So it’s time for new locks. There are plenty of reasons for it. You’re moving into a new place and want to make sure the locks are fresh. You’re redesigning and want an updated look for your door hardware. You want to break up with someone but you already gave them a key to your place and now it’s too awkward to ask for it back (no one said they had to be good reasons).
Well before you go to all the trouble, let’s look at your options.
You can replace the locks, of course; get them taken out and put in new ones. That seems the obvious choice. But have you thought of rekeying?
To rekey a lock, your locksmith will switch out the pins and cut you a new key, so the keys that used to work are now obsolete.
So how do you decide?
Let’s start with the most compelling argument: cost. Rekeying is much cheaper – like typically half the price. Instead of switching out all your hardware, you’re just making some small changes to the interior of the lock, and that change is usually enough to satisfy your lock needs.
Some of the issues you might have when replacing locks will be in just choosing some new ones. Often times, new locks will have to be retrofitted to fit a new door, which is just a lot of hassle. Furthermore, it might take a lot of time and compromise to find new locks that match the rest of the hardware you already have.
So if you want quick and easy (and cheap), you’ll want to do rekeying.
So then when and why would you go through with changing out the entire lock?
If the lock is legitimately broken (your key snapped off inside, your teenager is trying to learn lockpicking from the internet, etc), you definitely need a new one.
Maybe you’re getting a new door because your current one is old or you’re going for an aesthetic shift – definitely replace. It’s always better to start fresh than to try putting old locks on a new door.
If you’ve decided to update all your hardware anyway, you might as well replace just so that everything will match.
If you’re still not sure, a quick call to your local locksmith will get you the second opinion you need.