Every single homeowner knows that timely upgrades are a part of owning a home. Some people view upgrades as a burden because they can be expensive, especially if you are undertaking a major project. However, home upgrades don’t always need to be a hassle. These upgrades can be easy, and they can be done in a cost-effective manner. In this post, we will be discussing some cost-effective home security upgrades that every homeowner should take advantage of at some point. These upgrades will not break the bank, but they will help you keep your home and your family secure.
1. Door Upgrades
When it comes to home security, your strong doors are essential. This is the reason why it is always important to make sure that your doors (and all the components that come together to make it work) are always in tip-top shape and functioning at full capacity.
The first door upgrade should involve setting up a maintenance schedule (which is completely free). If you properly maintain your doors, door locks, and doorframes, your door will end up lasting much longer. That means that you will get the most out of the door while saving money and staying secure.
Next up, homeowners should look to upgrade their door locks. Ideally, you should have Grade 1 deadbolts installed to offer you a maximum amount of security. To make your deadbolts stronger, use 3-inch screws in your strike plates. This will make your locks much more resistant to any force exerted on them. In addition, you should use longer screws in your door hinges, which will secure them deeper into the doorframe, hence bolstering their security.
Another simple cost-effective door upgrade is the installation of a peephole. This simple action prevents any surprise attacks and reduces the chance of a burglar catching homeowners off guard. This can easily be accomplished with a drill and a peephole, which you can get at your local hardware store.
2. Window Upgrades
Upgrading the security of your windows is just as important as upgrading the security of your doors. There are times when even the most security-minded homeowners neglect their windows. However, burglars pay close attention to your windows, even when you don’t. Windows are, statistically, a favored entry point among burglars so they should be high on your list of priorities when the time comes for upgrades.
Chances are, there are a few of your windows that do not have any locks. If this is the case, now is the time to upgrade. Installing window locks does not require a huge financial investment, it merely requires the time. One simple cost-effective measure that can be employed simply involves installing your window locks on the interior of your home. This will prevent burglars from being able to access your window screws/locks from the exterior of your home. This concept applies to both the locks and hinges (for both the window and the window locks).
Another cost-effective upgrade that comes in handy is the use of security film to reinforce glass windows. This simple measure makes it much harder for burglars to gain entry into your home by breaking through your windows. There are some expensive glass films on the market, but there are cheaper versions that run as low as $14. Even at a lower cost, these are still very effective in boosting your home security.
Homeowners can also secure their sliding windows by placing bars within the tracks to prevent anyone from opening the window from the exterior. Finally, another cost-effective addition is the inclusion of security bars. This might sound expensive, but you can get the required material at your local hardware store, and they can easily be installed by even the most novice DIY homeowner. If you are not comfortable handling these installations yourself, a locksmith can always help you repair and install window locks.
3. Landscape Upgrades
Home security does not always entail locking things up. Sometimes safety can involve using the environment to your advantage. This is where landscaping comes into play. The layout of your exterior can either be to your advantage or to your detriment, so it is important to pay close attention to it.
One upgrade that you can take advantage of is to simply place thorny plants under easily reached windows. This will serve as a natural barrier to anyone attempting to climb up through your windows. Also, if you have a driveway leading up to your home, make sure that you use gravel and loose stones to your advantage. These can be placed along the walkway so that there is always an indication that someone is approaching. Furthermore, utilizing exterior motion sensor lights will help alert you to any exterior movement.
4. Surveillance Upgrades
Do not let the word surveillance scare you away. There is a common misconception that every means of surveillance is extremely expensive. However, thanks to many technological advancements, there are many easy to install DIY cameras that are available for homeowners to choose from.
Compared to subscribing to a surveillance service, these DIY options are affordable and are meant to meet homeowners at their point of need. A majority of these cameras are easy to install and operate. They come with many features (like remote monitoring capabilities), which allow you to fine tune and customize your surveillance and your home security.
5. Alarm System Upgrades
As I mentioned up above, do not be scared by the name of this section. There are many affordable alarm options that homeowners can choose from. With this selection, you can pick the product that fits your needs and budget. My personal suggestion is that you choose an easy-to-use hub, which will allow you to monitor window and door sensors, as well as connect to your surveillance cameras.
This gives you the freedom to select the parts of an alarm that you want to be installed, rather than settling for what some alarm company might give you. Window and door sensors can be incorporated into your alarm, and these can be used to set the groundwork for a basic alarm system.
6. Valuable Storage Upgrades
One of the main reasons why people employ home security measures is to prevent burglary. However, there are times when burglars can still foil the best-laid plans, so it is important to have contingencies in place. In this instance, the contingency plan refers to properly storing your valuable items away so that they are not left exposed. This is a very effective measure that people do not use enough.
One of the cheapest options to help you accomplish this is a lockbox. However, if you have a little more to spend, a safe will be more secure. These measures will help you keep your valuable items secure and out of sight which will make it much harder for burglars to get to, hence increasing your home security.
Although, you do not necessarily have to use any of these to keep your valuables secure, just make sure that they are obscure enough and well hidden. There is no cost for a good hiding spot.
It is always important to make sure that you are keeping an eye on your home so that you know exactly when you are due for some upgrades. A majority of these tasks do not take up too much time, and can even be tackled on a weekend. Even though this post focuses specifically on home security upgrades, it is important to apply the same mindset to other facets of the home. One thing that will always help you stay abreast with necessary upgrades is establishing a maintenance schedule. This will give you the opportunity to see how your security measures are holding up. It will also help you map out any changes that need to be made. Remember, this does not mean that you should neglect more expensive, but necessary, home maintenance tasks. It simply is meant to help you get an upgrade without spending too much money.