We have been trading since 2005 and have fixed, replaced and repaired over 25,000 locks over this period. We have many locksmith case studies, here are just a few examples. If you do not see your particular locksmith requirement here, please don’t worry and contact Tim direct. The chances are that we have probably carried out a repair or replacement lock similar to yours at some point.
This customer needed to be able to lock some internal doors which had standard mortice latches and handles with no keyway. The customer had been able to discover and source the same door handles in the same size and finish but with a keyway.
This looks like a simple job to the uninitiated – just a matter of swapping the handles over, but in reality upgrading the lock involves removing the sashlock and enlarging the aperture within the door to accommodate the key operated sashlock which is bigger – a delicate job as its easy to split the door. The lock needs to be positioned very precisely so that the handles are in exactly the same place, otherwise the edges of the handles are in different places which would show on the paintwork.
Finally the new handles could be fitted – they lined up perfectly with the original screw holes. A very satisfying (if fiddly) job and a very happy customer – no signs that the handles aren’t the originals.
The customer had noticed that the door handles were floppy and that the lock simply wasn’t working right.
The lock problem turned out to be a faulty mechanism – the long strip down the edge of the door wasn’t functioning correctly. Fortunately this was easily replaced as it was one I routinely stock on the van – there are many different types of mechanism – multiple manufacturers as well as a whole variety of hooks, bolts and rollers at different positions along the strip.
I replaced the handles with some smart brass coloured ones to match the other door furniture.
Finally the customer decided to upgrade the cylinder (which operates the locking mechanism) to a High Security, Insurance Approved Anti- Snap, Bump, Pick, Drill cylinder. Its possible that this small upgrade in security may reduce the customer’s insurance premium, it will certainly make it more difficult for any opportunist burglar to gain entry through the door (as long as it is locked properly of course)
Received a call from a customer in Tring – could I take a look at her parent’s uPVC side garage door which had a broken hinge? On arrival, it was quickly established that this door has 3 hinges and yes, one had broken with age.
This sort of work might be undertaken by a variety of trades uPVC supplier/fitter if it’s still within its warranty/guarantee, a handyman and some locksmiths. We have the knowledge and skills to help here and were pleased to be able to help out a valued customer.
Unfortunately, these hinges had been discontinued by the manufacturer, but my supplier suggested a suitable substitute. We replaced all 3 hinges as it’s reasonable to assume that the other two were likely to fail in the near future as they were all of the same age and condition. The job was fiddly as it required the door to be taken off to allow the hinges to be replaced. The replacement hinges were a perfect match and lined up with the old screw holes perfectly so we soon had the door re-hung. It was then a matter of adjusting the hinges to ensure that the door hung straight and opened/closed correctly within its frame and that the multipoint lock features of the mechanism lined up with all their counterpart apertures in the frame – this part is quite a time consuming as it requires tiny adjustments at each hinge.
Customers were delighted that an old door was repaired at a fraction of the cost of a replacement door – which had been their fear. We had the satisfaction of doing something out of the ordinary – so everyone was happy.
Met a customer today who had experienced problems getting their lock sorted – not because it was anything complex but simply because English wasn’t their first language.
The family were renting their home and were having trouble with the front door lock. When they called I was actually just ½ a mile away, so realising that there was a language barrier, I went round so they could show me the problem rather than struggle to understand. It turned out that the spring in the door handle was worn, resulting in a “floppy” handle. This was easily fixed as I routinely carry this part.
The customer was delighted that after a several frustrating but unsuccessful calls to other companies they had got the problem solved quickly and at a low cost. I was able to discuss the job with the landlord and they agreed to the price so I replaced the spring cartridge then and there.
What a difference the personal touch can make – Taking the time to visit meant that although verbal communication was tricky I was able to solve the problem – to the satisfaction of the tenant and their landlord
Not all doors and locks are standard – but that’s what makes the job interesting!
I went to a customer the other day who was concerned about the security of their door lock. When I got there it was an old cottage with a back door that opened outwards, meaning the latch was visible to the outside world and therefore vulnerable. Additionally the door was set back in the frame ie not flush with the front edge of the frame. The age of the cottage meant that nothing was geometrically straight or at right angles so the answer wasn’t going to be to simply rehang the door. Some lateral thinking was required. The solution turned out to need several elements combined together:
To fit a metal plate on the outside surface of the door so that it protects the latch and stops anyone slipping the latch to gain entry without the key.
To bring the lock out so that the latch lines up with its keep on the frame to reliably and securely catch every time. I put 4 small nuts behind the brass plate to lift it forward of the door surface.
The combination of these individually small measures was sufficient to achieve the desired result – the lock was now positioned so that it was perpendicular to the position of the keep in the door frame. The latch now aligned perfectly with the keep without having to lean on the door to push it home and the latch was protected from any intruders forcing entry.
I found the job immensely satisfying – working out how to solve the problems.
This is a demonstration of the how a good locksmith’s job is not just about changing locks and opening doors. There are occasions when knowledge and experience are needed to be able to figure out how to solve an unusual situation. Of course it helps enormously to have a wide range of locks, parts and sundry items to hand
Sometimes the satisfaction comes in finding the ‘right’ parts for the job so that the door furniture remains in keeping with the door itself and the building. That was the case the other day at what an estate agent would probably refer to as a character cottage.
This property had an old front door with a night latch which could have been the original one! There was a fault with this lock so rather than replace it with the most up to date and sophisticated modern lock on the market we decided to go for something that would work with the existing door style and not look out of place whilst still meeting insurance requirements. The customer and I agreed that this brass door pull covered the holes left by the original round keyway and the new shiny brass nightlatch was a good match size wise for the old tarnished one and blends well with the brass doorknob above. I was pleased to be able to tidy up the woodwork with a dab of filler so you’d never know that a different lock had ever been there. Buildings often move as time passes meaning that what was once straight and at right angles is no longer the case. This is where experience comes into play – knowing what to tweak and by how much.
This job might have taken a little longer to complete than a quick change of lock but it was so much more satisfying and particularly gratifying to see how delighted the customer was.
This customer lives in an old cottage with an equally old door. They had been advised by their insurer that they needed to upgrade their security to meet the requirements of their insurance policy. However the door was too thin to accommodate a traditional BS3621 Deadlock.
Fortunately there is a lock designed for just such situations – a “Chubb in a box”. This is a surface mounted deadlock which attaches to the inside of the door rather than having to chisel out a niche inside the door. As you can see from the photos, the lock is in keeping with the style of the door as well as offering a the additional security of a British Standards BS 3621 Kitemarked Deadlock. I was particularly pleased to have found the large black escutcheon which fits in nicely plate which looks right alongside the existing door furniture. It attaches with four bolts which fasten from inside the door so they are protected. Placing it below the horizontal bar on the door was the perfect position as it was a convenient height for the customer and meant that with the upper nightlatch the door was secure along its full height.
This lock is ideal for any door (modern or old) which is not thick enough to allow a standard deadlock to be fitted within the depth of the door’s structure. It is of excellent quality and straight forward to fit.
I got called to a previous customer who I attended sometime ago in Bovingdon. They had recently moved into Chorleywood and were unfortunately victims to a crime. The original set of keys were taken from the external key safe. Following the call out, I attended the property promptly. On arriving I conducted a full assessment of the property and made appropriate recommendations in line with Insurance approved locks. In total there were 5 locks replaced, these were:
2 Union BS3621 Insurance Approved Sashlocks
1 Union BS3621 Insurance Approved Deadlock
1 Yale Multi Purpose Bolt
1 Asec High Security Rim Cylinder
The client was extremely pleased with the service and quality of the workmanship.
This customer realised on the flight home from a lovely holiday that they had left their house keys in the hotel room. On arrival at the airport they found Millennium Locksmiths with an internet search and asked us to meet them at the property to let them in and change the locks. Not an ideal end to the holiday but for us sadly not uncommon. Fortunately it wasn’t a night flight so the locksmith met them at the address at the agreed time and had them indoors very quickly. The speed with which we can open a door is often a shock to our customers as it makes them realise how quickly a burglar could gain access. In this case the house was secure and it was simply the locksmith’s expertise which made it look simple! But we always let customers know if they need to change their security practices or if an upgrade is in their best interests to protect their property/comply with insurance industry standards.
We were able to speedily replace the Euro Cylinders to the front and back doors (the chances of someone overseas coming to England with the keys to break in were very slim – but there is nothing like peace of mind). The customer opted to upgrade the cylinders to High Security Anti snap, bump, pick, drill Insurance Approved cylinders. Within a very short time the customer was able to resume their post-holiday routine as if nothing had happened knowing that once again they knew that their home was secure.
A very satisfying job this week. Way back, before the school holidays, I was asked to quote for fitting digital locks to the classrooms of a local junior school and I’m pleased to say that Millennium Locksmiths won the contract.
The job consisted of 25 fresh fit digital locks, programmed to the customer’s desired code plus fresh fitting 4 sets of claw locks to the sliding doors of classroom store cupboards.
The school agreed to this being carried out over 3 days during the summer holidays which meant that we could work unhindered and without disrupting lessons – for everyone’s convenience.
Digital locks are a simple and cost-effective way to secure a door without the use of the key. Most have a push button code to be entered, which releases the lock. These locks can also have a switch to disengage the lock for example at the start and end of the day to enable free movement.
Claw locks are a little more unusual but a great way to secure sliding doors. When the key is turned, the bolt expands sideways into its keep – its easier to see how it works from a photo and as you can see it’s a very robust lock. Some escutcheon plates finished off the doors nicely to protect the wood around the key-ways.
Whilst on site we established that there were a couple of doors which needed a little work (with the school’s authorisation) to ensure that the locks would work properly – the hinges of the staffroom door needed replacing and another door had a crack which was repaired. We were in a position to be able to do this as it made our job simpler and saved the school an additional job.
On completion, a walk around with the manager ensured that they were happy with the work done and that the locks were achieving the required security – it’s easy to discover at this stage that a door has been forgotten or has different usage to others and so needs a different approach to security.
So as far as security is concerned the school is all ready for the new academic year – so long as the locks are actually used of course!
Sash Window Locks
As a design Wooden Sash windows have been around for centuries – there are many that are that old and still in regular use. There are also many newer build houses or restorations of an older building that install new sash windows.
I imagine most of us have come across at least one which has been badly painted meaning that the sash no longer moves freely in its channel either because the paint has stuck the wood together or because the cord won’t run through the pulleys.
I was recently called to a job in Windsor involving some sash windows which were being lovingly restored to their proper working condition. As a locksmith I don’t get involved in the sash opening mechanism – I know my limits and these definitely require a different skill set to mine. The customer was wanting to secure their windows because the original brass locks were not working – on one the handle had sheared off.
I am able to source these locks relatively easily so having checked with the customer exactly how many locks were affected, I collected replacement parts on my way to Windsor, meaning that I was able to complete the job then and there much to the customer’s delight. As you can imagine in Windsor there are a lot of old and Listed buildings with a variety of restrictions on any building and repair work so to be able to replace the lock “like for like” was great for the customer and satisfying for me – I think you’ll agree that the locks are a very good match!
In order to maintain the effectiveness of these locks, I would recommend that they are removed when painting the wood and that the moving parts are kept clean and lubricated to ensure ease of movement. There can often be a build-up of dust and wood chips and paint flakes. These simple steps should help to keep your windows secure for many years.
Booked by a customer to upgrade a deadlock in Chesham. On arrival, it was discovered that the door had not been correctly fitted in its frame meaning that the slightly wider BS standard deadlock would need to be offset in the door. Fitting it this close the edge of the door could well weaken the door.
Discussion with the customer identified that the lock upgrade was needed for compliance with their home insurance policy so we suggested upgrading the existing nightlatch which did not meet British Safety Standards to a BS 3621 high-security nightlatch.
The customer was pleased with this solution as it meant they met the requirements of their insurance policy thus reducing their premium, their home security was improved and lastly, the integrity of the door was not compromised.
It’s tricky when a customer requires a type of lock that is not the best fit with their needs however we feel that it is important to provide the best service possible and in these circumstances to be honest and say that the customer’s wishes may actually be detrimental to their security. Our professional knowledge enabled us to suggest an alternative and provide it from the wide range of stock carried. We have completed many locksmith call outs in Chesham of late, another happy customer.