Hire Me to Install a Lock You Purchased

  • $65 Service call to North Seattle
  • about $20 labor if holes are already drilled correctly, not including parts.
  • about $45 labor if holes are not already drilled, not including parts.
  • $75/hour training you how to use your lock.
  • $15 extra on the weekend and after 6 pm.

Buy a lock from me:

  • I guarantee the lock
  • The lock will be appropriate for the application
  • I will rekey the lock for free
  • $10 less labor to install if it is the same kind of lock and new holes don’t need to be drilled

Buy a lock online:

  • I don’t guarantee the lock
  • The lock may not be appropriate for the application
  • I charge $19 to rekey the lock to your key (if you got the right keyway of lock)
  • $20 minimum to install, may be more if the door isn’t correctly prepped

Before buying from one of these places, ensure that they keyway of the new lock will match the keyway of those locks already installed in your building so that you don’t have to carry around more keys than necessary.  I can’t tell you how many times I have gone out to install locks for somebody and they had a lock that was the wrong keyway, and then they bought one with the correct keyway from me anyway.  It is possible to switch out the keyway with a different cylinder on a high quality lock but that isn’t happening if you bought an el cheapo at home depot and then the savings of buying a lock elsewhere are probably negated anyway.

Ensure that the lock is appropriate and legal for the application. There are lots of rules for what locks can go where, and if you install the wrong lock on a door there can even be legal ramifications. For example, a building owner is legally required to have a panic bar on a fire exit door of a room rated to hold more than a certain number of people. A building owner is not allowed to install a Kwikset doorknob on such a door. If the building burns down and people are trapped inside the building owner could be held responsible for their deaths! The law is also very clear about where double cylinder deadbolts are permitted. Fire doors have UL ratings that are voided by having locks that do not have the same UL rating. Apartment and condo buildings have to have locks that are ADA approved and fire rated for many of the doors. The rule book for these doors is huge and costs a lot of money. Here’s an interesting blog that covers new developments in fire safety and how it relates to doors.

There are some more caveats: Obviously I cannot guarantee the quality of a lock that you bought somewhere else, especially a used one.  I only guarantee locks that I sold and installed myself.  I know that I will do it right, and I know that my hardware will last.  I only guarantee that the installation will be correct since I have no knowledge of the lock’s history. I don’t warranty locks that I don’t sell you. If you buy a lock off of Amazon or Home Depot, I don’t guarantee that lock is any good and won’t fail two months down the road.

I sell locks that I know will last and will work well. They aren’t the cheapest locks, but I know that they will work for years before failure. You see, I can’t make a profit if I’m going back to jobs from six months ago and replacing locks for free! My business depends on locks that are dependable, so I only sell dependable locks.

The other thing to make sure of is that the lock you buy will have proper clearance of the door frame.  Sometimes there just isn’t enough room for a big lock on the door using the holes that are pre-existing from an old lock.  I can drill a bigger hole, but it will cost you.  If you are getting a large Schlage keyless lock for example, it may take up more surface area than the lock it is replacing.  I have had to modify doors that had decorative ridges in order to make the lock work.  In doing so, there are literally no cost savings in ordering the lock yourself because I have to charge for the time it takes to prep the door.

I also try to save the customer money by selling locks that are compatible with the door prep they have. Sometimes customers have an antique doorknob and they pull out a packaged doorknob from the hardware store and want me to install it in the antique knob’s place; unfortunately, the prep for the two locks is different and the labor to prep the door for a modern tubular doorknob is costly. It is cheaper to swap a lock out with the same style of lock because new holes don’t need to be made.

An analogy might be if you wanted to replace a broken window in your house with a window of a different size. Your significant other wants a smaller window than the one already there, so this requires taking out the window, framing in the smaller window with additional studs and covering it all up with drywall. Then you have to cut the trim with a miter saw because those pieces also have to be smaller. Then you have to paint the drywall the same color as the rest of the wall but you probably have to paint the whole wall if you want it to look right… If you installed the same size of window all you had to do was take the wood frame off holding the window in and replace the window and then put the window back.

I sell people locks that will work with their key and will rekey the new lock to match their old key, although all of your old keys are not guaranteed to work in the new lock. Only the key you give me to rekey the lock is guaranteed to work. Sometimes people pay me to come out and install a lock and key it to their key only to find that the lock cannot work with their key. Then they have to either buy the lock from me and return the other lock, have a different key, or they have to buy a lock cylinder from me to make it work with their key.

Will I install the locks that you bought online? Yes! It takes a load off of my shoulders if I don’t have to figure out what kind of lock you want me to bring. This is especially true if you have the taste of an architect without the requisite ability to communicate what lock you need (I don’t want to drive out to your house three times until I finally have the exact lock you want). If there is a specific style and finish of lock you want it is probably faster and less expensive for you to find it. That’s why I’ve linked these catalogs of locks here. One of the reasons my business exists is to help you find the right lock if you’re short on time so I can come out to see what you need, but I charge for a service call. If you have the time and feel strongly about it I strongly suggest identifying at least a picture of the item you want and then emailing it to me, if not a link to the product itself.

As a small business I only stock the most common locks I am asked to install. Even my local distributors don’t stock many of the different styles available and they have huge warehouses of locks! I’m happy to order the lock and sell it to you for list price. If it is a good lock I’ll warranty it. In general I can’t get locks cheaper than the general public. In fact, my distributors frequently charge more than Amazon.com. I keep using my distributors because they do a good job helping me find the locks I need and I’d rather give money locally.

Good places to go for locks are of course Lowe’s and Home Depot, but also consider “Builder’s Hardware” and also the various salvage places around Seattle, like Earthwise Salvage and Second Use (my favorite, I go here to source locks for customers who want a patina) and The RE Store.  You can get working locks at all of these places.  You can always call me to get some recommendations, because different people need different kinds of locks based on their usage patterns and the people that might want to bypass those locks.