New Locks for a New Home

Rekey And Relock: What You Need To Know

by Alfredo Griffin

Every homeowner wants their house to be safe and secure from any burglars or trespassers. One essential part of securing your home is making certain that your locks are in working order and that no unauthorized person can unlock them. In certain instances, a homeowner who wants to upgrade their locks may not be sure whether to rekey or relock. The following article examines this important issue.

The Difference

Rekey and Relock refer to two different operations. When your locks are rekeyed, the internal components of the lock are replaced so that the old key no longer works. You will be given a new key that opens the locks. Relocking refers to replacing the entire lock, not just the lock's inner workings, Rekeying a lock is typically a good bit less expensive than replacing the lock itself.

Why Rekey

Homeowners have a wide range of reasons for having their locks rekeyed. One of the most common reasons is when you purchase your home. You have no way knowing if the old owner or any of their family or friends still have keys to the house. Most people find this situation unacceptable because they do not want any keys to their home unaccounted for. Even if you buy a new home that has had no previous owner, it's a good idea to rekey the locks. The contractor or one of his employees may still have a key or keys to your home and you will want to avoid taking any chances.

Other situations where you should consider rekeying include when a domestic assistant, such as a nanny or maid, who has been give a key to your home leaves your employ and when any of the keys to your home are lost or stolen. If you have a roommate or friend living in your home and that person moves out, rekeying makes sense in this circumstance as well.


Getting new locks is sometimes absolutely essential. Locks can wear out over time and you will want to replace any locks that are not functioning properly. In other cases, you might want to relock for aesthetic reasons. For instance, many homeowners find lock with lever handles more attractive than those with knobs.

If you are trying to decide between have your locks rekeyed or replacing them altogether, talk with a residential locksmith in your area. They have the knowledge and experience to help you make the best choice.