So, if you have decided that you don’t want to install your home safe as your next DIY project, that’s okay. Or you may want to know how much it will cost to have it done for you before making your decision. In any case, you don’t have to pick up your phone just yet and ask for a professional. I will give you how much we charge for classic interventions so you can have a comparison base.
How much does labor cost for a professional locksmith?
Let’s see in detail how to do the maths so you can see what you will likely have to pay to have a safe installed for you by a professional.
Hourly rates, excluding taxes for locksmiths
If you hire a professional to install a safe, you must first pay labor. Hourly rates range from $60 in small cities, $80 in medium-sized cities, and $150+ in big cities. So, as with everything else, labor is more expensive the bigger the city you live in.
But remember that installing a safe will require 60 to 90 minutes. If you do the math, you can guess what it costs to install a safe, depending on where you live.
The weight of the safe will be a good indicator of how many people are required to do the job. Let’s assume the installer is someone with average physical abilities:
- up to 100 lbs (45 kg), one person can do the job,
- up to 200 lbs (90 kg), two technicians are necessary,
- up to 550 lbs (250 kg), three persons are required, with special hardware
You can read my article on how much safes weigh if you want to know what safe to choose.
So, if two technicians are required to install a 200-lb safe in a medium city, you will have to pay $160 for labor only.
If three locksmiths are required to install a heavy (500 lbs) safe in a big city, labor will be $450, excluding taxes and other details.
Hardware and safe prices
Profit margin on the safe
A locksmith will sell you the safe at a profit, which is fine.
You can’t usually save on that because the supplier will give a discount to the professional you won’t get if you buy the safe yourself directly. Good professionals can even sell you the safe cheaper than you can buy it at a local hardware store. But usually, it is often the same price.
One-person companies that operate for little time can be expensive because they usually don’t benefit from good discounts from their suppliers. Be aware of that.
There is a markup for the safe itself. And it usually depends on the price of the safe, so they sell at the sticker price:
- For cheap safes ($150), professional discounts are usually 50%, and the profit margin is 80% to 100%, so you end up paying sticker price,
- For $200 – $1000 safes, discounts are usually 30%, profit will be close to 50%,
- For $1000 + safes, we usually get a 25% discount and take a 30% profit, so we are more competitive than the hardware store sticker price. $1,500 at 25% will cost us professionals $1125 * 1,3 = $1462, below sticker price.
If you call on a good, honest local professional, you will likely pay for your safe cheaper than the equivalent at a hardware store. The price difference will pay for part of the installation labor.
Required hardware for installing a safe
Pegs, glue, and chemical anchors will also add up because they only sometimes come with the safe.
It is usually not that expensive, especially for cheap safes. Expect that cost to be $30 to $50.
The cost of drills, drill bits, screws, and bolts is usually covered with labor costs: you won’t have to pay extra.
The markup, if any, will only cover special and required hardware required to install a safe, and that can be costly over time if forgotten. A good anchor fix can cost up to $30 on Amazon; check the latest price.
Service Call Fee or Trip Charge for a locksmith
A service call is another line.
You pay for labor, hardware, and the safe itself, but a trip charge is something you won’t avoid.
It covers the expense of oil, mileage, time, and overall pickup owning expenses.
The two main elements to consider are location (like labor, it depends on where you are) and distance.
On average, in a medium-sized city, for a 2 to 5-mile trip, a service call will be $60 to $70. On top of that, $2 extra can be taken for an additional mile. So, for a 15-mile trip, the charge will be $70 + $20 = $90. You get the point.
Again, it can be cheaper in rural areas, and you can double that easily for dense places like SF Bay or New York.
Typical quotes for a home safe installation
This convenient table sums up all the above considerations to do the math. It gives you a direct reading on the price of a home-safe installation in every scenario.
|Safe Type||Rural Area||Medium city||Big City|
|Light Safe||Safe price: $150|
Sercice Call: $50
|Medium 150 lb||Safe price: $700|
Sercice Call: $70
|Heavy 250 lb||Safe price: $1500|
Sercice Call: $80
Always ask for a quote if you want to have a safe install for you
First and foremost, always ask for a quote. You won’t have a nasty surprise. A quote is a written agreement you can refer to if necessary.
There are a few tricks to make sure you call a good professional and get a great price. Here is my advice on how to choose a good locksmith:
- Ask around you if someone knows or has had a good experience with a well-known local company;
- Don’t trust the first google answer in SERP. Pay close attention to details, not just ratings, as they can be easily forged.
- Make sure your locksmith has a geographical address you can visit and not just a letterbox in a hidden area.
- Make sure there is a regular phone number, not just a mobile one. If your only contact is a mobile number, the professional can block you if something goes wrong. It also means that a professional with a secretary or clerk is a one-person company that can be easier to deal with if there is a well-known track record (not just ratings).