Things to Know Before a Door Lock Replacement
You can only be as safe as the locks on your doors. If you’re considering changing your locks to enhance your security, you might decide to change locks over time or in response to security issues. When thinking about changing the locks in your home, there are various ways to go about door lock replacement. You’ll find out when it’s essential to replace your locks and when a more cost-effective and straightforward approach will do.
When to Replace or Rekey Your Locks
1. Replace vs. Rekey: Know the Differences
You can change locks on a front door by either rekeying or replacing the lock. The old keys cannot be used to open the lock with either method. You’ll see a cost comparison at the end of this post between a professional locksmith rekeying versus replacing locks and a DIY project.
Replacing door locks
This is the most thorough way to ensure security. It involves removing the old lock (including the handle, if the lock-handle combo has one) and installing a new lock. You can expect to pay between $80 and $300 for a lock depending on its quality. Professional installation may cost up to $200 extra. However, many door locks are DIY-friendly and include installation instructions.
Rekeying door locks
This is the most common method of changing locks in apartment complexes. Rekeying is the process of realigning pins and springs within the inner workings to match the lock with a new key. Kits that allow you to rekey your locks cost between $15 and $25. You can expect to pay between $80 and $160 for a professional locksmith to come out to do the work.
2. Rekey When You Move
When a house is under construction, many people, including subcontractors and inspectors, have access to the keys. It’s important to rekey the lock in this situation because the new owner wouldn’t want all those individuals to retain access. Typically, this rekeying process is part of the sale process and falls under the builder’s responsibility. However, the buyer’s agent ensures it’s done before the closing.
It’s also a wise move to rekey your locks when you move from one home to another. This precaution is essential because you can’t be certain how many keys might still be out there. When purchasing an existing home, it becomes your responsibility to rekey the locks. Be sure to review your lease agreement if you’re in a rental property, as there might be restrictions on changing locks. In such cases, you may need to provide the landlord with a key to the newly rekeyed lock.
3. Replace Damaged Locks
A lock will eventually wear out, just like any mechanism with moving parts. The internal mechanism can be damaged by repeatedly locking and unlocking a door or jamming the wrong keys into the lock. This results in a key that is hard to turn or one that sticks. Rekeying an old or damaged lock will not solve the problem, as it won’t be able to make the lock work again. The locking mechanism problems that existed before the lock was worn out will remain. It’s better to replace the lock in this case.
4. Change the Locks When Your Keys Have Been Lost or Stolen
If your house keys are ever stolen, one of your first orders of business is changing the locks on your doors so In this case, rekeying would be the best option. It’s just like if someone lost a key. If you can’t find the lock key, you’ll need to get a new one. To rekey, you must have the original key. If you don’t have it, you’ll have to buy a new lock.
5. Think about the Convenience of Having a Single Key
Rekeying can be handy if you want just one key for all your locks at home, even the ones in your garage, but it only works if all the locks are the same brand. The way you rekey and the type of keys can be different depending on the lock’s maker. If all your locks are Schlage, you can rekey them to use the same key. But if you have locks from different brands, you’ll need to replace a few of them to make them all work with one key.
6. Improved Locks Equal Better Security
Many homeowners choose to upgrade their locks after a break-in or if there’s a rise in burglaries in their neighborhood. Modern door locks come with advanced technology that makes home security easier and better. Instead of using a traditional key, most modern locks use a keypad for unlocking. You can program this keypad with a numerical code, and it’s simple to change the code if you need to.
Home security technology has advanced even further, as seen with Vivint. Vivint’s smart locks can send alerts to your device if someone unlocks the door when you’re not home. These smart locks, offered by top home security companies like Vivint, can also notify you if the door is left unlocked while you’re away.
7. Compare the Cost
Replacing door locks tends to be more expensive than rekeying them. However, you can save money on both tasks if you do them yourself. Take a look at the cost breakdown below before you make your decision.
Door Lock Replacement
- A new door lock can cost anywhere from $40 to 300, depending on the design, material, and if it is a key-in-knob or a sophisticated lock-and-handle combo with advanced technology.
- Installation by a professional locksmith can cost an additional $80 to $220, depending on how complex the lock is.
- It is relatively easy to replace door locks. You can do it in less than an hour if you are familiar with a screwdriver. The new locks come with full installation instructions and there are usually hotlines available for any questions.
Door Lock Rekeying
- The kits are available from the lock manufacturer, a hardware store, or an online retailer for $15 to $25.
- Rekeying a lock will cost between $80 and $160.
- If you’d rather not pay a locksmith to come to your house but are unsure about rekeying the locks yourself, you have another option. You can remove the lock from the door using a screwdriver and then bring it to a local key or hardware shop. There, a technician can rekey the lock for you, usually charging between $5 and $10 for the service.
Ready for a Door Lock Replacement?
Before you dive into a door lock replacement, it’s essential to be well-informed about the process and costs involved. At Keychain Locksmith, we’re here to help you make the right choice for your home’s security. Our experienced locksmiths can provide expert guidance and affordable solutions.
Contact us today for a free consultation and get started on enhancing your home’s safety with top-quality door lock replacements. Your peace of mind is just a call away!