Replacing old and damaged letterboxes and door handles

Replacing old and damaged letterboxes and door handles

Let us have a look at the assorted bits of hardware which make up your door. In the trade it is called door furniture and the main parts are the letterbox and the handles.

Let us begin with the visually obvious – the letterbox.

The postie will be lifting the flap on your letterbox on a fairly regular basis and, if you are like us, going to gets activity with a fair amount of junk mail and flyers which gets posted too. No problem unless it is unwanted, however, over time the letterbox can begin to look a little beaten around the edges and there is a possibility that the pins holding the flap may get worn, damaged or fall out. This then meas that the flap will wander off on its’ own accord and generally on a windy day so you end up getting a draft through your letterbox opening. Worse if you are facing the offshore winds blowing in off the Irish Sea and into the Blackpool and Fylde coastlines. As first impressions are the ones that usually count when you are trying to sell your property it may not go down as a positive if the flap is missing or the letterbox is shabby and worn.

So what can we do about the letterbox issue then?
We can have a go at replacing the damaged flap if it has not gone too far or we can replace the whole of the letterbox itself. I appreciate it sounds like a fairly daunting task but with a little planning it is a task wihch is achievable and the results will be well worth the effort.

So to begin….

One tip that might be useful is to get a letterbox which is slightly larger than the old one to help cover any marks or damage. Sounds great but may only be possible if you have the space for the larger one to fit. Otherwise when you take the old one out you may need to use some cream cleanser to clean any dusty marks from where the old letterbox was.

To match, or not to match ?

When you have extracted the screws which are holding in your old letterbox you will be able to use this as a template for the new one. The easiest option is to match up the holes so it will be an easy straight replacement.

But we digress slightly.
Back to basics.
Firstly with uPVC doors there are three main options, 10 inch, 12 inch or 12 inch slimline.
With a wooden door you may be able to tweak the hole in the door to allow the new lettebox sleeve to fit. With a uPVC door this may not be an option. So you need to get the right option to begin with.

An easy way of working out what you already have is to use a tape and measure the insides of your existing letterbox. Open the flap, if it is still there, and measure a side and the top (or bottom) of the opening. You will now have the size option which you need to work with for your new letterbox.

The next part is removal…
There will be a couple of options. Either the letterbox will be screwed into the door itself or there will be a nut and bolt type of fitting. The nut/bolt option will be going all the way through the door and the internal and backing plates will in effect sandwich the door between the two. A little trickier but still effective. Ideally with uPVC you may want to match up the holes on your new letterbox to make installation easier. You may find that the majority of letterboxes have a fairly standard holes location. Easy so far, but all we have done is remove the existing letterbox.

When you have removed the old one and decided on a new design it will be woth taking a few minutes to give the faces of the door, inside and out, a good clean before installation. Also a little grease on the springs and pins may help to prolong the life of the new letterbox moving parts. So the letterbox repair was, or may have been, a little easier than first thought. If you feel that the task of the repair is a little too daunting you can give us a call and we will be more than happy to help you out in Preston, or the surrounding areas, Blackpool and the Fylde coast, even on those blustery days.

The other part of the furniture which is in your face or in this case, in your hand is the door handle.

Over time they can become worn and do not look their best. Worst case they can be tricky to lock if the internal mechanisms get worn. But not to worry, these too are easily replaced.

Let us pretend that the weather in Blackpool, as well as anywhere else on the Fylde Coast, was splendidly good, consistently warm and sunny. We would have fewer issues with the mechanisms and just need to look at the handles.and repair or replace these as needed.

So how to replace the door handles on your uPVC door?
The screws which secure the door handles work from the inside of your door, through the door and fasten into the outside handle. We do not want someone wandering up to the door on the outside and taking off your handle.

Open the door so you have easy access to both sides. Use the right screwdriver and remove the, generally four, screws which secure the handles together. Take care not to lose any of the screws. As you remove the handles you will see the square bar which goes through the locking mechanism, This may be a little greasy so take care if you do not want to get too mucky. Once the handles have been removed you should take a little time to clean the areas where the handles have come from.

Now you can align the new handles onto the bar and refit the screws from the inside of the house to the outside and secure the handles onto the door. Put each screw in position and apply a few turns on each before making them secure with your screwdriver.

Now you can stand back and admire your handywork. A repair, or replacement, well worth it.

But what to do if it is the lock that has stopped working?
Fair question. Considering that the areas around Blackpool and Preston do not get the warmth of the Meditteranean to dry out all the rain that seems to get blown our way.

The first step is to remove the handles and in this instance we need to remove the greasy bar which goes through the mechanism.

In the side of the door you will see one or maybe two screws which are holding in the lock. You may need to be aware that the lock mechanism will come in different lengths so if you get the wrong size it will either stick out too far or be too short. Either of these look untidy. Once you have the screws removed the lock will slide out.

Installation is the reverse process. Install the new lock into the door and secure it in place, then you can replace the handles eith er the existing ones or with some nice shiny new ones. The choice is yours.

Once again, if you feel that you need a little help with things, please do give us a call, we will be more than happy to help you with any of the issues you may be having with your door furniture.

If you’re interested in replacing the letterbox for your home, take a look at our Door Repair packages. Alternatively, just take a look at our other services for more!

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