Let’s Lock it Up

After paying the deposit and the half month’s rent (for February), Joe and I were given the keys.  Seeing as we’re the ones moving items to and from the apartment ourselves, it was nice to be able to get the ball rolling.  Almost immediately, we started moving what we could.

As the weeks flew by, I realized that we had more of our things were at the new apartment than at our current one.  That’s when I started to get nervous because there was only one lock on our apartment (the front door).  At the top of the stairs is another door that has a deadbolt lock but no key.  Basically, we can lock the door as long as one person is inside.

Truth be told, I was mostly nervous about our card catalogs being there because I love those things.

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

We don’t know what kind of person previous lived at this apartment, but we do know that they were asked to move out.  We also know that sometimes there are multiple copies of keys floating around.  For example – I still have a key from our first apartment and the previous tenant of our current apartment gave us their key a few months ago (this didn’t weird me out because they’re Joe’s cousins).  Joe and I aren’t the type of people to go back to an old apartment and see what’s what but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people like that.

Clearly, I like to be proactive about safety… which is why I badgered Joe about replacing that top lock so we would have keys to it.

Replacing the Lock http://popcornonthestove.com

Joe wasn’t entirely on board for this because these locks can be expensive – I totally get that.  Thankfully, he joined the paranoid cautious side after his brother helped deliver the refrigerator and agreed with me on replacing the locks.  Phew!

Last weekend, Joe and I made a trip to Home Depot where I spent at least 15 minutes trying to decide on what lock we should get.  Ultimately, I decided on this lock below (and similar to this) for under $20.00:

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Not wanting to postpone the lock swap, we started the process of removing the old lock (which is really just a matter of unscrewing 6 screws on the back part.  Easy peasy.

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

You will then be left with an attractive hole opening (this poor door has seen better days).

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

The next step was to remove the piece that goes on the door jamb, which is when we discovered this:

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

The door frame was a disaster, to say the least.  I guess that when this original lock got installed, some things needed to be, um, adjusted (that’s a nice way of saying destroyed).  There is a chunk of the frame missing, with a new piece added in.  It’s so flimsy that one of the screws for the door jamb piece didn’t even go through anything.  As a result of that wood putty and scrap wood filling in that hole, the lock we bought could not be used.  Thankfully, we had never removed that lock from the packaging so we’ were able to return it.

Let’s just say Joe was not my biggest fan at that moment because he had to go back to the store and get a lock that was similar to what we originally had.  No point in reinstalling the current lock back if we were just going to replace it, right?

I took this as an opportunity to tidy up and try to organize the piles of things we had brought over thus far.

When Joe returned, it was a very quick process to install the new lock.  I would do a play-by-play of the process but the instructions that come with these locks are so incredibly simple and why reinvent the wheel?

Changing the Lock http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

So yay for new locks at our soon to be apartment!

Sure, it’s more annoying when we’re moving a ton of stuff over there and we have to unlock that top door but it’s totally worth it.  I feel so much safer knowing that we (and our landlords because we gave them a copy of the key) are the only people who can get inside.  Another perk: Joe no longer has to hear me whine about how nervous I am about all of our stuff over there.

Changing the lock http://popcornonthestove.comDo you change the locks when you move into a new place?  Maybe just when you were renting?  Perhaps after you got the keys to your house?  Have you found any unexpected surprises during the process?

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  • http://www.ourhomefromscratch.com John @ Our Home from Scratch

    Wow that door jamb has its best days behind it. Yikes. Honestly though, I think you’re better off with the style of lock you stuck with. It looks pretty heavy duty. If you want to bolster it a little, you could replace the screws on the jamb side with much longer ones. The lock usually comes with screws that are 3/4″ long or 1″ long. You’re screwing them into a jamb though that is probably 1 1/2″ wide, so you have room for longer ones.

    We got robbed in college multiple times. Totally sucked. Then again, we were drunk a lot and left the back door open. :-/

    • http://popcornonthestove.com Kristen

      Eek – that’s horrible!

      Also, thanks for advice about the door jamb! We thought about using longer screws but it’s hollow behind that little sliver of wood/wood putty. Whoever installed the old lock cut a nice chunk out of the jamb :(

  • http://annabelvita.com Annabel Vita

    I love how that lock looks!

    Fun fact: Our flat used to be business premises for the shop downstairs and has only had one tenant before us. When Mr V started his new job just before we moved in, he discovered that that one tenant was on his team! So, the only person that’s ever had keys to our door is us, the landlady and Mr V’s colleague! So we didn’t feel the need to change the locks….

  • http://www.tickledwinks.blogspot.com Amanda

    I totally meant to change the locks when we bought our house, but never did. I think it is a super safe and smart idea though!

  • http://www.cornerofmain.com Kelly @ Corner of Main

    We absolutely changed out locks when we moved into our house. I am with you all the way on that one! You never know!

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