Getting good front door locks is all about reinforcing home security and minimizing the possibility of break-ins. Truth be told, if a house is targeted, burglars will find other ways to attempt to break in. After all, the front door is not the only entry/exit point in a house. Right? Consequently, it makes sense to say that all such entry points – both doors and windows, need resistant locks. Because attempting to break in is quite different from actually succeeding in breaking in. And who would mind having to replace locks if damaged by a burglar when their home and everything in it is safe and intact?
Still, you must do all you can to fortify your home and one of the first things to do is change locks. There are good locks on the market. And there are good brands too. But not all door locks are ideal for all homes and all needs. Not all doors are the same either. There’s a lot to consider before you actually pick the brand and the model. So, let’s get started.
Basic categories of door locks
Traditional keyed locks that work with a key. Most of these locks have a keyhole on the outer part of the door and lock with a thumb turn inside the house. Double cylinder locks have a keyhole on both door sides.
Most electronic locks feature a keypad or touchscreen and work with a PIN. Some work with keys as well for backup. And some of the latest models can be connected to a home automation system.
Smart locks vary. Up until recently, most smart locks were Bluetooth connected while today most connect to WiFi. These locks allow you to operate the door lock remotely and have various smart features, like accessing logs.
Retrofit Smart Locks
These are deadbolts retrofit to become smart. There’s no need for lock change. The locksmith changes part of the existing lock and so, you keep the existing deadbolt and have the extra smart features.
Door lock details to consider
All types of door locks have their advantages and disadvantages. One might argue that retrofitting the existing deadbolt is not the best solution for high home security, but it basically depends on the lock. If this is a highly resistant and strong lock installed on a solid door, it will offer the protection a new smart lock would. Since the strengths of the lock and of the door and all things about the locking system are vital for enhanced security, these are some things to consider.
ANSI – the ANSI ratings show the resistance of the door lock. Locks are tested and tried in order to be categorized by their resistance to kicking, picking, drilling, and all forms of force. And they are certified accordingly so that you will know what you choose when you pick a lock. Among the three grade categories, the first one includes locks which showed the higher and longer resistance.
Type – decide if you want a smart lock, a regular deadbolt, or to retrofit the existing lock. Start by considering your relationship to technology and then consider the quality of the existing deadbolt.
Brand – from Medeco and ASSA ABLOY to Schlage and August, there are some good brands on the market. Always consult with your local locksmith and read reviews about a specific lock before you buy, but it’s best to stick to a known and renowned brand.
Key or keyless – we already said that you need to decide if you want a conventional or electric or smart lock. But you should also decide if you want it keyless. Some of the most advanced locks still give consumers the opportunity to operate the door lock with a key.
Strike plate – most deadbolts come with a regular strike that has short screws that hardly attach the strike plate to the jamb. The bolt of the lock that projects into the strike slot is also often short. You need to be sure the bolt and the screws are all long. If not, the door can be easily kicked open.
Material – it’s important to choose a lock whose parts – even the strike, are all made of metal – no plastics and other materials that can easily break or give in.
Dimensions – although we focus on the lock details at this point, it’s equally vital to talk about the door. Its strength and overall condition are important too. Why should you invest in a good lock if the door can easily break? But if your door is solid and its condition is good, have a residential locksmith check its dimensions and how much space the existing deadbolt occupies so that the new lock will fit perfectly.
More food for thought before choosing front door locks
It’s always wise to talk with a professional locksmith company, ask friends and family that recently changed locks, and take a look at comments and reviews of consumers before you take such serious decisions. But it’s also worth the while to consider all the above and ask yourself some questions. A few examples?
Conventional or smart lock? If you are not familiar with smart products but want to step into the new technology world, get an advanced lock that also works with a key to make the transition smooth.
How much do you want to spend? Consider how much money you want to spend and although it’s best to put a roof, do spend extra for the front door’s lock.
Do you need to change the door too? Don’t forget to check the front door. If it’s damaged or hollow, it’s best to change the door along with the lock.
Do you want a combination of locks? Think if you want one door lock or if you want a combination of locks – latch, deadbolt, knob lock.