Is it Cheaper to Re-Key or Replace your Residential Locks?

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Locksmiths are often asked what the best option is for a household with a lock problem. Is it cheaper to rekey or replace your residential locks? It all depends on the situation of course. Read on to find out.

What’s the difference between Rekeying and Replacing locks?

Rekeying Locks

Rekeying locks is a quick, easy way to change the locks without having to replace them. It’s also a cost-effective solution for changing the locks in a rental property. However, rekeying your existing lock can be time-consuming and expensive if you have multiple properties you need to change.  In order to re-key your door lock without replacing it entirely (which can cost hundreds of dollars), you will need to have a few tools:

  • A screwdriver or drill bit that fits into the backplate screws on your door handle or deadbolts. A flathead screwdriver or drill bit that fits into the backplate screws on your door handle or deadbolt.
  • A drill (optional) will help you unscrew and re-screw those bolts faster than just using a screwdriver.
  • A blank Key if you know how to fashion one from the marks of the lock. You can make an impression by twisting and turning it a few times. You need to be familiar with this process before attempting this of course.

Replacing Locks

If you’re concerned about the security of your home, it’s best to replace the locks. If a lock is broken or worn out, it should be replaced. A locksmith will come out and assess your situation before giving you an estimate on how much it will cost. In most cases, homeowners are charged by the hour for this type of job. If you are thinking about replacing your locks, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many different types of locks on the market. It can be very confusing to figure out which type of lock is right for you. Replacing your locks is an option if the problem is more serious than a lock that won’t open. It’s also a good idea to replace the locks in your rental properties if they’re damaged or worn out. 

Here are some things to consider when choosing a lock:

  • Are there any safety features that you want? For example, do you want a keypad or deadbolt so no one can enter your home without permission?
  • Do you want locks that will last for many years without needing repairs or maintenance?
  • Do they fit the design of your home?

Which option is cheaper and what should you choose?

The price of these services would actually depend on the reasons for replacing them. You should also choose a service depending on those reasons. We have prepared a list of possible reasons below.

Rusted or damaged locks

If your lock’s condition is less than perfect, you can probably save a few bucks by replacing it. But if the door hardware is still functional and there’s no damage to the cylinder or locking mechanism, rekeying might be an option for you. A locksmith can remove the cylinder from your lock and change its configuration so that a different key will open it. This process may be more complicated than simply removing and replacing the lock entirely (which helps explain why it costs more), but in some cases, it might be worth saving yourself some time and effort—not to mention money on installation costs.

There’s another option that may work well with older homes: using a keypad instead of a key. Some door hardware manufacturers make wireless systems that replace traditional doorknobs with digital push-button entry systems. These are easy to install yourself; most models just screw into place without any modification required of existing doors or frames. As long as your home has an electrical outlet nearby, these systems can be self-installed in just minutes. If you have high-quality locks, it may be worth rekeying them.

Rekeying is a good option if you want to change the lock without replacing it. It’s also a great option if your current lock is damaged and needs to be repaired, or if you’re keeping an outdated model of door hardware that has been discontinued by the manufacturer but still works perfectly fine (and not just in that “it’s working” way). The process of rekeying a lock is simple and can be done in just a few minutes with the right tools. The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the existing cylinder from your door or handle. Then, take it to your local hardware store or locksmith and have them cut a new key for you based on the old one. Locksmiths usually have one or two options for making new keys when you’ve lost your old ones. If they’ve got an eye for it, professionals could analyze the lock and study the placement of the pins. They could make a key based on what they see. Another option is to insert a blank key or to make an impression. This process usually involves inserting the key and turning it a few times until the key develops marks and scratches, then the locksmith can start carving and sanding the key based on those marks to form the perfect key.

If you are moving into a new home

You would need to replace the locks if someone else had those keys before, not re-key them. It’s common for the landlords or broker to hand you your keys once you move in. You must ask them if those set of keys have extra copies somewhere else or if the previous owners used those specific locks and keys. If they say that those are old locks and keys then we suggest that for your peace of mind, have them replaced entirely. You never know if copies were made and they could use that to get inside your home whether you’re around or not. 

New tenants for a rental property

For landlords, it’s important to change the locks when a tenant moves out. If they don’t, the next tenant will have access to the previous tenant’s keys and that’s a security risk because you don’t know who has access to your property. It’s also a good idea to change the locks even when you don’t have new tenants yet. That way, if someone tries to break into the property while it’s vacant, they won’t be able to get in with a copy of their old keys. If you’re going to change the locks on your rental property, then make sure that you do it right. You don’t want any of your tenants locked out because of an incorrectly installed lock or one that doesn’t work properly.

Lost keys

If you’ve lost your keys, it’s time to replace or rekey your locks. If you have a high-quality lock, it will likely be cheaper for you to rekey it than replace it. Low-quality locks are cheaper when replaced as opposed to being rekeyed. If you’re going to rekey your locks, make sure that you do so correctly. If you don’t know how to do it properly, then call a locksmith. Make sure that they have an insurance policy and check their references before hiring them.

Recent break-in attempt

If you’re in the middle of an attempted or actual break-in, it’s probably time to invest in new locks. If your lock has been compromised and it looks like someone has tried to break into your home, replacing your locks is essential for the safety of yourself and others living with you. If a lock is old or broken, it may be wise to purchase new ones as well—this way you can rest assured that no one will be able to enter without a key (or at least, not easily). If you live in an apartment or other type of building with shared locks, it’s always wise to ask your landlord about updating them if they’re old. This way, everyone living there can feel safe and secure in their homes.

Replace your locks if they are broken or don’t work well anymore

If your lock is broken or doesn’t work well anymore, it’s better to replace the lock instead of rekeying them. If you have high-quality locks, it may be worth rekeying them even if they’re in good condition. If you’re not sure whether your locks need to be replaced or rekeyed, it’s best to get professional help. A locksmith can come out and inspect your locks before making any recommendations about what needs to be done next.

Replace your locks if they are outdated

It’s important to keep in mind that replacing your locks can be an excellent way to update the look of your home. If you want to give the exterior of your home a facelift, this can be a good option for you.

Replacing your locks is also an affordable way to update the appearance of your home if they are outdated or not working well anymore. For example, if only one key works on all the doors in your house and no one has access to that key anymore, it may be cheaper to replace all those locks than re-key them individually. If you are thinking about replacing your locks, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many different types of locks on the market. It can be very confusing to figure out which type of lock is right for you. Here are some things to consider when choosing a lock:

-Are there any safety features that you want? For example, do you want a keypad or deadbolt so no one can enter your home without permission?

-Do you want locks that will last for years and years without needing repairs or maintenance?

You just want the latest technology

Replacing your locks offers the chance to upgrade to a higher quality, more secure lock system.

When it comes to rekeying locks, you need to consider whether or not this will be the most cost-effective solution for your situation.

If you are moving into a new home and want a fresh start with brand-new locks, replacing them may be more cost-efficient. When you purchase new locks, there’s no need to pay someone else to rekey them. Plus, they will offer higher quality protection than any older model would have been able to provide. On the other hand, if your old house has been in your family for years and you’re used to how things work around there—including the lock—it may be cheaper for you just have someone rekey the door instead of buying all new locks! It really depends on what kind of attitude toward security measures is present in your life (or lack thereof).

Whatever the reason, the question is, is it cheaper to re-key or replace your residential locks?

The short answer is: that it depends on the situation and the locksmith. If you are looking for a cheaper option, rekeying is cheaper than replacing it. However, if you want a higher quality lock and/or have broken locks (that need to be replaced), then replacing may actually be more expensive than rekeying.

You may have come to this article looking for a way to save money. That is understandable, but you should also consider the security of your home or business. If you are going to spend money on new locks, then you want them to be as secure as possible. This means that replacing old locks with ones that use advanced technology like smart lock features can help protect you from unwanted intruders, even if they do manage to break in through another door first. 

Find out if both options are best suited for your situation or needs then you can call your local locksmith for the price estimate for both services. Prices might change due to different factors like materials used, how long it would take to complete, rush services, kind of service, and the distance from the store. 

Give us a call now for any Locksmith needs you may have. We are the trusted choice for high-quality locksmith services in Columbus, Ohio.

844 Ohio Key Columbus Locksmith

4120 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH 43214, United States


Locksmith Columbus is focused on excellence which is exactly why we strive to provide  you with a wide range of services to cater your every need. Our team of Columbus OH locksmiths are always at your service.

If you find yourself in a lock and key related predicament in your home, keep in mind that our residential locksmiths are always just a phone call away. 

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