Introduction to Lockworx Ipswich Locksmiths
Welome to the Lockworx Ipswich Locksmiths blog.
My name is Dan and I am the proprietor of Lockworx Ipswich Locksmiths and have started writing a blog, I have had a varied career through the years ranging from engineering to the Armed Forces, I have spent time overseas but I know that living here in Ipswich as a self employed Locksmith is where I should be.
As a 24 hour locksmith operating across the Ipswich area I never know what the next call will bring, it could be that someone has locked themselves out and is in need of a fast response Locksmith to get them back in their property quickly with minimal fuss or someone has recently moved into a new property and wants the locks changed for peace of mind, you never know who has keys so always best to change the locks when you move house to be certain nobody has access who you don’t know about.
I can supply and fit new mechanisms to UPVC doors and sort out that annoying door that won’t open or close without a fight there is no need to put these off as they can usually be sorted out same day.
It is important that when you call an Ipswich Locksmiths you choose a local company, there are a lot of companies advertising and claiming to be based in Ipswich that are merely just a call center and will give the job to a contractor who could be miles away, which means you could be waiting a long time for anyone to get to you and you will pay a premium for the work done as they need to cover overheads.
Lockworx is based in Ipswich and is a local company and can usually arrive within the hour often sooner depending on whether I am already on a call.
Replacement UPVC Locking Mechanism
As locking mechanisms on UPVC and composite doors ( often called multipoint locking mechanisms ) become old and worn you may have trouble locking or unlocking the door, or may not be able to operate the door at all, the handles may become loose and floppy and not return to the horizontal position or the door may be locked and you are unable to unlock it.
Here at Lockworx Ipswich Locksmiths, we have a great deal of experience in sorting out these problems, often the door has come out of alignment with the frame and excess force is required to operate the handles, if this is not rectified promptly the mechanism will fail altogether.
If the door has gone past this point and is no longer operational we can supply and fit new parts to get the door working again and you being able to use that door and be able to secure your home.
Don’t put it off and get it sorted sooner rather than later.
If you are having issues with a multipoint locking mechanism give me a call, I can usually sort these problems out same day or if I don’t have the correct parts in stock then these can be ordered and delivered next day.
Beware of the £39 or £49 “local” Locksmiths
At the moment there seems to be a lot or maybe just a couple of companys advertising on Google as a local locksmith service that will get you back in your house and only charge you £39 for doing so.
Be very wary of these so called local locksmiths as they seem to be local to everywhere in the UK all they do is use a local phone number redirected to a call center who will sub contract the work out to people in that area, now lets think about this for a moment,
They always appear at the top of Google in an advert and pay Google every time someone clicks on their advert, they then have to pay the person who takes the call and sends the work to a contractor, that contractor then has to get in their van and travel to the address paying for fuel, they arrive at the address and begin work and filling out paperwork etc, then leave the property either to go home or to the next job where it starts all over again, as you can probably tell it is unrealistic for all this to happen for £39,
The way I have heard that it works is this from one of my customers who promptly told them to leave, the £39 is only to get someone to your address, it is then that they give you another price to open the door in this case it was a simple lock-out, the price they were given was £95 to get the door open, if they had to drill the lock it would be another £75 for a new lock all this is plus VAT, altogether the price was £39 + £95 + £75 + VAT which equals the grand total of £209 + VAT which is an astonishing £250.80
I could not believe that anyone could try to charge that much for a simple 5 minute job and the customer had to wait well over an hour for someone to come from Thetford to Ipswich, they called me at Lockworx moments after telling this other locksmith to leave, I was only 15 minutes away and had them back in their house in less than 5 minutes after arriving and charged £70, a whopping £180 less than the previous company also there is no VAT, no new locks needed, no new keys, no hassle, no problem, it just goes to show that if you need a Locksmith in the Ipswich area then find a genuine local locksmith preferably Lockworx Ipswich Locksmith but there are others and not a fly by night call center pretending to be local.
Non Destructive vs Destructive
Here at Lockworx Ipswich Locksmiths, we endeavour to use non destructive methods of opening locks where possible, we will always try to pick a lock or bypass it and exhaust all other methods before resorting to breaking the lock,
In some situations you need to have a key to the lock in order to remove it from its casing, you could think that if the lock is going to be replaced anyway then what does it matter if it gets destroyed, but it is always much better to use non destructive opening techniques than forcing it open. You also stand a chance of causing more damage not only to the lock that is going to be replaced but also to doors, door frames and locking mechanisms, which will end up being a much more expensive job to repair.
For example, recently I attended a job where the customer had tried to replace a lock on a UPVC door themselves, they did not have a key which is needed to extract the cylinder and proceeded to try to break the lock cylinder out of the door, in doing this not only did they damage the mechanism with the extreme force applied but were also unsuccessful in removing the old cylinder and got it jammed inside the door, it was a bit of a mess to be quite honest, basically I had to replace the locking mechanism as well as the cylinder which roughly doubled the cost than if they had called a competent locksmith in the first place, just goes to show that some jobs are best left to the professionals!
There are some times where destructive methods are used, often they can be a quicker way of gaining entry so in emergency situations it may be necessary for rapid entry, also, some locks just do not want to be opened without the correct key, they are designed to keep you out and sometimes no matter how skilled you are or how hard you try it just wont play ball, in these instances there may be no other option than destructive methods, while being destructive we will always try to to keep damage to a minimum.
What You Are Paying For
When you call out a locksmith service such as Lockworx Ipswich Locksmiths, you are employing a professional Locksmith Service, you are calling a company that has years of experience, the tools and know how to get your issue resolved quickly and professionally
Sometimes I get called out to attend an address and the customer is locked out and it may only take a couple of minutes to get that door open and the customer back into their property, what some customers fail to understand is that they are not only paying for someone to come to their property often late at night or very early in the morning but also their availability to be with them as soon as possible. You are paying for someone who has put the time and effort into learning the art of opening locks, bypassing security measures and also has invested a lot of time and money into the specialist tools required to effectively gain entry to property with little to no damage a majority of the time. This charge also takes in to account things like vehicle costs, liability insurance and general running costs.
Here at Lockworx Ipswich Locksmiths we do not charge by the hour as some other companies do, we give a price for the job for example if I am called because somebody has locked themselves out I will give a price to get them back in regardless if it takes 2 minutes or an hour the price will not change as our prices are very competitive.
My aim is to become the Number 1 Locksmiths service in the Ipswich area and working hard to achieving this.
As a full time 24 hour Locksmith operating across Ipswich and surrounding areas I get called to a wide variety of jobs from simple gain entry situations to failed Upvc mechanisms which can be tricky especially if it has failed in the locked position.
Recently I was called to help a customer who had what they thought was a failed mechanism on their front door, the handle would not lift all the way up to allow the key to be turned therefore unable to lock the door, it was Saturday evening so any parts that were needed to be ordered would not arrive until Tuesday so I knew it was going to be challenging especially as the front door was opened on to the public footpath
On arrival I assessed the situation, immediately it was apparent that this was not going to be straight forward as the first thing I saw was a non standard shape euro cylinder, this also meant that it was a non standard mechanism and non standard handles which meant I had no replacement parts in stock that would be compatible as have never needed these parts.
I stripped the door down and removed the mechanism, disassembled the mechanism and checked the moving parts were operating as they should, they were, then checked the operation of the main part called the gearbox, to see if it would function whilst not connected to the rest of the mechanism, which it did, I then reassembled everything and tested it off the door, everything was working as it should, the mechanism was then put back into the door, handles and cylinder fitted back in, the moment of truth was here.
The mechanism functioned as it should, didn’t jam up wasn’t stiff or crunchy, in fact it was working better than it ever did according to the customer, all I can assume is that part of the mechanism has become disconnected somehow and instead of sliding past itself it was getting stuck, after stripping it down and refitting it everything was as it should be and working perfectly, to be honest it was a bit of a relief as I was not sure which suppliers would stock these non standard parts and to change it to standard parts would have meant new lock cylinder, new center case on the mechanism and new handles, all together this could have been pretty expensive for the customer but I was able to rectify the problem only charging for an hour labour, job well done and customer was very pleased and had left a 5 star review before I had even got home.
That’s why I love being a locksmith in Ipswich, every day is different and you never know what the next job will bring, from simple two minute jobs to the more complex head scratching ones, it keeps you on your toes and is far more rewarding than a regular job. Visit our Testimonials page by Clicking HERE to see what our customers are saying about our services
Called to Repair
I was called to repair or replace this night latch as had to be opened in an emergency situation by the Police as the occupant of the property was taken unwell and rapid entry was required, in these situations there is no point in being gentle the main priority is assisting the occupant inside.
On arrival it was clear to see that this latch had been replaced at least once before, the door had been cut out to accommodate a different latch that wrapped around the edge of the door, initially I thought this was going to be tricky as the screws had been pulled out making the holes larger but simply by using slightly larger screws it was straight forward and was able to secure the property for the customer.
Unusual Entry Method
As an Emergency locksmith service I have been called to many different situations, recently I was called to attend a property where the owner had lost their keys on a dog walk, after having re-traced their steps called me, on arrival found that the locks on the doors were very high security and specialist tools are required to be opened non destructively which is our aim here at Lockworx Ipswich Locksmiths.
The alternative was to use destructive methods which would not only be time consuming but also add a lot of cost for replacements. I was moments away from making the decision to use destructive methods when I noticed there was a rear skylight open, so with the use of a ladder I was able to enter via the skylight and open the doors with the keys that were inside, no damage, no new locks and a very relieved customer.
It is important in this job to consider all of the options before making irreversible decisions and often the door which the customer is locked out of may not be the best or easiest point of access for a locksmith.
Beware Using A National Company
If you need an Ipswich Locksmiths or any other service like plumbers or electricians it is very important that you do a little research into the company you choose, there are a lot of companies that pose as local but are very far from it as this video shows, Click here for the video from the BBC on Youtube
I am no longer offering a 24hr Service, this is a decision I have made for personal reasons, primarily for my own health and safety and well being.
As a lone worker it is common to find yourself in a vulnerable position with sometimes dealing with people who are angry, upset or possibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I am a family man and the most important thing for me and my family is to keep safe. To those who may believe that this is part of the job and to get on with it, obviously have never been in this kind of situation so would have no idea about what it is like to go to an address in the middle of the night to meet somebody you don’t know and how the customer is going to be. Believe me not everyone is pleased to see you as they know it is going to cost some money.
I am working towards having appointments as much prefer having work booked in advance but this is not possible with emergency jobs.
So my new hours are 06:00 – 22:00 Monday to Sunday this gives me plenty of availability without the early hours of the morning calls
What does it take
What does it take to be a locksmith? more specifically an Emergency Ipswich Locksmith, well, let me tell you my story,
After leaving the Royal Air Force I wasn’t really sure which direction to go in, I have a background in engineering and mechanical maintenance and after a lot of thought I decided to do a Locksmith basic training course to test the water to see if it is something I would be interested in, it was a two day course and yes it taught me the very basics of how locks work and bypassing techniques but that was enough to get going with.
From there I must have spent thousands of hours practicing my skills over the last 10 years or so to get to the level I am at now, not easy in the shed in winter months but a more realistic situation than in a nice warm comfortable room with good lighting.
I am by no means perfect, occasionally I get caught out by something I have not come across before but by using the well practiced fundamentals and processes can get to a satisfactory conclusion 99% of the time which is pretty good if I do say so myself.
Anyone thinking of becoming a locksmith should prepare themselves for a roller coaster ride, some days the work flows and is straight forward, other days you may get nothing at all and you will also get jobs that you wish you had never started but that’s all part of this trade, you never know what is going to come in next, don’t buy every tool under the sun as there are so many out there you would need a removal truck to carry it all as well as very deep pockets, there are a handful of tools that are used on a daily basis but get good quality.
You could be the best locksmith in the world but if nobody can find you then its all for nothing a good website, advertising, word of mouth and contacts are all things you need to develop and initially take any work you can for experience, you can always apologise and walk away, I remember one of the first jobs I was called to, it was a safe, I have no experience or knowledge of safes, but it turned out to be very simple and came away buzzing. Just goes to show don’t write jobs off without going to have a look, just don’t get in too deep and know when to leave it.
A very mixed bag
I have been an Ipswich Locksmith for a long time and it never ceases to amaze me how I still come up against situations that I have never had to deal with before, you would have thought with the experience I have that I would have seen pretty much all varieties of faults with locks, locking mechanisms and lock failures but that is not the case.
Last night I was called to an address where the customer could not lock their door, on arrival found that somehow the key had been removed when the lock was partially turned and the key could not be re-inserted, it is not supposed to be able to be removed unless in the correct position, I was able to re-set the the lock to the correct position and was able to re-insert the key, the lock functioned as it should and I was unable to remove the key in anything other than the correct position no matter how hard I tried.
As I could not repeat the fault the customer did not want the lock to be replaced and obviously I could not offer any kind of guarantee that this problem will not happen again but that was their choice, personally I would have replaced the lock but that wasn’t up to me, it was working correctly when I left so my job was done, hopefully it will carry on working and they won’t need to call me back to replace the lock.
Rise of the Nationals
As a local business owner it is a good idea to keep an eye on what the competition are up to, it has become apparent that there is an increasing amount of companies advertising as being local but are far from it, these companies are not interested in providing a quality service, they are only looking at how much money they can charge, I have had numerous calls from people who have fallen foul of these companies. One customer phoned me to ask how much I would have charged to do a certain job and I quoted around £85, they were shocked as they had just paid out over £350 + VAT for this so called locksmith to sort the problem and do unnecessary work, change parts that were functioning properly and labour, they were going to contact trading standards regarding this.
It shows that even in an emergency situation it is important to do just a little bit of research as 10 or 15 minutes research could save a considerable amount of money and doesn’t really make much difference time wise, unless it is a life and death situation.
Here at Lockworx I pride myself on honesty, integrity and charging a fair price, I am looking for word of mouth advertising and hard work not just paying Google to put me at the top of page 1, I have had many recommendations from customers, excellent reviews and repeat business from landlords and property management companies, I only use destructive methods of entry as a last resort not the go-to method. I’m always up front about costs and keep customers informed at every stage. I am a member of checkatrade, I have nothing to hide including no call out charge which means I do not charge for coming to have a look at a job and do not require payment until the job is complete and the customer is happy, this is the way it should be not trying to rip people off for every penny.