How much does it cost to hire a locksmith?
You might just need your door locks replaced, but locksmiths actually offer a wide range of valuable services you might not be aware of – find out more here.
Most people only think of hiring a locksmith when they have been broken into, or they’ve locked themselves out. The reality, however, is that locksmiths don’t only fix and replace damaged door locks, but also offer a number of other valuable and important services that can help enhance your home security. By hiring a professional locksmith, you are getting the proper standards of conduct, practice and training that only a qualified engineer can provide. The vast array of services offered by most locksmith contractors includes the following:
- Door locks – whether your current locks are simply too old, damaged or loose, new door locks can be fitted at almost any time, and just about anywhere, at as little as 24-hours notice. Most locksmiths deal with a wide range of door models and sizes, so you shouldn’t worry too much about whether or not they can get yours fixed quickly. New locks usually cost somewhere between £25 and £40, not including VAT.
- Key cutting – this is a great way to ensure your newly fitted home can be accessed by all the friends and family you feel comfortable passing on keys to. Duplicates usually don’t cost anything more than a fiver, give or take a few pounds.
- Window locking mechanisms – it’s not just doors that need to be securely fitted, yet many homeowners don’t realise that their windows don’t even have locks, let alone good ones. Fortunately locksmiths are capable of fitting new locks on existing windows, saving you a lot of extra cash otherwise spent on new frames and improving your home’s security. Prices are usually around the same as door locks, but the final cost will depend on the number of windows on which you have locks installed.
- Car key replacements – nobody likes realising that they’ve misplaced their car keys, but for those who use their vehicle on a daily basis – whether for work or just getting the kids around, the lack of transport can prove disastrous. Fortunately many locksmiths these days can produce a new set of keys for your car, van or motorbike on demand – prices obviously depend on the make and model, but usually can be found for as little as £60 to £100.
- Security surveyors – if you are unsure about what types of locks offer the best security, or how many doors or windows in your home need new locks fitted, then some contractors can offer friendly, helpful advice by undertaking a short survey of your property before you sign up to any of their other services or products – and these usually cost nothing more than £20 to £30.
- Master key system specialists – if you live in a converted mansion or farmhouse, or simply have an older home so large you can’t keep track of all the small internal door keys lying around the place, your locksmith could always solve the problem by fitting a master key system. Locks can now be specially designed to be durable and pick-resistant too, so you can always be certain that only those with a master key have access to your property. The final price depends on the size of your home, but even for the largest properties the cost shouldn’t be beyond £1,500 to £1,800.
- Safe technicians – if all your locks are in perfect working order but you simply fancy a new, high-security way of looking after all your valuables, then having a locksmith order a safe can be a great way to protect against potential thieves or burglars and bring a little peace of mind. You can usually choose from a large variety of pre-existing models, but if you’re looking for something more tailored to suit your chosen location then you can even have it designed specifically for your home. Prices vary depending on the size, strength and locking mechanisms of the safe you have installed, but a nice, small model can often be purchased for as little as £80 to £150.
- Emergency call-outs – it is always an embarrassing situation to find yourself in, but if you’ve gone and locked yourself out and need to get indoors right away, then the only option is an emergency call-out by your nearest locksmith. Hourly rates are usually somewhere between £40 and £60, but if it is past 6-7pm then you might find that rising to anywhere around £60 to £80 instead. Of course, the best way to prevent this sort of predicament is by having numerous keys cut to begin with and asking a nearby relative or trusty neighbour to look after a replacement, just in case.
Remember, always be sure to ask the important questions before hiring a locksmith – do they charge a call-out fee? What about cancellation fees? Is VAT included in the price? These are important ways of ensuring you don’t end up spending what you can’t afford. For the best service, make sure your chosen contractor is also affiliated with the Master Locksmiths Association – this is the authoritative body approved by the Home Office that checks companies and independent contractors’ standards of work against the national average – therefore allowing you to get the best deal for your money.