Closing on a new home may be one of life’s most thrilling events! After weeks, or maybe even months, of house hunting, researching neighborhoods, putting in offers, and waiting for approvals – the search is finally over. There’s just one more major task to complete before you can start unpacking those boxes and fully settle in: getting your door locks changed. You might be surprised to find out that most homeowners don’t think twice about this essential safety measure.
One of the first things you should do after buying a new house is get your locks changed. You never know who might have a copy of the same key to your new house or who might have had access to the lock system at some point. Even if you trust the previous owner, there’s no reason to take any chances. A professional locksmith can complete the task securely and swiftly, allowing you to continue your to-do list while they work.
Perhaps you’re wondering why this is one of the most crucial tasks you should complete following the closing of your new house. This article will explain a few key reasons why changing your locks should be at the top of your priorities.
Top Reasons to Change the Locks on a New Home
The Previous Owners Did Not Hand Over All the Keys
You may want to trust the previous owners at their word if they seem honest and straightforward. The upstanding character of the last owners, however, is not sufficient to guarantee whether or not you have all copies of your new home’s keys. Consider, for example, that they have resided in the home for years and have lost track of how many real estate agents, nannies, housekeepers, neighbors, relatives, dog sitters, friends, caretakers, repair technicians, security firms, and so on that have copies of the old keys. There is no telling how many keys to your new home are floating around out there. The best way to protect your house, family, and belongings is by changing the locks as soon as possible after you take possession.
There Could Be a Master Key Out There
Even if your home is brand new and you are the first people to live in it, there isn’t any assurance that the locks are safe from a third party. If you’ve recently purchased a brand-new house, there’s a good probability that the locks are master keyed, which is a typical practice for many property developers.
All of the houses in one block, for example, may be accessed with a single key that fits each lock mechanism, as it is easier for home builders working on multiple homes at the same time in the same division. Subcontractors are frequently given access to a master key system, which means they can enter any of the homes as well.
Before moving into a recently built home, you should engage the professional locksmith services of Silver Eagle Locksmith to have your outside door locks replaced or have the locks rekeyed. While you’re at it, you can also change the locks on your windows to be safe.
To Keep the Insurance in Force
If you are robbed because you were using outdated locks and someone had the keys, your homeowner’s insurance claim may be void. Before they pay the claim amount, most insurance companies will want to see evidence of forced entry.
It won’t be labeled as a forced entry if someone uses an old key to open your front door and enter the premises. Instead, it will be deemed a case of owner negligence. Make sure you change your new home’s locks if you want your insurance to remain valid in case of a burglary!
For Peace of Mind
The most important reason to always change the locks after moving into a new home is for your own peace of mind. Even if you trust the previous homeowners and they have no history of crime, it’s still wise to take this safety precaution. It only takes a few minutes for the professional installation of new locks, and it’s a small price to pay for the comfort that comes with knowing that your home is secure.
Factors that Influence the Cost of Lock Replacement
When it comes to the cost of lock replacement, several factors can influence the price. The type of lock, the material it is made from, the brand, and where you purchase it can all play a role in how much you end up spending. Let’s consider in detail, some of the factors that might affect the cost of changing the locks.
Type of Lock
The type of lock you choose can have a big impact on the overall cost of replacement. For instance, a deadbolt is going to be more expensive than a regular doorknob lock. This is because deadbolts are made from stronger materials and offer more security. If you are looking for the most affordable option, then a doorknob lock might be the way to go. However, if security is your main concern, then a deadbolt or keypad lock is the better choice.
There are numerous locks and fittings to select from on the market. You may choose from a variety of choices, with costs varying depending on the material, manufacturing brand, and intricacy of the lock.
Number of Locks Involved
The overall cost will be determined by the number of locks changed. If you are only changing one lock, then the cost will be lower than if you were changing multiple locks. A new lock should be installed on each door that can be opened using an old key. This includes the front door, garage door, back door, gate lock, etc. There will also most likely be different types of locks on each door, which will affect the pricing of having a professional locksmith change the locks.
Copies of Keys Required
Duplicates are not a significant factor in the cost of changing locks on residential property when it comes to traditional keys. However, if you are changing the lock to a commercial property, the number of key copies can impact the overall total. This is because you will need to purchase multiple copies of the new keys to provide access to everyone who needs it. The price will be determined by the number of keys you need and the complexity of the system.
If the work entails adding or changing components of the door or frame, there will be additional labor expenses. If you have chosen to install a different lock type on the door, even from the same brand, expect some additional effort to adapt it. The door may need to be planned down or the strike plate might need to be changed. These are just a few examples of minor adjustments that can significantly add to the labor cost. On the other hand, if the locks are the same type and size, there should be no extra labor expenses for changing them.
Rekeying vs. Replacing Your Door Lock
Changing all the locks is typically thought of as the only alternative when you lose your house keys or move into a new home. However, there is another, far easier and sometimes cheaper solution: having the locks rekeyed. The process of rekeying locks involves changing the tumblers of key pins in a lock cylinder to match a new key.
When these tumblers or key pins are shifted, you’re essentially establishing a new key pattern for the lock, making any prior keys invalid. This can be done without removing the lock or drilling it out, although it is still best done by a professional locksmith. It’s a very simple process for an expert locksmith with the proper tools. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. How do you figure out if you should have your locks rekeyed or replace the lock entirely when moving into a new home?
You are ultimately the one who decides! Here are some suggestions to assist you in choosing between rekeying or replacing your locks:
Rekeying is a more viable option for commercial properties, offices, apartments, and condominium complexes. Instead of replacing the entire lock, a locksmith may instead replace the mechanical locking mechanism, rendering the old keys useless. After that, the lock is reset to accept the new keys. Rekeying is generally the more cost-effective option when numerous locks need to be changed.
Replacing locks may be a better option if the existing locks are badly damaged or too old to be repaired. In these cases, it may make more sense to replace the entire lock rather than trying to repair it. Replacing the locks will also allow you to upgrade to a higher-quality lock if desired.
How to Change the Locks on Your New House
Hiring a professional locksmith is the way to go. You might believe that replacing locks on your house’s entry doors and performing the installation yourself with materials you bought at the local hardware store is a lot less expensive, but this is not necessarily true. When you factor in the cost of new lock sets, any travel expenses, and the time spent learning how to change locks, then doing it yourself, you’re spending more money and energy. Plus, there is always the potential for making mistakes during installation that could make your home less secure.
To change locks – house or otherwise – there are a few preparatory steps that you need to take.
Book an Appointment with the Locksmith
When you schedule a lock change appointment ahead of time, you save money and time. If you need to change your locks urgently, most locksmiths charge a premium fee. In addition, by making an appointment ahead of time and discussing your needs, the locksmith can order parts and cut keys at the shop before arriving at your home to replace the locks. Preparing the locks and keys at their shop is faster and less costly than doing so on-site.
Have the Details of Your Needs in Order
When you’re talking to the locksmith on the phone, it’s helpful to have all of your ducks in a row. The more information you can give the locksmith, the more accurate their quote will be. To save time, ask for a general estimate over the phone and provide specifics when they arrive. This way, the locksmith can get started on the work immediately.
What You’ll Need:
- A list of all the doors that need new locks, including any exterior doors, garage doors, gates, and sheds.
- The type of lock you would like installed on each door.
- Your budget. Locksmiths will be able to provide a range of options for your new locks, including traditional deadbolts, electronic keypads, and even fingerprint scanners. Be sure to ask about the different types of locks available and find out which ones fit within your budget.
Ask for Recommendations
If you’re not sure what type of lock to choose, ask the locksmith for their recommendation. They will be able to assess your needs and recommend the best option for your home.
Be Present During the Installation
It’s important to be present during the installation so that you can see how the new locks work and ask any questions. This is also a good time to get extra keys cut for your new locks.
Home Locksmith Services for New Homeowners
If you’re a new homeowner, congratulations! This is an exciting time full of new opportunities and experiences. One thing you’ll want to make sure you do early on is to find a good locksmith that you can trust. By changing the locks as soon as you move into your new home, you’ll give yourself and your family peace of mind. It’s ideal to do this before the movers come so you can secure your things as soon as they arrive.
The professional locksmiths at Silver Eagle Locksmith can help you with a variety of tasks related to your home’s security, from changing or rekeying door locks to installing window locks. We provide locksmith services to new homeowners of Las Vegas, NV, and the surrounding areas. To book a lock changing appointment for your new home, call our Las Vegas office at 702-539-9581. We will be glad to help you choose the best option for your needs and budget!