Hiring a Locksmith in Gateshead: Cost vs Value

Anthony |13th December, 2023

Money. Seemingly the only thing that matters when hiring a tradesperson to do a job at your home. “How much is this going to cost?” “Is that your best price?” “Can you do it cheaper?” We all have said and heard these, whether they make us cringe or smile.

Whenever the “Cost vs Value” debate erupts in closed Locksmith circles I happen to be a part of, I see most Locksmiths in Gateshead (or farther down south) reacting defensively, saying they won’t change their prices because their time and skills are valuable.

And they are absolutely right. Good locksmiths spend thousands a year on tools, hundreds of hours learning, so your request can be honoured in minutes, all while maintaining excellent standards of practice.

So, I would like to put the emphasis into the value you, as a customer, receive, as opposed to the price you pay. Why? Because sometimes, the hunt for the best price comes with the heavy… well…. price of getting the job done by incompetent lock fitters. After all, have you ever heard the saying “buy cheap, buy twice”?

Indeed, in my article on “How to avoid scammer locksmiths”, I outlined the fact that anybody can call themselves a Locksmith. I personally have seen or heard handy persons, DIYers, builders, plumbers, electricians, or even taxi drivers taking on locksmith jobs. Would you let your taxi driver change your locks, or your Locksmith service your boiler?

If the answer is “no”, I want you to ask yourself the following: “What is the value I am getting when hiring a professional, reputable Locksmith in Gateshead, as opposed to someone who fits locks?”

Here is my take in the additional value you will receive by hiring a professional instead of an amateur, in chronological order from the first phone call to the end of the job:

1- Before even calling

As demonstrated in our article about how to avoid scammer locksmiths, choosing the right person for the job is a critical part of getting the job well done. So how do you know that your local handyman is good at repairing doors or fitting locks? Do you need to get an Uber ride first so you can meet the taxi driver who will change your locks so you can ask him if he’s any good at it? Or maybe you could go to the nearest building site and carefully observe the builders there to make sure they have proper work etiquette? Or, how about simply going on your nearest Locksmith from Gateshead’s Google Business page, have a look at the reviews? Or why not on his Facebook page, to have a look at photos and videos of jobs done in the past? And if this inspires enough confidence to give them a call, you can already have some form of insurance that the person you’re going to request will be qualified.

2- Availability:

Your average Lock fitter already has a full time job. He fits locks in his spare time, as a way of making some extra cash. This translates into them not being available for you at all times, if they even answer the phone in the first place. A Locksmith’s job is to be available for you at any time, especially in the event of an emergency. And even if they cannot be here for you whenever you need them, they will know other Locksmiths that will, ensuring your needs are met, even if not by them directly.

3- Product Quality

Since lock fitters do this as a means to make some extra cash, they won’t have anywhere near a full stock in their vehicle. In order to compensate for that, they will fit whatever it is that they have, which may also be second hand parts. Sure, you’ll pay less than if you hired a Locksmith, but you may end up with an oversized lock, or worse, a lock that fails every single measure of quality, which may invalidate insurance policies, or straight up make your home vulnerable to opportunistic thieves. However, asking a Locksmith to tend to your needs instead will guarantee the proper gear gets fitted into your door. No loss of security, no void insurance policy: nothing but a new part that won’t look like a coat hanger got fitted on your door.

4- Workmanship

Lock fitters did not receive Locksmith training. They may be joiners, builders, or from a trade that vaguely relates to locks, and assume they have enough information to take on locksmith jobs. The truth is they simply do not, but the real problem with that is that you, the customer, aren’t a Locksmith either! So the only way you’re going to notice a bad job is when it ultimately goes wrong. A Locksmith, however, will be able to do a great job in the first place, greatly reducing the chances of anything going wrong at all.

5- Accountability

The above point ties well with this one: what happens when your door malfunctions again after a job was done on it? You call the person who did the job to get them to have a look again, correct? Now, I am sure you have a friend, or even yourself, that can relate to a tradesperson doing a botched job and conveniently forgetting to answer the phone when called back to make it right. The chances you will experience this with a good, reputable locksmith (e.g. not a sub contractor working for a national company, or for scam companies), are slim to none. A reputable locksmith will provide you with means to reach them if needed, but also will provide a minimum of 1 year warranty on the job done, so you don’t have to pay twice if something goes wrong.

6- Emergencies

Sometimes, you might want to ease your spendings when in an emergency situation by calling someone who fits locks, or fits doors, because surely, if they fit them, they know how to open them, right? Well, I can’t say they won’t be able to open the door for you, but I can tell you based on experience that more often than not, there will be collateral damage. If you’re lucky, they will only drill your lock. If you’re unlucky, they may drill it wrong. And if you’re cursed, they will keep drilling until your door mechanism goes to heaven along with your lock….. while your door remains locked. In any and all cases, you will still have to replace at least your door lock, which is an additional expense, along with the inconvenience of changing your keys again, and give a spare back to family members, potentially cutting additional spares at the local shoemaker…. Sounds like a lot of trouble, doesn’t it? So how about calling a professional locksmith instead? They will be able to respond faster, open the door faster, without damage to any parts of it, leaving you with a fully functional door. No headache, no new lock and keys, just a one-time payment for a well-executed service.

And if this was not enough for you to convince you that money should not always be the “be all and end all” when getting New Locks in Gateshead, or repairing your door, here is a bit extra for you, applicable for every trade, and very sought after qualities when hiring someone for a job:

Good tradespeople are reliable, trustworthy, communicate well and often, are transparent with their prices and practices, do not bait and switch, can take criticism, and ultimately, Excellent tradespeople do what they say, show up, do the job and leave you with a smile.

And THAT is what I call value. Lighter on the soul beats lighter on the wallet, every time.

Sometimes, it takes a good locksmith to do what a lock fitter could not.

With all that being said, if you would rather spare yourself the headache of finding a good, reputable local locksmith, simply get in touch directly with me at 07865 367298, and get in business with AD Locksmithing, a Top 3 best Locksmiths in Gateshead!

 | Updated: 9th February, 2024