Should You Hire a Locksmith to Rekey the Whole House or Buy New Locks?

New Key Or lock

Whether you have recently moved into a new home or simply want to change the key used to access your house, a locksmith will be able to help you out. Two of the main options are to rekey your entire home and to buy new locks. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, making them ideal for different situations. If you are in doubt about which option is better in your case, you can always ask a locksmith for a professional opinion.

The Difference

Before you can start to consider whether to hire a locksmith to rekey the whole home or buy new locks, you need to understand the difference. When you buy new locks, you will be changing the entire locking mechanism and door handle for your doors. Rekeying, on the other hand, uses the existing hardware but changes the locking cylinders for new ones.

Considering Cost

Rekeying locks is always cheaper than purchasing entirely new locks. That is because rekeying only requires purchasing the cylinder itself, while the new lock will include the cylinder as well as each of the surrounding pieces. You may, however, be able to install a new lock by yourself if you are handy, and that can save you the cost of labor.

Considering Time

Generally speaking, it takes longer to change a lock than to rekey it. That is because the entire thing needs to be disassembled and a new one installed with the lock. As rekeying only involves changing the cylinder, however, it can be done much more quickly. When you hire a locksmith, however, either task could theoretically be completed in a matter of minutes, and you could do something else while the locksmith changes your lock.

Considering Appearance

In addition to the lower cost, one of the reasons many people tend to rekey their home instead of changing locks is because not all locks will be the same size. This can lead to an unpleasant appearance if you leave an unpainted area of the door exposed that had been previously covered by the lock. You would then have an eyesore until you had the time to paint the newly uncovered area of the door.

Considering Age and Condition

There are a few situations in which any locksmith will strongly suggest you purchase new locks instead of simply having them rekeyed, and this is most common for older locks. In some cases, it may be impossible to find a replacement lock cylinder for an older locking mechanism, or it may simply be worn out from age. A damaged lock should also be completely changed, as simply rekeying it may compromise your security.

Always Hire a Locksmith

Although it is possible to change your door locks yourself, it is best to hire a locksmith to do the task for you. Because the process only requires simple tools, many people attempt it themselves, but if the lock isn’t installed correctly, your door may not open or close. You should always hire a locksmith when rekeying, as that process is more complicated and requires special tools that you would not have at hand, and it could cost more than a locksmith’s services would.

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