How To Tighten a Screw in 15 Steps

Welcome to the 144th Metamorphosis Monday!

Sometimes the solution to a problem is right under your nose, but you just can’t see it. Recently, I almost turned a super easy repair into an expensive repair. In the end, the home repair muses were watching out for me.

In the family room…

…there’s a door that leads out onto the screened-in porch.  I rarely use that door.

Instead, this door leading from the breakfast area/kitchen is the one I most often use when I’m heading out to the porch.

About a month or two ago, I headed out to the porch through the door in the family room and this happened. Have you ever pulled on a door knob, only to have it come right off in your hand?  It’s a funny feeling when that happens–like your house is playing a joke on you.

Four years ago when I replaced my badly worn deck for a screened-in porch, I replaced the remaining knobs on all the outside doors with the polished Baldwin Brass knobs.  I know, I know…everyone is installing the oiled rubbed bronze, and I do like that look, but I still love the look of polished brass for my home.

There are six doors on my home to the outside and two of the four already had the BB knobs.  I love everything about a Baldwin Brass exterior doorknob: the weight of the knob in my hand, the silky smooth feel of the heavy brass when you grasp it to open the door.  I also love the Lifetime finish that really does stay looking beautiful.

Having switched the door knob in the office from a “baseball” door knob to a regular knob, I knew a screw normally held the knob onto the door.  I searched around on the family room floor and under a nearby chair but  I couldn’t find one anywhere and decided it must have been vacuumed up at some point.  After inspecting the knob a bit more closely, I realized I didn’t have the right kind of screw for the repair.

I called the Baldwin Brass store that’s been located here in Metro Atlanta forever to see if they had spare parts for sale.  When I dialed I found the number had been disconnected.  What???  Another one of my fave stores had either closed or moved.   Rats!

After that day, I sort of forgot about the missing screw until a friend came over a couple of weeks later.  We started out onto the porch and, OOPS.   The only thing worse than having a door knob come off in your hand is when it happens in front of someone else.  lol   Admittedly, it’s not as bad as a Nancy Grace wardrobe malfunction (Dancing with the Stars) but it’s still a bit embarrassing. I hastily explained my door knob dilemma and decided I really had to get this issue fixed once and for all.

The next day I bit the bullet and decided to call a locksmith.  I figured those guys had all the parts in the world to fix a door knob.  I looked up local locksmiths on a website where folks rate companies and I called a company that had a large number of “5 star” reviews.  The company I called had a regular old name like “Bill’s Locksmith Service” (not the real name)  so I was confused when someone answered and mumbled something I couldn’t understand.  I managed to hear the word “locksmith” though, so I asked, “Is this Bill’s Locksmith Service?”  The gruff voice said, “No” and offered no explanation for why the website said one thing and they answered under a completely different name.  Something inside of me said, “Don’t do it.”  I thanked them and hung up.

On to plan B.  Or, was I on Plan C by now?  Suddenly, it hit me–call the Baldwin Brass manufacturer and see if they would send a screw for the repair.  After spending a good bit of time on their website figuring out the style door knob I had I called their customer service number.  A nice man answered, immediately understood the part I needed, calling it a “set screw” and said he would mail it right out–no charge.  Yay!    This was looking promising.

Friday, an envelope from Baldwin Brass showed up in my mail box and inside I found these.  What strange looking screws–not at all what I was expecting.

I spent all day yesterday at the Country Living Fair in Stone Mountain, Georgia so today was the first chance I’ve had to work on my door knob repair.  I fetched my trusty Allen wrench from the garage and determined a 1/8 size wrench would be a perfect fit for the Baldwin Brass set screw.  I placed the knob on the door and the tiny screw onto the tip of my Allen wrench and attempted to screw it in.  It wouldn’t fit.  πŸ™

The screw appeared to be too big.  I took the knob back off and stared deep into the hole and guess what I discovered?

I discovered the dark thing inside the knob wasn’t just a hole.  It was a set screw!  The screw has been there ALL ALONG.  Duhhh. (Insert pic of me slapping myself in the forehead with my hand.)  Now does that black thing with a hole in it look like a screw to you?  Ha!

It only took me about 2 seconds to screw the knob back onto the door once I realized the screw was still there.  Now it works great!  Apparently, over the years it had become a bit loose and just needed to be tightened back up.

During this whole mess metamorphosis, I noticed there was some scarring/scratches on the wood from where the old door knob plate thingy used to be before the Baldwin Brass knob was added 4 years ago.

I got out my handy dandy Minwax Wood Stain markers that I shared in THIS post and had those ugly ole scratches covered up in no time.

Only took me four years to notice they were there. lol  At least it didn’t take two months to fix them like it did the door knob.

Can you imagine how foolish I would have felt paying a locksmith a trip charge to just tighten a screw?  So, if you have a loose knob, and you don’t see a screw rolling around on the floor, it could be because it’s still inside the door knob!  I’m just sayin’. πŸ˜‰

Have you managed to made any easy repairs, extra hard in your home lately?   Feel free to make me feel better about my door knob repair!

Looking forward to your Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

Links referenced in this post:
Family Room
Hiding ugly scratches with Minwax Stain Markers

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  1. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    Thanks for hosting, Susan!

  2. Melissa Miller says

    Wow, that is a good fix you did Susan. It looks great! πŸ™‚

  3. Lynn at Cottage and Creek says

    So glad you were able to fix the door knob for minimal expense. Great job. The porch looks so inviting too. Thanks for hosting.

  4. laxsupermom says

    Too funny! Sounds like something I'd do(not call a locksmith, but all the other jumping through hoops part, maybe a couple of curse words thrown in when the screw wouldn't fit.) Thanks for sharing and for hosting this party each week.

  5. Andrea at Opulent Cottage says

    Our house was built in 1926, and we have this happen EVERY week! The kids all laugh, and some of them even tell me they know how to fix their doorknobs themselves, because their homes were built during the same era! We need to make a trip to the hardware store! Thanks for hosting Susan, this was a good one.
    Cheers, Andrea

  6. Confessions of a Plate Addict says

    Hi Susan! It took me a while, but I finally managed to replace all the knobs and hinges n my house. It's a job to work with that stuff, isn't it! Happy week!…hugs…Debbie

  7. Thank ou for hosting and have a wonderful week!

  8. Thanks for hosting, Susan. I always enjoy seeing what people are up to here.

  9. hi Susan, thank you for hostessing – I'm glad to be joining in the fun this evening. So glad about the outcome of your doorknob problem – yes that could have been ridiculously costly πŸ™‚ Hope your week ahead turns out to be wonderful.

  10. On Crooked Creek says

    So~o~o glad you were able to fix the door knob. We have original door knobs here, also…I'm afraid they are no longer made…so~o~o if we have to replace one it will be all of them, I'm sure! Ah~h~h…the joys of home ownership! Helps to keep a sense of humor and an open mind!

  11. Sewconsult says

    And at what point did you say to yourself…"that will make a blog post"? It's a great post and a great lesson for us! I catch myself making a mental note that something or some action on my part will be blog-worthy. Thanks for an "ugh" moment and a smile.
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  12. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Beckie, lol It was when I realized just how much time and effort I had spent when the answer was under my nose the whole time. πŸ™‚ Trying to save someone else from the same fate.

  13. Salmagundi says

    Sorry you had to repair the door knob, but it was worth it to me for a chance to see your beautiful family room again. Sally

  14. Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement says

    We bit the bullet and installed Baldwin knobs on every door in our old house (and even thought about changing them out before listing it to sell as we knew the investment!!) But we didn't… Anyway, we had a problem with one once and boy did Baldwin's Customer Service exceed our expectations!

    As I was reading your post and got to the part where you called the locksmith, I was thinking "No, it's guaranteed, call Baldwin!" πŸ™‚ I'm so glad you did!

    Have a great day and thank you for having the Met Monday party!


  15. ParkerMama says

    I was hoping to join in this week with my yard sale artwork make over post. Alas, I keep getting a message saying I need to create a back link to your site. I've never been asked that before and have no idea what it is. πŸ™

    Tammy and Parker
    @ParkerMama on Twitter

  16. this whole door knob story is too funny and too true, something similar happened to me, too!! oh, well, we cannot all be rocket scientists!!! πŸ™‚ thanks for hosting and for the good laugh!

  17. Rosemary@villabarnes says

    Thanks for hosting, and for the doorknob story. lol

  18. Thanks for hosting! Funny story and lovely family room! Christie

  19. Susan- Sometimes, the simplest fix can is accomplished only after a lot of frustration, trial, and error! I've been in those shoes before.LOL
    Glad you're all fixed up now. πŸ™‚
    ~ Sue

  20. It's always the simplest fixes!

  21. Designs By Pinky says

    I bet the fact that I find this funny is NIT what you want to hear:):) But, I am glad you didn't have to spend a fortune to FIX the doorknob!!!! Thanks for hosting. XO, Pinky

  22. So great of you to share this particular story with us. We're all human and forget the obvious sometimes!

  23. Oh Susan, I laughed at the Nancy Grace quip!!
    I love the door knobs and I bet you love them more since you did not call out a locksmith,
    Reminds me of last summer when my brother from England was visiting. As well as the A/C, we had the fan running, he was in the house and we were outside. Shortly afterwards he left for a few days trip. We went to turn on the fan which is operated by a switch on the wall and..nothing. My hubby who is master of all things, couldn't understand it when he took the switch apart, why it was not working.
    After calling in the electrician who installed it, he said it should be working then turned to my husband and asked him if he had touched the manual cord on the fan. We both said no, never have. The electrician walked over pulled on the cord and the fan worked!! We felt so stupid, my brother had done it thinking it was the only way to switch it off and had not told us.
    Luckily for us, the electrician who could have charged us $60 plus dollars, said he was already on the subdivision so it was a freebie.
    Moral is, always check twice then throw out your brother! πŸ™‚

  24. Chari at Happy To Design says

    Hi Susan…

    Ohh my goodness…I'm sure glad to hear that your broken doorknob had a happy ending, my friend! Thanks for the tip…to look in the door knob if a screw comes up missing! I sooo enjoyed getting another peek at your gorgeous family room, too! It is one of my "all time favorite" rooms!

    Thanks so much for hosting another Metamorphosis Monday party for us, dear friend! I sure do appreciate you!

    Warmest autumn wishes,

  25. classic β€’ casual β€’ home says

    Thanks for all the great advice! Will have to remember this.

  26. I doubt that many people at all would realize that the screw was in there all along. I'm with you on the brass, I never stopped loving it and am glad that it is making a come back. Thanks for hosting the party!

  27. You have such a gorgeously warm & welcoming home, Susan. I just love seeing the interior & now I have a better feel for where the rooms are situated.
    I'm glad your repair of the doorknob went so well & didn't cost you $$$.

    I rarely join in your MM, since I don't often paint or refinish things, but I felt my completed quilt sort of fit into the theme of the meme this time.

    Thanks for doing all the wonderful parties each week. I truly enjoy seeing what others come up with!


  28. CalypsoInTheCountry says

    I am glad your doorknob worked out! Thanks for hosting today!

  29. click clack gorilla says

    Well glad you finally figured out the doorknob.

    I'm new here so I thought I'd say hi *waves.* I decided to share the wrap up of a year long rennovation project I did myself on my tiny 2 meter by 6 meter home.


  30. LOL…love this story! I learned something in the process too! Dang it's so annoying when it's so easy yet seemed so hard! I'm the same as you about Baldwin Brass hardware. We upgraded our home to that brand as we fixed it up over the years. I'm with you about still liking the shiny brass look. It's funny the door you hardly used was the one to loosen up! Perhaps it was never completely tightened from the start! Oh well…you are a certified do it yourselfer!!

  31. Ingrid@morestylethancash says

    Giggle….oh honey I don't even want to tell you some of the silly things that I have done like that which still make me squirm. At least you did't call out a repair man for an appliance just to find out it need to be plugged in! (not me, a friend, no really, it was a friend of mine.)

  32. Live*Laugh*Love says

    Hey I am a new follower would you be so kind & follow me back, thanks πŸ™‚


  33. Ha, so glad you found that missing screw – I totally would have called the locksmith and paid $100 for him to find it πŸ™‚ Thanks for hostessing the party, I'm off to visit the other linkers.

  34. Thanks for the door knob tip! πŸ™‚ I am seriously in love with your family room and I've always loved your porch! Thanks for sharing.

    Clydia {}

  35. Good detective work on that! Those tiny little screws are tricky, and EVERYWHERE.
    Happy MONDAY!

  36. Denise at PinkPostcard. says

    thanks for hosting!!

  37. sabrymagic says

    Hello dear,
    You were very good at solving the problem …..
    is, fields to me to solve the problems alone, with pliers and screwdrivers:)
    But I find it so funny …..
    and then know what they say in Rome? In Italy?
    Who makes by itself, makes three …..
    ie if you do things alone are better and faster:)
    I am waiting for pictures of the party country …..
    I love the country …..
    Happy Monday
    a kiss

  38. Beautiful door knob. Glad it was a simple fix. Looks like another great party! Thank you so much for hosting!
    πŸ™‚ CAS

  39. Courtney ~ French Country Cottage says

    Thanks for hosting! πŸ™‚

  40. Nice post, and I like how you fixed the knob! Check out also 3D Rendering

  41. BrushedByAnAngel says

    How funny. Glad you were able to get it fixed without much expense. By the way, your family room is so pretty, very inviting and warm.

  42. Farmer's Wyfe says

    I know for a fact, I would have done the very same thing…sure didn't look like any screw was there to me! Except I would have probably added dumping and digging through the vacuum bag to it as well. πŸ™‚
    Thanks for hosting! Love your blog!!!

  43. Kelli @ The Turquoise Piano says

    Susan, I just wanted to thank you for the Linky party. I link up to a lot of parties and get the most traffic from you. Also, I know your blog is one of the big ones but I am giving you The Versatile Blogger award tomorrow on my blog. Thanks again.


  44. Tracy Boyle says

    Funny story Susan! Also to note, the BEAUTIFUL fireplace screen in your family room! WOWZA! Love it!

  45. Crafty Mischief says

    Thanks for hosting! Have a great week!

  46. Linda (Nina's Nest) says

    Hi Susan, we need to replace doorknobs at our house like you did. What a difference it makes! Well done. Linda

  47. Nice job!

  48. ❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ says

    Oh, Susan, I'm sorry but I did have to laugh πŸ˜€
    I've replaced a few knobs in my time but I couldn't have told you the name of that little screw if my life depended upon it I've tightened a few too. But never had anything happen to me like it did you…at least I don't remember so. Probably too darned funny for me to want to remember!! LOL

  49. Curtains In My Tree says

    I have the darntist time fixing anything around my house. I hung curtains on a different rod and cried twice getting it done , this was yesterday

    you can fix a door knob and set a fabulous table girl

  50. Once on a messageboard, I was asked if I'd watched the Martha Stewart Christmas Special the night before. I posted, "No, I spent the evening aligning the screws in my switch plates." Everyone posted "LOL! You are so funny!" Etc. I replied, "I wasn't kidding. That's exactly how I spent my evening."

    Crickets chirping….

    So I think it's better not to see a set screw than to pay too much attention to switch-plate screws.

    P.S. I suspect Max of sabotage.

  51. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Junie, that's a funny story! I am glad the screw is hidden like it is. It's not that way on a lot of door knobs. Leave it to Baldwin to invent the disappearing screw! lol I think you're right about Max. Always blame the cat when in doubt. πŸ˜‰

  52. Betsy (BB) says

    Susan, this room looks amazing! I love Baldwin! They're the best! Thanks for hosting this link party!

  53. Musings of a Shopper says

    Susan, Your home is so beautiful. Thank you always for the inspiration.

  54. The Polka Dot Closet says

    Thank you for the funny story! Lord I am late to the party, but it looks like everyone is still having fun…Thank you for hosting!


  55. Just found your blog today – joining in the party. Thanks for hosting! πŸ™‚

  56. Susan, you made my day with your adventure into set screw land. Baldwin does make beautiful products and the luster is timeless. That aside I can only imagine the look on the locksmith's face if he had come out to "fix" your door knob only to find out the set screw needed tightening. Too funny. Thanks for sharing.

  57. A Vintage Green says

    Thanks for hosting – loved your detailed repair story – so true.
    – Joy

  58. A Vintage Green says

    Loved your 'repair' story – happy ending.

  59. Batangas City real estate says

    I really adore your house. So cozy and beautiful. I am so glad you were able to fix that door knob, all by yourself.. *Clap clap*
    Nice post. I enjoyed visiting your page!


  60. well I just wanted to say I LOVE your home…the rooms you have shown are gorgeous….very inviting…relaxing…cozy…..such warmth is present. The family room is incredibly awesome as is the kitchen (and I imagine the rest of your home as well!)

    Blessings to you!

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