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What you need to know before changing locks or calling a locksmith

What you need to know before changing locks or calling a locksmith

Do you need to change locks but are lost in an endless range of locking systems? Rather than calling a locksmith and dreading seeing the bill go up, you can do it yourself! And to avoid ending up with an incompatible lock, we give you all the keys to find the right model.

Change lock or replace barrel?

The word lock means the entire locking system of a door, which is itself composed of many elements. Before browsing the shelves of our favorite DIY store, we determine precisely which (s) part (s) of the lock are to be changed to save money! If you just want to change the keys, the most economical way is to replace only the barrel (also called barrel or cylinder). This is the part of the lock into which the key is inserted. There are different types of locking, for example a disengageable cylinder allows the door to be opened even if a key is inserted inside the house. If you want to change the lock to enhance the security of your home, replacing the barrel will not be enough. In this case, you can change the entire lock to opt for a model with several locking points.

Changing the cylinder: quick and easy!

Choosing the right type of lock

Not all locks fit all doors! The first thing to spot: is it a built-in or surface-mounted lock? To differentiate them, the built-in locks are hidden and the mechanism is hidden in the thickness of the door. With a surface-mounted lock, the whole device is visible, which makes installation easier. Most mortise locks are reversible, but this is not the case with overlay locks! Find the opening direction of your door to choose a suitable model. Place yourself inside: if to open the door, you pull it towards you and the handle is on the right, we speak of "straight lock pulling". Conversely, if you have to push the door and the handle is on the left, we speak of "pushing left lock".

Two types of locks: choose the right model!

Choose a lock ensuring good security

When it comes to security, not all locks are created equal! The A2P standard, which classifies the resistance of locks into 3 main categories, will help you find your way. For a front door and a robust lock, you can opt for a multi-point lock, also called "security lock". It is a lock for which the key actuates several locking points. For optimal security, you can also opt for the installation of an armored door. On the barrel, the more complex the cylinder (for example the number of pins), the more difficult it will be to hook. There are also anti-drilling and anti-breakage locks to make the barrel more resistant to intrusion attempts. And to protect yourself from fraudulent copies of your keys if you lend them or lose them, there is a copy protection guarantee. These keys can only be reproduced at the manufacturer's, by presenting a holder card. However, be careful: the price of an additional key can be much higher! And for the most distracted who regularly forget their keys, think of connected locks! To enter, just pass your smartphone or a key opening the door remotely. Some locks also offer digital recognition for more security. These devices will alert you of entries and exits to your home, directly on your smartphone.

Opt for a multi-point lock for more security!

Changing locks: in practice!

Now that you know which part (s) of the lock you want to change, take action! To change the barrel, if you can, bring the old cylinder at your choice to compare the models more easily. To change the lock completely, take photos before and after disassembly and take the maximum number of measurements (distance from the locking points, thickness of the door, distance between the cylinder and the handle, number and place of strikes, etc.). It is easy to change the barrel of a door yourself or to change the lock on the wall if you already have this type of lock. The operation will be more delicate to pass from a lock with a single locking point to a multi-point lock or to change the entirety of a multi-point embedded lock.

Tenants: an extra step!

Do not go blindly into installing a new lock. If you are a tenant, replacement due to obsolescence or mechanical problem is the responsibility of your landlord. Remember to contact him before the replacement, to make sure he covers the costs. If you wish to change the lock for a security question (avoid intrusion with a copy of the keys for example), the costs will be your responsibility. Wait for your landlord's agreement to replace the lock, especially if this requires some work on the door jambs. You may be asked to reinstall the old lock when you leave the accommodation. You now have all the keys in hand to change the lock!

In case of difficulties, you will have to call a locksmith in your city

Finding a good locksmith in Lyon, Paris, Marseille, Lille who is trustworthy is not so easy. Indeed, very many professionals practice around your home, but how many of them are really recommendable? Also, to avoid scams, here are some tips that will allow you to see a little more clearly and find the provider that will really meet your needs .

First, we strongly suggest that you opt for a locksmith who has been recommended to you, by your loved ones for example or on the Internet. Word of mouth is definitely a recommended method.
A friend, family member most certainly knows a trusted locksmith , which will allow you to benefit from a qualitative service. On the Internet, hearing customer reviews is also a good thing. You can get a little more specific idea of ​​the professionalism of your locksmith.

When you contact a locksmith, he must be able to:

  • Find out about the origin of your problem , after asking you a series of questions,
  • To estimate the amount of the intervention , and offer to send you a quote by email. If it is an emergency situation, then the amount announced must be identical to that which will be asked of you at the end of the service.
  • To offer you an intervention schedule . This, of course, will have to be respected.

If, on the phone, this professional seems hesitant and only gives you vague information, then look for another locksmith. In addition, you need clear and understandable explanations, to reassure you on the one hand, but also to prepare your budget.

Advice: the locksmith who offers to change everything is not to be trusted

You are in an emergency situation, and your locksmith Take this opportunity to offer you to change everything ? You are not a professional in the field, and will therefore tend to believe it. However, if you have locked your door with the keys inside, or if you have simply lost your set of keys, there is no need to change the entire door or lock.
Also, in order not to get ripped off, avoid providers who submit this type of solution to you . They are certainly not conscientious professionals, but many people who are trying to extort money from you . Also, be aware that in the event of a home break-in, the locksmith is unable to offer assistance.
Indeed, it is your insurance company that will take care of solving the problem . This professional is therefore not authorized to provide you with a service, whatever he may say.

Before calling a locksmith, we strongly suggest you compare rates . In this way, you can flee the professionals who offer you too high a price.
Of course, the trip, as well as the material necessary to solve your problem generate additional costs . Nevertheless, having an idea of ​​the prices will allow you to avoid scams. We will now be interested in a very important point, which will be involved in the choice of your locksmith, these are invoices and quotes.

If it is not an emergency situation, then the quote is simply essential. It allows you to prepare your budget to pay the cost of the intervention, and must be sent, of course, before the provider comes to your place.
The quote is mandatory, when the amount of the service is more than 150 euros , and must be clear and precise. Regarding urgent situations, the document that will be provided to you will actually be a "quote-invoice". Regarding the invoice, it must contain several information:

  • The locksmith's name, address and registration number,
  • Your name and address,
  • Travel expenses,
  • The cost of labor,
  • The cost of the material.

If, one day, you need to turn against the locksmith, then this invoice will be quite simply essential and will allow you to prove the intervention which this one carried out at your place. Also, this document must be as precise as possible.

The feeling, very important for choosing a locksmith

The locksmith you are going to choose must provide you with as much information and advice as possible. A professional with good listening skills is definitely a guarantee of quality. If you do not feel this from the service provider you have contacted, do not hesitate to look elsewhere. Indeed, whoever the expert you are going to call on, it is essential to feel confident.

The importance of finding a locksmith before encountering a problem

It is during an emergency, when you have no choice but to contact a locksmith, that scams take place. Thereby, it is necessary to always have in your directory the number of a trusted service provider.