After 10 years, our back door no longer locks. My father in law has done all he can and we now either need to call a locksmith or just replace the door knob/lock. I think if we're going to replace it, I'd like to replace it with some sort of digital key less system. DS is only 5 right now, but it's only a matter of time before he starts coming and going without us there. This is the door from our kitchen to our garage. We already have a code system for the garage door. (I don't think we'd replace our front door at this time, as there's nothing wrong with it and we rarely use it other than opening it for guests.)
So, what all is involved? Is this something a fairly mechanically unskilled but somewhat techie guy (DH) or someone with some mechanical skills but no tech skills (FIL) could figure out or would I need to hire someone? Do some of these have an app where I could unlock the door remotely? DH travels a lot and sometimes it would be nice to be able to control the door from my second story bedroom, rather than bolting out of bed in a panic checking to see if the door is locked.
The house we’re renting has a keyless entry and it’s basically the best thing ever. I also had a keypad when I lived with ex-bf and it was probably the best thing about the whole relationship looking back.
We still keep a key on our keychains since batteries die. Although the inside is the pad flashes yellow forever before that actually happens so we’ve never been locked out.
My only grievance about the one at our house now is that it doesn’t not automatically lock on its own. You have to push a button from the outside, or turn the deadbolt when you’re inside the house. The one I had at ex-bfs house locked after a minute.
If I could pick one I’d get one with multiple code options (ie one code for your kid, one for you/H, one for the cleaner/dog walker, etc) that locks automatically. Oh and make sure it lights up. The one we have now backlights when you push any button which is handy when you’ve been out late and H did not leave the porch light on. The one ex-bf had did not.
My DH is not handy and installed all of ours. The only tricky one was our backdoor because the strike plate for the new one was thicker so he had to do some work to the frame to allow the strike plate to sit flush with the frame. All of the others were straightforward.
We have Schlage at this house and they are okay. I preferred our Kwikset at the old house. But even our current ones are 5 years old at this point so things have changed! That said, our Schlage locks have to be turned manually. I didn't get that from the materials I read before I bought them. I CAN lock/unlock remotely but it's pretty pointless since the deadbolt still needs to be turned manually. The Kwikset I could actually lock/unlock from my phone and see when the doors were opened, etc.
At worst, you could get your FIL to help install the physical lock and your DH to do the tech set-up.
We have an august smart door lock. My techie husband was determined to find one that was not able to be hacked in over a year, and he claims this was the first one that passed that test.
We can open it/lock it from our phone and it's set to automatically unlock on bluetooth when our phones are near it. It has a setting to set an auto lock feature after a chosen amount of time. One time we were out for DH's birthday and the babysitter got locked out in the backyard playing with the kids and called us and we were able to unlock the door remotely for them.
It's super easy to install. probably took less than 10 minutes. And they just have to download the app and configure your settings.
They’re very easy to install. We did have an issue with the first one we purchased. It’s thicker than a regular lock and stuck our far enough that it interfered with the handle of the screen door. So I got “locked out” even though both doors were unlocked. I wasn’t able to engage the screen door handle because it was hitting the deadbolt of the main door.
We switched it out with a different brand and it works now. It’s our front door...and it’s been so long since I’ve used it that I don’t even remember the code. It still has a key hole.
We have a Kwikset WiFi smart lock that came with our home alarm package and we LOVE it. It wasn’t cheap ($279ish?), but we love that we can have multiple codes, and that we can control it from our phones. We can create a code for the house-sitter and only have it active for certain times, and we can set the lock to lock automatically when we set the alarm (or, always lock at 11pm, or whatever).
We had a kwikset keypad deadbolt. There were basically 5 numeric buttons that you could make a code out of and have like 5 different codes stored at a time. It was battery powered and would let you know when to replace them but we kept a physical key in a lockbox outside as a back up. I liked it because our other locks were also kwikset and they have a way to change the new lock to match our previous key so they all winded up being the same.
We have a Schlage connect that works with our Snartthings hub (they have another one that only WiFi is needed the Ecode that has its own app & works with Amazon key)
I love it - you can set a bunch of different codes, you can set if it auto locks, it works with SmartThings so I can tell Alexa to lock the door (I don’t have auto lock set on the lock. It auto locks when we leave the geofence for the hub) *alexa can’t unlock the door- I can use the app. It alarms on its own if you try to force it open.
I’d stay away from cheaper Schlage one with the nubby rubber buttons- we swapped that in place of our Connect when we moved out of our old house. Several of the real estate agents had some issues with it - it worked fine with its default codes- but would fail with programmed codes. It clunky to use.
For install the directions are clear and there are videos if you need them (I needed one for the uninstall as it wasn’t on the original sheet)
We have the Yale touchscreen lock. You can program multiple codes, and we have it connected to our Control 4 app so we can lock/unlock from wherever. It also ties into our security system, which is a different kind. DH is techy, and does this for a living with his business, but he says it's pretty straightforward.