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Pay close attention to what the door knocker is made of. Some manufacturers get away with making low quality zinc or pot metal castings look good for a short time using plating techniques. The problem with these is the good looks do not last. Soon the plating is chipping and pealing away and corrosion is taking over. What type of mounting is needed? Most door knockers employ either through the door mounting or surface mounting. Through the door mounting involves drilling holes through the door. The mounting hardware passes through these holes and attaches to the door knocker on the outside. On the inside decorative nuts are used to secure the door knocker to the door. Surface mounting uses screws to attach the door knocker to the door.
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.
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Some classic door knocker designs are installed in such a manner that holes are drilled through the door and a hardware piece from the inside holds the knocker in its place. Some classic knocker designs do not need to have the holes drilled through the door as these are instead screwed into the surface of the doors exterior. Traditional door knockers serve both practical and decorative purposes however it best helps to distinguish your house from the neighbors. You need to know that its always the door that the visitor first sees therefore why not make your doors look classy and extra special through the installation of these lovely pieces? I devote a great deal of time studying door knockers.