How To Choose Between Re-Keying And Replacing Your Home's Locks

16 March 2016
 Categories: , Articles

Knowing who has key access to your home is one of the most important factors in home security. If you are worried that someone you don't trust may have working keys for your home, you generally have two options: re-keying or replacing your locks. Here is a comparison of re-keying and replacing locks to help you choose the best option for your home.

Re-keying Maintains Door Appearance

If you want to maintain the appearance of your door, re-keying is the best choice. When you replace your lock with a lock of another type or manufacturer, it is likely that the bases of the locks will not line up exactly where they come in contact with the door. This will leave noticeable and unattractive areas of missing paint around the new lock.

In addition to disrupting your door's paint, it is important to remember that the lock and knob style are an integral part of a door's aesthetics. It can be difficult to find replacement locks and knobs that are exactly the same style as the ones that are currently on your door. Re-keying is an excellent way to improve the security of your doors without changing the style of the locks themselves.

Replacing Locks Offers Updated Security

While keeping the current style of your locks is sometimes a benefit of re-keying, it isn't always a good choice. If you live in an old home with antique locks, you should know that the security requirements for house locks have significantly increased in the last few decades. It is well worth it to sacrifice the look of your doors for updated security.

Even many new home's do not have the latest, top-of-the-line electronic locks. Replacing your home's locks will allow you to upgrade to electronic locks that offer both security and convenience. Electronic locks have several methods of access, ranging from numeric key panels to fingerprint readers. Both methods are usually much faster than fumbling with your keys to open a traditional lock.

For the same reason that replacement locks are the best option for locks with outdated security, they are essentially the only choice if your existing locks have been damaged. Damaged locks often will not work even after they have been re-keyed, especially if the damage exists in the springs or other moving mechanisms inside the lock.

DIY Lock Replacement is Easier than DIY Re-keying

Many homeowners hire a professional for both re-keying and lock replacement, but door knobs can often be re-keyed or replaced by DIY-oriented homeowners. If you are going the DIY route, you will likely find that replacing the lock is easier. Re-keying requires disassembling your doorknob, removing several small pins from the old cylinder, and inserting the new pins in the correct configuration. On the other hand, replacing a lock is often as simple as unscrewing it from its socket in the door, separating the inside and outside knobs, and reversing the process to install a new knob and lock.

Re-keying a Lock is Cheaper than Replacing it

Replacing a door lock is almost always more expensive than re-keying a lock. Because most replacement locks include a new door handle as well, the cost of production is higher. Homeowners pay more for the extra materials that are used in creating a replacement lock.

Re-keying kits are made up of fewer materials than replacement locks. These kits typically feature just two small tools to remove the cylinder and retainer ring and a new set of pins. Since re-keying kits are less expensive to manufacture, they are cheaper for homeowners.

The best choice between replacing or re-keying your home's locks will differ based on a number of factors. Keep the pros and cons of re-keying and replacing locks in mind so you can find the right option to increase your home's security. For more information, check out a company like Key One Inc.