Cost of Changing Locks?

71 Replies

BP

This Friday I completed my first move-out inspection. A guy came over and charge me $300 to change my locks. He changed 3 locks. Does this seem like a fair price? Where can I get information on going prices prior to being ambushed?

@Donte Handy

What was the split on labor and materials?

From my point of view you always have to consider the hourly rate.

300 bucks - 100 (high end locks) = 200 in labor

Did he take 6 hours to change the locks ? If so then it’s probably fair .

More likely, he took about an hour and got over 200+ / hr from you

That’s more than a high priced lawyer!

My suggestion - find a good handyman and create a long term relationship with him or her . Constantly check it they are taking advantage or not ^^

Originally posted by @Donte Handy :

BP

This Friday I completed my first move-out inspection. A guy came over and charge me $300 to change my locks. He changed 3 locks. Does this seem like a fair price? Where can I get information on going prices prior to being ambushed?


What type of locks were installed?  Landlord locks that are easy to rekey? Or something high end?


Did they replace Bottom and top, ie dead bolt and the door knob?

Find a handy man to do that type of work.  I pay mine 50 an hour and he can change all the locks on the house in roughly an hour.  

As far as cost who knows not enough actual information  sorry

 

@Donte Handy if you are local to your property and don’t mind doing it yourself...

Kwikset Smart Key. So much cheaper than paying someone and it’s so easy to do.

I just finished an eviction on a duplex in a D neighborhood. I bolted the front door shut from the inside. Literally drilled giant screws through the door into the frame. The front door is going to get swapped out anyway. It had been broken down so many times a new deadbolt wouldn't have stopped anything. 

I changed the deadbolt on the side door. Or should I say I paid my handyman to do this while I moved on to the next property for a walk through/resign. I think it was around $50 with the new deadbolt and knob. 

Case by case basis.

Build systems. 

Originally posted by @Donte Handy :

BP

This Friday I completed my first move-out inspection. A guy came over and charge me $300 to change my locks. He changed 3 locks. Does this seem like a fair price? Where can I get information on going prices prior to being ambushed?

 $300, including parts, is not unreasonable for this task at all, so long as the guy is not a hack. Figure around $100 for the roll-out (cost of taking your call, getting into his truck that he provides - filled with all the necessary tools, and showing up), then some time to go and purchase the locks, time to install the locks, time to bill you for the service, time to record and cash your check, and finally add the cost of the locks themselves. Don't like that expense, go do it yourself, it aint rocket science, but you will need to purchase tools. The question always is, how much is your time worth?

Got clobbered with $700 with 8 keys. Front door got 4 keys. Last one the handyman did it for me $40 but I bought the parts. Some lock smith will do it for less if you offer cash.

Ouch! I also change my own or send a handyman when I’m wrapped up. I keep plenty of kwikset locks on hand and just take the extras to a locksmith and have them rekeyed when I run out. They charge 30 for each set.

I also only change the front door. The rest of the house has no existing keys(threw them away after initial install). This keeps the cost down. Tenants only receive front door keys and a garage door opener when applicable.

Looking at this, wow. A cheap but perfectly adequate deadbolt costs ten bucks. You can buy good-quality entry knobs and deadbolts in sets for maybe $25. Changing an entry knob or a deadbolt is one of the easiest basic handyman skills to learn. And when you have to change locks, you almost always have to do it yesterday. If you guys are making $150-$200 an hour in your jobs minus taxes, transportation, expenses, whatever, more power to you, but it sure sounds like you're paying a very heavy premium here to keep your hands clean and free of the taint of manual labor.

If you can make pop tarts you can change out a lock and as Jim said it’s not that expensive to buy if you DIY . That being said most times I don’t change the locks out between tenants . I know that sounds terrifying and irresponsible to folks on here but it’s not always necessary and just extra cost and time for no gain . If somebody is going to break in ,a 10$ doorknob is not going to stop them . They’ll find a way in the house wether they have a old key or not .

If you know which end of a screwdriver to hold, you can probably diy it, no sweat.
OK, you might need a flat tip screwdriver AND a phillips head. Also a youtube video possibly.
$300 for 3 locks sounds like a good reason to diy unless you have lots of doors.

Originally posted by @Donte Handy :

BP

This Friday I completed my first move-out inspection. A guy came over and charge me $300 to change my locks. He changed 3 locks. Does this seem like a fair price? Where can I get information on going prices prior to being ambushed?

 Seems fair. We charge people $80 per lock.

Originally posted by @Samir Shahani :

@Donte Handy

What was the split on labor and materials?

From my point of view you always have to consider the hourly rate.

300 bucks - 100 (high end locks) = 200 in labor

Did he take 6 hours to change the locks ? If so then it’s probably fair .

More likely, he took about an hour and got over 200+ / hr from you

That’s more than a high priced lawyer!

My suggestion - find a good handyman and create a long term relationship with him or her . Constantly check it they are taking advantage or not ^^

Let's not forget that there is a cost to creating and cultivating that long term relationship with said handyman. They also don't work out a lot of the time and you need to start over as well as pay new handymen to fix things the previous handymen did wrong. What a lot of investors fail to see is that simply paying the right people to do the job the right way in the first place has a lot of benefits and may not always have as high of a cost as you are perceiving.

 

Originally posted by @Lee Bell :

So, dirtft. Not a catchy acronym I know. But a good idea nonetheless.

Do it right the first time.

 You got it.

hundreds of bucks to change locks? you got ripped off.

I use kwikset, buy new keys/pins from ebay for $8, change the pins, have one key for all locks in the house.

only takes a few minutes.

I might upgrade to kwikset smartkey deadbolts in the future. Would save me the trouble of unscrewing the locks.

@Donte Handy - At Home Depot, a set of like-keyed defiant deadbolt and lock x2 “project set” will cost about $40 for four locks (2 full doors). You can check the back of the packages to buy two KEYED alike (they have a number), so you can do up to 4 doors with $80 of materials. If the door alignment is the same, it takes me (a lady) about 3 minutes per door knob with my handy screwdriver (faster if the electric screwdriver/drill fits). Maybe 15 minutes if the door alignment isn’t the same.

The kwikset smartkey is a special lock about $20 per piece ($40 for deadbolt and knob but not sure why you’d need both if you can just change the deadbolt) and you can get a rekey pack with 4 keys of 1 type and 2 keys of another for like $10 (cheaper than making 6 key copies). You have to be careful though because it says that if you rekey the wrong way you can “brick” the lock which apparently breaks its mechanism. The kwikset allows you to change keys without changing the knob and takes like 30 seconds. Though if they knew and were savvy they could change the locks on you for less than $10 and 30 seconds by buying their own rekey kit. All you need is 1 currently working key to rekey it.

GREAT ADVICE I READ HERE is to only install deadbolt locks and just passage knobs so people can’t lock themselves out of their house by shutting themselves out with auto lock on the knob and their keys inside.

Obviously the price goes up if you don’t have any working keys and need a locksmith to break you into the house before rekeying.

I switch all my locks to Kwikset Smart Key.  You're paying a little more up front to get all new locks in the house, but then you can quickly and easily rekey yourself, or have your management do it.

As other posters have said, newer "smart" locks can be a great investment in both saving $ and time for future tenants/turnovers. On my out of state properties, if I can't put on a smart lock easily, a local locksmith charges $99 to rekey up to 6 locks.

I wanted to add that in my 8-plex I use the same brand of deadbolts for all of the units. When I switch one out I only have to remove 2 screws and switch out the outside part of the deadbolt as the rest is the same. Only the keyed part needs to be changed. It's SO easy to do.
Another option is to have a locksmith rekey all of your locks for a master key, plus a couple of extras. Then play musical locks with those ones. Then you'll only need one master key.

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