Thoughts on new windows and keypad door locks

13 Replies

2 seperate questions:

-I have a building that my wife wants to put new windows in.  The current windows are old but work perfectly fine.  The units are all metered so I am trying to understand any advantages of adding new windows besides them being "nice."

-We have a Key code lock on a property that we use as a vacation rental near the beach in Va Bch.  All of the people who have stayed there love it, being able to work to the beach, ifly, golf, stores, etc w/o needing to bring a key.  While this might not work for all properties, I am thinking about using this in other places as it is easy to change the code and people seem to like.  Anything I am missing on this (keypad dies, etc.)?

Feel free to add your own ideas and thanks for the input.

I use keypads on my homes. They are loved by all! The batteries last years in most cases and I have not had any break down issues. There is a key override on the locks too so maybe you can hide a key somewhere on the property just in case it is ever needed? I use the Schlage Camelot series, I prefer the manual deadbolt (no motor to wear out). Press a button turn the lock and walk away! The Schlage keypad handle systems work well too and lock automatically, but I have had complaints from a landlord who used them and the electronics stopped working after a year and just after the warranty expired....

As far as the widows go...'If it ain't broke don't fix it'! If they are sealed and functional I am sure they are just fine...

fyi the Schlage Camelot electronic deadbolts are $84 on I just print out the price sheet and take it to Lowe's/Home Depot to match the price (they have them on the shelf for $129+)

Agreed on both accounts.  Also, considering adding coin washer and dryer.  Was told by a few people w/ more experience then myself that it usually doesn't make sense until 8 units or more so this will be a first.  Was going to pick up a used set, but found a new one at a reasonable price.

Thx for the lock tip Bill, been tossing around the idea of switching from weiser smartkey locks to coded ones.  Coded ones may be the way to go as seems like alot less key hassle overall.

For multi-family buildings, the keypads can be a problem, because tenants will give the code out to non-tenants, which can be a problem. The building I'm in now just switched from the keypads to giving all tenants these electronic key fobs, which we need to swipe to get in.  The theory is that then a tenant must be present, or at least have given the fob to someone with permission.  Plus, they can track which key was used when.

This, of course, does not keep tenants from locking themselves out LOL!  

But, thought I'd throw that out there.  They just recently finished the conversion here, and none of the keypads work anymore.  No fob, no entry.  

And I also agree that if the windows are working and lock, no need to replace them.

What is the cost, pros and cons of the key fobs

Originally posted by @Pete T. :

What is the cost, pros and cons of the key fobs

 Pete, I have no idea.  I'm a tenant now myself.  This is a subsidized senior apt bldg.  I moved in around Thanksgiving and they were just handing out these new electronic fobs.  The darn things didn't work right for about a month.  Took a while to get the kinks worked out.

A bunch of the seniors here would leave their doors unlocked and go outside for walks, etc., expecting to use the keypad to get back into the building  So, they were all ending up locked out until they changed their habits.  Pain in the rear for the onsite manager, once they couldn't use the keypad anymore.

Plus, this place has door knobs that automatically lock on the apartment doors, unless you remember to flip a lever before you go out.  I'm really habitual about making sure I have my keys, and I've even locked myself out once here.  The place I managed, we changed out all door knobs to the kind that don't lock.  Deadbolts only, so you can't lock the door unless you have your key.

Even then, they'd lock them in their cars LOL.  But, changing out the door knobs really cut down on the locked-out calls.

At any rate, sorry, I have no idea how much this system costs.

As someone else mentioned, I'd be hesitant to using keypad locks. The problem I see is the tenants sharing the code with others and not being able to keep close tabs on who has access to your property.

I have exactly the same advice as Bill gave above. We use the Schlage Camelot series on 20 condos in a complex, and they have been fantastic. Just change the batteries every two years, and you'll never have a problem with these locks.

We have the same advice on the windows as Bill, too. Unfortunately the complex has many older windows with cracked panes, and some of the windows are single pane windows, so those problems cannot be ignored.  We are slowly working our way down a triage list, but once we deal with the problem windows we have no plans to change all the functional windows. It cost about $3000 per unit, and there is virtually no return on the investment.

thanks for the advice everyone.  @ken p what do the batteries  run and any particular reason you prefer that model?

Hi Pete,

Just use good alkaline 9V batteries.  I order packs of Duracell Procell batteries from Amazon, which are the same as regular Duracell alkaline batteries, just in trade packaging at a much lower price than retail packaged batteries.

Regarding the Schlage locks, any of their BE365 locks are good.  Camelot just refers to the styling of a particular model, but there are other BE365 locks with different names and slightly different appearance.  What makes these locks good, IMHO, besides the battery life and their robust build, is there is no motor to move the deadbolt.  Doors aren't always in perfect alignment, so you don't want a motorized mechanism trying to drive the bolt in place.  With the BE365, the lock electronics just engage the knob on the front of the lock to the deadbolt; you have to twist the knob, providing the oomph for it to move.  No gears, no motors, no problems.

Leave the windows.  If they don't function properly I know a guy that can fix that fairly cheaply.  

To improve on your security situation, and to ensure that your home or your business is up to date with security, it’s always good to speak with an expert. What many would suggest a good idea, and something that your Locksmiths would also highly recommend, is to have your property and premises surveyed by an expert. It’s quick, easy and will leave you with a much better idea of what you can do to improve on security at home or at work, as well ensure that you don’t have any high risk areas which are uncovered.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here