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Types of Locks and Services Provided by Locksmiths

Let a Locksmith Open the Door for You

Locksmiths are genial people. They’re so kind that they’ll drive to your house just to open the door for you. Of course, you have to call them first and tell them you locked yourself out. After you get past that embarrassing moment, you’ll be glad you got to know this friendly, professional technician who is on call 24 hours a day.

What Can a Locksmith Do That I Can’t Do Myself?

A lot of people like to think that they can install adequate locks and properly secure their homes all by themselves. While this can be an initial money saving plan, it is by far the most unsafe option you could choose. Locksmiths have been providing security to residences for hundreds of years, and, as a result, they tend to know more about locks than an aspiring do-it-yourselfer.

A trained, professional Locksmith should be able to do all of the following: install locks, deadbolts, and mechanical (manual) or electronic locking devices; modify and/or repair these devices; rekey locks; and produce or program new cards or keys to replace lost items. A locksmith should also be available to respond to emergency calls when customers are locked out of their homes or cars through either forgetfulness or lock malfunction.

Here are a few products locksmiths provide that are good for homeowners of all kinds:

Locks

Locks are probably the best and most basic security item to start with. “Most basic” these days does not, however, mean easy for would-be thieves to get around. It simply means that they are relatively simple to install as well as cost-effective. A residential locksmith can come to your home and assess what type of locks are best for your home. They will take into account all points of access to your home and its outbuildings, as well as any interior security needs.

Few types of locks are:

  • Deadbolts: A deadbolt is a lock bolt, usually rectangular, that has no spring action and that becomes locked against end pressure when fully projected. These are the most common types of secondary household bolts.
  • Electronic Locks: Electronic locks are more varied, as they can come in the form of keypads, fingerprint entry, card access, electronic key access, and many others. If you have the budget, then these are a great investment. They are ideal if you have especially valuable items in your home like antique furniture or an art collection.
  • Mortise Locks: Mortise locks are locks that fit into a pocket cut into the end of a door and are held in position by screws through the fore-end. These locks are usually more ornate and decorative and require a locksmith who is also familiar with woodworking.
  • Padlocks: Padlocks are detachable locks with a U-shaped bar hinged at one end, designed to be passed through the staple of a hasp, or a link in a chain, and then snapped shut. Padlocks are often used on outbuildings like storage sheds or pool houses.

While there are several other types of locks available to you, those are a few of the basics. Other items you’ll want to ask your locksmith about adding to your residential security system are:

Decorative Hardware:

Decorative hardware means anything from cabinet hardware to gate hardware, doorbells, and about a million more things. More often than not, any locksmith will offer decorative hardware to go with your fancy new mortise locks. Decorative hardware, while a seemingly superfluous item on the list of home security items, is just as important as your deadbolts. If you have an excellent deadbolt, but a handle that is easily broken, then it’s possible for an intruder to unlock your deadbolt from the inside. You want high quality materials protecting your home, so why not go ahead and purchase the ones your locksmith suggests?

Electronic Security Equipment:

While a locksmith might not offer home security systems like ADT, they will more than likely sell things like electronic locks, remote control key access, and more. Some commercial locksmiths are equipped to handle even the most advanced systems that incorporate facial-recognition technology or retinal scanners.

Safes and Vaults:

Do you have expensive jewelry? Maybe you collect coins, stamps or other small valuables. Even if you just keep crucial papers or work product at home, you want some secure place to hold them. A locksmith in California can offer you several options for safes. They can install these safes and even crack them if you forget the code or combination! If you have larger valuables, an in-home vault is also a security option.

Your Locksmith Provides Other Services, Too

Most residential locksmiths perform the same functions as commercial locksmiths, that is, they secure property and buildings and the items therein. Commercial locksmiths more often deal with high-tech locks like card-key systems, electronically coded locks, and even biometric locks. But the double-sided padlock is as much a staple of the commercial locksmith as the residential technician. A commercial locksmith can also perform security assessments of your business, and they can respond in an emergency.

Automotive locksmiths deal with a slightly different set of puzzles at times. Very few cars have plain old lock-and-key systems. At the very least, the locks are remotely controlled and most cars’ computers are programmed not to start the vehicle unless the operator has the correct electronic chip along with the key. Despite some differences with commercial and residential locks, however, locksmiths can almost always rekey, repair, open or replace automotive door and trunk locks and even replace the ignition cylinder.

All of these products and services are available at any local locksmith. Your security system needs to be as up to date as possible, to protect your family and your property. What’s the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe? Contact a locksmith; they’ll be right there with you to secure your home so that you never have to worry.

Tips on Building a Metal Garage

If you are looking to build a garage then it can be quite overwhelming with the number of choices on offer and the construction methods. They are a very useful addition to the home as they can be used to store and protect vehicles such as cars and motorbikes. The can, however, prove very useful for storage of other household items such as childrens toys, bikes, tools and gardening equipment. Unfortunately, a lot of garages become a repository for household junk. Some large garages, with enough roof space, can also provide additional accommodation, such as a guest suite or a kids den.

No matter what the use, there are a number of important factors to consider before embarking on construction:

You need to ask yourself whether the garage is going to be a permanent or temporary fixture. Temporary fixtures come in the form of prefabricated garage kits. They are particularly suited to people whom rent properties or move around a lot. They can easily be erected with common household tools and again dismantled to move on to the next property. They can be wood or metal framed, often with composite panels and roof.

If the structure is to be permanent, you have the options of a metal building kit or a construction made from traditional materials such as wood or bricks and mortar. Metal kits have the advantage of being relatively easy to construct and provide a sturdy garage that may be able to withstand environmental factors such as earthquakes, hurricanes and fire. It is advisable in both circumstances to employ the services of a professional builder. Although this may initially appear to make the project more expensive, in the long run it can be more cost effective as the build will be quicker and it will avoid costly mistakes.

Probably one of the most important factors to consider before embarking on a build and even before purchasing the kit and that is building regulations. It is vital to research and if necessary to apply for buildings consent. Most enforcers of regulations will supply limits to the size of construction and may apply regulations to the types of material from which it can be constructed.

The last issue to consider is cost. It is worthwhile searching for manufacturers online to compare designs and costs. If you have a local manufacturer, approaching them directly or through a builder, you may be able to negotiate a discount.

Getting the Real Truth in Commercial Property Inspections

When looking at a new commercial or retail investment property for the first time, it is wise to have some form of checklist and system which assists you in the process. We have created this checklist to help get you on the right track.

When inspecting the property is almost like having your own due diligence process underway. Do not believe everything you see and certainly investigate anything of question. Anything of importance that someone tells you about the property should be investigated.

Having a keen eye for property detail and a diligent record keeping process as you walk around is the only way to inspect investment property. It is remarkable how these records have to be revisited at a later time for reassessment.

So let’s consider the following as some of the basic issues to review in your property inspection process.

  1. A copy of the land title records is fundamental to your inspection before you even start. As part of this process, also seek out a copy of the survey records and any existing leases or licences. Also seek out any unregistered interests that may not appear on the title to the property. If in doubt seek a good property solicitor to help.
  2. Take care to understand the location of the property boundaries and look for the survey pegs relevant to the survey plan. If in doubt seek a good surveyor.
  3. Within the property land title there can be a number of easements, encumbrances, and other registered interests which need fully investigating. These interests can impact the price that the property achieves at the time of sale and can also impact of the method of lease occupancy. If any registered interests exist on the property title, a copy of the relevant documentation is the first stage of the investigation which should then be followed by questions.
  4. Local council records may also have impact on the property. Are there any orders or notices that have been issued or are outstanding on the property, and can these things be of concern to the potential investor?
  5. The zoning for the property and the zoning activity or changes in the precinct can impact a property. As part of this process, it is wise to include neighbouring properties and inspect them to ensure that they have little or no effect or impact on your subject property.
  6. Copies of the local town plan will help you understand current planning issues. A discussion with the local planning office or planning officer can put you on the right track and explain any current issues or matters that may arise. In this process, it is wise to keep records of the discussions and the findings.
  7. If copy of lease documentation is available for neighbouring properties then seek it out and review it. It is always good to know what the neighbouring tenants are doing and how long they will be there.
  8. The local topography and plans across the immediate area will help you understand the fall of the land and the impact of any slopes and natural drainage. Look at the location of any water courses and flood plains. Seek out the history of any flooding in the area.
  9. Supply of electricity into and across the area should be understood. If your property is an industrial property then the supply of energy to the property will be strategically important to any industrial tenant. If any easements or encumbrances exist across the property for electricity, then seek to understand the rights and obligations that these documents create on the property owner.
  10. Services and amenities to the investment property will impact the future operations and interest from the business community. To the question to ask here is the nature of these services and amenities and whether they are well maintained.
  11. Look for changes in road and transport corridors that impact the property or region. Any change in roads can dramatically shift the way in which property is used.
  12. Look for the location of public transport and its potential to enhance your property function. Many businesses need stable and frequent public transport to help employees access their jobs.
  13. Look at the community and business demographics of the region. The growth patterns for the last 5 to 10 years will help you understand the future of the property.
  14. Other property valuers in the area are a good source of market intelligence. They can usually tell you the history of the area and the current business sentiment. Rental levels, incentives, and sale prices per square metre are valuable elements of market intelligence. They will all have impact on the yield that the property presents to any property investor.
  15. Look around the area to see how many other properties are currently available for sale. Seek details of these properties and the prices being sought. If these properties have been on the market for a long time it will give you an idea of just how acceptable the regional prices and business sentiment is at the time of your inspection.
  16. Look around the area to see how many properties are currently vacant. With reference to each particular vacant property, get details of the rental being sought and the time that the property has been on the market. You will need to form their own judgment on whether these rentals are relevant and reasonable in the current marketplace.
  17. The supply and demand of vacant space by property category is an investigation to be undertaken in the region. What you want to know is exactly how much space is coming into the market in the future and how much space exists now for tenants to occupy.
  18. Check out any new property developments that could be in the early stages of consideration and development approval. The key question here is the impact that these properties may have on your property.
  19. The history of the area is always of high value to you. In commercial, industrial, and retail investment property, the history that you are after is the last five years. It is remarkable how much information you can glean from regional property sales and rental trends. Given that commercial and retail investment property works on the cycle of rise and fall, it is the history that can open up your understanding of what’s been going on and where things are headed.
  20. With any property investigation, and particularly with properties that are complex and large, it is wise to seek out the comments of architects and engineers. What you need them to do here is comment on the structural integrity of the property and its future usable life. Also seek to identify how the property may be expanded or refurbished when times require.
  21. Chase down the tenancy schedules for other properties in the area. Whilst these are not always easily obtained, they are of high value. They will tell you so much about the activity in other properties and buildings that may impact your future leasing strategy or property sale. What you do not want is a significantly high vacancy factor near your property when you are trying to lease it.
  22. Review the local precinct for the larger businesses and how they operate. In doing this, you can understand who are the major business players and the major employers. Having these companies in the area is good thing, but losing them can be a major threat to the region. We call this the business stability factor. It should form part of your investment property assessment for the future.
  23. Review the other major tenancies in the area and see how they operate. They can both stress and enhance the area depending on how they operate and the times of day that they do so. Of prime example is a transport company that has vehicle access peaks at certain times of the day. This can challenge the other businesses in the area and how they operate.
  24. Walk around the precinct and the property taking many photographs for later investigation. It is surprising how useful photographs become for the reassessment of the property inspection. Walking through the streets in the region allows you to get a feel for the function of the streets and the neighbouring properties. It puts you in greater perspective for the services and amenities, and the function of all local surrounding businesses. A tip in the keeping of digital photographs for later evidence is the reversion of the important photos to ‘gif’ type files. This format is not easily changed and therefore more stable as court evidence of critical matters.
  25. Knock on the doors of the other local businesses and talk to them about how things operate locally for them. Other tenants and businesses in the region will tell you so much and put you on the track of challenges and problems in the region.

Inspecting the commercial investment property is very much a physical process. In only this way can you completely connect with the property function before you form an opinion of its suitability for your plans, pricing, rental, or occupancy.