uPVC Discolouration – What It Is, and How to Prevent It

With so many homeowners looking for ways to cut costs in their daily lives it’s no surprise that the double and triple glazing markets have enjoyed an increase in sales in the past few years. These windows and doors offer increased energy efficiency, comfort in the home and decreased utility bills, making them a win-win for any homeowner.

When making an investment of this size naturally you want to see long-lasting results and maintain the same aesthetic values that the item had when first purchased. So for homeowners who begin to note uPVC discolouration in their double or triple glazing, the effects can be heart wrenching.

uPVC Discolouration – The Facts

Double glazing has been around since 1930, but didn’t begin gaining popularity in the UK until the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The purpose for this delay in sales momentum was due largely to the extravagant expense of these windows and doors, making them an impossibility for most homeowners. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, however, the use of aluminum and uPVC frames changed the scales, making double glazing more affordable for the average Joe.

uPVC in particular offers a high energy efficiency and is more durable than aluminum. One unpleasant side effect that homeowners who purchased early models of uPVC double glazing began to note, however, was uPVC discolouration. Indeed in time the materials will begin to break down or require maintenance with any item, but to make such a large initial investment only to see this effect some time down the road began to make some homeowners weary of purchasing uPVC frames.

Fortunately with newer models of uPVC double and triple glazing manufacturers have rectified the discolouration problem. As a result many now offer lengthy warranties, some lasting as long as 15 years, as an added comfort to homeowners that it is safe to purchase these frames.

Preventing uPVC Discolouration

There are ways to prevent your early model uPVC double glazing from discolouring. Of chief importance is the items that are used to wash the frames. Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that any old household cleaner will do the trick, but in fact anything more abrasive than soap and water can harm the windows and cause discolouration.

Also take care to use only a non-abbrasive cloth or sponge when cleaning to avoid scratches in the frame. uPVC cannot be painted, so proper maintenance is crucial to enjoying the same aesthetic values in these windows for a prolonged period of time.

uPVC frames are an inexpensive alternative to wooden frames for double glazing. In their early manufacturing problems were discovered with discolouration that have since been modified in later models of the product, giving today’s homeowner in the market for double or triple glazing a less expensive framing option that will still provide enhanced efficiency.

Source by Sarah Clark

Advantages of UPVC Double Window Glazing

There are many ways to accomplish reduced energy costs and consumption, and these issues have become ever more prevalent in our recent financial crisis. Many people are trying to find ways to make their older homes more energy efficient, and UPVC double window glazing will inevitably come up in any conversation about improving your home’s energy efficiency.

Double glazed windows are nothing more than two panes of glass that have several millimeters of air trapped between them instead of the traditional one pane of glass. Not only does it add thickness to the windows, increasing their ability to hold in cool or warm air, but the air trapped between the glass also acts as insulation.

The end result is not only a steadier temperature in the home, but also a happier environment. Our homes create around 28% of all the carbon dioxide emissions, mainly through their use of electricity, and we all know nothing uses electricity quite like central air conditioning when it’s having to work overtime. You can lighten it’s load considerably with things like UPVC double window glazing, and like compact fluorescent light bulbs, you will see energy savings with each individual application. If you’re short on money, these types of upgrades are best because you can do them as you actually have the cash, therefore saving the cash for future upgrades. It’s a good cycle to get caught in.

Sound pollution is also a growing concern with homes, especially older ones that are in areas that may have been quiet at one time but are no longer. Internal condensation, which can be destructive to your wall paint and wallpaper, is also limited with UPVC double window glazing.

Other ways to achieve the double paned window effect, besides UPVC double window glazing, are aluminum and wood. There are advantages and disadvantages to all three methods, really, but UPVC is by far the most energy efficient. Aluminum or wood can sometimes look good on an older home, but they’re just not as good at insulating as UPVC. There really is very little reason to choose aluminum or wood over UPVC. Sure, wood and aluminum can also be colored, but outside of very special applications, it’s not likely that you’ll want a colored window border.

Sometimes people care less about energy savings and more about security. Since UPVC double window glazing adds not only an extra layer of glass, but also a pocket of air in between, the windows become much harder to break. Kicking or punching, for many people, simply will on longer cut it. It’s not as easy to break through a window as Hollywood makes it look. Short of something like a brick or a large stone, or possibly someone extremely strong, double glazed windows are nearly impossible to break.

UPVC double window glazing will keep neither all the air in or all the thieves out, but you’ll keep a lot more air in than you did before, and your home will be a much smaller target than anyone else on your street that has regular old windows.

Source by Matthew Richard Kerridge

Buying uPVC Sash Windows

For years now many people have faced the same problem. Since the advent of uPVC Windows, folks who dwell in older homes are presented with the choice of whether to maintain the conventional appearance of their old sash windows. Or do they go with more modern windows. Fortunately the manufacturers of windows have come up with an answer. uPVC Windows, which appear as though they’re conventional sash windows.

uPVC vertical sliding windows assure that the conventional look and style of your house is maintained. Though the latest technology immensely improves the efficiency of the windows, these windows have the good looks of a conventional window design with the low upkeep you want. Do not spend your summertime at the top of a ladder repairing and painting ageing wood style windows. This type of window makes your house more comfortable to live in although simultaneously keeping up its great looks. A uPVC window will not rot, flake off, peel off or corrode the most that they ever require is a quick cleanup with a moist cloth. An Additional feature that these windows have is that not merely do they move up and down similar to typical windows but they can also be tilted inward to make it less demanding to wash them and also to improve airflow to your house.

There’s no guarantee that there will be no condensation merely that uPVC windows dramatically bring down the odds of having condensation compared to typical wood windows. The safety characteristics with these windows have improved as well, compared to your typical windows. With the newest in lock engineering and the benefits of stronger glass it will make it a good deal harder for some would be burglar to break in.

There are numerous styles to choose from therefore you are able to ensure that you get one which will blend in with different styles in your house, including porches, doors and even conservatories.

Since sash windows will not always work for every style of house, there are varied types of windows that you can get such as casement windows, or even bay windows each utilizing either double glazing, stained glass, or lead effect glass. This implies that there will normally be a style that works with your home. Once you begin to search for windows the net is a safe place to look for low-cost windows. Search on any of the leading search engines Yahoo, MSN or of course Google for uPVC Windows and you’ll discover an entire list of window makers distributing about every manner of discount window you are able to think of. Searching across these web sites you will be able to get the style which you wish for your house. Search about your own area to locate houses similar to yours and check if you like the window style that they have.

When you chose the new windows that you want then acquire a couple of quotes, approximately 3 as a minimum. Make certain you’re comfortable with the company you employ; you’re going to be paying a lot of cash therefore it’s really important that you’re pleased with your UPVC windows.

Source by Gene Catron

What Are the UPVC Windows?

Want to protect your room from chilling cold? Then you should use the upvc windows for your home. Day by day most of the people are shifting to these kinds of windows. Now let’s watch out the factor which makes these windows so popular.

Let’s first understand the meaning of upvc. The basic reason behind that is the fact, the frame used in this kind of windows are made up of poly vinyl chloride (PVC). In this PVC the steel which is galvanized is put inside. This is the reason that makes them so strong.

Now let’s understand the fact that why people choose the UPVC windows? Well to get that answer we have to understand the basic features of these windows. There are several factors which makes this type of windows so popular. Firstly these windows are weather proof, storm proof, noise proof which makes them really unique.

Another feature of this window is its strong insulating power. This window keeps your room hot and insulated. That’s why mostly in the colder places you will find most of the houses using these kinds of windows.

Another feature of these kinds of windows is its big range of shapes and sizes. If you are staying in a small room then the shape of the window will be very different from those of the big rooms. So here you really don’t have to worry as they come in different shapes and cuts so it gets fitted in all kinds of windows.

These upvc doors and windows are available in the market in a variety of colors. So now you don’t have to stick to those boring colors any more. You can select those windows that suit your room and the color of your room.

Other than this there are other plenty of features like the following: It is anti rust and does not corrode. They are stylish, flexible, easy to install and fabricate. They need low maintenance and are durable. They have good aesthetics, air tightness, and water tightness. It reduces power mad has high and strong quality, long life. This window is secure and the cleaning is easy.

There are a huge variety of style and pattern of upvc windows available in the market.. All these patterns are very really beautiful and attractive in looks. Some of such patterns are Casement windows, French windows, Combination windows, Sliding windows, Tilt and turn windows and many more.

Source by Matthew Richard Kerridge

UPVC Doors – Common Problems and How to Cure Them

UPVC doors are by far the most common type of door in use throughout the UK at present. They are often thought to be maintenance free as they do not require painting or varnishing to maintain their appearance and water proof qualities. However UPVC doors can develop problems and if these problems are not rectified quickly they can develop into more complex and costly problems quite quickly. Let’s have a look at the various problems that can occur on a UPVC door.

Door catches on side or bottom of frame.

UPVC doors are heavy and expand and contract with temperature changes. This means that the hinge can wear and the door can become misaligned with the frame. The easiest way to check if this has happened to your UPVC door is to look at the mitred joints at the corners of the door and the frame. If the mitres do not line up then the door needs to be realigned with frame. Look at the hinges to see how to adjust the door to move towards or away from the hinge. If the bottom corner of the UPVC door is too low then the top hinge should be adjusted to move the door towards the hinge and the bottom one away from the hinge. Adjust the middle hinge to halfway between the top and bottom hinges. If you cannot get the door realigned with the frame then it will need to be ‘toe and heeled’ which involves repacking the panels within the frame to alter the shape of the door.

Handles are stiff to operate.

If the handles on your UPVC door are stiff when being lifted up or pushed down then the multipoint lock mechanism is not lining up correctly with the keeps on the frame. The keeps are the metal parts on the frame which the hooks, rollers, deadbolts on the multipoint lock locate in when the door is locked. If the door is square in the frame (see above) and the handles are still stiff then the multipoint lock is probably very worn and quite likely to break very soon. It would be advisable to get it looked at by a locksmith before it fails and you are unable to open the UPVC door as the lock has broken.

Handles go up but key cannot be turned

If the key in your UPVC will not turn fully to lock the door after lifting the handles either the locking points are not moving fully into the keeps on the frame or the cylinder is damaged. If the door is aligned with the frame (see above) then cal a locksmith to look at the lock.

Door is unlocked but handles will not go down

This happens when the multipoint locking mechanism breaks, usually after the handles have been stiff or difficult to operate for a while. If this happens to you do not be tempted to try to open the door yourself as you can cause a lot of additional damage doing so. The best approach is to call a locksmith who will be able to open your UPVC door without damaging it. They will then be able to replace the broken parts of the multipoint locking mechanism and realign the door to prevent the same thing happening again.

UPVC door can be closed but does not stay shut

If your UPVC door swings open after being closed then the latch is not catching in the keep. This can usually be cured by moving the keep for the latch towards the door. there are usually two screw which need to be loosened to allow the adjustment to be carried out.

UPVC door handles are floppy or loose

This is usually caused by wear and tear on the handles or lock mechanism. If the handles are loose on their backplates then they will need to be replaced. If the handles are floppy then emote the handles and look inside. If they have small cassettes with springs inside then replace these spring cassettes and your handles should be floppy no more. If your handles do not have spring cassettes in then the spring in the lock mechanism has worn and will need to be replaced or you could fit sprung handles if possible.

Key only works from one side or key will not come out of lock

If the key will only operate from one side of your UPVC door then the cylinder will need to be replaced. Similarly if the key cannot be removed from the lock then you will need to replace the cylinder. Call a local locksmith and ask their advice on replacement cylinders as there is a bewildering array of different types available.

Source by Kevin Readman

Houdini, a Child and Lots of Dismantled Locks – The Fascinating Art of Lock Picking

Learn This Fascinating Art

You have no doubt seen countless movies and tv shows that show a lock being picked. Have you ever considered learning the fascinating art of Lock Picking yourself?

A Young Boy, Houdini and dismantled locks

My own interest in the world of picking locks came about as a young boy. I had an interest in Houdini and reading about his lock picking skills. I soon started taking locks apart to see how they worked as well as how they could be opened without the key. Later I found books on the subject which taught the proper picking skills.

The Challenge

What is it exactly that attracts someone to opening locks? For me it is the challenge of the lock. The fact that this device has been designed with the purpose of preventing someone from gaining access without a key and this is exactly what you achieve when the lock yields to your picking efforts.

Growing In Popularity

The hobby of lock picking is a growing one which is often referred to as ‘Lock Sport’. It is a fascinating art that is shared by thousands across the world. Often groups get together to share ideas, tips and techniques with competitions being held too.

Lock Picking Techniques To Learn

There are many techniques that can be learned to open different types of locks. Some methods involve specialised picks, bypass methods or specially designed keys. When I started these methods were not as easily available to learn as they are now. However, these days with the resources available on the internet it’s easier than ever to get started learning these skills so that you can begin picking locks yourself.

Source by Pete W

Locksmith Price List – What Should You Pay and How Do You Know It’s a Good Deal?

When you need a locksmith to change your locks, unlock your home or auto, or to upgrade your security system, there are many things to consider. Lately, most people seem to be most concerned with price. For this reason, many companies are now using an easy locksmith price list to ensure everyone pays the same price and gets the best rate. This can help you as the consumer and it also help the company to save money by streamlining their service. How does a pricelist help you to get a better deal? Consider the following situations and scenarios.

Every Technician Charges the Same Price with a Locksmith Price List

A few years back, technicians had to try and remember the price of every service and part they sold. This was a nearly impossible task. Technicians were often known to guess or estimate what the correct price was. This meant that some people got a great deal while others paid outrageous prices. In addition, you might have ended up paying for labor when the cost already reflected this amount. Now that these technicians have a set locksmith price list, you can rest assured that you are getting the same price as everyone else.

Companies Lower Their Prices by Streamlining With a Locksmith Price List

When a company charges by calculating a profit on top of their cost, the price you can end up very skewed. For example, a fifty percent markup on a ten dollar part is five dollars. However, a fifty percent markup on a fifty dollar part is twenty five dollars. As a consumer, this calculation method can cause prices to drastically increase and changing your locks will quickly become very expensive. However, if you choose a company that uses a price list, you are sure to get a much fairer price. Make sure you ask the companies up front how they bill and make sure you are aware of how much you are going to pay for parts and labor.

Enjoy Up Front Pricing with a Company that Uses Price Lists

Some companies tell you a ball park figure of how much the job will cost and you don’t find out the entire cost until the job is done. This isn’t exactly fair to you, the consumer. After all, no one is going to say “forget it” after the work has already been completed. If you want to know up front exactly how much you are going to pay, you need a locksmith company that uses a set list of prices. In this situation, you are informed from the start exactly what the cost will be. You can then choose whether or not you want to have the work completed. You can even find out from the secretary before the technician leaves the office. With this set pricing scheme, you don’t have to worry about hidden fees or surprise costs. Look for a company that uses this pricing method if you want a great deal.

Source by Neron Smith

Unjamming uPVC Door Locks

uPVC Door and double glazing multipoint locks are prone to jamming shut where maintenance has been neglected or the weather prevents the mechanism in the door working smoothly.

Depending on the type of uPVC door lock fitted in the door there are various methods of unjamming.

Our locksmith found that cheaper doors are usually fitted with roller type locks.

These locks have rollers that slide up and down into keeps when the handle on the door is lifted upwards.

These doors can be unjammed using a wide flat steel bar or door spreader.

The rollers will easily pop out of the keeps unjamming the door when a spreading force is exerted.

This is also considered a security flaw in older uPVC doors since it is such an easy method of opening the door.

Our locksmith found that on the more modern and expensive makes of door, hook and deadbolt style multipoint locks are fitted.

These require a little more skill to unjam.

Firstly spread the door gap carefully and hold open with soft wooden wedges to prevent frame damage.

Once the location of the hooks or deadbolts are identified you can retract them manually by forcing them inwards with a strong screwdriver or bent instrument.

Ensure the key has been turned into the unlock position before forcing any hooks back in place as the turn of the key is the secondary locking feature and will not allow the bolts to retract.

Once the door is open you can identify the cause of the problem.

usually it will be down to a failed gearbox on the multipoint lock.

These contain complex cast parts that are prone to shattering and shearing when the door is particularly stiff when locking.

Replacement of the gearboxes is possible on 90% of multipoint locks however some welded and riveted versions such as Millenco will require a complete locking strip.

Gearbox prices can range from between £10 and £50. Locking strips more pricey can range between £30 and £150 depending on the make and model of the lock.

Millenco locks feature two separate spindle gears. If your door only uses the one hole it is possible to carefully dismantle the gearbox and sway over the sheared gear for the redundant gear and then re-assemble for an easy fix.

This can save you £75 for a new strip so is well worth trying.

Its a secret tip that a lot of locksmiths would prefer the customer did not know!

Once the lock is repaired and back in the door you may find that door still fells stiff on locking. This is probably the reason your door failed in the first instance and it needs to be resolved before you continue regular use of the uPVC door.

Usually an adjustment on the top hinge of the door, winding the screw a few turns to pull the top corner of the door up and inwards will solve the issue.

Some more misaligned doors will require keeps in the frame adjusting to ensure the lock is meshing smoothly without forcing.

You should never be forcing the handle up when locking the door, if it does not work smoothly you will be applying unnecessary force and ultimately break the lock again.

I hope that this quick guide is of use and saves you all some money, however if you feel anything here is out of your depth or you lack the required tools to do so, please call a local locksmith to help.

Never call a national locksmith chain or call center as they charge a premium for their time!

Happy DIYing

PSS Locksmiths Sheffield

Source by Rick Corfield

Steel Roller Doors – Security Against Lock Picking

Lock picking refers to opening the lock with a device other than its stipulated key by manipulating the mechanism of the lock in question and ensuring that none of its components are damaged in such a way that opening it with its original key, later isn’t possible. It is generally done with a criminal intent but the knowledge of lock picking is inevitable to locksmiths as well specially in the case of opening old locks.

Ensure High Levels of Security

Steel roller doors are very strong and hence impregnable. They are best suited for vaults, factories and big organizations where the need for security is high. They have few working parts thereby cutting down the need for maintenance and ensuring durability. Moreover, they generally come with the option of automatic locking with electronic shutter door security checking like magnetic strip reading or finger print reading, mitigating the scope for lock picking and intrusion.

Higher levels of Privacy

Shutter door security also minimizes the visibility from outside avoiding unwanted onlookers without compromising on the aesthetics of the place. They are also available in perforated options to enable the inflow of air and light as netted beams. The company that provides you with the lock will have the provision to break it open in case the original key is misplaced or the electronic lock is dysfunctional.

Effectively Prevent Lock Picking

Steal roller doors are now available with immunity against forced entry and reduced scope for lock picking. They find application in areas where security levels are required to high. These generally come with multiple locking options including electronic locks that are fool proof. More so, special quality shutter doors are available which prevent not only intrusion but also damage through fire etc. padlocks and chains can also be provided to double ensure safety. Unique coding is done for each lock in order reduce misuse.

Source by Mikal Jhonson

Fitting UPVC Windows

Changing window frame standard brickwork openings is a fairly simple procedure. What is basically involved is just a little more than taking out one frame and fitting another of the same size. Some companies offer a variety of different window styles which are available in different mediums such as UPVC or softwoods. Many companies have windows available in their stores which you can take away or some even provide a made to measure service in UPVC where the product can be delivered directly to your home or office. There are many different PVC windows and also a variety of softwood window frames.

New windows frames usually come with an exterior window frame. The exterior frame can be screwed together on the exterior wall of the building. Putting the frame into the opening using wedges to fit it under the sill will allow you to push it against the brickwork. The sill should be horizontal before you attempt to fix it. The next procedure should be to use a spirit level to check the angles (these should be vertically upright). After you have made sure the window is level, use wedges to put them into the correct position if need be. If you are satisfied that the frame is in perfectly square, then you can secure it to the brickwork. Drill holes into the frame in regular intervals which also penetrate the brickwork.

A lot of windows require two fixings on both sides of the window, one at the bottom and one at the top. Using a masonry bit to help you drill through the brickwork is the way to insert wall plugs. Using a mortar mix will also allow you to secure a strip of damp proof course for the brickwork Once this is done, you should replace the frame for the final fixing.

Once again, when fixing screws into wall plugs in the bricks, make sure the window frame is level with a spirit level.

If you are not fully confident with carrying out the procedure yourself, I would suggest contacting a professional.

Source by Steve Westie

Starting a Mobile Locksmith Business

One of the best decisions I ever made in my 62 years of life on this planet was to become my own boss in a field that is never dull, always challenging, and intrinsically interesting. It was not an early decision. In fact it did not occur to me to enter this field until after I’d already spent ten years as a professional photographer. It came about in an odd way, as many serendipitous things do. But regardless of how it came to be, I consider that decision the one that paved the way for me to spend the rest of my working life in comfort and with a good measure of security.

I’ve since discovered that many people follow a similar course, turning to locksmithing only after finding themselves unhappy in other jobs. I’m not sure how or why so many discover this particular business when looking for an interesting career. In my case it was a natural progression from a rather unique part-time career I had fashioned for myself: That of installing simple door viewers and doing this door to door. Many times my customers would ask if I could install deadbolts for them while I was at it, and after turning down money a dozen or so times I finally got wise and visited a local locksmith supplier who sold me an install kit and a book of instructions. From what I can tell, others come across this idea by doing Internet searches for home businesses, because ultimately this qualifies as such if you, like I do, run it out of your home and structure it as a Sole Proprietorship. In any case, it is obvious that locksmithing has become a popular choice for a chance at self-employment.

After tiring of door to door selling (which didn’t take long to do) I hit upon the idea of cold calling. I was still thinking too small, but at the time I didn’t know it. Lesson Number One: Don’t do this. I was doing it back in 1981 or so when the stigma attached to such endeavors wasn’t quite so strong. I’m afraid that calling people out of the phone book and asking if they’d like to have deadbolts installed just would not fly in the present era of terrorism and business rip-offs.

Still, I owe to this period of hard knocks a good deal. I became efficient at installing locks, rekeying locks, and duplicating keys. It was during this one year period that I scrounged together enough money to purchase a small key duplicator and also a lock rekeying kit. I carried these items in the trunk of my car and carried them into my customer’s home when needed. I also purchased several boxes of the most common domestic key blanks and by the time I’d accumulated all this stuff my car’s trunk was crammed and I was wishing for more room. Also, and most important, I came to realize that driving around in an unmarked car and working out of the trunk was not lending itself well to my credibility.

Lesson Number Two: Start out with credibility. Purchase a small work van, or a large one if you can afford it. Buy signs or have signs painted on it. Use whatever lending power you have, may it be with banks or with family, to locate a used vehicle and have signage made up, even if this is in the form of magnetic signs. Of course all this suggests you start out as a legitimate business, and this is just my point. Create a name for your business (think long and hard about this, as you’ll lose any credibility you might initially gain if you keep changing it), have signs and forms and letterheads made up, and dive in.

There is, too, the question of legality. This is a hard subject to field, because the legality of doing business from one jurisdiction to another can differ widely, and even wildly. It is incumbent upon you to do the research and determine whether or not your jurisdiction requires a locksmith be certified, bonded, and/or licensed. You’ll almost certainly discover that licensing is the fundamental hurdle, and that is usually taken care of with the signing of a few forms and the payment of a small annual fee. Certification is something else. Not all jurisdictions require this. In my case I found that the state in which I was then living — Utah — did not require it. Nor was I required to be bonded, though I chose to do so for the added protection (it is widely and incorrectly thought that bonding protects the locksmith’s customer, whereas in fact it is the locksmith that is protected by the bond).

Lesson Number Three: Do the homework required to determine if acquiring a business license is all that is needed to establish your locksmith service. One phone call to your state’s Attorney General office will likely answer that question.

Once you have lined up an affordable vehicle and put a reasonably professional sign on it, you must begin outfitting it. This should, and must, be done before you begin advertising your services because if you are like I was at this point you know next to nothing about the business and not much more about the work. We will endeavor at this point to educate ourselves. Locksmithing is in point of fact one of the few professions left in this world in which a formal education is absolutely UNnecessary. I have spoken to very few professionals during my career who got to be that way through going to a ‘locksmith school’ or a college. This is certainly not to say that a formal education isn’t desirable. If you can afford it, if you have the means, then by all means take that route. This article is for those of you who can’t.

The vehicle you purchase will in large part determine how it is to be equipped. I’ve always preferred a full-size van (I’ve owned Ford, Chevy and GMC models during my career), but there are many locksmiths who just love the Astro Van or Safari Van made by GM. These minivans are popular with many different professions and are ubiquitous. You can undoubtedly find one in your price range. Either way, the first order of business is to erect a work bench that will give you as much space as possible. Best to have the bench on one side of the van and leave the opposite side for shelves or storage bins. Make it sturdy! There is nothing worse than a wobbly bench when you’re trying to rekey locks. Make it level for the same reason.

You’ll need a power source. It is excusable to string extension cords until you can afford something better, but bear in mind that this detracts from your professionalism. The ultimate is probably having a RediLine Generator that runs off your van’s 12V power. This is not a power inverter, it is actually a generator and it kicks out 110-115V power. They are wonderful sources of AC power and you can even run a bank of fluorescent lamps off one of these for your interior shop lighting. There are several models to choose from with varying outputs, but they are expensive. If you can locate a rebuilt, so much the better. A good inverter might do the trick if you can’t afford a RediLine, but be careful. Some key machines (and you’re going to have to have one) will not run with an inverter.

Power now available, you need to start out with at least a key duplicator on your bench and preferably, as well, a good code cutting machine. The latter is desirable but not necessary in the beginning unless you plan to launch directly into automotive locksmithing, in which case you’ll find it hard to get along without one. We’ll touch on that in a moment. Key machines are almost impossible to find used. You’ll likely end up buying a small HPC Speedex because they’re pretty much the least expensive good key duplicator around. Expect to pay around $500. Best if you include this in your initial loan. A key duplicator is bread and butter for any locksmith, mobile or otherwise, so don’t even think about starting up until you have one.

Equip yourself with a good rekeying kit. I’ve always preferred ‘universal’ kits because they do the work of dozens of other keyway-specific kits and they are easy to use. LAB makes the best of these, hands down. If you have the space, try to get a metal Classic Kit. If you don’t, you can start out with one of LAB’s Mini-Durex kits or, better, the miniature version of the Universal Kit (LMK-005 or LMK-003). You simply can’t rekey locks without one, and if you get a Universal you won’t be confined to keying up one or two brands . . . you’ll be able to handle them all. Don’t know how to rekey locks? Pick up an instruction manual on the Internet or at Amazon.com. They are available and this is one of the quickest locksmith skills to pick up. While you’re at it, buy at least one plug follower, a pair of pin tweezers, and ideally a pair of TruArc pliers. Over time you’ll accumulate more rekeying tools but these fundamentals are nearly essential.

Even before I was making money rekeying locks, I was being called to open cars. If you intend to advertise yourself as an emergency service, you’re going to have to take in this kind of lucrative work. Let me tell you now, this will be the easiest money you’ve ever made. It is well worth learning the skills required to open vehicles even if it means spending a couple of hundred dollars on tools and a good manual. Lockouts, at least in my case, virtually supported me for years. If you live in a medium to large city, count on getting lockout calls day and night even if you have only a tiny ad somewhere (a subject for later). There are many good lockout kits available online, to suit any budget, and the same goes for lockout manuals. Do a Google search for ‘car opening tools’ or ‘lockout tools’ and you’ll have no trouble finding suppliers. Are they legal where you live? Again . . . this is up to you to determine. The supplier cannot and will not endeavor to police this aspect of marketing, as it is simply not possible. I’m not advocating the purchase of anything that is not legal where you reside!

House and business lockouts are likewise lucrative sources of income for the locksmith, but these require different skills, different tools. Here is where it becomes necessary to learn the skill of lock picking — probably the most fundamental skill of the trade. It is not as easy to learn as car opening and lock rekeying, but it is by no means difficult, either. It requires practice and patience, and it requires good tools. Do not get stingy here. There are lots of cheap lock picking tools for sale. You’ll find them in automotive magazines, even. Stick with tools from the established firms like HPC, SouthOrd, Lockmasters, etc. Purchase a beginner’s set with a few picks and one or two tension tools for start, unless you have a big budget, then go for a set that will last you a while. Choice of spring steel or stainless steel is largely a matter of personal choice. Whichever one you start out with will likely be the kind you’ll stay with, because you’ll form an attachment to that type and you’ll train yourself to make the best of it. More important is the concept of practice. Buy Practice Locks. Once you’ve picked all the locks in your home you’re going to need more challenges, and now that Practice Locks are an accepted training aid in this field you’d do well to pick up a few of them. Practice until you can repeatedly pick the most challenging of your Practice Locks and then practice some more.

Did I mention that servicing lockouts will likely be the single most lucrative service you offer your customers? I thought so. Good!

There are other aspects to providing a locksmith service and among these is the ability to install locksets on homes and businesses. Primarily you’ll be asked to install deadbolts, but later on, as your business gets bigger, you’ll want to offer commercial business and real estate companies the option of replacing all their old lock hardware for newer more secure hardware. Again, practice is called for and you should be prepared to install a few unnecessary deadbolts and knobsets on doors in your own home that don’t need them. After doing this a dozen or so times, it will be easy to go to that first installation with confidence. You’ll need to add a few essential tools to your toolbox, such as a 1/2 inch drill, a couple of hole saws (2-1/8 inch and 1-inch), a 1/2 inch boring bit, and a good wood chisel. With these tools, you can install deadbolts in metal or wood doors. Complete installation kits are available and are the best choice if you can work them into your budget. Need instruction? Books galore available on Amazon.com or at any large scale bookstore in your city.

Once you’ve accumulated vehicle and the tools, and some knowledge gleaned from practice and reading, you can start thinking about getting your feet wet. The best way to start is the old fashioned way and that is to appeal to family and friends for work and for referrals. Network. Talk to everyone you know and let them know you’re serious about this and that you are available. Step two is to advertise and this is absolutely necessary, even if you start out only as a listing in the Yellow Pages. This is where 99% of the people who need a locksmith will look. Newspaper ads, flyers (Yucchhh!), direct mail and radio ads don’t work for locksmiths unless you have one enormous budget. Try to justify a small one-eight or one-quarter page Yellow Page ad if at all possible. Even in the face of huge competition, you will get calls and over time your name will be spread around, if you do a good job. Well, it will get spread around if you don’t, as well, but you’d do well to avoid that.

That’s how I did it. That’s how thousands of others have done it, give or take a detail or two. Be sure to cover the legal bases, because if you jump into it and find later that you’re acting outside the law, don’t come to me! This is part of your research. It is not that difficult to acquire a certification and satisfy local laws that may pertain to this business. If you keep the business small, and maintain yourself as a sole owner, you’re going to be profiting right off the bat because overhead with a mobile service is nil.

It’s within your reach whether you’re 18 or 58.

Source by George Robertson

Common Faults With UPVC Doors and Windows

Modern uPVC doors and windows with multipoint locking systems offer excellent security, however when they go wrong it can be almost impossible for the average person to fix them due to their complex nature and internal moving parts. In most cases a professional locksmith with uPVC expertise will need to be called out. Here is a list of common faults with uPVC doors and windows.

Stiff Handle and Door/Window Not Locking

If the handle starts getting stiff and the door or window will not lock then it is most likely due to the door or window becoming misaligned with the frame. A simple adjustment of the hinges to realign with the frame should fix this problem in most instances.

Spinning Handle and Door/Window Not Opening

If the handle starts to spin all the way around and the door or window will not open then it is likely damage has occurred to the spindle and may require a brand new locking unit. This usually occurs after the door or window has been stiff to open for a while, so if you start feeling the handle getting stiff or becoming harder to lock/unlock then get the hinges realigned before it becomes a much more costly repair.

Door Only Locks From One Side

If the door will only lock from one side then you will need a new lock cylinder. This is a fairly quick job for any skilled locksmith and shouldn’t cost too much either.

If you start to experience any of these problems then don’t try to force the handle as you could make things a lot worse and potentially much more expensive to fix. Call a uPVC specialist to assess your door or window as soon as you notice a problem developing.

Source by Rich J Scott

Lock Picking Secrets – Getting Started

Knowing how to pick locks is a great interest and hobby to have. Locks are like puzzles and a lockpicker enjoys the task of trying to figure out how to open the lock without the proper key.

There are many methods available to a lock picker, not just actual lockpicking, to open locks. What sets apart a lockpicking hobbyist, as opposed to a criminal or even locksmith, is that the aim is always to open the lock without damaging it. This is known as Non-Destructive Entry.   Although this might be the aim of a Locksmith it might not always be possible, depending as well on the training of that locksmith. With a hobbyist though it is the fun of opening the lock without damage and of course without the original key that is desired.


One of the best ways of learning how to open a lock is to first understand how locks work. Learn about the proper mechanisms contained within locks. At the bottom of this article is a link to a free eBook that has clear diagrams and pictures of what is inside a number of different types of locks. You will not be able to open a lock without knowing what is inside it and you will be able to visualise the parts that your pick or other tool is actually moving.


I would also recommend that you take apart as many locks as possible. This way you can actually see how all the various parts within the lock interact with each other. Sometimes locks can be opened without actually picking them conventionally, i.e. picking the parts that the key moves. In other words they can be bypassed so that your pick attacks the part that holds the shackle, for example. Taking a lock apart and looking at the inside of it will show you whether a lock is susceptible to bypassing rather than conventional picking. It will show you the weak parts of a lock that can be attacked with methods like bypassing.

Source by Pete W

How To Adjust PVC-U Doors And Side Hung Windows

One of the most frequent faults that I come across in the nature of my repair business is dropped or catching PVC-U doors and windows.

Most people outside the trade (and quite a few that work within it) do not know how to set up doors and side hung windows properly to make sure that they do not drop out of position after a few weeks of use. This process is called ‘Toe and healing’.

PVC-U doors and windows (especially side hung windows) actually rely on the glass unit or panel to hold and keep the opening part of the door or window straight and level. This is important to ensure that all the locks stay in line and the frame does not drop or scrape along the bottom cill.

The correct procedure is this:

The glass needs to be sat on glazing packers to hold the frame square, these to be positioned as follows:

Place one packer (usually one about 4-6mm thick by the width of the unit) on the bottom rail in the corner at the hinge side of the door, place a second packer vertically up the hinge side at the bottom corner next to the first packer thus forming a corner.

At the opposite top corner, place one packer on the top rail and one in the top corner on the vertical door locking side. (these will probably have to be held in place with silicone sealant or similar.)

This will mean that the glass unit is held at opposite corners and will sit square in the frame.

Position the glass into the aperture, check to see if the glass is making contact with the packers at the top corner. If not, and the gap is more than say 4mm at the top, then lift the glass unit up and fit another packer on top of the packer at the base of the unit to raise the glass up a little bit until it touches or nearly touches the packer at the top of the glass.

Do the same for the ones on the bottom and top side packers. The idea is to ensure that the glass is held squarely and securely at both opposite corners .

Try and close the door, if it catches at the bottom, It will be necessary to place another packer on top of the glass at the top corner, this is achieved by having an assistant pull up the door vertical bar to create a gap on top of the glass. Once this gap is there it is easy to push another packer in which will hold the door frame in the raised position. Once it does not catch anymore, complete the fitting of the glazing beads.

These packers are available in various thicknesses and also in a range of sizes to suit different widths of glass units. It is crucial to use packers that are the same width as the glass unit, too narrow and they could get caught in between the panes and cause breakage, too wide and they could impede the fitting of the glazing beads.

Once the door has been packed, it helps to actually hang on the door, check the operation and then repeat the process,

Hanging on the door speeds up the settling down process of the installation and if done should stop the need for a re-adjust after six weeks or so once the door has settled down with use.

If a door starts to catch, its quite simple to remove the glazing beads and then re-pack back to the correct position.

Source by Paul Gardner