help, locked in my house!

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I am totally inept at DIY and house stuff so please excuse the poor terminology in this post.

I think I have a mortice/mortise lock on my front door - in order to lock it you need to lift the handle up before the key will turn to lock it. The door handle is mounted on a fairly tall slim plate with 2 screws on it and I assume the length is for some of the other bolts to make it secure (a new build house so fairly new locks).

A few weeks ago the handle started staying up when the door was locked rather than naturally falling to the horizontal position and tonight it refused to budge so I can't get out the front door. I have a back door so tried it from the outside too but nothing.

Is this fixable myself or will I have to get a locksmith? If I undo the two screws and get at the inner workings I don't know how I will get them out as the door is jammed shut.

I would be grateful if anyone could point me in the right direction of what to do and if a visit to B&Q is required or if a squirt of WD40 in the lock would suffice. I haven't done anything yet for fear of making it worse and more expensive to fix.

Many thanks in advance if anyone has any ideas how to fix this.
If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got!
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  • ukmike
    ukmike Posts: 751 Forumite
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    May be due to the extreme cold weather?
  • ali-t
    ali-t Posts: 3,815 Forumite
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    Mike, I don't understand how this would affect it (but like I said I am a bit thick when it comes to diy). The key turns in the lock but the handle won't move up or down. The handle is slightly loose so definintely not frozen. I am wondering if something has dropped or jammed it but no idea how to find out.
    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got!
  • Locknut
    Locknut Posts: 436 Forumite
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    Hi it sounds like your door has jammed, I would say you need a locksmith pr uPVC exper to get it opened, I would suspect its been difficult to lock for a while? and has finally given up the ghost with the cold weather. a new gearbox will will cost under £100 fitted a full new door strip will be under £200.
  • ali-t
    ali-t Posts: 3,815 Forumite
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    I haven't had any problems locking it until today when it went all wrong but thanks for the info. I'll get someone round to look at it tomorrow and can nod knowingly when they say what it wrong with it and not look too stoopid when I get the price. Thanks, not the answer I wanted to hear but very useful none the less. If anyone with lots of locksmith qualifications and advice wants to tell me it just needs a wee shoogle and a squirt of something that would be much appreciated and I will sleep better!
    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got!
  • staffie1
    staffie1 Posts: 1,966 Forumite
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    You say it's a new build house. How old is it and would it be covered under a warranty?
    If you will the end, you must will the means.
  • ali-t
    ali-t Posts: 3,815 Forumite
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    It is 6/7 years old so the NHBC warranty is there but anything other than structural isn't covered after the 2nd year. The window frames are buckled but NHBC said they weren't covered as they are structural. Anyway that is a whole different story.

    I've had a look in the yellow pages and will phone someone tomorrow. They all promise 30-60 minute call out and no call out charges which sounds great until I get the bill. I also phoned my dad (what every independent girl does in time of crisis!) but he hasn't a clue either so my doors fate is in the hand of the locksmith.
    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got!
  • Locknut
    Locknut Posts: 436 Forumite
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    Sorry its bad news but it may just unfree itself when the weather warms and get away with an ajustment.
    as for locksmith qualifiaction unfortunatley there is no such thing as a qualified locksmith as there is no recognised qualification for us. But thats another story.

    for locksmith I would look for a MLA or ICL member as we have to have exams and are police vetted to join so the person you get should know what they are doing.
  • ukmike
    ukmike Posts: 751 Forumite
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    Mike, I don't understand how this would affect it
    Very cold weather,the door contracts,locking mechanism doesn't fit like it should,so won't lock.
  • sharkie
    sharkie Posts: 624 Forumite
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    There was another post on this site a few years ago similar to your problem. Think the person either wedged out the plastic??? frame (put wedges in between the door and the frame so that the plastic frame had a big enough gap) or knocked out the hinge pins - can't remeber which! Think he had an expensive wooden door though, but it was a few years ago! He had a lock problem.

    Just do a search and see what comes up.
  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077 Forumite
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    Hi,
    sharkie wrote: »
    There was another post on this site a few years ago similar to your problem. Think the person either wedged out the plastic??? frame (put wedges in between the door and the frame so that the plastic frame had a big enough gap) or knocked out the hinge pins - can't remeber which! Think he had an expensive wooden door though, but it was a few years ago! He had a lock problem.

    Just do a search and see what comes up.

    was it this one or this two.

    You can see I've nothing else to do at 5 in the morning, good reading with the caffeine fix. :rotfl:
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