detectors, install them immediately. At a minimum, there should be detectors on each floor of your house, ideally in or just outside bedrooms, and in the basement. Safety.com also recommends installing a carbon monoxide detector in or near the garage if it is attached to the house.

    Fire extinguisher

    Like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, it’s best to have a fire extinguisher on hand at all times in case of emergency. Place extinguishers in the kitchen, garage and in other areas with a high risk of fire. If your home came with a fire extinguisher, check its expiration date and replace as necessary.

    Safety gear

    Even if you bought a move-in ready home, you’ll still have a few projects to tackle. It might simply be hanging pictures or assembling furniture. Safety gear can even be helpful when moving boxes from one room to the next. Gloves, a face mask to protect against inhaling dust or paint fumes, and goggles are a good place to start. And don’t forget a fully stocked first aid kit. Find more ideas for safety gear to protect you during all kinds of DIY projects.

    Lockbox

    Even if you’re not storing the family jewels (we should all be so lucky), a lockbox is a good place to store irreplaceable items. Maybe it is jewelry, but it could also be birth certificates and medical records, home insurance information or electronics. Consider a box that is fireproof and water resistant to protect your belongings during natural disasters, not just from intruders.

    Cleaning supplies

    Trash bags

    Takeout containers, packing peanuts, the dust you vacuumed up. It all has to go somewhere. This is a good time to buy the heavy-duty bags, too.

    Rubber gloves

    Unless the house was cleaned professionally before you moved in, you’re going to want to give it a deep scrub. Rubber gloves will make some of those nasty jobs a little more tolerable.

    Disinfectant

    It’s a good idea to disinfect everything, from those high-touch surfaces like door hardware and light switches to the refrigerator, insides of cabinets and bathroom fixtures. Pay special attention to which solutions are safe for certain surfaces, though. For example, familiarize yourself with the best cleaners for granite countertops if that’s new to you. Not all disinfectants are created equally.

    Sponges, rags, scrubbers

    A variety of rags will also come in handy. Include durable abrasive sponges for outdoor use like cleaning patio furniture, dishrags for cleaning kitchen supplies before you put them away and microfiber cloths for cleaning glass and mirrors on your supply list.

    HVAC filters

    This might not be at the top of your list, but you stir up a lot of dust and dirt when moving, especially if you’re doing any kind of renovations. A fresh filter will remove particles from the air more efficiently, saving you energy and money.

    Tools

    Hammer and screwdriver

    These are basics for any tool box, but we think they’re two of the real powerhouses when you move. It’s hard to find a basic DIY or assembly project that doesn’t require at least a hammer or screwdriver.

    Variety of hardware

    You should be able to find a kit at any home improvement store with nails, screws and bolts of various sizes. Even if you don’t plan on doing renovation immediately, having some spare hardware could turn out to be a lifesaver when you go to assemble the bed and find you lost a screw in the move.

    Utility knife

    It’s amazing how often you need a knife when you move, whether it’s opening boxes or trimming shelf liners down to size or removing zip ties. A pair of kitchen shears won’t … ahem … cut it, so get a quality utility knife.

    Tape measure

    Will the couch fit on that wall? Will the curtain rods be long enough? What dimensions should the new rug be? A tape measure can answer all these questions.

    Level

    Some people like to hang artwork right away to make it feel like home. Or maybe you need to mount your tv or a mirror on the wall. A level will help you make sure it’s straight and looking good from the start.

    Furniture

    Bed and mattress

    If you’ve moved before, you know how exhausting it is. Have a comfortable place to rest your head at night and recover. Focus on quality. As Apartment Therapy points out, home décor trends come and go, but a good mattress will always be in style.

    Comfortable, quality couch

    Like your bed, you’re going to get a lot of use out of a sofa. This is another piece of furniture you’ll be glad you invested in. Don’t skimp, and avoid buying second-hand if you can. A quality couch should last – and be comfortable – for years to come.

    Table

    We intentionally left this one a bit vague. Just know that a table, whether it’s for the dining room, your eat-in kitchen or even just a coffee table, will immediately come in handy more than you might think. It’s where you’ll sit to relax with a glass of wine and Chinese takeout, sort through all the hardware while you assemble furniture and entertain the kids with games or craft projects while unpacking.

    Lamps and lightbulbs

    Late night unpacking sessions are better when you’re not sitting in the dark. Make sure you have a few lamps for rooms that don’t have built-in overhead lighting and lightbulbs for those that do.

    Window treatments

    Naked windows are not the way to introduce yourself to new neighbors. Get blinds, curtains or both, and the sooner the better.

    Odds and ends

    Clothes hangers

    As you unpack your clothes, you’ll want to hang them up right away, not simply transfer them from a box to the bed so you can’t lay down later. Plus, getting organized is immensely satisfying. Let hangers provide that easy win when everything else feels a mess.

    Bathroom goods

    Top of the list here is toilet paper, a shower curtain and bath towels. We know they’re obvious, but sometimes those are the very things that get overlooked until it’s too late.

    Plunger

    Do we really need to explain this? We will say that it’s 100% worth spending the extra money for a professional grade plunger.

    Extension cord and power strip

    We like to think of these as the duct tape of the electrical world. Whether it’s to power your laptop from the couch until your office is set up or because your new home simply doesn’t have as many outlets as the last one, an extension cord and power strip can provide immeasurable convenience.

    Pet gate

    Moving can be overstimulating or downright terrifying for our furry friends. Give them a safe retreat. That could be their own room or a pet gate that gives them access to the yard while still keeping them out of harm’s way while you set up house.

    Nice to haves

    These last three don’t have to be at the top of your priority list, but we’re also pretty sure you won’t regret them.

    Console table

    Your entryway décor might be one of the last things on your mind during a move. However, a console table or hooks in the foyer can help you stay organized when you’re probably feeling exceptionally disorganized. Don’t be late for work after you move because you lost your keys. Have a safe place to keep them by the door.

    Indoor plants

    Do you need houseplants when you first move? No. But can they make your new space feel cozier? Absolutely. They’ll add a bit of color and maybe help you fend off the loneliness that moving to a new area can sometimes create.

    Handyman phone numbers:

    It’s always good to have the contact information for a local plumber, electrician and locksmith. Hopefully you won’t need them right away, but you’ll be glad you do if you lose power or the toilet overflows during your move.

    Did you find this list helpful? Check out our full moving checklist and more real estate resources at Schlage.com.

     

    7 ways to conserve water outdoors for a healthy yard.

    June 15, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, June 15, 2022

    Conserve water outdoors

    If you’re looking to reduce your water bill or be more sustainable, use these tips for conserving water in your lawn and garden.

     

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    Many of us have invested more money and DIY muscle into our outdoor spaces than usual in the last few years, and some of the most common projects have been improving our landscaping and adding water features. As much as those do for your curb appeal, they might also be using a lot of water. If you’re looking to reduce your water bill or be more sustainable, use these tips for conserving water outdoors in your lawn and garden.
    Toddler standing next to lawn sprinkler.

    Know how to care for your lawn

    Keeping your grass green can be a major, and thirsty, undertaking depending on where you live. To save water on your lawn, choose the right kind of grass for your region. Some varieties require more water than others. You might even choose to skip the grass or limit it. Instead of seeding your entire yard, install a patio or deck to minimize your lawncare. You could also swap out the grass for gravel or pebbles in part or all of your yard like you often see in the Southwest.

     

    When mowing your grass, do so less frequently and don’t cut it quite so short. With longer grass, you give the root system a chance to dive deeper. That should help it stay green longer without you running the sprinklers all the time.

    Keep an eye on irrigation

    Speaking of sprinklers, you have lots of ways to be smart about your irrigation and conserve water. First, try an automated irrigation system. It could be as basic as setting it on a timer so that you don’t (wastefully) overwater your plants. For a more sophisticated route, choose a connected sprinkler. Many of these now connect to the internet and can pull weather data for your region. If rain is in the forecast, it will automatically stop watering your garden until it’s needed again. These smart sprinklers also have other features that help you monitor water usage, so you can be even more environmentally friendly.

     

    If you’re more into traditional watering methods, try rain barrels, which let you recycle what nature already provides, or drip irrigation. Drip irrigation has an additional benefit in that it makes sure you’re watering the soil, not the leaves of your plants. This is a good tip to remember when you’re using a watering can on your container plants, too. Dousing the leaves doesn’t get the water where it’s needed most. Plus, moisture on the leaves can often cause them to get moldy and rot.

     

    When you run your irrigation is important, too. In the middle of the day when it’s hottest means more water will evaporate before it reaches your plants’ roots. Aim to water your garden later in the day when it’s cooler, even after the sun goes down.

    Choose plants that use less water

    Just like you want to choose the right grass for your lawn, the plants you choose for your garden can dramatically affect your water usage. Native plants often require less watering because they’re naturally suited for your climate. Trying to keep ferns hydrated enough to survive in an arid climate is next to impossible without constant watering.

     

    You can also choose low water-use plants. Some varieties are more resistant to droughts naturally. These typically include plants with silver leaves – silver reflects sunlight more than green – or with small, hairy leaves, which hold on to moisture longer. Need some ideas? Think succulents or Purple Russian sage, for example.

    Mulch for moisture retention

    Ground cover can help keep your soil moist as well. Mulch is a common method. It simply reduces the amount of water that evaporates back into the air. You can also use permeable gravel or pebbles.

     

    Your compost can do wonders in this department, too, especially if your soil is naturally sandy or has lots of clay. The compost helps improve drainage so that water can reach plant roots as well as adds important nutrients to keep greens extra healthy.

    Hardscape to be easy on the environment

    What is hardscaping? According to The Spruce, hardscaping is “all of the non-living elements in landscaping, such as a brick patio, a stone wall, or a wooden arbor.” It can also be your driveway, a bench or brick pavers. When it comes to conserving water, choose permeable building materials. Pavers that let rain water drip through to the underlying soil, for example, will help keep your yard healthy and reduce unnecessary rain runoff.

     

    Container gardens skirt the boundary between hardscape and softscape – the living elements of your yard. The material you choose for your plant containers can influence how much watering you need to do. Terra cotta is always a classic, beautiful option. Because the baked clay material is porous, the soil may dry out more quickly than if you use plastic pots, however. That’s not always a bad thing depending on your climate and the type of plant, but take water needs into consideration when deciding how to build a container garden.

    Be wise with water features

    Fountains are a great way to add visual interest to your garden as well as the soothing sounds of flowing water. Unfortunately, they can also be total water hogs. There are ways that you can have your favorite water feature without doing major damage to the environment, though.

     

    First, pick a cool location for your fountain. Place it in the shade of your home, under a tree or surrounded by tall vegetation. The warmer the water gets, the quicker it will evaporate and the more you’ll have to refill your fountain. Next, opt for a cascading fountain instead of one that sprays up. Again, this is about limiting evaporation. Also, the higher the spray, the more water will simply blow away in a breeze.

     

    Finally, maintain your fountain. The same goes for ponds, pools and water spigots. Fix leaks, cracks and drips to keep them all running efficiently.

    Recycle

    Obviously, you can reuse rain water and thankfully, there are other ways you can recycle. Use the water from your home’s dehumidifier to hydrate your plants. You can also use leftover cooking water in some cases, like after you make pasta.

    There are so many ways we can use our homes to improve water usage, be more energy efficient and do our part to help the environment. Get more ideas and tips at the Schlage blog, whether it’s bug-friendly DIY projects you can do with the kids, how to be green during your renovation or building a passive home.

     

    Reuse, trash or recycle? How to dispose of yard and DIY waste.

    June 10, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Friday, June 10, 2022

    Yard waste disposal

    Make sure you know how to dispose of debris and extra supplies to keep your home and the environment healthy.

     

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    You’ve completed a DIY project and you’re so proud to be done! Then you look at the mess that still needs to be cleaned up. Home improvement projects often leave debris behind, like extra supplies, materials from demolition and other scraps. Make sure you know how to dispose of them – reuse, trash or recycle – to keep your home and the environment healthy.
    New home build with dumpster for material waste.

    Where to get rid of yard waste

    Yard waste

    The EPA estimated in 2018 that we generated more than 35 million tons of yard trimmings, making yard waste the fifth-largest kind of municipal solid waste collected that year. If you don’t compost your yard waste to use it in your garden next season, take it to a local composting center – a waste collection center that accepts organic material – or arrange for a waste removal service to pick it up. Your community might have a designated yard waste pick-up day, or you can hire a pro on-demand. In most cases you can compost grass clippings, leaves, out-of-season annuals from your container garden, and tree and brush trimmings.

    Gardening chemicals

    Fertilizer, herbicides and other chemicals used in gardening should never be poured down the drain. This is illegal in most areas as they can contaminate drinking water. Instead, take them to a hazardous waste disposal center or ask your local gardening store if they are able to dispose of it for you.

    Treated wood

    Most furniture, fencing and decking material is treated or painted, meaning it’s now coated with toxic chemicals. Those chemicals make it harder for the wood to break down, and even when it does, the toxins can enter the environment. If you can’t reuse the wood for another project or donate it, call your local waste agency and ask if they have a lined landfill that will reduce toxins entering the environment. Your trash service might also pick up pressure-treated wood, but don’t be surprised if there’s an additional fee. Do not burn treated wood in a trash heap or bonfire.

    Dirt

    If you dug a hole for a tree or a water feature, you now have extra soil. Your best bet is to reuse it in your own garden or see if your neighbors need it. Use it to create a landscaping feature like a raised bed or earth berm.

    Bag of yard waste

    How to dispose of broken DIY tools

    Power tools

    If a tool still works, consider donating it. Churches, schools and theater groups may be able to use them for maintenance or to build props. If the tool is broken, take it to a power tool dealer. They will often recycle it properly for you. You can also remove and recycle rechargeable batteries – usually the most hazardous part of the tool in terms of environmental impact – and trash the tool.

    Tools

    Mechanical tools – AKA those not requiring batteries or that don’t need to be plugged in – can usually be recycled as scrap metal. In addition to tools like screwdrivers, wrenches and hammers, include nails, screws and bolts in this category.

    Lawn mowers

    Step one is to drain gas and oil if you have a gas-powered mower. The gas and oil should be taken to a hazardous waste disposal center. (More on that in a minute.) The rest of the mower can then be taken to a scrap metal recycler. Follow the same guidelines for weedwhackers, other powered trimmers, snowblowers and leaf blowers. Electric mowers have rechargeable batteries and other electrical components that should be treated as hazardous e-waste. Do not dispose of it with your regular garbage.

    Propane tanks

    Your safest bet for disposing propane tanks is to contact a licensed propane dealer or hazardous waste facility. Some communities will accept them with the trash if they’re empty and de-pressurized. If you’re replacing the tank for your grill, the store where you get the new one may be able to take the empty tank, too.

    Man working on old push lawnmower.

    How to dispose of DIY debris

    Paint and wood stain

    Water-based latex paint can be thrown out with your regular trash if you let it dry completely or mix it with a hardening agent first. All other paints and stains should be taken to a hazardous waste collection point. For more, check out our guide to safely storing and disposing of paint and supplies.

    Oil

    Whether you changed the oil in your car or used it as lubricant for your power tools, take the leftover or used oil to a recycling facility. Transport it in a leak-proof container. Oil recycling centers will usually take used oil filters, too. Used oil is slow to degrade and often contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals that, when they reach waterways, can contaminate drinking water sources and harm wildlife.

    Scrap metal

    Recycle or repurpose scrap metal instead of adding it to the landfill. Some areas will even pay you for your scrap, so look for collection centers near you. Metal roofing, gutters, siding and metal patio furniture are often made of aluminum and steel, so treat them as scrap and recycle them.

    Asphalt roofing shingles

    Asphalt shingles can be recycled and actually turned into asphalt pavement. If you plan to hire a contractor or other professional to replace your roof, ask beforehand if they will recycle your existing shingles. Not all contractors do.

    Clay roofing tiles

    Clay tiles give you lots of upcycling options. You can use them in your garden as a pathway or to edge your flowerbeds. Most tiles can withstand high heat, so try incorporating them into your fire pit. There may also be tile dealers in your area who are willing to buy your old tiles. And like asphalt roofing, you can always check with your contractor about having them dispose of them safely for you.

    Concrete, asphalt, bricks

    Did you redo a walkway, driveway or cement porch? What you do with the old material generally depends on how much of it there is. If any of it is still in good shape – maybe you have bricks or rocks that are still usable – upcycle it in another project. Include them in landscaping features or save them for the kids’ next craft project. Some materials can also be broken down into smaller pieces and placed in the bottom of your plant containers. This will help with drainage to prevent root rot. If the materials can’t be used again or there’s a large amount of it, you’ll need to take it to a bulk waste disposal site.

    Wood shavings and saw dust

    If it’s a small amount, you can throw these directly in the garbage. Larger quantities, especially if they come from pressure-treated wood, should be recycled appropriately by your local waste agency.

    Looking for more ways to protect Mother Earth while also upgrading your home? Try these green home improvement projects or these renovation ideas for an eco-friendly home.

     

    How to mix hardware finishes the right way.

    June 08, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, June 8, 2022

    mixed finishes | Schlage

    Mixing metals and finishes can create visual interest that is both refined and intriguing. Here's how to get the look right.

     

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    Mixing metal finishes can add dimension and visual interest to a room. Instead of a monochromatic, one-note space, you create intrigue and the illusion of texture with small touches. A mix of finishes can blend styles and make a room more reflective of your personal taste.

     

    So how do you get creative without making your home feel like a fun house? Follow these four simple steps.

    Farmhouse kitchen with mixed hardware finishes.

    1. Find inspiration in something that already exists

    Maybe you have a polished nickel faucet you love, or you’re tired of seeing brass all over the house. Maybe there’s a statement piece in your décor that needs a complementary finish. Find or imagine one metal finish in your home which you absolutely can or cannot live without. Whatever it is, consider either replacing or accentuating it.

     

    Sometimes this means shifting your style around appliances you cannot replace. Even if that is the case and you don’t love what you’re starting with, it helps to have a guide when choosing new hardware to transform your space.

    2. Mix and match finishes

    The most important thing to remember when mixing finishes is not to go overboard. Avoid creating more chaos than style and keep your designs between two to four finishes, starting with a matching element.

     

    Notice how the chrome faucets pair nicely with the gray countertops and flooring in this bathroom image on Houzz. They set the foundation for contrasting gold elements.

    3. Choose a complementing contrast

    Once you have a foundation like a color palette or theme to work with, choose a contrasting finish that complements the others. The best rule of thumb is to consider an opposite finish—for matte or brass tones, look to chrome or other bright metals. Below are a few suggested finish pairings and links to beautiful examples online.
    Black & Gold hardware + Stainless Steel Appliances
    White kitchen with black and gold finishes and hardware.
    Matte Black Hardware and Bedding + Brass Lighting from I Spy DIY
     
    Oil Rubbed Bronze Cabinet Pulls + Antique Brass Lighting + Satin Nickel Faucet from Columbia Interior Designers & Decorators Pulliam Morris Interiors
    Matte Black Door Hardware, Lighting & Faucet + Gold Mirror & Cabinet Pulls from Jenna Sue Design
     
    Copper Pendants + Nickel Cabinet Pulls from Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Sealy Design Inc.

    4. Pull it all together

    Once you've created just the right amount of balance and visual interest, it's time to put the finishing touch on the room. If you're trying to add a little glitz and glam to a traditional space, Lucite accessories and sparkling chandeliers are the perfect way to tie it all together. If your room already sparkles enough, consider a linen shade or softer accessories to tone it down.

     

    An antique brass chandelier and mirror provide just the right amount of warmth to this cold bathroom on Houzz while polished nickel plumbing gives it just the right amount of modern flair.

    Oil rubbed bronze and antique brass cabinet pulls are brought to life by the reflective canisters on the counter in this calming kitchen.
    And don’t forget that some metallics aren’t metal at all. Fabrics with a metallic sheen can combine balance and contrast in an unexpected way. The silver of the pillows contrast beautifully in this bedroom with the gold light fixture and other sheen in the wall décor.

    Mixing hardware finishes is one way to make a statement. Schlage has crafted a range of designs and finishes that can help you show off your style in the details of your home.

     

    Not sure what your look is yet? Try our interactive Style Selector or join us on Pinterest for plenty of inspiration.

     

    How to choose door locks for French doors.

    June 03, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Friday, June 3, 2022

    Locks for French Doors

    How do you purchase the right door hardware for French doors? Here’s what you need to know before you head out to the hardware store.

     

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    French doors offer a great way to create an open, bright space in your home while still maintaining the option for privacy. They often feature glass from top to bottom and are an easy way to add a little charm and character. But how do you purchase the right door hardware for French doors? Here’s what you need to know before you head out to the hardware store.

     

    French Doors - Door locks - Schlage

    Before choosing french door locks

    Take a moment to get familiar with the style and features of each double door. See how it is prepped. Are bore holes already drilled into the door or is there a solid panel where the hardware will be? Knowing this will help you choose the function of your hardware. For doors that do have bore holes, check out this door prep checklist to ensure your door has been prepped to standard measurements.

     

    If you are planning to purchase a lever with a curve, you’ll want to note the handing of your doors. Since you will have both a left and right handed door, be sure to choose both a left handed lever and a right handed lever. A little bit of homework will help you get a French door locking system that makes your home safer and more stylish.

     

    When purchasing door hardware online, confirm how many knobs or levers are included. Non-turning door hardware is often packaged as a single lever or knob, but our collection of non-turning Schlage Custom™ Door Hardware is sold in pairs. This leaves no need to worry about handing for curved levers because the left and right versions are packaged together for you.

    Door locks for interior French doors

    Home offices and dens that branch off from a larger living space are a perfect fit for French doors. Double doors allow you to add privacy or noise control while still maintaining an open feeling.. It’s also common to see interior French doors for a bedroom entrance – giving it a grander, formal feel – or even for large closets.

    No bore holes

    Full glass french doors leading from kitchen to attached sun room with Schlage Accent levers.

     

    For double doors without pre-drilled bore holes, you will need non-turning or dummy function door handles. These are often used as decorative door pulls when the ability to latch or lock a door is not needed. For shallow closets, feel free to install door hardware only on the exterior side of the door. For larger rooms you can actually walk into, make sure to purchase enough non-turning door knobs or levers for the interior side.

    French Doors - Non-turning Door Hardware - Schlage

    One bore hole

    Glass paned french doors leading to bedroom with lockable Schlage Georgian knobs.

     

    There are rooms that should lock or at least have a door that latches. For these, install double doors that come drilled with a cross bore hole on one side and a latch bore on the other.

     

    Let’s say the cross bore hole is on your right-handed door. If you want the option to lock it, choose a Bed & Bath / Privacy function for your knob or lever. If you’d like the door to latch and not lock, choose a Hall & Closet / Passage function. Purchase matching, non-locking / dummy hardware for the left-handed door.

    French Doors - Passage and Privacy Door Hardware - Schlage

    Door locks for exterior French doors

    Exterior French doors are most used to access outdoor living spaces like a sunroom, patio or deck. They offer a stylish way to make a seamless transition from one space to another. Double doors for the front of your home makes for an elegant entryway.

     

    Glass french doors leading from home office to outdoor patio.

    Two bore holes

    Sets of double doors leading outside should have one door prepped with a bore hole and none in the opposite door. For added security, confirm there is a second bore hole to house a deadbolt. If the door is not properly pre-drilled, purchase a cross bore kit to easily drill and install the hardware yourself.

     

    A single cylinder mechanical deadbolt will do, but some homeowners prefer to install a double cylinder deadbolt for even more security with glass doors. As smart homes become more popular, homeowners are also turning to smart locks on French doors. Beneath your preferred deadbolt, you may choose a keyed knob or lever.

    Exterior double doors - Deadbolt - Schlage

    Exterior double doors with Schlage Addison Handlesets

    Three bore holes

    For a more formal entrance or when a door has three bore holes, choose a handleset. For the inactive side of the door., you may install nothing, or add the non-turning/dummy version of your active hardware. (In other words, if you purchase a Schlage Century entry handleset with deadbolt for one side, you may also get a Century inactive handleset for the other.

    Exterior double doors - Handleset - Schlage

    Can you put a smart lock on French doors?

    Exterior French door with Schlage Sense smart lock and Schlage Camelot front entry handle.

    All Schlage electronic and smart locks are compatible with standard doors so you can install them on your French or double entry doors the same as you would a mechanical deadbolt. The double entry door above features a Schlage Sense® Smart Deadbolt paired with the Camelot style front entry handle.

     

    If you only have two bore holes, you can add a passage knob or lever below your smart or electronic lock. And of course, there’s still the option to add a non-turning knob or lever to the inactive side of your entrance.

    Exterior double doors - Electronic lock - Schlage

    We’d love to help you in your search for the perfect French door hardware. Try our interactive Product Selector tool to start browsing the right hardware now. And if you’re looking for more French door design ideas, check out this inspiring guide to styling your French doors.

     

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