Our kitchen has two doors to the exterior side by side. One is a sliding door and the other is a standard door with an auto-closing arm that was put in at some point by the POs (they were very keen to share this with us on our second viewing.) While the sliding door is nice in warmer weather, as we can leave it open with the screen portion keeping the bugs and lizards out, in cooler months we use the swinging door almost exclusively (except of course when the new fridge was delivered.)
When we had the house inspected prior to purchase the report had this to say about the swinging door, “The double cylinder deadbolt on the exterior door could prevent or impede an emergency exit, and should be replaced with a safer latch type.” This meant there was a deadbolt on the door that required a key to be opened: either from the exterior or interior. No matter what though you had to insert a key into the lock in order to securely latch the door.
We figured, yeah, ok, we’ll deal with that at some point but it wasn’t very high on the list of stuff that needed our attention. We put a hook up next to the door and hung a spare key on it–which is also useful for when we want something from the wine closet across the way in the studio–which is why the key is attached to a small flash light, as stumbling in the dark to get to the wine room is no fun.
Fast forward a few months and and a winter spent putting the key in to unlock the door (and it needs to remain locked at almost all times, as the winds up here are strong enough to push the door open even with the self-closing-arm’s tension) and then hanging the key up on its hook or just leaving it in the lock and I especially was getting annoyed with the setup.
I mentioned to Agent Smith that I really wanted to change out the interior portion of the lock and we both agree that the paranoid POs rationale for making forced entry difficult was misguided. As let’s face, we live half-way up a mountain and if someone really wants into the house, they’ll find a way into the house. So I spent a bit of time researching our options, but since we really wanted the lock to use the same key system the rest of the house is on, in the end I just called the locksmiths who had done a stellar job back in June re-keying the entire house–all 27 locks. One of them came up the hill and solved the problem for just a bit more than it would have cost to buy a new lock.