There are a number of occasions when a homeowner may want to replace or rekey the locks in his house. But before taking any action, he has to ask himself whether there is a need to replace the locks or just rekey the existing locks. To start with, rekeying the locks is a more cost-effective way to get rid of old keys. This is a project that many handy homeowners are able to handle by themselves. However, there are times that a homeowner must replace the entire lock system rather than rekeying the existing locks.

Replacing your keys

Here are some of the reasons for replacing the locks rather than rekeying them:

• You have just moved into a new home

There is no telling as to who have copies of the keys to your new home. Family members, neighbors, friends, workers on extended project, etc, all might have copies of the said keys. Apart from this, lost keys may have gotten into the hands of the wrong people. Replacing the locks make the previous keys and copies worthless. This is a better option compared to rekeying the lock for total security.

• Malfunctioning locks

Similar to other things mechanical, door locks fail over time. If you notice that your old keys are not turning as easily as they used to, then consider replacing the entire locks rather than opting for rekeying. After some time, the key might not open the lock anymore. When the issue is repair related, the only sure way is to replace the whole system instead of rekeying.

• Risk of lock pick and bump keys

Sometimes, even the most secure cylinder lock can be picked with the easily available bump keys. Bump keys are cut in a special way to allow a locksmith to defeat a cylinder lock for simple repair or rekeying projects. If they land into the wrong hands, then your locks can be opened in a matter of seconds. Opt for stronger locks with deadbolts or keyless varieties to make it difficult for intruders and eliminate this threat.

• Upgrade the existing locks

If you are concerned about the security your present locks are providing, then the surest way to improve the level of protection is to replace them all. Maybe your doors have locks without deadbolts, or perhaps the existing strike plate on the locks isn’t as strong as they used to be. The most logical thing to do in this case is replace all the locks on the doors.

Rekeying your keys

Like aforementioned, rekeying is a cost effective way of changing the current keys on the existing door locks. With rekeying, you do not need to replace the entire lock to protect your cash, file or property. The tumblers of a lock cylinder are changed with others of different sizes. When the process is done away with, the old key can be disposed off as it will no longer open or close the door. A new set of keys are required for a newly rekeyed lock. These must coincide with the new tumblers as to properly function. An expert local locksmith can handle the lock rekeying process as he comes armed with both the expertise and tools to do a perfect job. For locks with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) grade one designation, there is no need for a complete replacement.

Apart from rekeying locks for security purposes, a homeowner might choose to rekey the locks for convenience reasons. A good way to reduce the weight of existing keys and selection confusion is to have all your locks, especially the internal ones, rekeyed so as to use a single key. A good locksmith can rekey any number of locks in and on your home so as to work with the same key.

For example, owners of rental properties such as condominiums, apartment buildings and the likes often find it necessary to have a master key that will open multiple locks. Locksmiths can perform master rekeying to almost any configuration so as to meet the client’s needs and specifications.

There are a number of reasons why you might choose to rekey your locks. These include:

• Wanting to have different keys for a front and back doors

• Loaning out a key to a contractor and not getting it back

• Moving into a new house

• Losing a key

Although the rekeying process can be said to be cost effective, it can greatly add up to significant sums if the entire house needs to be done. So the decision to either replace or rekey your locks may come down to how much you are willing to spend. Do you know that many states in the U.S., a landlord is required to either replace or rekey the old locks between the tenants so as to guarantee the security of all involved? Well, now you do!

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