The 10 Best Home Security DIY Hacks Under $20 That Actually Work

Having some form of security in your home has almost become a necessity in today’s world. Depending on where you live, taking care of your home can be stressful. Some towns take neighborhood security very seriously while others tend to struggle with it.

One of the biggest hurdles you can encounter as a homeowner is the costs associated with security. Full-fledged alarm systems can be expensive and even require subscriptions in some cases. How do you increase your home security without spending a small fortune?

These 10 home security hacks all cost less than $20 yet actually work:

  • Home security signs (even if you don’t have security cameras)
  • Fake security cameras
  • Light timers for outside and inside
  • Motion sensor spotlights
  • Etched glass window film
  • Sliding door braces
  • Alarms for each window
  • Cabinet and drawer smart locks
  • Doorstop alarms
  • Peepholes

In this article, we’ll go into more detail on each of these awesome home security hacks. We have an impressive range of options for potential solutions to common home security concerns. Read on to see which steps you can take to make your home safer and more secure. You’re not going to want to miss this!

10 of the Best Home Security DIY Hacks For Under $20 That Actually Work

Everyone loves the feeling of confidence in the security of their home. The problem is, it can be difficult to afford a security subscription, especially with a lot of them costing an average of $80 to $100 a month. That’s in addition to other expenses as well.

Don’t worry, because we’re here to help. Let’s check out some simple, low-cost DIY hacks to make your home more secure without breaking the bank.

1. Home Security Signs

When it comes to protecting your home, deterrence can be a big benefit. Criminals will typically avoid homes that give off indications of being protected for fear of being caught. Even if your home doesn’t have any type of home security system installed, you can still create the illusion you’re protected. It’s a lot easier and cheaper than you think, too.

All you have to do is place one of these home-security signs on your property.

You can set up a sign in the yard, or you can opt for one on your fence. Many of these signs are both waterproof and UV-protected, ensuring you’ll be able to rely on them for a long time.

2. Dummy Security Cameras

This hack goes hand in hand with our previous one. If you can’t afford a top-of-the-line security system but want it to look like you can, go the route of dummy cameras instead. These fake cameras are designed to look just like the real thing, and they go a long way toward making potential burglars think twice about trying to break in.

Dummy cameras can be bought inexpensively, such as the one in the link above, and they’re easy to install in and around your home.

Keep in mind when setting up your cameras to mount them in the same areas you would with a real operational camera. This will help reinforce the illusion of them being part of a legitimate working security system. Thieves won’t be able to tell the difference, either.

3. Indoor and Outdoor Light Timers

You may work an overnight shift, which leaves your home empty at the most vulnerable time. Even if you have a nine-to-five job, perhaps there are days when you end up at the office until after dark. Putting your home’s lights on daily light timers can help in both these situations.

These timers will switch your lights on and off automatically. This can give off the vibe to any potential burglar that your home is occupied.

Light timers are very easy on your budget. They’re also versatile, as the timers are made for both indoor and outdoor use. These can be a great deterrent at a reasonable price.

4. Motion Sensor Spotlights

Motion sensor lights are another smart DIY addition if anyone ever tries to approach your home in the darkness. These lights are triggered when movement is detected in an area. Burglars will think they’ve been spotted on your property and should try to make a run for it.

You can install a standard motion sensor light on your own with little effort. That coupled with the low cost makes these lights a fantastic pick. If you’re looking for extra protection, consider purchasing a set, that you can place around different parts of your property.

5. Etched Glass Window Film

Many homeowners have large sliding windows installed in their homes. Others own sliding glass doors that let in a lot of natural light and give a nice view of the outdoors.

While these make indoor living a joy, any valuables that can be seen from outside have the potential to catch the eye of burglars in the area. Take precautions to try and avoid this situation with etched glass window films.

These films cover the windowpanes, making it more difficult to see who and what’s inside your home. Most films are adhesive-backed, making them very easy to apply. You’ll also quite like the feeling of privacy you get from these window films.

6. Sliding Door Braces

Speaking of large glass surfaces, a sliding glass door can be one of the least secure entrances to any home. A criminal only needs to lift the door enough to move it off-track, then they can get it off the lock catch easily. This gets them almost instant access to your home and everything inside it.

The simplest way to secure a sliding glass door is by using a brace bar. These bars can be extended to match the width of the sliding door and keep it locked in place. Some even have rubber pads on the ends to prevent surfaces from getting unwanted scratches. If you can’t get your hands on a brace bar, placing a large wooden dowel in the door track will work just as well.

7. Individual Window Alarms

Windows are a very common entry point for burglars, not to mention they can also be dangerous for young children who get too close. Give yourself some peace of mind by purchasing individual alarms for your windows.

Window alarms will sound an alert when the window is opened by anyone. They work independently, so you can either put one in every window of your home or be selective about their placement. You can also set them to emit a loud alarm or a chime alert. These are very effective and much less costly than a full security system.

8. Smart Locks for Drawers or Cabinets

One of the best ways to keep your most valuable possessions safe from burglars is by locking them up where only you can access them. Smart locks make it possible. These request a pin code before you can access your drawers or cabinets, so only those who know the code can get in. Burglars won’t bother trying for long, as they’d waste too much valuable time.

As an added bonus, these locks are also a good idea to protect small children from inadvertently getting their hands on sharp objects such as knives or scissors.

9. Doorstop Alarms

The idea of getting a doorstop alarm may be one you scratch your head at, at least at first. However, if you live in an area that has a higher crime rate than most, this could be a useful option for you. Doorstop alarms are also a handy security tool for the frequent traveler who spends a lot of time in hotels.

The alarm goes at the bottom of a closed door, just like any doorstop would. Should anyone attempt to forcefully open the door, a loud alarm will sound, scaring away whoever is trying to get in. The alarm is battery-powered and can be turned off if you’d like to use it as a regular doorstop.

10. Peepholes

Our last cheap home security hack is one of the simplest we can offer, but it’s quite effective, too. By putting a peephole in the door, you only have to spend a few minutes and a little effort to make your home more secure.

Peepholes let you see who’s at your door before you decide to answer it. The kits are generally easy to install and can be done without any help. While maybe not as good as a Nest or Ring, on a budget, this is more than a sufficient replacement.


You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a security system to make your home safer. As you can see, there are plenty of low-cost DIY hacks you can implement in your home to increase your sense of security. Everything here can be purchased and installed for less than $20.

Whether you try one or two of these hacks or even all 10, hopefully, you find these as beneficial as we do. Best of luck!

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