Here are 10 effective DIY home security projects you can do in 30 minutes or less:
- Add window treatments
- Reinforce your door locks
- Change out your deadbolts
- Install a pin lock for double-hung windows
- Cut back your shrubbery
- Place a few security signs on the lawn or in your window
- Light up the place with floodlights
- Get rid of your spare outdoor key
- Make a dowel for sliding glass doors
- Set up a security system
Yes, that’s right. If you have 30 minutes tonight or this weekend, you can make your home a safer and more secure place to be. Keep reading for more information on each of the above 10 projects so you can begin planning which you’ll do first!
10 Quick, Easy DIY Home Security Projects to Tackle This Weekend
Add Window Treatments
Your first option for a fast DIY home security project is to put up window treatments on some or all the windows in your home.
A window treatment is a blanket term for any window modification. It could be as simple as hanging up a pair of thick curtains that don’t let anyone outside of your home see in. You could install some blinds or–if your budget is bigger–buy plantation shutters.
If you want an even speedier window treatment, we’d recommend mirrored film on the windows as well as your glass doors.
A mirrored film is a giant sticker that you cut to fit your window. When you adhere the film to the window, it becomes difficult for criminals to see into your home from the outside. We’ve written about mirrored film recently, but if you missed that post, we’re again suggesting this product, as it’s quite handy. Not only is mirrored film low-budget, but it’s quick to secure to your window. Just make sure you remove all the air bubbles using a squeegee or even a credit card.
Reinforce Your Door Locks
If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your door locks, now is as good a time as ever to do so. Locks with key-in-lock handles are especially good for your sense of security.
Also, thanks to modern technology, you can outfit your home with a smart lock such as the August Smart Lock for keyless entry.
Don’t stop there. Even if your doorknob is as secure as Fort Knox, if you have a weak door, then that’s still an easy point of entry for a burglar. If your door feels hollow and light, it’s more than time to get a new one. Invest in a thicker, heavier door that’s more impenetrable, such as one made of metal or solid–not hollow–wood.
Change out Your Deadbolt
In addition to your door, you have a deadbolt and maybe a chain lock. The problem with chain locks is if they’re old and flimsy, they can easily be snapped. Older deadbolts are also easily surpassed if a criminal is savvy enough.
The best deadbolts are grade-one, as these are strong locks that criminals will be quickly confounded by.
You might also want to buy a line door strike with screws that go into the doorframe. In the event a burglar was trying to gain forceable entry into your home, the line door strike would make it difficult to do so.
Line door strikes such as the Defender Security U are a great pick. This stamped steel strike has a finish of satin nickel so it’s as durable as it is appealing. No longer do you have to rely on your standard door latch, but this deadbolt strike plate instead. Its one-piece design has three-inch screws, six in all, that enhance security even further since the screws hold in tight.
To install the Defender Security U and other door strikes like it, you place the strike on the doorframe and jamb. Then, with a screwdriver, tighten each of the six screws. If you want to do a flush installation, you may have to drill a few pilot holes, but even this isn’t time-consuming or difficult.
Install a Pin Lock for Double-Hung Windows
Double-hung windows are undeniably beautiful. Each of these two-paned windows has sashes that allow you to open a window one at a time or together. When the time comes to clean your top sash, it’s a lot easier to do this with a double-hung window than a single-hung one.
Still, as great as they are, double-hung windows can pose a huge security risk, as the criminal has two ways to get in per window. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, it should. Luckily, the problem is easily rectifiable with less than 30 minutes of your time and a bit of money, like $5 or so.
Pin locks are specialty locks for double-hung windows. They stop your double-hung windows from opening past a certain point, making it impossible for someone to bust into your home. You can shop for pin locks on Amazon, finding one that fits your window brand.
To install your pin locks, open both panes of the double-hung window where you want them. Then, make a marking where the pin lock will go. Drill a hole through the frame and the window itself (not the glass pane though!).
Next, take your pin lock’s included cover ring and put it over the hole you drilled. Fit the pin in and tighten it as necessary.
Cut Back Shrubbery
You may wonder what landscaping has to do with home security, and the answer is a lot! If you have overgrown bushes in front of and especially behind your property, you’re giving criminals a great spot to hunker down and hide out while they create their plan of attack to get into your house.
When you strip back your shrubs so they’re close-cropped and neat, now criminals have nowhere to go but in, and doing so will make them quite obvious.
Place Security Signs on the Premises
We’ve written about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again because it’s such a quick, no-brainer, inexpensive home security trick. Security signs that say “beware of dog” or mention that you have a security camera installed on the premises can be enough to send most smart criminals packing.
Remember, when a criminal wants to break into your home, they choose it because it seems like an easy target. Any evidence that belies that fact will make the criminal second-guess themselves. These types of signs show the burglar that your home is well protected. You don’t even necessarily need a big, scary dog. The sign alone can be enough of a deterrent.
Illuminate Your Property with Floodlights
Another break-in prevention method that will give you more peace of mind is the installation of floodlights. The high-intensity illumination of a floodlight, as well as its expansive range, means you can cover most of your property in a few of these lights. That makes them quite a cost-effective addition to your arsenal of home security products.
If you can, buy motion-detection floodlights, as these will turn on if anyone or anything gets too close to your property.
No burglar is going to risk being illuminated by a bright floodlight if they try to break into your home. They’ll choose an easier target and leave you alone!
To ensure your floodlights last you for years to come, get weatherproof boxes. Also, check that you have the proper conduit for the lights.
Remove Your Spare Key Outside
It’s happened to all of us at some point. You rush out in a hurry that morning because you’re running late, and you leave your house key in the entryway or on your dresser. When you want to get back into the house later, having a spare key hidden outdoors is useful.
Chances are, your key is beneath a welcome mat or even shallowly buried in your mulch on the front lawn. If you’ve thought to leave your key somewhere, then burglars have thought to look. Having access to a house key saves the burglar so much time. They don’t have to break through your door or smash a window. They can simply unlock your door and waltz right in.
Even the spare key holders that look like rocks or other outdoor objects may not be a good idea, as a smart burglar will know to seek these out.
You’re much better off letting your neighbor hold onto your spare key and you theirs so you always have a way to get inside your home without leaving a house key out in the open for anyone to find.
Make a Dowel to Reinforce Sliding Glass Doors
Does your home have sliding glass doors? We’ve written about these before. While sliding glass doors do offer stunning views of your side yard or backyard and they’re great for letting natural light in, they’re also a prime target for criminals.
The burglar can break a hole in the glass, reach through and unlock the door, and then step right in with no resistance. Yes, that’s a horrifying thought, but in a couple of minutes this weekend, you can easily prevent such a break-in.
All you need is some sort of dowel, be it a long piece of wood, a pole, or even a metal rod. It should fit snugly between the sliding glass door panels. Now, if a burglar tries to open the sliding glass doors, the doors won’t budge, as the dowel prevents them from moving much.
While you’re at it, make sure you get a better lock than the one that comes with most standard sliding glass doors. You’ll feel safer for it.
Set up a Security System
Whether you opt for a smart lock, a video doorbell like the Ring or Nest, any of the security systems we’ve discussed on this blog, or some combination of the above, the best part about today’s home security systems is they set up quickly and easily.
Most don’t require drilling, and even for those that do, you only need to make a hole or two. With your Internet connection, you can quickly get your smart security system set up on the Wi-Fi so it can begin protecting you and your home instantly.
Home security doesn’t have to be a time-consuming venture. The 10 DIY projects we highlighted in this article all take 30 minutes or less to complete. Some are quick and inexpensive, like using window film, while others require a slightly larger budget, such as upgrading your door locks or buying floodlights.
All will let you sleep better at night knowing your home is the safest and the most secure on the block.