It’s Easier With The Right Incantation

by the other theo

We have a garden shed in our back yard.   It holds various hand tools, the lawn mower, the string trimmer, fertilizers and pesticides, paint for the interior and exterior of the house, and some lawn toys that we want out of the weather.

I’ve done some work on the shed over the 7+ years we’ve owned the house.   Somewhere in the past, previous owners of the house thought it would be a good idea to stick the shed to the concrete slab underneath with spray foam.  I guess that the idea was to keep the water out and preserve the floor.  This effectively did the opposite: any water that leaked in instead stayed there and rotted out the floor.  So, I took a day around Memorial Day weekend in 2012 to re-frame the floor.  At the same time, I also raised the shed an inch or two off the ground to get wood away from water and allow water to evaporate.

The one remaining problem with the shed was there since we bought the house: you couldn’t lock it.  There was a handle on the door, and the handle had a lock.    Unfortunately, that lock had no key… and the handle was locked in the open position.   Again, previous owners attempted to solve this problem by installing a hook-and-eye latch near the top of the door.

It was an imperfect solution to the problem, at best.   The hook occasionally came free from the latch, causing the door to swing open.   It’s position at the top of the door also meant that door didn’t close particularly well at the bottom.    My bandage on a bandage for these problems was to latch the door at the top and then put a small ceramic planter against the bottom.

The Missus and I both wanted a better solution ever since the Peanut was born.  With sharp tools and chemicals inside, we wanted to firmly lock that door.   Sharp edges, chemicals, and toddlers don’t mix well… unless you want Nancy Grace inventing a nickname for you during Court TV coverage of your negligent homicide trial.

I new there had to be way to replace the handle on the door.  It looked like a relatively common piece of hardware… and there was an id stamped onto the lock to identify the key required to open it.   Yet, in order to ask for a replace something, you need to name it or otherwise describe its function.   Other than “shed door handle”, I really didn’t know exactly how to do either.

That changed a few weeks ago.  Throwing “shed door handle lock” into the image section of Google finally got me a picture of a “T-handle door lock”.   Throwing that term into Google Web got me pages that had such a lock with its common sibling, the “L-handle door lock”, and that was exactly what I was looking for.

I ended up paying about $25 for a universal replacement L-handle lock, commonly used to lock residential garage doors.   That took about 3 days to arrive, and now it looks like it’s always been there: