This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in February 2015.
For any number of reasons you may find yourself needing a new door handle or lockset or deadbolt for your home: maybe you’re seeking an aesthetic update, dealing with broken hardware, or simply looking for a model that provides a little extra security (after all, comfort in security = better ZZZZ).
The #1 recommendation from my realtor was to change all of the locks, because you never know how many duplicates of your keys are floating around. Purchasing new knobs and deadbolts can be quite an investment if you’re making updates all at once, and the process can be downright overwhelming, but my thoughts on the process can be summed up as: Do it once, and do it right.
The side of me that geeks out over things like the HGTV Smart Home and my Nest thermostat encourages me to explore the range of digital and “smart” lockset products available to consumers.
If you’ve never bought a lockset before (and I suspect that unless necessity prevails, many of you live with what you have) you’d be amazed with the options and configurations and technologies available these days for handle sets and deadbolts. I’d recommend getting consumer reviews for any lock you’re interested in putting on your home, and would even suggest talking to customer service at each company to get a better understanding of how the products work in day-to-day life – you may get a better sense of the product features once you weed through all of the marketing lingo. To get you started, here’s a short list of products that could help you enhance your own Smart Home:
Kwikset’s Kevo touts UniKey technology for security and convenience via bluetooth. One of the biggest perks of some of the systems shared here is that they may unlock automatically; Kevo features Touch-to-open functionality, which means it will unlock at your touch as you approach it with either the keyfob or your smart phone staying in your pocket or purse. Technology at its finest! (I like this a lot in automobile technology too, but I’ll refrain from the segue). A nice bonus, the Kevo works with Nest to help program your home’s energy settings as you come and go for maximum efficiency as well as security.
The Goji deadbolt allows you to use your smartphone to access your home, but it comes with fobs and traditional keys too for convenience. Like some of these products, you can use the Goji app to create unique access for visitors, and get alerts when someone enters and exits your home. Goji’s claims of being available for 24/7 customer support may be enough to ease your mind when transitioning to a new technology like a digital lock. (Author’s Update: Production is currently on hold as of August 2015, but keep an eye on this product in the future)
The August Smart Lock has a lot of the same features as the aforementioned products, and it’s really good looking too; the product only replaces the thumb lever on the inside of your existing deadbolt, so it’s still the same deadbolt look on the outside which is a big perk for me (lights and illuminated numbers on the exterior seem like an unnecessary attraction in my opinion). You can always use the key to your deadbolt if you need to, but you don’t have to because the door will open automatically when your phone is with you.
Lockitron is another product that works with your existing deadbolt. Its claims speak to the ease of locking and unlocking your door from afar, with testimonials that hit home to people who manage rental properties (like me!). The newest product, Bolt, isn’t available until March 2015, but is available for preorder.
A few products that you’ll be able to find right at your local home improvement store at a reasonable price point are the Camelot Style Schlage Connect™ Touchscreen Deadbolt (a real looker, and so is the more contemporary Century Style deadbolt… I love the matte black finish for both products). The built-in alarm is a nice-to-have bonus deterrent!
A product worth noting that works against physical entry is the Haven Lock. It’s a lock system that anchors the door at the base, not at the deadbolt location. It’s newer technology, so for early adopters, this may be an interesting product to try!