Need solution for dog walker and cleaning lady

I need a solution to unlock my doors or open the garage door for a cleaning lady and a dog walker. i don’t want anyone to have the keys or codes to my house anymore. I am looking for a solution to let someone into my house when I am not home. I don’t have an automated garage door yet but I am considering installing the relay and I dont have any smart locks yet but considering that as a solution too. I considered giving them a presence sensor but then if i fired them, they would keep the sensor and I am out $50 each. I think the best way is using their smart phone as a presence sensor but I know its not the most reliable.

I searched the forums and can’t find anything similar so I am hoping to get ideas for a solution.

Any ideas?

Probably not super convenient to rely on them to have A) a smartphone and B) be willing to install an app, login and C) actually use it.

I don’t think there’s a built-in text-message endpoint on ST ( @urman ?) - but it’d be really convenient if your dog walker could just text message a password to a phone number and have the door unlock. You could, with some effort, set up a non-ST endpoint using Twilio that could then relay the command to a ST endpoint.

ImBrian: good idea about texting using Twilio but unfortunately I haven’t programmed since Fortran in college over 20 years ago. But I wonder if IFTTT would work for that purpose. I looked at the compatible door locks on the SmartThings Google drive and they have keypads. I am guessing that they can easily be changed so that I can give them the code and just change it if they are no longer employed. The ST compatibility list shows “custom keycodes not yet supported” next to each door lock so I am not sure what that means. Any ideas?

I just found this recipe for IFTTT:

SMS text to unlock the door

but lets say I give this info to both employees and one no longer works for me, there is no way to enable/disable it for individuals.

Probably not super convenient to rely on them to have A) a smartphone and B) be willing to install an app, login and C) actually use it.

Not to mention they would have to be added to your account and would have access to every switch, outlet, motion sensor, etc. they could just unlock the door the same as you!

I also discovered that IFTTT only sends SMS messages to the primary phone number on the account so I am back to the drawing board.

@gusmorgan: The programmable locks generally allow you to give special codes to people, which you could then disable without affecting your family members. I believe you could also set such codes to only work at certain times.

Wouldn’t assigning them their own codes be the best solution?

I thought that the codes would be managed by the locks themselves but I don’t want to buy a lock and find that not to be true. There is a note next to each lock on the ST compatibility list that says: “custom keycodes not yet supported”. I don’t know if that refers to the codes on the locks. Any ideas?

@gusmorgan: It’s not fully supported by ST officially yet, but a user did put together some code to do it. It’s discussed in this thread:

Presumably, official support for custom keycodes should arrive fairly soon. The unofficial stuff is probably enough for your purposes now, and this definitely beats any other workaround methods for providing access to people that I can think of.

Thanks for the link however I am not still sure what keycodes are.

@gusmorgan: What do you mean? You would need a lock like the Kwikset or Schlage deadbolts. Then you could use the code discussed in that thread to set up codes for non-family members, which would have their own access privileges which could then easily be changed or revoked as needed.

maybe I am missing something. by ‘code’ do you mean programming? if so, i am not a programmer. but if by ‘code’ you mean a unique code for the person to punch into the keypad on the door, then that will work for me.

Yes, a key code would be a unique series of digits punched into the keypad. Non-programmers should be able to manage to execute one.

Because setting custom key codes is not yet supported by ST directly, you would need to copy and paste some actual code (but not edit it or anything) to have this functionality. At least until ST adds it to the official app.

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I just installed a Yale deadbolt for this very reason. Setup was simple and I have different user-codes for different people. In the activity log I can see that ST knows which user-code is being entered through the lock, so I just need to finish the programming-code to notify me when a particular user-code was used to unlock the door. Then I’ll get a notice when the cleaners arrive. I’m probably not going to bother with turning on/off each code for a specific day - there’s always the ‘running late will clean tomorrow’ exceptions, etc. Once I finish the lock notification this weekend I’ll share it so it can be simply copied and pasted.

@Chris Cooney
What you are describing sounds like something only a programmer can do or can anyone do it?

Also can you provide the model of lock you installed?

I spent a little more and got:
Yale YRD220-ZW-ORB Real Living Electronic Touch Screen Deadbolt, Fully Motorized with Z-Wave Technology, Oil-Rubbed Bronze
Sold by LLC
It had more consistently good reviews versus the other brands. And since my neighbor had to call a locksmith last week when their Quickset died, I was keen on reliability. I can say the screen smudges a little (giving away the numbers you use) but you can give different codes to different people to ‘use up’ all the numbers. The lock has a ‘master’ code that gives you access to everything, then I setup one code for parents, one for kids (and their sticky fingers), and one for the cleaner.

To be notified when a particular code is entered does require a smartapp to be developed and shared. I would never sully the title of ‘developer’ by calling myself one, but I’m going to stab at it. There is a forum topic in the Developer section called ‘Notify if lock opened with a particular code’ that has the discussion to this point. You can track progress as I’m sure whoever gets it working will share it.

Once someone gets a custom Smartapp working and shares it, there’s a few simple steps to add it to your list of smartapps which don’t require programming knowledge.

@urman - any idea when this functionality (managing keypad door lock codes) will be officially integrated to ST yet?

I too opted for the Yale lock for reliability. There’s a few others that I want to replace around the house (back door, ect).
Like others said, currently you’re not able to remotely add/remove codes, so you’ll need to disable the code when you get home if you fire them.

If they have a iOS or Android, you can use their phone as a presence sensor.

Prior to getting the Yale lock, I pre-ordered the August lock. This lock will be able to remotely set codes and control your lock. You’ll have much greater control, however since it’s not using standards for communication, I opted out of it. I would be interested in exploring in the future though (just not for my main door). The August lock will be released in the following months, and I’m sure a few of us on this forum will be digging into it to get it working with ST.