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Choosing a knocker is typically a decision made on personal preference as-well as the design of the door itself and the exterior of the home; however you should always bear in mind the purpose of the door knocker. Along with other items of furniture for the home the main concept is allowing people outside a house to alert those inside of their presence while providing an attractive addition. The structure of the device consists of a part fixed to the door and an additional part attached by a hinge that may be lifted and used to strike a plate fitted to the door or the door itself- thus making a noise and alerting the occupants within. Although knockers can simply consist of a fitting with a metal ring more often than not they are ornate.
The door knocker itself will cover the existing holes. New ones can be made without distracting from the appearance of the door. The old holes should be filled with putty in to prevent moisture from getting into the door. Second is the through the door method. This method uses mounting hardware that passes through holes in the door to secure it from the inside. This one presents more challenges when it comes to replacement. The most obvious is the matching of the holes drilled through your door to the new door knocker. The holes need to match and be large enough to handle the hardware for the new knocker.
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Especially if you are purchasing a gift. You may not know exactly what you want. The decor of the home should be considered. Door knockers come in many styles and finishes. You would not place an ultra modern style door knocker on a colonial style home. Many traditional styles do not fit in well with modern houses. If your purchase is for a wedding gift or housewarming gift and you may not know where the door knocker will wind up. In this case there are many styles available that are universal. If not certain of the final location it is best to stay simple. Do not get to fancy. A simple style goes with most decors.