5 Things To Know Before Replacing The Locks On Your Doors

There are plenty of ways to ensure the security and privacy of your home. One of the most basic security features in every household is the locks. In fact, securing the front door is very essential — up to 34% of reported home burglaries happen via the front door, mentions Hugolog. However, the locks on the door are often among the most underrated security features. Most homeowners pay more attention to sophisticated alarm systems and smart motion sensor gadgets than the simple locking system on their front doors. 

As such, it is necessary for every home to have reliable locks on every door. There are various reasons why homeowners may need to replace their locks over time. Whether it is for security reasons or because of a lost key. And, knowing exactly how to grow about changing a lock is easier said than done, especially if you haven't done this particular job before. So, let's take a look at some important things you ought to know before replacing your door locks.

What is the difference between replacing and rekeying

When thinking about changing the locks on your door, there are two ways to go about it, replacing or rekeying. However, since both of these methods achieve the same goal, what is the difference between the two? First, replacing the door lock means changing the entire hardware from the handles, to the locking mechanism. With this approach, you will have a brand-new lock and a set of keys. Usually, having a locksmith replace your locks will cost you up to $220 depending on the type of lock needed, mentions Your Local Locksmith

However, changing the locks in your door is not necessary for every situation — there is another option referred to as rekeying. Unlike replacing a lock, rekeying doesn't involve removing the entire lock, rather, a new cylinder can be installed with a completely new key. In most scenarios, rekeying is preferred because it is not only cheaper but also reliable enough. According to Your Local Locksmith, having a locksmith rekey your locks will cost you between $80 and $160.

When to replace your locks

Putting the cost factor aside, deciding whether to replace or rekey your doors is easier said than done. As mentioned earlier, both methods help achieve the same results. So under what circumstances should you only consider replacing and not rekeying your locks? According to American Home Shield, if your lock hardware has seen better days and is becoming more of a problem to operate, the best course of action is to consider a replacement. Whenever the locking mechanism has trouble, having it rekeyed will not provide any solutions. 

Another reason why you would want to change your locks is if you want to upgrade your lock security features. Today, there are several digital keyless locks that provide far superior locking mechanisms than their traditional counterparts. Also, if you are moving to a new house and you don't like the appearance of the existing locks on your doors, replacing them may be the only possible solution to achieving your desired aesthetic.

When to rekey your locks

Rekeying will help you solve certain problems without having to go the long route of changing the entire hardware. According to Harry's Locksmith, The first and most common reason for rekeying your doors is if you are moving to a new house. Usually, many people have the keys to the house, for instance, the original owner, the realtor, or even contractors. You don't want to leave your door in the hands of unknown people, rekeying your locks will solve the problem.

Another reason why you would consider rekeying over replacing is if you want to have a single key for all the locks in your house. The days of walking with a bunch of keys are long gone, a simple solution is to have all the doors opened with a single key. However, while this is a good idea, losing that particular key will also mean you don't have access to any door in your home. In the event that you lose your keys and you are worried that someone else will use them to gain access to your home, rekeying gives you the opportunity to start afresh with new keys.

Think about the cost

The cost of changing the locks on your door is a major factor for consideration. This is particularly true if your intention is to change the locks on every door around your house. The cost of changing the locks on your doors is subject to several factors, for instance, the quality of the hardware, the labor cost, and also the number of locks you want to change. However, as mentioned earlier, replacing the door locks is generally more expensive than rekeying. 

While this is true, you can always save a lot of money if you decide to DIY. Fortunately, modern locks come with installation instructions making it quite easy for homeowners with some handy skills to DIY. The same also applies to rekeying your locks. You can always buy a rekeying kit that allows you to configure the locking mechanism on your own. On average they cost around $17, mentions Rocket HQ.

Better locks improve security

It goes without saying that a good lock will definitely improve the security of your home. In order to know just how good a particular lock is, it is necessary to find out the security grade of that particular lock. Usually, locks from different manufacturers are tested and graded. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) provides a three-grade ranking system for locks depending on how they hold up against common attacks, explains Door Locks Direct

Grade 1 locks are the toughest and are ideal for the front door. So before choosing just any other lock, pay close attention to the grade, this should give you an indication of how secure the lock is, not to mention how long it will last. It is also worth mentioning that security systems are constantly evolving and there are modern alternatives that make use of technology to provide better and simplified security.