Author Topic: Advice for digital door lock and intercom for a multi family unit  (Read 674 times)

syracusefan

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Hi,

We just purchased a two family house and are doing major renovations before tenants move in.  We will have tenants in the downstairs unit and we plan to live in the upstairs unit.  As of today there is a standard dead bolt lock and a broken intercom system. 

The layout is as follows:
  • Walk through the main front door to a little foyer that contains two doors
    1 that leads to the first floor unit (unit #1)
    2 that leads up stairs to the second floor unit (unit #2)

We would prefer some sort of NEST or digital doorbell but not sure how to pull it off with a two family house.  We would also be open to a digital lock or keypad lock on the front door but then again we have two other locks needed for entrance to unit 1 and entrance to unit 2. 

Are there any landlords here that have a recommendation for how to approach?  We need separate doorbells for the first and second floor as well as different keys for the door to unit #1 and unit #2. Any recommended intercom systems and/or digital locks?

waltworks

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Re: Advice for digital door lock and intercom for a multi family unit
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 09:50:22 AM »
Just install 2 doorbells and leave the main front door unlocked. Doesn't seem like it needs to be complicated. If you want a camera/intercom/whatever, install it and just wire it to your unit.

-W

syracusefan

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Re: Advice for digital door lock and intercom for a multi family unit
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 10:38:17 AM »
Just install 2 doorbells and leave the main front door unlocked. Doesn't seem like it needs to be complicated. If you want a camera/intercom/whatever, install it and just wire it to your unit.

-W

Thanks for the response.  The front main door will need to be locked.  We live in a safe area for the most part but its in a city.

My concern with just installing intercom/camera to my unit would be if they order food or something, don't tenants normally have their own doorbell?  I'd like to avoid a food delivery person or mailman ringing unit #2 doorbell just because its the only option on the door.

waltworks

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Re: Advice for digital door lock and intercom for a multi family unit
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 06:30:27 PM »
Ok, just one lock - outside main door. Put an additional lock on your 2nd door if you're paranoid, I guess.

Put the camera outside and run it to your place. 2 doorbells with names/units clearly labeled.

Is there a reason you can't just remove the main door entirely and create a porch of sorts? Seems like a dumb way to set up an up/down unit in general to have that door.

-W

Sibley

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Re: Advice for digital door lock and intercom for a multi family unit
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2018, 01:03:51 PM »
My parents live in a similar duplex. There are 2 door bells, old style wired ones. Lock on the main door, locks on each of the interior doors. No intercom.

Villanelle

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Re: Advice for digital door lock and intercom for a multi family unit
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 11:19:40 PM »
I don't think I'm understanding the problem.

If keeping the main door and having it locked is a priority, put two doorbells out front, labeled "unit A" and "unit B", or with last names if you are comfortable with that.  If one or both of those is digital and has a camera or intercom, fine.  The guest will press the appropriate button and it will either ring in the appropriate unit, or activate the camera/intercom for the correct unit.

For the locks, if you want to go digital, have a code for the main door that both units know, and then either a separate key or separate digital pad on each unit door.  So the code to the main door is 1234, and then unit 1 is 5678 and unit 2 is 9999.  Or key any of the doors to which you want to have locks.  It's not terribly cumbersome to have to know two different codes or a code and a key.  (Personally, I'd find two keys annoying, but not so annoying that it would affect my decision to rent a place.)