Mistakes Everyone Makes When Installing Locks

Whether you've just moved into a new property or you lost your keys, it might be time to look into installing new locks. For many people, the lock on their front door is their first and strongest line of defense in their home. So, if you notice that yours isn't working as it should then you should sort it out as soon as possible.

Eric M. Gruss, a Monterey County, California-based police officer told the Hartford Extra Mile that locking your doors properly can have a massive impact on robberies. "They'll try the front door, the side door, the back," he explained. Additionally, Consumer Advocate shared that many robberies happen through unlawful entry, which differs from forcible entry. Unlawful entry is when a burglar enters the home through an unlocked door or window. According to the publication, 33% of home robberies can be categorized in this way.

From not measuring up accurately to picking the wrong lock for you, there's a lot to consider when you change the locks. Reno Sparks Lock and Safe writes that it's much better to get an expert's opinion if you're unsure about the locks you need or how to fit them. But if you're looking into the process yourself, here are the most common mistakes everyone makes when installing locks.

Buying a cheap lock

It can often pay to make the most budget-friendly choice, as cost isn't synonymous with quality. However, you are thinking about your home security. Little Locksmith writes that there are many cheap lock options out there and it can be tempting to opt for one of them, especially if you think you live in a safe neighborhood. However, generally speaking, cheaper locks are easier to break.

HuffPost questions whether you're willing to have a lock that could be easily picked or broken. To that end, you should consider buying at least a grade two lock. Northeast Security Solutions outlines that "you get what you pay for" has never been more true than when it comes to home security. So you're not just paying for what your lock looks like, but also the quality of the materials and the effectiveness of the lock.

There are generally three grades of locks, one being the best and three being the worst. However, many locks that you might find in a hardware store for a very cheap price fall below the grade three criteria.

Installing a digital lock yourself

While locks are functional, first and foremost, that doesn't mean that you have to choose options that don't fit with your home aesthetic. For example, if you've gone for a modernist look then a digital lock may work perfectly in your home. Every Works explains that digital locks have been in circulation for a few years and are far from a new feature in homes. However, when installing a digital lock there's far more to consider to get it right. For this reason, they suggest that you get an expert to install your lock.

Similarly, Little Locksmith writes that if you're going to get a digital lock then it's good to have an expert come out to fit it and check if they have an emergency service. The latter is important because there's no guarantee that all locksmiths will have full knowledge of how to open or fix digital locks, and the last thing you want is to be locked outside or inside of your house with no way of getting in or out.

Getting your measurements wrong

Getting the measurements for your lock right is of paramount importance, and Life Hack explains it's one of the most common issues that people have when they're installing locks on their property. Before you drill any holes in your door check, check, and check again that you've planned the correct placement. If you don't plan properly initially then you could risk your door not closing right or the door jamming shut.

Similarly, one of the most common causes of lock malfunctioning is when they're installed with the wrong orientation. This will result in your door locking on the opposite side, and Every Works explains that many people don't notice they've done this until everything is screwed into place.

If you opt for a deadbolt on your door then it's also very common to measure it up and fit it before realizing that you've misaligned it or placed the catch in the wrong place. This can be difficult to rectify once everything is in place as one of the sole purposes of locks is they're sturdy and should stand the test of time.

Not considering the weather

When it comes to fixing the locks on your doors, the weather that day may be the last thing on your mind. However, Life Hack explains that in extremely hot and cold conditions your door may warp. This may lead your measurements to be a little off, opening up a multitude of new issues. It may also dictate the locks you look at as they'll need to be made out of water-proof and weather-proof materials.

Seal Lite explains that older, wooden doors are more prone to warping due to uneven drying of the wood fibers within the door. Additionally, Little Locksmith explains that in extreme weather, if your door is prone to warping, then it may be difficult to lock your door or open it again. However, this isn't something to be too worried about — you just need to ensure that you choose a lock that will be able to withstand the weather.

Choosing a master key system that doesn't work for you

In theory, a master key system is great. If you have several doors throughout your house then you can install a lock system where one key is required throughout. Northeastern Security Solutions explains that when designing your master key solution you need to consider all of the doors that you'd like to have a lock on and the people that will have the keys. If you're just installing a lock on your front door and any side and back doors you have, then that's simple enough. However, you may also want to put a lock on any studies or bedrooms.

Additionally, you should consider who will have a key and therefore access to all of the rooms with locks. If you don't want your children wandering into the study then it may be time to implement some new house rules or use a mixture of a master key for outside doors and alternative locks within the house.

HuffPost also notes that you want your house to be as secure as possible. While losing a key and having to change a lock can be a pain, if someone loses a master key then you'll need to change every lock in your house which can be costly and time-consuming.