The first time I changed my door lock I used a Locksmith I did a google search on locksmiths in my city and I started calling.
Some good questions to ask over the phone are:
How much will it cost to rekey a door lock in (your location)?
Tell them it is not an emergency because they might charge more if you are in a hurry.
Does that amount include the trip charge?
How many keys are included with the price?
If your door lock has a smartkey tell them (after they give you the first price). It is easier for them to change the door lock if you have a smartkey lock and should cost less. If they don’t lower the price consider that as a red flag. The locksmiths always have the smartkey tools so if you don’t have one that is not a problem for them.
*Note: Schedule a time for them to come when you are not home alone or ask a neighbor to come over during the scheduled time
To figure out if your door lock has a smartkey feature, look at your lock for a small horizontal hole above the slot where the key goes into your door. (See the red circle around this hole in the picture below.) This hole is where the smartkey tool is inserted when the lock is re-keyed
If you don’t have the smartkey tool, consider asking the locksmith if you can buy a smartkey tool. Once you have this tool you can rekey the door yourself.
When the locksmith came to my house I asked the locksmith if she could teach me how to change the lock myself.
1. Put the working key in the door lock. Turn the lock so that it is in locking position and the key is horizontal.
2. Insert the smartkey tool in the little hole above the key then carefully remove the tool without moving the hole.
3. Carefully remove the old key (don’t turn it at all, just pull it out) and put the new key in all the way. Turn this new key to the unlock, vertical position.
The instructions that came with my smartkey tool are better (they are on the printable file)
Click here for a printable file on how to Rekey a Lock with a smartkey
The locksmith told me to keep the old keys because I could use them again if I wanted to change the lock back.
My first experience in re-keying my door
I went to the locksmith and showed them my current door key. I asked them to make a new key and two additional copies. It cost $8.00. (instead of $45-70 for the locksmith to come out)
After I rekeyed the lock using the smartkey, I then couldn’t get either key to work. I called the manufacturer (1800-327-5625) and they told me the new key wasn’t all the way in the lock when I was rekeying the lock. The manufacturer instructed me put the new key all the way in and try to turn, but it wouldn’t turn. They then instructed me pull it out a little bit and it wouldn’t turn.. They instructed me pull it out just a little bit more and this time it turned. They walked me thru the rekey steps again and I had the key all the way in this time so it was successful.
Ok.. I finally tagged all of my keys and they are organized. I labeled the bags the smartkey tools were in, one for the front door and one for the back door. I even found my extra garage door opener.
One more thing off my to-do list