The DIY crowd too busy to read the instructions sometimes does things that are just bananas, like installing this deadbolt faceplate in place of a strike plate. The hole in this faceplate is just barely larger than the bolt intended to sit inside it, so it would be nearly impossible to lock this door. Strangely enough, the deadbolt actually worked. Whoever installed this deadbolt measured very carefully!
The thing about ordering locks for doors is that you have to know a few things to minimize labor of installation. What prep is the door? How thick is the door? What is the backset of the lock supposed to be?
Whoever installed this lock didn’t know that there are two backsets for this lock and they ordered the wrong one.
I get these all the time. Many of these problems could have been solved if people had just read the directions. Most locks come with installation directions and locks are designed to be much easier to install than they were 30 years ago.
Lockouts are maybe my favorite part of my job. Everybody is very thankful when you unlock their door. They are often the most comical part of my job, too. I’ve started collecting pictures of the implements scattered outside of people’s doors when they have given up and called me out. Here are a few of those pictures.
First, this person fashioned a tool out of a hanger taped to a serving spoon. I was told that the potato masher wouldn’t fit under the door so was not included in this contraption. The customer reported that these tools were all fashioned with the intention of moving a backpack containing room keys closer to the door and trying to get the keys out.
This picture is from a frat house at UW. The customer reported that the only brother with lockpicking experience was out of town. The doorknob was a simple defiant
and easy to pick, but even with hours of attempts with these tools successful manipulation evaded these hapless Greeks. Members of collegiate fraternal organizations at my alma mater, WSU, would no doubt have kicked the door in or broken the doorknob off with a hammer. If these differing approaches are extrapolated as life-guiding philosophies, which do you think will lead to more success? Regardless of the answer, I hope that people will continue to choose me in their time of need.
Here’s some stuff I see a lot of outside of apartments in the University District. Bless their hearts, sometimes they will spend hours giving it the college try! Typical implements are hair pins, safety pins, hangers, bent credit cards, scissors, screwdrivers, and the occasional actual lockpick.