Rekeying locks

Rekeying a lock means changing the pins inside the lock so a different key will work and the old one won’t. Some people refer to it as changing the tumblers. Rekeying your locks can save you a lot of money. However, in some cases the cost of rekeying a house will cost more than replacing locks.

When is it not worth it to rekey?

When determining if it’s worth replacing locks or rekeying you need to identify the number of locks and the cost of replacing the locks with either cheaper or more expensive locks. If a house has two doors with a knob and deadbolt on each door it might not be cost effective to rekey. At the time of writing a combo pack of Kwikset locks with two knobs and two deadbolts is around $50 depending on the quality and finish. If you’re interested in simply replacing these locks in order to get a new key this is a very cost effective option.

When is it worth it to rekey the locks?

Consider our case of a house with two entry doors. If the locks are quality Schlage locks the cost to replace them quickly goes up. At the time of writing a Schlage knob and deadbolt pair cost around $50-$60. A total cost of $100-120 may be be more than a locksmith in your area charges. Now consider if you have 2 entry doors, a garage door, and a door that leads from the garage to your home. That’s a total of 4 doors. The replacement cost could be anywhere from $200-$240. A locksmith can certainly save you money rekeying your locks.

If you have specialized locks like door handle sets the cost of replacement quickly goes up. A keyed Kwikset keyed handle set and deadbolt are over $100. Schlage is even more. There are other styles of locks more commonly found on older homes that are even more costly to replace.

Who Rekeys Locks?

Any locksmith can come to your house or business and rekey your locks. Mobile locksmiths don’t have a building and instead use a car, truck, or van. A mobile only locksmith is typically less expensive because they don’t have the high cost of overhead on their business location. Alternatively, you could remove the locks yourself and take them to a brick and mortar location. Doing this will save you money on a service call. Just make sure you have someone home while all the locks are off of your house.

Many hardware stores will rekey the locks for you as well. Places such as Home Depot and Lowes can do this. Using a hardware store to rekey your locks isn’t without issue. Typically, they only rekey locks that you buy there. They might not have a person available when you buy your locks. They may also improperly rekey and reassemble your locks.

Average cost to rekey a house

Usually the locksmith will be able to rekey the locks in their vehicle or in your home. Most of the locks will take about 10 minutes to rekey and the locksmith can charge you anywhere from $10 to $30 for each lock rekeyed. Some locksmiths will charge a small rate for additional keys but many locksmiths will throw in extra keys at no charge. Locksmiths also charge a “service charge” or “trip fee,” it’s the cost of driving to your location.