Why You Should Change Your Locks After Moving Into Your New Colorado Springs Home

At real estate closings in El Paso and Teller Counties, the new home owner is given keys to the property, opening up a range of options for increased or decreased security, depending on the course of action.  Over the last twenty five years, I’ve done literally thousands of key changes on newly purchased residential properties.  Some courses of action are better than others, but the most dangerous option is probably taking possession of the keys, and doing nothing. Whether the property is new or a resale, the chances that multiple people have keys is almost a certainty.  It’s hard to build a house without providing keyed access to many trade  people, and some of those workers and contractors, and even real estate agents, might just hold on to, duplicate, or pass along one or more of those keys.  In the case of older homes, the chances of family members, trades people, contractors, or a multitude of others having working keys to that property are a near certainty.  A simple key change or lock change-out at the time of sale is a simple expedient to deal with this critical security risk.  No one wants an unknown person simply opening up their home, either at night or when they are away, especially if that someone lives in the neighborhood, and can watch what is going on with the property, and its new owners.

Key changes are inexpensive and effective, but often the best course of action, both for security, lock function, and to get the most out of dollars spent, is to simply change out the locks.  New hardware on entry doors is always the best option, not just for esthetics, but for basic economics.  Instead of paying for the labor of rekeying, it is far better to have a locksmith provide you with locks at cost, bring you the receipt, and charge only for installation.  Mountain Locksmith provides this service.  In our experience, most residential hardware is cheaper at Lowes or Home Depot than through a lock wholesaler, although for high security, such as Medeco deadbolts, the wholesaler route is the only option.  New hardware need not be expensive, and it has the benefit of much greater dependability, longer and better function, and includes a professional installation, which incidentally provides repair and correction of previous installation shortcomings, such as incorrect drilling, strike plate location, incorrect morticing, or incorrect set up.  All in all, new hardware is definitely the way to go, unless the existing locks are fairly new.  Many locksmiths I’ve talked with over the years feel that installation of new hardware is nothing less than what constitutes a truly professional approach.  At time of service, it makes sense to take look at all the locks in the home, make sure they are all functioning correctly, and if possible, all have a consistent style and finish.  This security review need not have any additional cost, and is provided by Mountain Locksmith as part of installation and rekeying.

The next consideration for residential change of ownership is to do hardware upgrades. Lowes and Home Depot are now offering a wide variety of locks with keyless entry.  For residential applications, this generally involves push button locks, with a minimum of four button code entry, and a key override.  These locks come in a wide variety of styles and finishes, are produced by Schlage, Kwikset, and Defiant, and are powered locks, the bolt being retracted automatically when the code is entered.  That being said, they are dependent on batteries (four AA batteries) and cease to function when the batteries are depleted. For that reason, the key override is still important, and homeowners should always be advised to carry a key, and to have a spare key hidden outside in a safe location.  Giving that spare key to a neighbor or family member is not a good backup, as they are not always available when batteries die or keys are lost.  Nor should that spare key be kept in a vehicle.  It should be hidden outside, away from the door,  in a safe location, not above the door, or under a floor mat, or under a flower pot beside the door.  Keyless entry is great for people with young children, or for anyone who doesn’t want to reach for keys at night or when carrying packages.  These locks are dependent, however, on a strike plate which is perfectly positioned. If there is any friction of the bolt against the strike plate, the batteries are not strong enough to retract the bolt. In El Paso and Teller Counties, the temperature and humidity changes throughout the year can cause the door frame to change marginally, affecting the position of the strike plate.  When this occurs, the strike plate has to be repositioned slightly, or altered by power grinding.  Not a big job, but sometimes necessary, to accommodate the changing seasons.