I provide locksmith services to all of King and Snohomish Counties, certainly the bulk of my work is in the central Eastside. But I do get called out to the more remote towns in our area for various locksmith work. Recently I got to go out to the beautiful foothills to Fall City, where good ole, Handy Hubby had tried to install a new hardware set. The included pictures are literally what it looked liked when I arrived.
Usually when I am called out to install a lock or deadbolt I have a pretty good idea of what challenges I may face. When I get the calls that start out with; "Well my husband/boyfriend/friend who is 'usually really handy' tried to install this new door knob I got from Amazon/Hardware store..." I do admit I get very nervous.
One reason I get nervous is this statement is usually followed by the 'how much do you think...' question. Considering the possibilities of scenarios that could have been created, it is an impossible question to answer with any faith in the answer but I know I will be held to any firm answer. My response is always, 'Well lets see what its going to take when I get there, but usually it is a service call ($45) and an installation charge ($10). If it is going to be much more than that we will discuss it once I arrive.'
The next thing that makes me nervous is that when I am installing a door handle or deadbolt, I know the steps and processes. When I start on someone else's work, I have first figure out what they had done. Then what its going to take to fix that and THEN what is it going to take to complete the installation.
Do Even real contractors have troubles with locks?
Yes, sometimes even contractors who are used to these types of situations have trouble with locks and deadbolts as well. Recently I was called out by a good contractor buddy of mine Chris Robel www.robeldesignbuild.com out to Redmond. The new lockset he recently installed was just not working and continued to lock out the homeowners.
This was a very unique situation, nor was it poor selection on his part. The design of the latch allowed enough movement where it was able to move a bracket into a position such that it would then not allow the latch to function. They were big heavy entrance doors with two young boys that used them as boys do, so there was a lot force being applied right at the latch to move it around.
What happened to these locksets?
In the end, in Fall City, I had to completely uninstall the lock from the door. And then I had to completely disassemble and reassemble the entry lockset due to the fact that the forced install they had been living with for the last couple of months had actually loosened up the internal fasteners. The customer is very lucky they did not bend or break a part in there, a good chance there is nothing I can do at that point and a new door knob will need to be purchased.
Out in Redmond, I had to uninstall the new entrance handle set and reinstall the old door knob that was on there. I then helped the homeowner get a complete refund from the first store, sent her to a better door hardware supplier to choose a new entrance door handle and lock that I can confirm will work after I install it properly.
All in a day of the Life of a Locksmith.