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What is a house lock rekey?

Rekeying your home lock simply means reconfiguring a lock to allow a different key to operate it, thereby rendering the previous key or keys useless. Rekeying can be a cost-effective way for homeowners to protect their property without replacing or changing locks.  This option is especially recommended for new home owners or when you’ve lost track of your house key duplicates and/or who has access to your home. Rekeying your most valuable asset – your home – should always be done by a trusted, certified locksmith to ensure the safety and security of your property.

Virtually every realtor agrees that newly homes should be rekeyed immediately upon occupancy. Why rekey a new home? To be blunt, many contractors have gained access to your new home with the lockbox key that you have no idea how many key copies are floating around when you move in. By not contacting a professional locksmith upon buying a new home, you run a very real risk of unauthorized entrance by someone who has a key to your home.

Here’s a better reason for rekeying your new home: In many single-builder communities, locks are master keyed by construction contractors, who often place master pins in the lock which multiplies the number of keys able to operate the lock. Rekeying locks by a professional rekey locksmith will remove these master pins and eliminate the possibility of another key operating the locks.

What is the cost to rekey locks?

How much did your house cost? Protecting your largest investment is worth the price of a Schlage lock rekey or Kwikset lock rekey. Our locksmiths from will assess whether your locks are best rekeyed or replaced. In most cases, a home rekey service is the best and most affordable option, and can be done quickly for $100-$200. Considering the time and price of buying and installing new quality locks yourself (without knowing if you’ve done the work correctly), professional locksmiths offer the best value for home lock rekey services. If you’re interested in other residential locksmith services such as lock changing, most locksmiths will give you a lock rekey for free when you buy new locks, decorative locks, or electronic locks from them.

Sure, you can buy a DIY lock rekey kit on the cheap at a hardware store, but there’s a reason rekey kits are so inexpensive: they simply don’t provide the peace of mind and guaranteed workmanship of a certified locksmith. Your neighborhood locksmith actually cares about your home security and as a member of 1800Unlocks has established a reputation built on trust and high-quality work. Why trust your home to a cheap kit that won’t protect your home in the long run?

How to Rekey a Lock

In rekeying a lock, a professional locksmith will safely remove the lock off the door to get to the lock cylinder. The lock cylinder is the part of the lock where the key is inserted. If you have a door knob, they may not need to remove the entire lock off the door. They may only need to remove the side of the lock with the cylinder. If you have a deadbolt, they will likely take the entire deadbolt lock off the door, except the latch, and pull out the cylinder. Deadbolts and door knobs have cams or tailpieces that tie into the other side of the lock so the lock and key function as one unit.

To rekey a lock a locksmith must disassemble the cylinder’s back end. This means removing the cam or cap on the back of the cylinder which may screw on or have a clip. Once that is off the cylinder is free to be turned slightly and pushed forward out of it’s housing. The housing still has top pins and springs so a plug follower is needed to hold those in place. Once the lock and key are out of the housing you can toss the old pins and key into the recycle bin. Grad a new key and pick your new depths of cut. Key depths do make a difference as far as security is concerned. Some combinations are more difficult to pick than others. Certain depths cannot be placed next to other depths. Deciding new depth cuts is something trained locksmiths are great at doing.

Once you have the new cuts insert it into the key and start inserting your new bottom pins. Check the cylinder has a smooth shear line, turn the cylinder slightly and push the plug follower back through the lock and test that the lock turns smoothly. If you don’t hear any clicking or feel tightness when the lock is turned, you’ve done a great job!