The security of your home is only as good as the locks on its doors. You may feel the need to alter your locks over time or as a result of security circumstances to preserve your safety and privacy.
There are various options for doing so, so keep reading if you’re thinking of changing your home’s door locks. We’ll explain when it’s necessary and when you may save money by using a simpler, less expensive lock-changing approach.
Table of Contents
1. Understand the difference between replacing and rekeying
A door’s locks can be replaced or rekeyed when they need to be changed. Both approaches guarantee that old keys won’t open the lock.
Door locks need to be replaced. The most extensive way of assuring security entails removing the present lock from the door and replacing it with a new one.
Door locks need to be replaced. The most extensive technique of assuring security entails removing the existing lock off the door (together with the handle if the door has a handle-lock combo) and replacing it with a fresh new lock.
Depending on the quality, expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $300 per lock, plus up to $200 for professional installation. Many door locks, on the other hand, are easy to install and come with instructions.
Door locks need to be rekeyed. This is presently the most frequent method of changing the locks on a door in apartment complexes. To fit the lock to a new key, rekeying entails realigning the pins and springs in the inner workings of the lock.
2. When you move, rekey
When a new house is being built, many people will have access to it, including subcontractors, inspectors, and real estate agents. The lock should be rekeyed because a new homeowner will not want keys in the hands of all those persons.
This is usually part of the sales process (and the builder’s job), but the buyer’s real estate agent is in charge of making sure it’s done before closing. Because you never know how many keys are floating about, rekeying is a good idea whenever you move into a new residence. You’re responsible for getting the locks rekeyed if you buy an existing home.
3. Replace any locks that have been damaged
A lock, like other devices with moving parts, wears out with time. By jamming the wrong key into a lock or simply locking and unlocking the door repeatedly over time, the internal mechanism can be damaged, resulting in a key that sticks or is difficult to turn.
Rekeying a damaged or worn lock won’t fix the problem because a worn-out lock can’t be made new again; underlying issues with the locking mechanism will remain. It’s preferable to bite the bullet and replace the complete lock in this circumstance.
4. If your keys are lost or stolen, change the locks
If your house keys are ever taken, one of the first things you should do is change the locks on your doors so that no one can get inside. In this case, rekeying is the preferred technique, just as it would be if a family member misplaced or lost track of a key.
The only time you’d need to replace the complete lock would be if the only key went missing. The rekeying procedure necessitates the use of an original key; if you don’t have one, the entire lock must be replaced.
5. Think about the ease of using a single key
It’s inconvenient to have to fumble through a half-dozen keys because the front door key doesn’t fit the backdoor or side door locks, and vice versa. Rekeying can provide the ease of having a single key fit all of the locks on your house (including the garage)—as long as all of the doors are the same kind of lock.
Manufacturers use different rekeying procedures (and key styles). If your house’s locks are all Schlage, for example, you can rekey them all to fit the same key. If the locks are from different manufacturers, you’ll need to replace some of them before having them all rekeyed to take a single key.
6. More secure locks are a plus
Many homeowners upgrade to more security locks after a break-in or a string of burglaries in the neighborhood. Modern door locks are equipped with cutting-edge technology that enhances and simplifies home security.
Instead of a traditional key, many modern locks use a keypad with a code to unlock the door. A numerical digit code can be programmed into the keypad, which can then be quickly reset to a new code if necessary.
Smart locks connected to a phone, tablet, or PC, allowing you to lock and open the door remotely, have taken home security to new heights. If the door is left unlocked while you are away, smart locks will send an alert to your phone.
7. Comparison of prices
Replacing door locks is more expensive than rekeying them, but if you do it yourself, you can save money on both. Consider the following cost breakdown before making a decision. On this website, you can find the best prices for your door lock.
Door Lock Replacement
A new door lock can cost anywhere from $40 to $300, depending on the design, materials, and whether it’s a basic key-in-knob lock or a high-end lock-and-handle combo with smart technology capabilities. Depending on the complexity of the lock, professional locksmith installation can cost anywhere from $80 to $200.
Door lock replacement is a reasonably straightforward DIY project. You should be able to complete it in under an hour if you know how to use a simple screwdriver.
The new locks come with complete installation instructions, and customer support hotlines are frequently accessible to address any questions.
Changing the Keys in the Locks on the Doors
Although most homeowners avoid rekeying their locks because they believe it is too complicated, major lock manufacturers do sell brand-specific rekeying kits. The kits are inexpensive and can be purchased from the lock maker, a hardware store, or an online vendor for $15 to $25.
The cost of rekeying a lock ranges from $80 to $160.
There’s a third alternative if you’re not sure you want to rekey your locks but don’t want to pay a locksmith to come to your house.
With a screwdriver, remove the lock from the door and take it to your local hardware store or key shop, where a professional may rekey it for $5 to $10.