On average it costs a base of $19 to rekey a lock, with the price only going up from there. But there are a lot of factors involved in the rekeying process and your individual materials and needs will also factor in. Not all locks or jobs are created equal. We’ve gone over some of the biggest factors that might shake up your cost estimate for rekeying locks.
- Cost to Rekey a House
- Factors that Influence Cost to Rekey Locks
- Tips for Hiring a Locksmith
One question you might have right of the bat is: should I rekey or replace my locks? It starts with why you need a change in locks. You may have moved into a new-to-you home, lost a key to your house, unfortunately had something stolen, or maybe even lost track of which ex-associates have a key to your house. The first thing to know is that rekeying locks is far cheaper than replacing the locks in your home. While replacing keys is exactly what it sounds like, rekeying locks is a slightly more nuanced process of altering the internal workings of the lock to fit a new key.
Rekeying a single lock on your home will start around $19 a lock. If you’re doing multiple locks and they’re either the same lock or of comparable complexity, the price will simply increase by the cost per lock. But, not every situation is the same.
It goes without saying that even the most basic of locks is a fairly complex piece of mechanics. And they can get incredibly intricate. We’ll go over some of the factors that will impact the cost of rekeying.
Number of Locks
As mentioned, the number of locks will increase your price. Take the cost to rekey one lock, multiply that by the number of locks you want rekeyed, and you’ll get your total cost. However, most homeowners don’t want all the doors to the house using the same key. So, if you’re rekeying locks for different keys, the price will vary, especially if one lock is more complex than another. Perhaps you want to install a master key system into your home or apartment complex. But if you want different locks, you’ll pay a higher price.
Complexity of Locks
Some locks can actually be rekeyed DIY style, but some are going to be harder than others. The more complex the lock, the more time will be spent rekeying and that equates to higher cost for the locksmith’s time. Rekeying process will vary from lock to lock – some are going to have deadbolts, some might have a standard pin tumbler, and others might even be high security locks on front doors. If you don’t necessarily have the knowledge to determine the complexity of your lock going in, be prepared for the price variation if it turns out your lock was more complex than you thought.
Not all locks, not even all the locks in your home, are created equal. For starters, there’s a good chance the existing locks in your home are all different and don’t all open with one master key for security reasons. Maybe you’ve got a deadbolt lock on your front door but your garage door may not have one. The variations will require more time, which will again require more money. Take inventory of your locks beforehand (perhaps keep tabs of which locks have deadbolts and which do not) to better prepare for the price when you get an estimate.
Sometimes rekeying can be a DIY project. In fact, some locks include kits with the necessary tools. This doesn’t mean it’ll be a breeze. In fact, one wrong move and you may have to go back to square one all over again. The process involves not only removing the lock from its home in the door but taking the lock itself apart, replacing the lock pins to fit your new key, and getting the whole piece back together and back in its home. It can be tedious and very prone to mistakes. A seasoned locksmith will have the process down, for the most part, but there are always going to be challenges and handling it yourself isn’t recommended.
So, you’re ready to hire a locksmith to rekey the locks at your home. You’ve prepared yourself with the potential factors that will affect the cost. How exactly do you go about finding the right locksmith? Here’s a few quick tips to help you during your hiring process:
- Talk to several locksmiths: Assuming it’s not an emergency, you’ll want to do research and compare estimates. We recommend talking to at least three locksmiths to get the best picture of cost.
- Do due diligence: Finding a locksmith online and even talking to them on the phone does not guarantee service. Make sure your pro can back up the claims on their website and has the necessary training.
- Interview: Besides asking about price, get information on what technology they use, if they’re insured, and some of the most recent jobs they’ve completed.
- Know where to go for an emergency: If you’re locked out of your car, roadside assistance likely has a list of pre approved locksmiths which takes a lot of the work out of it for you in a tight situation.
Rekeying a lock is a fairly straightforward process, but each situation is different and only a trained locksmith will be able to give you a proper estimate and truly trustworthy work on your rekeying project. Know your needs, do research on prospective locksmiths, and be prepared for the cost when it comes time to getting your project done. If you’re ready to hire and need help finding the right locksmith, we’ve got experienced pros waiting for your call!