changing the locks

PoorOwnerNovember 19, 2012

My realtor said I can take out the doorset and deadbolt and bring it to a hardware store and have the core rekeyed, it is alot cheaper than having a locksmith come out.

Has anyone done this?

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mamattorney

I'm sure you can, but that sounds like a hassle. I don't remember the locksmith being very expensive at all and we rekeyed 6 locks to all use the same key. I think locksmiths are much more expensive when you've locked yourself out of your house and need them in 15 minutes. If you call a couple of days ahead and set an appointment, the price drops.

Just price it out and see if it's a really big price difference.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:02PM
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sas95

It probably depends where you live. We called a locksmith in advance to rekey one lock and install a deadbolt. It was a fortune. That said, I wouldn't want to go through the hassle of removing all of that hardware.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:40PM
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PoorOwner

I just found out there is a change a key kit sold at hardware stores. You just rekey the cylinder yourself.

So I guess it would only cost $10 if I am successful.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:41PM
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marie_ndcal

If you have a locksmith store in your area, go in and ask them. Or ask at a large store like Loews, Menards, Home Depot or even at a good ACE hardware. They might have someone who would help you out.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:45PM
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cearbhaill

"I just found out there is a change a key kit sold at hardware stores. You just rekey the cylinder yourself."

IF your lockset is compatible :)

We have done the locksmith thing every time we have moved and it has never been all that expensive. I like having a pro look over all my security points in a new residence.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:47AM
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brickeyee

Remove the locks and take them all to the locksmith.

Having them come out really runs up the cost.

You can have them keyed alike or different.

A warning about keyed alike.

If you then lose a key you need to have them ALL re-keyed AGAIN.

It should be $20 to $30 to have one lock re-keyed, and they normally come with two keys for the new cylinder.

If the locks are Kwickset, it would be better to just replace them with Schlage or another upgrade.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:44AM
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ShedTheChrysalis

Our house was a foreclosure when we bought it and the bank had installed super cheap no name locks on the door. We called a locksmith and got a quote of $20.00 per lock to re-key. So our 6 locks, not counting garage door openers or the slider would have been $120.00. Instead, we bought all new Schlage hardware for every door in the house. It cost quite a bit more than re-keying but it might buy us an extra 30 seconds if somebody defeats the alarm and tries to break-in. LOL. What brand are the locks on your door?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 3:48PM
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barbcollins

This reminds me of a funny story when we bought a foreclosure.

We met our realtor at the house. He went up to the door and was opening the key lock box, while we were looking around the yard. I looked over at him at the porch, and he was holding the key in his hand and was looking back and forth from the door and the key with a puzzled look on his face. There was no lock on the front door at all.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 8:43PM
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PoorOwner

I ended up using a lock changing kit, it was $12, I had never done it before so I had the springs fly out, but after the first one I understood how the lock works it went smoothly.
It comes with 3 new keys already so it is a fairly good deal.

I was not happy with the locks so I had to take it all apart again and lubricate all the lock mechanism because they were really stiff, then they worked like new.

New locks/hardware are very expensive to buy especially if it is a fancy front door kind.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 4:14PM
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julieboulangerie

Depends on the brand. My house had Kwikset locks all with different keys (?!), so it was cheaper to remove them all, buy new ones, and re-key them all the same with their SmartKey system. Worked for me, and now I can re-key everything with a trip to Home Depot for a new key.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:06PM
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brickeyee

Kwickset (especially) and most of the locks at a big box store are the bottom of the line for the manufacturer.

There are MUCH better locks available.
They are just not as cheap as the almost junk locks at the big box store.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 1:56PM
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tinan

Brickeye, is there actually a lot of data showing that a more expensive lock protects you from burglary? Most home burglaries are break-ins through unsecured entries - unlocked doors, patio doors that lift out, open windows.

Very few burglars actually bother trying to defeat a lock whatever brand it is. And if they do have all the right tools and expertise, are the more expensive locks actually a deterrent?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 5:51PM
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ILoveCookie

We had the locksmith come to the house to re-key everything. It wasn't that expensive. The service call itself was $75. The new keys were extra.

Before the locksmith came over, he asked what brand locks we have, so he could bring the right tools with him.

Just make sure you don't forget any doors. We missed one the first time, and had to get the locksmith back, and paid another $75. :(

This post was edited by ILoveCookie on Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 11:29

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 11:22AM
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brickeyee

Cheap lock can be opened with a pipe wrench or pair of channel lock pliers.

Many exterior doors are so lightly built a heavy kick will snap off the door stile containing the lock (it may only be held to the rest of the door by 6 wood dowels).

The typical lock strike plate screws barely go into the casing, and there is a very small amount of wood from the lock bolt to the edge of the door casing.

Windows are also a very easy point of entry.

All you want is something that looks solid enough to make someone move on to an easier target.

Creating the idea that the home is occupied is still probably one of the better methods.

With the heavy presence of firearms in US houses, not many burglars want to encounter an occupant.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 12:15PM
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tinan

Ace Hardware has a deadbolt level 2 for $35... so more expensive doesn't necessarily mean better, since you can spend more on a level 3 lock from a name brand.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 4:01PM
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brickeyee

"so more expensive doesn't necessarily mean better,"

But cheap rarely means better.

Overall you tend to get what you pay for when things average out.

Does Kwikset even make anything besides plated steel knobs?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 5:34PM
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tinan

I think that yes Kwikset makes handles and other items. I'm not saying they are preferred, but I haven't seen any stats that show lock manufacturer or price correlating with less break-ins. However the Ace one I mentioned above is level 2 - that's more secure than most deadbolts in an average neighborhood most are 3.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 11:09PM
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brickeyee

" I haven't seen any stats that show lock manufacturer or price correlating with less break-ins."

And you probably never will.

Break ins seem to mostly be concentrated in denser areas like cities and inner suburbs.

Burglaries in some areas are so uncommon they make the weekly news dump from the police to the local paper.

There are enough stay at home and work at home folks with little commercial traffic strangers get noticed.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:20AM
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julieboulangerie

I agree, as the recent almost-victim of an attempted break in- lock brand isn't going to matter. Anyone who really wanted to get in by force could take any number of measures- breaking a window, using a pry bar, etc.

The biggest thing to is remove the easy opportunities- lock the doors and windows and any fence gates, turn on lights, and secure a sliding door so that it can't be forced open in one move.

We were saved by a wooden dowel in the sliding door track and my growling dog.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:27PM
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tinan

I did just buy new locks myself - not for security reasons but mostly aesthetic, was changing the door set. However I did decide against the Kwikset Smartkey not because of security concerns (they have level 1) but because I read that many people have had incidents of their key suddenly no longer functioning, and finding themselves locked out - always at the least convenient time of course! I decided to stick with old school.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:33PM
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christopherh

Wow, this got me thinking. I don't even know where the keys are for the front door.

Around here nobody locks their doors.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:20AM
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tinan

christopherh - really? I have lived in some super-safe areas, but I still lock my door.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:54PM
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khinmn92

It never would have occurred to me to have all the locks changed in any of the homes we've owned (other than for aesthetic reasons!)...and I'm with Christopherh...not sure where any of the keys are...never use 'em.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 6:28PM
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