DIY Exterior Home Updates - The Hardware Hut
DIY Exterior Home Updates
DIY Exterior Home Updates

DIY Exterior Home Updates

When we think home updates, we usually think about kitchen adds, bathroom remodels, or other interior updates, but what about the outside? There are simple hardware updates you can finish in a weekend that will give your home some serious curb appeal. Updates, like painting your front door, and upgrading door locks can totally transform your front entrance. Gate and deck hardware are also easy adds to upgrade and install in a weekend, and will make a noticeable visual impact to your home. The purpose of this blog is to help you understand the basics of these products to have the knowledge to make exterior home updates yourself.

Front Door Entry Set Replacement

First impressions start at the front door. Replacing door handles is easy and can make a huge difference in the look of a front entryway. We covered the ins and outs of uninstalling and replacing door handles in another blog earlier this year. To learn more about the installation process, click here. We’ll cover what to know when ordering the replacement. 

Front enterance

Handle Types

There are a few different handle types available when choosing a replacement. The first is handlesets that have a thumbpiece, and long handle instead of a knob or lever on the outside of the door, with a deadbolt above, as shown the first image below. We also have single knobs and levers with matching deadbolts, like in the 2nd picture below (When searching knobs and levers on our site, scroll below the product information of the handle to see the matching deadbolt as an optional accessory). And finally, there are electronic locks available that have programmable codes and are Bluetooth accessible. To learn the ins and outs of electronic locks, check out another blog we published earlier this year, here

Door Lock Types Image


There are also a few different styles available. Modern entry sets are more square and have clean, crisp lines. More traditional entry sets have curved handles and rounded escutcheons, and sometimes have detailed designs and textures incorporated. Rustic style handles can be hammered or off-textured, and have a distressed finish. All have their place depending on the desired look.  

Measurements Needed When Ordering Replacement

When browsing door hardware, there are a few measurements, you’ll need to know before ordering. You’ll be prompted to select all of these measurements when ordering door handles on our site to ensure you get the right size

  • Center-to-center (c.c): This is the distance from the center of the borehole for the deadbolt, to the center of the borehole for the handle. You don’t have to uninstall your handle to find this measurement, it’s pretty easy to eyeball where the middle of the deadbolt and handle would be. A standard c.c measurement is 5-1/2”. If your door is standard, you can choose from any one of our entry handle sets. If your c.c is not standard, you’ll need to search for an entry set that matches the same c.c, or update to a handle that is separate from the deadbolt. Let us know if you need help matching a non-standard c.c. 
  • Backset: The backset measurement determines the length of the latch needed. The backset is the measurement from the middle of the borehole for the handle, to the edge of the door. Standard back sets are 2-3/8” or 2-3/4”. Most of our handles can be specified to accommodate both, but you’ll need to know before ordering to avoid potentially having to reorder a shorter or longer latch.
  • door thickness: Standard doors are 1-3/8” to 1-3/4” thick. Most locks can also accommodate thicker 2” doors, but you’ll want to speak to one of our customer service reps to be sure if it’s not explicitly listed on the product. 

Gate Hardware

Updating gate hardware is another quick and easy DIY project for the weekend. We have hardware for replacements, and for starting new. If you’re constantly replacing gate hardware due to rust, check out another blog we did about an awesome line of rust-resistant gate hardware we have called Gatemate by Abbey Trading. 

Gate Hardware

Gate Latches and Bolts

There are a few different types of locks available deepening on the wanted functionality and overall look. Options include surface blots, as show in the first image below. Auto gate catches, like in picture two. Garage door bolts which lock into a hole drilled in the ground, like shown in picture 3. And two-sided gate latches like shown in picture 4, which allow the door gate to be unlocked from the outside. 

Gate Lock Types


For hinges, there are regular butt hinges, as shown in the 1st image below. We also have strap hinges for heavier gates and a more pronounced look, as shown in the 2nd picture below. And lastly, there are spring hinges, which will close the gate behind you as you walk through, like in picture 3. 

Gate Hinges Types

We also have other accessories like gate wheels, door viewers, speakeasy grilles, door pulls, hasps & padlocks, and field gate hardware


Updating your deck with cable rail has never been easier to install thanks to Feeney. Now any first time DIYer can achieve this timeless look. Feeney cable rail installs with ease, preserves your view, will weather the elements, and is virtually maintenance-free. The strong, stainless steel cables won’t rust or tarnish and can be installed into both wood and metal posts. Below are some quick installation steps to get the idea of how easy installation really is. Feeney cable rail also comes with detailed installation instructions. 

Quick Installation Steps

1.) Drill holes through deck posts. Holes can’t be more than 3” apart to meet most construction codes. 9 or more rows running horizontally is most common.

2.) Start the cable rail through your first post. One end of the cable rail comes with a “threaded terminal” which will indicate which end to start with. 

3.) Lace the free end of the cable through the other posts until through the end post. After all the way through, insert the end of the cable into the Quick Connect fitting, which will grab hold of the cable once inserted. 

4.) Hold the Quick-Connect fitting with one hand and pull the cable tight with the other. The fitting automatically locks when you release the cable. 

5.) Now that the cable is all the way through, it’s time to tighten the slack. Run back to the first post, and tension the cables by holding the Threaded Terminal shaft with Visegrip (or any) pliers and spinning the Washer-Nuts with a wrench until tight.

6.) Use a hacksaw to saw off the excess threads as close to the Washer-Nut as possible.

7.) Use cable cutters to trim excess cable from the end post.

8.) Snap on the end caps to conceal the bolts.

You’re done!

Cable Rail Steps

The cable rail itself is sold in incremental lengths of 5 ft, up to 50ft. We also have bulk cable in 100ft and 200ft lengths available. One helpful hint, if you have exactly 40ft of deck, you’ll want to jump up to 45ft when ordering because you will need at least 6 inches of extra cable to be able to tighten at the end. Optional accessories to make installation even easier are a lacing needle to keep the cable straight, cable cutters, a hole drilling guide for posts, protective sleeves to protect the wood, and end caps to hide the nuts and bolts. All options are well explained here. Let us know if you run into any questions too, we’re here to help.

Questions About Exterior Home Updates?

There you have it. Replacing your front entry set, updating or building gates, and adding cable rail deck railing are all easy ways any DIYer can add real value to their home. We have another blog about updating other accessories like mail boxes, house numbers and mail slots as well. If you want to read more about these updates, click here. We’re here to help you every step of the way if you need any assistance with exterior home updates. If you have any questions, give us a call, fill out a customer service form, or connect with us on Facebook.