Is It Better To Have Locks Rekeyed Or Completely Replaced?

Posted on: 21 May 2015

You're moving into a house with multiple doors to the outside and you want to get the locks changed. You've heard people talking about rekeying locks and replacing locks; is one choice better than the other? That depends on your own particular circumstances. Each option has certain advantages.

The Difference Between Rekeying and Replacing

Rekeying involves changing the mechanism inside the lock so that it requires a different key to open. Replacing the lock means removing the door handle and replacing that entire piece of hardware.

Rekeying Advantages

This is the cheaper option if you would have a locksmith do either task. Door handle hardware generally costs more than a lock cylinder, and labor costs are higher for replacing locks because it takes longer. 

Rekeying is a good choice if you are satisfied with the security of the locking mechanism but you're concerned about other people having keys to your place. It's also convenient if the current doors all require different keys and you don't want to carry around several house keys. A locksmith can set up the locks so they all work with one key. 

In addition, depending on the age of your door hardware, you may not find the same size or style. If the new doorknob is a bit smaller than the previous one, the space where the old one was situated can be noticeable due to wood fading or a lack of paint. You'll have to be careful about sizing. 

Replacement Advantages

If you're handy enough to replace the door handles as a do-it-yourself project, it will cost less than hiring a locksmith. You probably won't be able to rekey the locks because you would need specialized tools and knowledge to do so. 

If it seems like the locks on your door handle are somewhat flimsy and would not prove effective against break-in attempts, you can upgrade to more secure locks with this option. 

If the locks are very old, a locksmith may not be able to rekey them. In that case, you'd either have to live with your concern about other people having keys, or choose to get new door handles. 

What's Your Decision?

After you decide whether rekeying or lock replacement is the more suitable option for your personal needs, contact locksmiths for pricing information. You can also have a locksmith install additional features, such as deadbolts and latch bolts, to boost the security at your new home.