A Word on Electronic Residential Door Locks

Many people are now opting for the ease and convenience of Electronic (battery-operated) Residential Door locks like the electronic dead bolt pictured above, or a handle set of some kind–either a knob or a lever like the one right here.

There are several good brands of these types of locks out there, and a vast degree of price differences among those brands due to the sturdiness of the lock (Grades 1, 2, or 3), and the differences or availability of various functions (what I like to call the ‘bells and whistles’), and the various options they offer, like finishes and styles for instance.

One of the very first things that you, the potential lock purchaser, should decide is how much money you are willing to budget for these expenditures (remember you may have to multiply this by the number of locks you are having to purchase for you new home).  Deciding the budget can be a little difficult if you have several doors, or relatively easy if you only have one.  I will briefly discuss two brands of electronic residential door locks which I am personally familiar with.  Schlage is the brand of electronic dead bolt and lever that are pictured, and I am most familiar with these having sold and installed a great many different types and styles of them to my own customers.  I have also sold similar variations of these styles and types of electronic residential door locks that are manufactured by Kwikset .

In my experience, Schlage is usually the higher priced of the two, but not for durability–they are both sturdily built, but rather more options and features seem to be offered with this brand of electronic residential door lock than with those manufactured by Kwikset.  That being said, both brands will appeal to the budget, you simply need to decide what features you might be willing to live without.

Determining your needs will be where these two brands of locks will differ–for instance, if you plan on having many users, Schlage will be the better choice since they typically allow for far more user codes to be programmed into the lock’s memory.  There are also subtle differences in how the electronic residential door locks of each brand operate, and are installed.  The overall quality and durability of the locks are sufficient for the prices concerned–typically five to fifteen years–sometimes longer depending on hour much punishment the locks are subjected to.

Other than that, either lock brand will easily satisfy the application requirements for an electronic dead bolt, or handle set quite well.  Both provide various different finishes to select from, and the relative ease of installation of each brand is about the same–much of the latter is dependent upon the amount–if any–of door and frame prep-work which might be required. Usually you might run into this problem if there is not an existing dead bolt lock on your door–hence no corresponding holes in the door or frame, or in the case of an older home the required hole already in the door is a smaller diameter than is required for newer applications.  Not to worry–these sorts or things can be done either by yourself–if you are handy, or by hiring a professional–but it must be noted that the cost of the latter should go into your budgetary planning.

Purchase availability for both brands and styles of electronic residential door locks are widespread.  They are available at most large reputable home stores, and at many different websites–both home store and others–on the internet.  If money is no object, then most reputable on-line stores can get your new electronic residential door locks sent out to you rather quickly.  For those of you out there who are a little more thrifty, simply take a little more time to research the different locks out there, and do price comparisons.  Look for things like Free and reduced shipping, quantity discounts, if there are any fees or other various costs that are tacked on, and finally, see if there are any sales out there–or even special offers like buy one-get one.  The latter sales and special offers usually work better for those of you who have time flexibility working for you.

If you are still not sure, don’t worry–I plan to do a future post that goes into more specific detail about these two brands of locks, and you can always leave questions in the comment sections of the site.

In conclusion, it simply helps to approach your electronic residential door lock purchase like you would any other, just do not ‘overthink’ it too much.  After all, we all have to get our ‘feet wet’ somewhere.  After a reasonable amount of research–take the proverbial plunge, and whatever your experience–you will certainly gain the knowledge which is needed–good or bad–for the next time when the need arises in your life for a similar purchase–and it probably will!!


Jeffrey Brown

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