The rule is to match the exterior hardware to other metallic features such as house numbers or lights. There are a wide variety of styles and finishes to complement you home from classic to contemporary. It is best to think of your door hardware as a fine piece of jewelry on a solid color door.
2: SAFTEY FIRST
When buying exterior door hardware, look for the toughest materials and the most advanced technology. Heavier duty locks stand up to picking, kick-ins and blunt object attacks. Ask if the new lock can re-keyed to match other locks in your home. Does the lock have lifetime warranty?
3: THE MAINTENANCE TEST
For an exterior door, maintenance is always an issue. Ask yourself how much maintenance you want to do on your door hardware. In an outside environment, particularly where the door is exposed to rain, wind or sea air, the finish will tarnish at a faster rate than if it were indoors. The important factor to consider is the finish of the door handle or knob. The nice thing about inside door hardware is that you rarely have to worry about maintenance.
4: HEAVY METAL
On an interior door, your choice of metals should all work fine. On an exterior door, Chrome or anodized bronze will fare better than brass. However, if you are going for the polished brass look, go for a high quality, slightly more expensive handle as the lacquer will last significantly better.
5: OPEN DOOR POLICY
How many exterior doors do you have? Will you replace them all or just selected ones? Do not forget doors entering garage doors as well.
Quality locks and door hardware are available in all price levels. Generally, the choice of finish and heaviness of material such as brass or steel determine the price. Make sure to double check the price against other exterior door hardware you have looked at.