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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

How Much Does It Cost To Change Locks? 4 Things To Consider

by Hugo Reed March 8, 2017
Cost to Change Door Locks

How much does it cost to change locks? I am sure this is a question that many people have found themselves pondering over, time and time again. Chances are, you sifted through numerous search results to try and find some information that would potentially answer your question.

You might have made you way down to a local hardware store to try and see if there was anyone there that could provide you with some relevant answers (probably not). Regardless of how you tried to answer the question, I want to take the time to walk you through some important things you need to know concerning the cost to change locks.

If you have owned a home for more than 10 years, there is a chance you might have changed your locks during that time. It’s a really bad sign if you haven’t. There are many people that neglect to pay attention to their door locks but somehow, expect their locks to continue to function at peak performance. Locks are not impervious to damage, so it is important for homeowners to pay close attention to one of the main focal points of their home security.

Lock changes are extremely important for a good number of reasons. Adhering to a lock maintenance schedule will you understand just how well your locks are working to keep you safe. There are times when a lock might have to be changed even after it has just been installed. This could result from a recent home break-in, or even because someone lost their keys.

Changing a lock is sometimes viewed as the blanket term for other services, so it is important to understand what it is you need before you start looking into the cost to change locks. For example, if someone breaks into your home and damages your lock in the process, you have the option of either changing the lock or calling a locksmith to help you with damaged lock repair. I would personally suggest changing and upgrading your locks, for the simple fact that someone was able to bypass them. On the flip side of things, if you happen to lose your key, you might be able to save some money by rekeying your locks instead.

Essentially, you need to figure out exactly what service you need as you try to gauge the cost to change locks. In addition to this, there are a few other factors that come into play and these factors are things that every homeowner must know about the cost to change locks. If you are confused and have no idea what you should be paying attention to when it comes to lock changes, there is no need to fret, I’ll walk you through it:

1. How are the locks going to be changed?

When it comes to the cost to change locks, it largely depends on how they will be changed. You can take advantage of the services that local locksmiths provide, or you can opt to go the DIY route and take care of it yourself. Also, some people choose to take advantage of rekeying the lock. Even though this is a separate service, it is closely related to lock changing locks so I will discuss it briefly. It is important to know that the costs for each of these processes differ, and not just in monetary value. The cost also factors in time, expertise and the level of security that you want to be afforded.


The DIY Installation is best suited for homeowners who know their way around tools and hardware. Furthermore, it is important to make sure you have the appropriate tools necessary for the job, or you are going to run up the cost to change locks. When it comes to DIY installation, homeowners have several options to choose from when they want to buy their locks. Locks can be bought from your local hardware store, online vendors or even from your local locksmith shop.

The cost to change locks will be influenced by the type of lock you want to buy. For instance, if you choose to buy a Grade 1 deadbolt for an exterior door, it will very likely be more expensive than a Grade 3 deadbolt. However, do keep in mind, that the cost is not only of monetary value. It is important to realize that changing locks is a time-consuming process.

To begin, you will have to spend time identifying which locks you need and sifting through the different lock brands on the market is no easy task (neither is it quick). In addition to this, you will have to make a trip to your local hardware store to pick up these locks or to find out more information on them. If you have never made a trip like this, you should know that it is very easy to pick the wrong locks.

Aside from the fact that you might pick out the wrong lock, there will probably be no one around to help you. Unless it is the guy from the paint department who has no idea that a strike plate is not part of a dinner set. Furthermore, you will have to factor in the time that you will need for the installation process itself. Unless you were a locksmith in a previous life, you will probably spend a good deal of time figuring things out and getting it right.

Let’s take a look at some numbers. If you were trying to change the lock on 4 doors within your home, you will need approximately 10-15 minutes to install each lock (this does not factor in modifications or working in additional security features). This means that it will take you upwards of an hour to have 4 locks on your home changed and ready to go. In some cases, it might even take you much longer, because I did not even factor in the instances where you will have to remove a lock and reinstall it due to an error. The probability of errors is much higher when you are going the DIY route as opposed to having a professional help you out.

  • DIY cost to change locks – $10-$200
  • DIY cost to find good locks – 10 to 60 minutes (this time increases if you order your lock online and have to wait for it to be shipped)
  • DIY installation time – 10 to 15 minutes per lock (excluding additional work and security improvements)

Professional Installation

There is a common misconception that DIY projects tend to be much cheaper than having a professional deliver a specific service. In some cases, this might be true. However, when it comes to the costs to change locks, you might be better suited going with a locksmith. Before you scream about me being biased, let me tell you the reasons why this might be cheaper. As I stated up above, when you are discussing cost, you need to be paying attention to much more than just the upfront monetary value. If you decide to take this on as a DIY project, you will probably save a few dollars here and there. But in the grand scheme of things, you might be sacrificing much more in the pursuit to save money.

The cost to change locks, when being professionally installed, is usually determined and influenced by a few factors. First, the price will vary depending on whether you already have the lock that you want to be installed or if the locksmith will have to provide you with one. Also, the price will be influenced by the number of changes that need to be made to your door and door frame to accommodate the new lock that you are installing. If you are merely replacing the lock with the same model that was there before, the cost to change locks will rest solely on the locksmith’s prices.

From a monetary standpoint, hiring a professional may increase the cost to change locks by a little bit, but it will help you save on so many other things. Chief among these is time (time is money). An efficient locksmith will be able to change your locks much faster than you would if you were doing it yourself. This is because, as professionals, they have much more experience in this field than you do. Therefore, they will not spend time trying to find the right tools, reading up on instructions or trying to figure out how to begin the lock change process. Why? Simply because they already know how to take care of it. In addition, the locksmith will be less prone to mistakes whereas the DIY method tends to be chock full of troubleshooting.

Let’s talk some numbers. On average, when using a professional locksmith, the cost to change locks starts at $35 and goes up from there. The final price will depend on the number of locks that need to be changed, the complexity of the new locks that have to be installed, and whether or not the locksmith had to provide you with new locks. The starting fee of $35 usually covers charge for responding to a service call. The price increases with every subsequent service provided.

For instance, if you were to call a locksmith to change one lock for you (assuming that you already have the replacement lock readily available) your final cost will be (or not too far off from) $35. However, if you were to call a locksmith and you needed to change 4 locks, the cost will increase because more locks will be equivalent to more time and more labor. In this instance, the locksmith may charge you an additional $5 to $25 per lock. If the locksmith provides you with the locks, this is will also be an additional $25 to $50 per lock (the prices for these locks vary based on the locksmiths location, competitor prices and the type of lock you want).

  • Professional cost to change locks – starting at $35 (when you already have the replacement lock)
  • Professional installation time – 5 to 10 minutes per lock (excluding additional work and security improvements)

2. How much is your security worth?

The saying “you get what you pay for” is, in most cases, true. The same concept applies to door locks and the cost to change locks. This is not to say that if a lock has a high price point, it is automatically considered safe. However, high-security locks tend to cost more than their standard counterparts. The same can be said for deadbolts and the way they are graded. More often than not, a Grade 1 deadbolt will have a higher price point than a Grade 2 or Grade 3 deadbolt. This increase in price is usually equated to the increase in security that a Grade 1 deadbolt gives.

With that being said, the cost to change locks will increase in accordance with the amount of weight that you place on security. If you want to simply run down to home depot and grab the first lock that you see, you will not pay very much to have your locks changed. However, you will be leaving your home at the mercy of burglars. Many homeowners see the process of changing locks as an opportunity, and they utilize this opportunity to perform security improvements that make their locks stronger and more secure. These security additions will also increase the overall cost to change locks.

3. Are you changing exterior or interior door locks?

Exterior Lock Change

Exterior door locks and interior door locks have different uses, therefore it is crucial for homeowners to choose the right lock for the right purpose. This is important because not all locks are made equal, which means that interior door locks will not be suited for exterior use. In this instance ‘vice versa’ doesn’t always apply because some exterior door locks might work well on interior doors. Regardless, the type of lock that you want to change will play a huge role in the final cost to change locks.

The prices of exterior door locks and interior door locks vary, simply because they are meant to secure different things. Exterior door locks tend to be exposed to much more than just foot traffic. Also, exterior door locks serve as the first line of defense for many homes so they are designed to be sturdy and resistant as compared to their interior counterparts. A simple google search using the terms “exterior door locks” and “interior door locks” will show you the different price points for these locks. The cost to change locks will reflect the type of lock that you need to be changed. Chances are, if you want to change exterior door locks, the price will be much higher than if you were changing interior door locks. This is mainly because of the price points of these locks and also because they each have slightly different installation requirements.

4. Are you going to upgrade your locks?

It is hard to talk about change without talking about upgrades in some way or form. This relates to almost anything you can think of. When it is time for you to change your cell phone, do you go in for an upgrade, the same model you had, or a downgrade? I am sure that this example is one that many people can relate to, and in the same vein the cost to change locks is affected by whether or not you are going to upgrade your locks.

When it comes to locks, there are several different types of upgrades that homeowners can take advantage of and each of these factors into the price of the cost to change locks. This might sound a bit confusing but I’ll take my time to explain it. Homeowners have the option of choosing from high-security upgrades, smart lock upgrades or even simply upgrading from a Grade 3 deadbolt to a Grade 1 deadbolt. Each of these upgrades will likely be more expensive than the current lock that you have installed, but this does not mean that they are of equal value.

There are varying price ranges for each of these classifications of upgrades. For example, if homeowners wanted to switch to a high-security deadbolt lock from a brand like Medeco, they would be looking at a price range between $130 to upwards of $250 per lock. If homeowners were more inclined to have smart locks like the August smart lock, then they would be looking at a starting price of $220 (the price increases with additional features).

Essentially, if you decide to use the process of changing your door locks as an opportunity to upgrade your door locks, you will be looking at much different prices than if you were just replacing the old lock. Personally, I would suggest that whenever you are changing your door locks you upgrade in some way or form, even if you are simply looking to have security pins added to a newer model of your old lock.


The cost to change locks is not set in stone and, as I have explained, there is a host of factors that come together to influence this price and dictate the final cost. Although the points listed above are important (and homeowners should pay attention to them), it is equally important to figure out what matters to you and your home because this will be the chief driving force in your decision making.

When I say this, I mean you need to figure out if security is your main concern or whether it is the way you are disbursing your time and your money. Ideally, you should focus primarily on your security and figure out the most secure options for the budget you have. If you are not the DIY type of person, don’t push yourself to install locks simply because, you want to save money by not calling a locksmith. In the long run, you will end up losing more time, money and valuables based on this decision. No matter what you do there is no way to get around the cost to change locks

Category: Buying Guides, Commercial, Residential, Safety & Security

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