Rekey a Home or Office Building

I can rekey locks both residential and commercial in a short time. I can rekey approximately 8 locks per hour.  Total cost tax already included is:

  • $120 Service call to North Seattle
  • $25 per conventional* deadbolt/doorknob rekey in working condition with a working key
  • $30 per conventional* lock cylinder masterkeyed in working condition with a working key
  • $35 per conventional* rim cylinder/panic bar/electronic lock/profile cylinder rekey in working condition with a working key
  • $30 per conventional* lock without a working key
  • $5 per key.  I will give you two keys included for free.
  • 50% extra on the weekend and after 6 pm.

*Conventional locks are common residential locks. Medeco, Protec2 and other restricted keyways can be rekeyed but it will cost more. The pins for high security locks are made of steel and are machined to tight tolerances and are very expensive as a result. They are also more complicated to service. Also Best style locks and other removable cores look like a little figure eight or snowman shape. They cost more to rekey.

If your locks look like this and you have working keys you probably don’t need my help. You need a smartkey rekey tool and a new kwikset key to change it to.

It takes me very little time to rekey a conventional doorknob or deadbolt.  Ask me about rekeying options like masterkeying, the addition of security pins and springs, and changing to a restricted keyway to get the most security for your dollar.

Seattle landlord tenant law requires that between tenant changes the locks must be rekeyed. This is of great benefit to the property manager because if you didn’t rekey your locks and a former tenant came back and hurt a current tenant after gaining entry with their key you might be held liable for damages.

One should change locks every few years or, for the security conscious, after every time somebody you don’t fully trust has access to your keys for more than a few minutes outside of your sight.  Making a copy of your key doesn’t have to be loud or noticeable.  A criminal could simply make an outline with a pencil on a piece of paper for a typical key from the hardware store.  If your key has five numbers on it, anybody with knowledge of locks would simply have to memorize the five numbers to cut the key later for an exact copy.  They can then file a key blank down at their leisure to strike at any later time.  A key can even be made from a picture of your key. Here’s another similar story. If you get a restricted keyway from me, they can’t copy your key because the key blanks for my restricted keyway are not available to them.

Rekey your house for peace of mind.  After all, it doesn’t matter how secure your locks and windows are if you don’t know who has your key.  Some security experts suggest you change your locks every two years.  Landlords should have locks changed every time somebody moves in/out of a rental property.  According to Seattle law, a room being rented out individually must have locks and those locks must be rekeyed every time there is a tenant change. If a house is rented to a group who pay together then only the exterior doors need to be rekeyed between tenants.

If you don’t want to pay me and you don’t mind having cheap locks, an option for you is to buy a set of locks at home depot.  You can buy sets of locks all keyed the same.  For about the same price as it costs to change your locks, you can buy home depot’s in house brand, defiant, and get four knobs all keyed the same.  They are low quality however and if not installed with care defiant doorknobs can be shaken open or bypassed with a credit card.

For the adventurous, the process of rekeying a lock involves taking the cylinder apart and changing small pieces of metal called pins.  You get new keys cut to arbitrary combinations of depth corresponding to standard depths for your lock, insert them into the cylinder of your lock such that your key lifts them all to the height of the cylinder’s shear line, and stick it back in your lock so that the springs push the top pins down onto the bottom pins you just selected.  It is fairly easy.  You could pay home depot to do it and watch them and get the idea with one lock.  You can buy repinning kits for your locks from Bulger Safe & Lock,, or home depot and do it yourself if you are of a tinkering mindset.  Simply search for these things on google and youtube and the path will be illuminated for you.

If, however, you don’t want to deal with small springs and parts and want to be assured that your locks will work when you come home next, I will be happy to rekey your locks for what I believe is a very reasonable price.  I am an old hand at the job and can foresee problems before they occur.  I have a very large pin kit and won’t sand down the top of your cylinder like many locksmiths who just want to “make it work”.  Sanding down the cylinder will lower tolerances and make your lock less effective at keeping out the bad guys.  I use the correct pin for every cylinder, and the correct corresponding top pin.  Most locksmiths won’t take the time to change the top pins.  I won’t charge more if you messed it up and lost some springs or pins either.  These parts are usually standard and I have purchased all parts related to most consumer locks for the purpose.

So, rekey your locks yourself or call me, but for goodness’ sake: Re-key your locks before you and yours come to property loss or bodily harm.  If you are in financial straits, I can work something out with you and am willing to barter.

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