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One of the most common requests we receive at Guardian Safe & Lock is customers asking to change their locks for various reasons. After a short Q&A, we usually determine they actually may not need to be changing locks on a new house after all.

Changing Locks on a New HouseMost homes these days have some sort of security system or some sort of electronic home security. But, almost every home or door has a mechanical keyed lock just in case of electronic failure. Have you ever lost a set of house keys or needed to lock someone out of your home? Unless you’re the first occupant of the property, you never can be sure how many copies of your key exist.

Many customers aren’t aware that they have an option to either replace locks or just rekey locks. Nearly every lock can be rekeyed by a professional locksmith. One of the most common times for a homeowner to rekey locks is when they are moving into a new home. You never know if the previous owners still have a key. If you’re moving into a new home the builders may still have a copy. It’s best to be safe and just rekey the locks of your home by calling for locksmith services.

What is involved in rekeying a lock and what is the process?

The first thing the locksmith will do to begin the process of rekeying your home is, take your door locks off. Then he will take apart the cylinder plug of each lock and remove all bottom and existing master pins from the cylinder plug. Then the locksmith will either create a new key or pull a new set of keys from his bin of unused pre-cuts. Depending on the lock system you have on your home the locksmith will usually either grab a Schlage or Kwikset key. Then the locksmith will put the appropriate pins in the correct chambers that match the cuts of your new house key. Then he will reassemble the lock cylinder and reinstall the locks on your door.

So, again, rekeying vs changing locks

Rekeying or changing locks on a new house is very common. But, do you know that there is a difference? Rekeying your locks is the process we just discussed, it’s when we change the key that operates the lock. Once the lock is rekeyed then the previous key will not work anymore. Changing locks on a new house is just like it sounds, we replace the lock with a new one.

When our technicians are rekeying locks on a home they sometimes will discover a broken, malfunctioning, or incorrectly installed lock. The process of rekeying your house allows the trained technician to examine, fix or give recommendations about your home security.

Many problems can be corrected without replacing the lock, but some may have to be replaced if beyond repair. During the rekey or lock changing process, our technicians will lubricate all moving parts, which will extend the life of your locks.

Some lock manufacturers even offer locks that can be rekeyed by the homeowner. These types of locks are not as secure and don’t use standard solid brass pins. To allow rekeying without breaking down the lock introduces a lot of intricate parts. This can lead to malfunctions and tend to be easier to bypass than traditional locks. Also, instead of solid brass pins securing your door you now have a few thin aluminum wafers in place.

How much will changing locks on a new house cost?

Now that we have discussed the difference between rekeying and changing locks. Let’s answer the actual question: How much does it cost to change the locks on a house? First of all, you should only be replacing the locks on a home for a few reasons. The main reasons are that either the locks are faulty or broken, the finish is tarnished, you have mismatched hardware, or you just want to replace them for something new or better. This is a much more expensive process than just simply rekeying the locks on your home. But, once again if you’re just wanting to change the key that operates your locks so that you can make sure that the previous key doesn’t work. All you need to do is call a professional locksmith and have them come out and rekey locks on your home.

Is it cheaper rekeying vs changing locks on a new house?

Is it cheaper rekeying your locks or replacing them? The process of rekeying is fairly simple and doesn’t take that long. But, replacing the locks requires buying all new hardware, removing the existing hardware, rekeying it, and installing the new hardware. So it is definitely more expensive to replace or change your existing lock hardware. When rekeying locks you’re only replacing the pins inside the existing lock, and pins are relatively inexpensive. Replacing or changing locks on a new house requires removal of the old hardware, purchasing new hardware, rekeying the new hardware, and installing the new hardware.

What do locksmiths charge?

How much does it cost to change the locks on a house? And what do residential locksmiths charge? Pricing will vary greatly depending on the city or state you live in, the quality of the locksmith company you hire, the time of the day (after-hour calls), day of the week (weekends), how many locks you have, and a few other misc variables. At Guardian Safe & Lock we try to be upfront with our pricing and leave no surprises, but sometimes we discover additional issues along the way that will increase the price. Here is a list of some of the most common charges involved when rekeying a home.

Rekeying locks: $10.00 – $13.50

It is common practice to charge a fee to rekey each keyhole or everywhere a key goes in. This charge includes taking the old lock off and removing old pins and replacing them with the appropriate pins that will match the new house key.

Keys: $2.00 – $4.00

When having your home rekeyed to a new key you will need to decide how many copies you may want. Since your old key will no longer work, you will need to get new copies.

Service Call: $55.00 – $75.00

Every call a locksmith or service company gets they will charge a service call to come to your home and rekey your locks. This charge covers expenses such as the employee and company’s time, gas, advertising, the service vehicle, insurance and etc. Be careful of companies that quote a very low service call and leave open-ended pricing, more than likely they are scammers. It’s not that hard to give a fairly accurate quote on rekeying your home over the phone.

New Hardware: $20.00 – $100’s

If you are replacing hardware on a home there is a vast amount of options and prices vary greatly. Since there all locks have different functions as well as colors or finishes, prices can be hard to gauge. But let’s talk about the most common parts such as deadbolts, knobs, and etc. Deadbolts usually run anywhere from $30 to $40, and knobs are generally around the same price. Swapping out hardware also comes with installation prices usually around $8 to $11 each. If you are doing what’s called a fresh install, which is when there is no hole in the door and we must create one for a new lock. The price for drilling those holes and installing the lock usually runs about $30 to $45.

Many hardware stores attempt to provide a few minor locksmith services such as rekeying and key cutting. Sometimes they can help with minor problems such as key duplication and simple rekeying. But, if you want it done right it is best to leave it to a professional locksmith. We at Guardian Safe & Lock offer many different services for our residential and commercial customers. We are also fully insured, bonded and licensed (B16642) locksmith company in compliance with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Rekeying is still the bread and butter of the locksmith industry and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to change anytime soon. Feel free to give us a call and get your free quote on rekeying or changing locks on a new house or business as we also provide commercial locksmith services.


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