Many customer who call us to open the door to their home or business are confused by the process. Here are some answers to the most common questions we receive.
How much does it cost for a lockout?
There are a lot of different factors that go into pricing. If you google search “national rate for a locksmith service call” you will get “The minimum call out charge for a locksmith is typically $75 which usually covers the first hour. Hourly rates are $75 during regular hours and $95 during after-hours or emergencies.” is the answer provided by Google. A lockout is going to be slightly more simply because there is urgency involved. So a typical rate would be around $100 to unlock a residential door.
Anyone who says they’ll let you know when they get there or offers a $29 service call is almost certainly going to try and charge much as they can once they get to your location. If it is too good to be true it probably is.
Does the price depend on the type of locks?
It can, but in our years of experience the vast majority of home owners have standard Schlage or Kwikset locks that can easily be picked. Occasionally, we will come across an odd key on a door and need to drill and replace the lock. This is the exception not the rule. In those cases we typically offer a replacement lock at no additional cost as to not even appear like we’re trying to up the rates once we do the job – like some people do…
Why are lockouts for businesses more expensive?
Some people think that trades charge businesses more because they can. In reality, there are a lot of additional factors that go into servicing business. For a home lockout, there is typically only one person that the locksmith needs to speak with – the homeowner who is locked out. For businesses, the locksmith might need to speak with employees, managers, supervisors and other people in order to even start working. Once the work is complete there is typically more paperwork that needs to be done. Some businesses ask for certificates of insurance or W9 forms. All of that takes time to gather and email. Additionally, most businesses do not pay at the time of service. Instead, they request and invoice. All of that takes a significant amount of time than just completing the locksmith service.
How will a locksmith open your house?
There are a lot of ways to open a residential door. Typically we use standard picks, specialized picks, or other tools that we won’t get into. 98% of lockouts we complete are by picking the lock which does not damage the door. It’s true that anyone can learn to pick locks and open their door – however if you don’t have your key it’s unlikely that you would have your pick set on you. It’s easier to just carry a key.
Can a locksmith open the apartment front door?
Often times apartment entrances use higher security keys that are harder to pick and are impractical to spend the time picking. Typically, someone will eventually come by the apartment door and open it up so the person could at least get inside. Additionally, most apartment doors have some time of access control system which allows their tenants to gain entry to the building. If we do have to do anything to the apartment door, we would want permission from the apartment building owner first.
Can a locksmith make a lock from a key I lost?
Yes. This is a common request in apartment buildings. The building management might keep a key copy in a cabinet. The tenant might not want to change the key because they’ll have to provide another key to the apartment management staff or the key might be on a masterkey system. Whatever the case, we can make a key to your lock that will work and still allow the apartment to have access to your unit for repairs or emergencies.