A New Homeowner FAQ

The first thing that the new homeowner must do is rekey or “change the locks” or whatever you want to call it. This ensures that previous keys no longer work. This does not necessarily entail replacing the locks but that is an option.

You would replace your locks instead of rekeying them if they are trashy looking or are actually trashy, or if you seek a higher security keyway. Maybe you want a different finish, otherwise known as color. Or maybe your new house has a mishmash of incompatible locks and you want to consolidate to one key for everything, which means either replacing locks if possible the lock cylinders in the locks.

Sometimes older houses don’t have deadbolts on all of the exterior doors or maybe no lock at all on an outbuilding or gate and you want one there. Then you need a new lock and a fresh install.

Your new house may lack electronic locks which can be installed on almost any door, the expense of which depends on what kind of lock is installed on the door already. It is really easy to install an electronic lock in a door prepped for them already. Many times people want me to install an electronic deadbolt on a door featuring a mortise lock which can be done but is a recipe for a lockout. Electronic locks introduce new features which improve security but may also lower security, mainly if people see you enter your code.

Often an old house has locks that may have fallen into disrepair due to doors sagging or the house settling, or in the case of house flippers the locks may not work correctly after thick foam weatherstripping was installed. If you want the locks to work properly strike adjustments and hinge adjustments must be made.

Many times there are security improvements that can be made such as ensuring that strikes are properly installed with 3″ screws or that the deadbolt extends all the way into the doorframe. Double cylinder deadbolts can be installed in garages to prevent breaking in through windows to unlock the door.

Don’t forget to reprogram your electronic keypad lock, which I can do for you or you can do yourself if you look up the instructions online. Ask the former owners for the programming code.

People frequently forget to change their garage door opener’s frequency and code, or reset it. While I’ve done this for customers before it is easy to do yourself by looking up the garage door opener manual by model number and following the instructions. If you don’t it is possible that former occupants could open the garage door if their cars are still programmed to open it or they still have a “clicker” or garage door remote.

People often ask me to install security systems which I don’t do. I can only refer people to Froula or Burdick’s. I often suggest installing anti-shatter film to people with single pane windows but I don’t do it.