The Lost Key Dilemma: New Locks or Rekeying the Old Locks?

Fewer things are more scary, stressful, and able to create more anxiety than lost house keys.  Whether it happens while traveling out of town or you suspect someone might have stolen your keys and plans on using them when no one's home, it's never a pleasant thought to be having. Basically, you are facing two main solutions you will need to choose from: re-keying locks or having a new lock installed. Unfortunately, there is no immediate right or wrong answer to this dilemma, as the action you are going to have to take will depend on a series of factors. Let's find out whether you can get a house key made without the original or how long does it take to re-key a house.

Should I Worry When Losing the Keys To My Home?

lost keys

Since the keys to your home are the main gateway to entering your household, losing them means looking at restricted access to your dwelling. There is also the risk of a stranger entering your home without your consent, in case they come across your keys and an ID to verify your address for them. These are the two main reasons why most people prefer to have their locks changed as a result of losing the keys to their house. Others would argue that getting new key copies should suffice. Let us take a look at the main arguments for each of these solutions so you can be sure you will be making the right choice if and when you should be confronted with the lost home key scenario.

I Have Lost My Keys. Is Changing The Locks the Only Solution?

Most people who lose the keys to their home automatically think about having to change all the locks to their property. However, this does not always have to be the main or only solution. Professional locksmiths are trained to make brand new keys by disassembling a lock and cutting new keys that can match the respective lock's internal components and mechanism. The procedure is fast and simple when the right key-cutting tools are used and this is why it is important to get in touch with an expert home locksmith who specializes in cutting residential keys.

Do You Suspect That Someone Has Stolen Your Keys?

If this is the case, you will need to focus on making sure that whoever might have taken your keys will not be able to make use of them to enter your home. For this, you can either decide to have the locks changed, especially if you would like to also upgrade the security on your home and kill two birds with one stone, or you could opt for the lock re-keying alternative. A lock technician should have no problem rapidly re-keying a lock in such a way that it can match your new key. This way, the old lost or stolen keys will be rendered useless and no one will be able to use them.  Lock re-keying is usually a fast process and its duration will depend on the number of locks that will require re-keying, as well as the state they are in and their complexity. Some locks take more time to be disassembled than others; however, you can expect an experienced locksmith to need around ten minutes to re-key a single lock, on average. Multiply that by the number of locks you will need to have re-keyed and you should understand how long it will take to have all your locks re-keyed. 

How Likely Is A Break-in When A Key Is Lost Or Stolen?

Usually, when a key gets stolen or lost and found by someone random in the street, chances are the respective individual or potential burglar does not also have your address. Nonetheless, in the event your key is lost together with a form of ID that has your home address on it, the risk of your home falling victim to burglary is likely to go up. If this is your particular case, it is best to contact us and have us re-key your locks or install new locks straight away.

Lock Re-key or New Lock Installation: What Should I Keep In Mind?

Factor One: The way you've lost the keys to your house

  • If you think someone might have stolen your keys from you, it is advisable to install new locks for peace of mind and reassurance in terms of home security.

  • If you suspect you misplaced your keys at the office or somewhere else, think about hiring someone to re-key your locks. You can easily get a house key made without the original, so no need to worry about the fact that you are missing the original key.

  • If you are wondering how long it takes to re-key a house, especially if you're in a rush or you simply wish to regain your peace of mind to feel safe in your own home again, we have good news. For a professional home locksmith, lock re-keying is a process that will not take more than a few minutes per lock.

  • If you are certain that the keys have gone missing along with your ID, you might want to change the locks which makes the use of the old keys impossible.

  • If you have lost a master key, it is highly advisable to get new locks installed, indifferent of what you think might have happened to the keys. The importance of master keys and the role they play in securing multiple doors at the same time will make this solution imperative.

Factor Two: The Money You Can Spend On Lock re-keying Or Lock Replacement

If you're on a tight budget, re-keying your locks might be the best alternative for you, as re-keying a lock usually costs less than installing a brand new lock. Re-keying simply means making some changes to the socket, clamping, or ball lock pins in order for a new key to fit the mechanism. There is no need to invest in a new lock and have it installed, which will only add more to the final bill. However, make sure to always ask for a quote, as some lock models, especially antique locks, might cost more to be re-keyed than replaced.  Whether you are dealing with an “I have lost my house keys and don't have a spare” problem that requires an emergency solution form a 24/7 locksmith service like ours, or you are still trying to decide whether you should re-key your locks or have new ones installed, give us a call!


What Customers Say About Us

Jannie W.
W. 29th street

Dave is great! He was punctual and professional. And after installing the new locks on all of our doors, he cleaned up after himself! The same cannot be said for the last service I hired… would definitely recommend and use again!

Adrian Stanton
S Kenton Ave

We live not too far from Chicago and I spend about a hour and a half to get to my office. Mornings are always in a hurry for me and a broken door would be the worst I could expect. However, this was exactly what happened. I had no time to lose and so I called 247 Ontime Locksmiths. The expert guy from Locksmiths could fix the problem and I could go to work.

Tim Lewis
E Van Buren St

My car door didn’t open at all. Just a phone call to 24/7 Local Locksmiths and in less than 15 minutes I could drive my car again! Good job!