Hi, my name is David. I am a third-generation locksmith with over 30 years of experience. Like many of you, I have kids and at a certain age, you begin teaching them responsibility. At first, it will be with small things like feeding the dog or taking out the trash. At some point, you will entrust them with a key to the house and If your kids are anything like mine, you will have to replace that key over and over again. But I have a solution for you that will replace the worry of them losing their house key along with the worry of where it might be or who might have it.
After having to rekey my own house countless times, I rounded up my kids and took their damn keys away from them, and installed a keypad lock on my back door. (excuse the profanity, it is an emotional matter, LOL). Since I cannot afford a maid, I only needed a keypad lock with one code. Fortunately, almost all keypad door locks sold today have a minimum of two codes, some with up to eight. At the end of this article, you will find my keypad recommendations and how to choose the right one.
Locksmith Rekey Services
For those of you that are not locksmiths, let me enlighten you on rekey costs throughout the DFW Metroplex. Depending on which company you choose the cost can range anywhere from $90 to $500 (and that is no joke). If you have never hired a locksmith before you will find that some of these companies, especially the ones that are advertising $15 and 15 minutes (in our industry, we call them scam companies – click here to learn how to spot a scam company) will attempt to replace every locking device on your house rather than rekeying them. They will claim that you have cheap locks and are a security risk. We will get into this whole debate about “cheap locks” in our next article. Some companies like ours offer promos and charge by the job and not the number of locks. The majority of the companies that we found will charge a trip charge ranging anywhere from $55 to $125 plus rekey costs per lock ranging from $15 to $30 per lock and some companies, believe it or not, will charge an hourly labor fee on top of that.
Without further ado, let’s get into this whole keypad lock thing, and let me explain to you how beneficial and stress relieving they really are.
The only maintenance on a keypad lock is changing the batteries when needed. With three kids and a wife, we get well over a year before having to change the batteries. 90% of the keypad door locks sold today use 4 AA batteries and takes about a minute to change. Most if not all the keypad locks will start sounding a distinct signal when the batteries are getting low.
Never Get Locked Out of Your House Again!
If any of you are anything like me, you will ignore that distinct beeping indicating the batteries are low and find yourself locked out of your house. This brings us to our next point, key override. Do NOT purchase a keypad lock that does not have a key override. Nowadays, you would be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t, but they do exist. If you don’t know what I mean by key override it is simply a function on the keypad that in the event the battery dies you can use a key as well. Solution: for dumb-dumbs like me, key override only works if you have a key with you, LOL.
Locksmiths charge anywhere from $75 to $400 to unlock your house, once again that is no joke. The scam companies will tell you that your lock cannot be picked and has to be drilled and charge you anywhere from $250 to $300 for a new lock, see for yourself on the news stings on YouTube. Some locks legitimately cannot be picked but the replacement on the high end would be on average $60, see for yourself at Home Depot.
Never Need Your Locks Rekeyed Again – remember those rekey prices we just discussed?
Once all keys have been confiscated from your kids and wife, lock them away, keeping one key safely hidden outside the home for emergencies. Without keys being distributed, there is no loss and no need for future rekey services.
How to Choose the Right Keypad Lock
Since the rest of my house uses Kwikset key hardware, I installed a Kwikset 909. It is important to purchase the brand in which keyway matches the rest of your locks. Keypads also come in different finishes allowing you to match the new keypad door lock to your existing hardware.
If the door you’re choosing to install the keypad door lock on already has an existing deadbolt, you can DIY this thing without the need of a locksmith. You are simply just removing the old deadbolt and putting the keypad in its place (future article explains why you should not have more than one deadbolt on your door). If you have any problems installing it, you can give us a call at 972-914-9446 and one of our locksmiths will walk you through the installation at no charge. However, if there is no existing deadbolt on the door it is better to hire a locksmith to professionally perform the installation. Feel free to shop around for prices, our company charges $115+tax.
Whatever you do, do not put the keypad on the door leading into your garage. If your garage door opener dies and you don’t have a key, you are locked out. Plus, handing out garage door openers is more dangerous than handing out keys.
Keypad Door Lock Recommendations
There are a variety of brands, some better than others. You can find most brands at Home Depot or Lowe’s and they cost around $100 and can hold two codes. One of the nice features of these keypad door locks is that you can set up a delayed locking option. Once the door is closed/unlocked (it doesn’t sense whether the door is open or closed) and after the preset time, the lock with automatically lock the door for you.
Schlage and Kwikset are the best brands out there. There are numerous options available from a standard keypad to a keypad door lock that can be controlled by your phone, these options will determine the cost of the lock.
Give us a call at 972-914-9446 for assistance or to schedule services.
Also Read: 7 Tips on How To Secure Your Home