We have no keys to our home... what would you do?

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  #1  
Old 06-28-06, 07:48 PM
sdfarmgirl's Avatar
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Red face We have no keys to our home... what would you do?

Okay, I know you're likely to be shocked and amazed...but this is no joke. We have an farmhouse in South Dakota that we've owned for a year and we have no keys to any entry doors. We have two regular entry doors and three french doors from a very large deck. I know that we should have keys so that we can lock our house. So my question is in several formats:
1. Should our deadbolts be keyed alike? That would be 5 deadbolts.
2. Should our main two entry doors (doorknobs) be keyed alike but keyed differently than the deadbolts?

I don't know if there is a rule of thumb on all of this or not. I don't like leaving our house unlocked all the time, though we are in rural South Dakota and nothing has happened for a year... my biggest fear is that my boys (3 & 6) are going to lock me out of the house and have a jolly time while I can't get in! So, all you professionals and DIY's out there, what do you think??? I've already figured out that since I don't have keys to any of the locks, I need to buy all new locks. And, yes we did get some keys when we bought the house but half of them didn't work on anything and we replaced the main entry doorknobs and deadbolts last summer but seem to have thrown away the keys in the packaging that we disposed...
Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-28-06, 07:57 PM
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For simplicity, I would key them all alike. Personally, I like Schlage brand locks.

I'm sure you'll get lots of other opinions in short order.
 
  #3  
Old 06-29-06, 04:48 AM
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Home Depot will key locksets alike for free [must buy them there] Other outlets may do so also.
 
  #4  
Old 06-29-06, 05:09 AM
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In most cases, the existing locksets can have keys made to them and (if they are the same key profile) keyed alike, for usually cheaper than purchasing new replacement locks.

You can go to HD and purchase cheapies if you want....but remember...you only get what you pay for...

I would key all alike if possible....this will be cheaper
 
  #5  
Old 06-29-06, 01:51 PM
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I think I have some confusion...

I was under the impression that if I don't have any keys, I cannot get keys made for my locks. Is that true?

I also was under the impression that if I don't have a key, I cannot re-key the locks I have. Is this also true?

I guess, that based on those two assumptions, I assumed that I now will need to buy all new door knobs/locks for my house. BUT, it sounds like if I'm going to go through the trouble to do this, I should have them all keyed alike?

Sorry to make this go 'round again, but I just want to make sure I get it all straight. I like the idea of only having one key to my house... since I don't have any right now, adding just one isn't adding too much!

Thanks for all your input, it's great having a whole trove of knowledge out in cyberspace! You're helping us all tons!
R
 
  #6  
Old 06-29-06, 02:14 PM
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A locksmith can rekey all your locks. May be a bit expensive but may be cheaper than all new locks. Call a qualified Locksmith and ask. Good luck.
 
  #7  
Old 06-30-06, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by sdfarmgirl
I was under the impression that if I don't have any keys, I cannot get keys made for my locks. Is that true?

I also was under the impression that if I don't have a key, I cannot re-key the locks I have. Is this also true?

I guess, that based on those two assumptions, I assumed that I now will need to buy all new door knobs/locks for my house. BUT, it sounds like if I'm going to go through the trouble to do this, I should have them all keyed alike?

Sorry to make this go 'round again, but I just want to make sure I get it all straight. I like the idea of only having one key to my house... since I don't have any right now, adding just one isn't adding too much!

Thanks for all your input, it's great having a whole trove of knowledge out in cyberspace! You're helping us all tons!
R
Hi sdfarmgirl,

You've gotten alot of good advice here. Now to answer your latest (2nd) round of questions.

It is possible to have your locks rekeyed, I do it everyday. The knobs will have to be picked to the open position, but it will still be way less expensive than replacing.

Here's one method I use to 'decode' a lock with no key. I have several sets of keys which have each corresponding 'cut' number. Have you ever seen a number stamped on a new key? That's a code. Each number is a cut depth. The key sets I have are cut with all 1's, all 2's, all 3's, etc. I simply insert key after key until I figure out what the code is, then I make a new key. It is not hard to do.

Bottom line here is, it is possible to have your locks rekeyed, and at a much better price than replacement.

cuedude
 
  #8  
Old 06-30-06, 12:31 PM
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Most locksmiths (at least the qualified ones) will be able to make keys to virtually any lock whether or not they are open or locked. There are many methods at our disposal for opening and making keys.

Making keys to a lock that has no keys or rekeying a lock when the existing keys are not present, is like bread and butter for a locksmith. It is one of the reasons that locksmiths exist in the first place.

I dont know where or who gave you your impressions but they are incorrect.

If indeed your existing locks are all the same brand, then it will be likely that any "true" locksmith will be able to open, remove, disassemble, rekey, reassemble and refit all locks to the same key.

Depending on your location or how far a technician needs to go to attend your site, I would suggest that it would likely cost around $10 per keyhole to do the job + labour and service call.

Companies charge different rates so be sure to compare at least 3 companies. And remember, the cheapest option is usually not the best option.

Good luck.
 
  #9  
Old 09-29-06, 02:47 PM
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Just for info

I know it's an old thread but thought I would throw in a thought anyway.

When I bought my house, I got one key that worked, another that didn't work, no keys for other locks and a few padlocks without keys.

First thing I did was search thru the padlock shelves at the local Big Box and got a couple of the 4 pack keyed alike Master padlocks and some bolt cutters.

Then on to the door locks. Same thing with searching the Schlage shelves to find locks that had the same keycode written on the package.

All the padlocks on gates and sheds are the same key and all the deadbolts are the same key with minimum effort by matching the keycode on the packaging.
 
  #10  
Old 09-30-06, 07:08 AM
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Locks

Change the locks for security reasons. You do not know who has all the keys. You may get a break on your homeowners insurance premium.
 
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