How Much Does it Cost to Rekey A House Lock?
You just bought a home. Or you just tossed your roommate. You fired your cleaning lady, or an employee at your business. It’s time to rekey your locks! How much is a rekey? This post will give you the information you need to understand the rekeying process, and the costs associated with it.
Table: Cost to Rekey House Locks
|Rekey Service Provided||*Rekey Cost Per Cylinder (Keyhole)|
|Rekey Lock in Shop||$ 13|
|Rekey Lock at Your House||$ 19|
|Mailbox Key/Lock in Shop||$ 20|
|Mailbox Key/Lock at House||$ 40|
|Rekey Surcharge if No Current Key||$ 7|
|On Site Trip Charge||$ 79|
|Rekeying Kwikset Smartkey Locks||$0-$30|
|Rekey Padlock||Same as Lock Rekey|
*This article uses cost numbers from a nationwide professional locksmith survey conducted in 2017. If you live in a city with a high cost of living, your cost may be slightly higher. For those living in a low-cost city, cost will be a little bit less.
Quick Answers to Common Questions
Is it Cheaper to Rekey or Replace Locks?
When you want to protect your home from anyone that may have an existing key copy, you can rekey the locks so that they work with a new key. You DO NOT need to replace the door hardware. But, how much is a rekey? Is it cheaper to buy new home locks?
When you can take your locks into a locksmith shop, it is ALWAYS cheaper to rekey. But if you need to have someone out to rekey at your home, it may be cheaper to replace the hardware when you have only a single door. This is because of the expense to get a locksmith onsite which takes the form of a trip charge.
After two doors, it’s again, always less expensive to rekey the home.
Rekeying a door lock is the process of disassembling the lock cylinder and changing the pins inside so that the lock will operate using a different key than before. It’s desirable to do this any time you feel that your keys may have been compromised, like the situations above, and it’s usually less expensive than buying new hardware.
But there are a lot of circumstances that affect the price to rekey a lock cylinder, so we hope you will find this blog useful in understanding the charges you may pay to have this work professionally done.
What is the Cost to Rekey Locks in a Locksmith Shop?
When it’s possible, the least expensive option is to bring the locks into a locally owned locksmith shop. Will Home Depot rekey locks? Sometimes, but only if you are buying new locks through them (they will rekey them to match one key). A locksmith will rekey locks you bring to the for much less than the cost of a new lock.
The main price differences between having a locksmith out to your home to rekey and bringing the locks to a lock shop occur because:
- You’ll save the trip charge (the cost associated with getting a locksmith to your location), and
- The rekey will be a little less expensive, because you will be doing the removal and reinstall of the hardware.
Locksmith Pro Tip: When in doubt, take pictures at each step when removing the lock body from the door – this will help you replace the hardware properly!
Taking your locks into a locksmith shop for rekeying is a great low-cost option available to you if you:
- Only have one or 2 locks on a single door and
- Can have someone who can watch the home while you’re at the locksmiths having the work done and
- Feel comfortable with removing and replacing the hardware yourself.
The cost to rekey a residential lock will be about $13 per lock cylinder when brought to a lock shop and you have an existing key.
A ‘cylinder’ is where a key goes into a the lock – so each keyhole you have will need to be changed and incur this cost. Some locks have 2 cylinders – a key on each side, and some instead have a thumb turn and only one cylinder. Rekeying is priced by cylinder, and not by locks, so keep this in mind – just count the number of keyholes.
If you don’t have the existing key, the locks can still be rekeyed but it will cost slightly more as it will take longer to perform the rekey. Expect around $7 additional.
Locksmith Pro Tip: If you are rekeying because you bought the home and you are taking your locks into a locksmith shop, be sure to check out our article Cheap and Easy Ways to Boost Your New Home’s Security.
The Cost to Rekey Locks at My Home?
For larger jobs with more doors and cylinders to be changed (or if you just aren’t comfortable or willing to do a little of the work), it will be worth your time and money to hire a locksmith to come out to your location.
The cost of a trip charge to get a locksmith to our home to perform the key is $75, depending on where you live. The cost to rekey each cylinder will be a little bit more expensive because the locksmith is doing the removal and replacement of the hardware. The cost to rekey a lock will be around $20 per lock cylinder (every keyhole).
There are also some circumstances when the costs will be a little higher. For instance, if you don’t have a working key for a door lock, all is not lost – locksmiths can still rekey them, but they will have to pick the lock open in order to pull the cylinder. When you don’t have the current key the cost to rekey the lock will have a surcharge of about $7.
You may also have specialty hardware if you live in an upscale home; things like profile cylinders (which take a longer time to rekey due to how they are built) or some homes have complex 3 – point lock systems that are a bit more time consuming in getting the cylinders out for a rekey.
You may have a high security lock system in place. If you have high-security locks in the home, you will know it. The keys won’t look like any other you have ever had. These lock systems often have more internal moving parts which are retooled in the rekey, and the keys themselves are usually more expensive. These are great for security, but the trade-off is a higher price for the keyblanks.
Each of these scenarios will add a moderate cost increase to your rekey, but most homes we go out to have the most common brands (Schlage, Kwikset, Yale, Baldwin are all popular), and these are fairly standard at the basic prices we’ve listed above.
Rekeying a Kwikset Smartkey Lock – Special Case
One other note – newer Kwikset residential products (and, by licensing agreement, some newer Baldwin products) have a different kind of cylinder system using wafer technology instead of pins, called a ‘SmartKey’. You can recognize this by the addition of a second small hole next to the keyhole.
One of the added benefits to this system is that the home owner can rekey their own Smartkey locks for $0 (so long as you still have the current working key, and a small tool provided by Kwikset).
However, if you have a Kwikset Smartkey lock without the existing key it is very labor intensive to rekey the lock. It requires a special reset cradle and a lot of time. In some cases, it’s less to just replace this lock if you don’t have the keys. To rekey a Kwikset Smartkey lock rekeyed without the existing key, you can expect to pay about $30.
The Cost to Rekey Other Home Locks
Padlocks by a number of manufacturers like Master Lock, American Lock, and ABUS can also come in rekeyable keyways. If you buy, or have the right product, these can be rekeyed to match your house key. These are great when you don’t want to track additional keys, such as with a side gate or shed.
You can pick up a rekeyable ABUS padlock on Amazon for a great price. Just order the keyway that matches your house key. Take it into you local locksmith shop and they will rekey it to match your house key. Or, even better, support your local locksmith and they will get you all set with a padlock that works with your home key in one stop.
Rekey Mailbox Locks:
Many community mailbox banks have locks that are the responsibility of the home owner (you can verify if this is the case with your local post office). These locks typically aren’t made to be rekeyed, but they can be replaced easily enough. While a locksmith is at your house performing a rekey, have them take care of this too. The cost (lock and labor) to rekey/replace mailbox lock is around $40.
In some communities, however, there may be proprietary locks which may not be able to be addressed with a locksmith (you would go instead to a home or community association or the post office to address these).
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