Home Security Mistakes to Avoid With Your Doors and Windows

Let’s look at the common home security mistakes that people often regarding their doors and windows. Being aware of these is the first step toward better protecting your own home.

Mistake #1: Not securing all your doors

The first mistake is not securing back or side doors as well as the front door.

Burglars don’t care which door they get in through. If one door is well-secured and one isn’t, guess which one they’ll try?

It’s very common for front doors to be solid, but rear and side doors to be flimsy, especially in older homes. A burglar might actually prefer a side or a rear door, because that’s going to be away from the street where they can be less visible.

Any entrance door, wherever it is located should be a sturdy steel door and frame with deadbolts and strike plates.

Don’t forget about your sliding glass doors which typically have notoriously bad locks.

Fortunately, there’s a fantastically easy solution: just lay down a piece of wood, such as a dowel in the track to keep the door from sliding open if the lock is defeated.

Mistake #2: Old or broken locks & windows

The second mistake is not replacing broken or old locks on doors and windows-or even the broken or old doors and windows themselves!

This one may not seem obvious after you think about it a bit-after all, a broken latch or lock might not be visible, but all that really means is that it won’t attract a burglar. You don’t want to make their job easy if they should happen to try to open it.

Several problems fall under this category:

1. Many doors can easily be kicked in.

The experts recommend having a sturdy, reinforced steel door.

They also recommend improving the strike plate on your door (the piece of metal that attaches to the door frame or door jamb where the deadbolts or latch extends into the frame) or installing one if you don’t have one on each outside door. Deadbolts should not extend directly into the wooden frame.

Unfortunately, most strike plates come with relatively short screws, like an inch or so, so make sure the strike plates you have and any new ones have much longer screws. Short screws can pull out with a good kick to the door, ripping the strike plate out of the door frame, and probably shattering the frame-and then the burglar’s in.

2. Make sure you have a deadbolt on every outside door. This is really important. As I’m sure you know, a deadbolt is much harder to defeat than spring-loaded latches, which you should never rely on for outside doors.

3. Change the locks if you didn’t do so when you moved in. Not changing the locks isn’t quite like leaving the place wide open, but it does mean that someone may have the key to your place. And if they didn’t change the locks when they moved in, then someone else may have a key as well.

This can get a little tricky with apartments. Not all landlords are going to be proactive about this. You might need to ask them or even bug them a bit to get them to change locks.

Mistake #3: Unlocked doors and windows

The last mistake on my list: unlocked doors and windows.

How many times have you left your home wide open?

Have you ever gone ever gone over to a neighbor’s house or apartment intending to come right back, only to end up staying much longer? Have you ever gone to run a quick errand and decided not to bother locking up because you’d be back so quickly? Have you ever slept with the window open in the room or a different room?

Or have you mowed the lawn or done other yard work, worked out in the garage, or sat out on the patio leaving doors open that you couldn’t see?

How secure is your home?

Are you making any of these common mistakes at your home? Correct them now and better protect yourself and your home!

10 Surefire Ways to Avoid Common DIY Home Improvement Mistakes

Ask people who have completed do-it-yourself projects and they’ll tell you that the projects took at least twice and much time and three times the money they thought they would. The basic reason is that DIYers usually make a lot of mistakes that end up making home improvement projects more expensive and time-consuming.

Here are 10 surefire ways to avoid the top DIY home improvement mistakes in the future and ensure success.

1. Take out the required permits — it’s amazing how many DIYers skip this step. Sure, it takes time, and it means you have to deal with the government, but it’s actually in your best interest to make sure get the required home improvement permits. The folks in the permitting office will make sure the project is done correctly and that you stay safe in the process. Also, for some projects, you’ll need proof that you have a permit or your insurance company won’t cover the improvement. You’ll probably need a permit for any project larger than wallpapering and painting. If you’re unsure, call your local building department and ask.

2. Have all the tools and materials you need available before you start your project — starting a job without the necessary tools and supplies will slow down the job and delay your progress. And make sure you buy quality tools. They’re a wise investment.

3. Prepare the job site for material deliveries — when your suppliers deliver materials, you’ll want to make sure the job site is ready to accept them. You don’t want your materials exposed to the weather while you are working and you want to have a storage area to prevent theft.

4. Don’t skimp on materials — for example, don’t use 1/4-inch drywall for building walls. Use at at least 5/8-inch; and 3/4-inch works well for a good sound barrier. Use 3/4-inch plywood for sub-floors. It creates a much stronger floor.

5. Prepare the walls for painting — clean the walls, sand them and patch any holes before you paint. Use a coat of primer or stain blocker if you’re trying to cover over oil-based paint, stains or peeling paint, or if you’re painting a lighter color over a darker color.

6. Use the correct paint — use flat paint ceilings. Interior paints should have at least an eggshell or satin finish so you can scrub it. For outdoor decks, use a linseed-oil-based stain to drive the pigment into the wood and preserve it.

7. Keep safe while working — you don’t want to end up in the emergency room. Wear safety goggles when using power tools or working with drywall or wood. Wear a hard hat when you’re working under other people on scaffolding, and open some windows when you’re painting or staining, or stripping old finishes off of floors or walls. Don’t wear loose, hanging clothing, especially when using power tools. Wear gloves when carrying wood, metal and rock, or when hammering, and wear a nail or tool pouch to prevent damage to your floors, feet, and pets.

8. Measure twice and cut once — probably the most important rule of any project. If you’re going to make a mistake, make it too long. You can always make something shorter. You can’t make it longer.

9. Know the limits of your abilities — you’re not going to be good at everything. If you don’t have a lot of experience at plumbing or electrical work, for instance, don’t attempt those projects.

10. Don’t start to learn how to do a project on your own house — If you want to learn how to do a project, offer your assistance to a friend who is an experienced DIYer or a contractor. And if you have any question about what you’re doing, make sure you stop and ask.

You probably won’t eliminate all of your DIY home improvement mistakes, but you can surely reduce them with these 10 tips.

The Big Home Improvement Projects Must Be First, Not Last

Priorities: they are always difficult to work out, and once you’ve got them all together it’s even more difficult to put them in some sort of chronological order. For home owners, figuring out priorities concerning home renovation or improvement can be a major headache, and this sometimes (or rather frequently in many cases) means that projects that need to be taken care of just keep getting pushed back and back. There is one easy way to think about how to prioritize your renovation and improvement projects at home: get the big stuff over and done with first! That’s right: you shouldn’t waste time on little morsels when there’s a main course waiting for you to tend to.

Why should home owners take care of the big projects first, and what exactly do we mean by big projects? To answer the second question first, by ‘big projects’ we’re talking about the projects that will require a greater budget, that will take a longer amount of time to complete, and which actually relate to a crucial and necessary improvement in the home-something functional, not something cosmetic! These projects are the kinds of home improvement projects that actually improve important systems, appliances, or structures within the home: examples would include eliminating humidity or mould problems in the attic or basement; replacing old and drafty window units throughout the home; or even just putting down a new coat of paint on the home’s exterior. As for the issue of tackling these projects first, there is a simple and valid reason for this-other tinier projects are going to have to work around these larger projects, and if you try to reverse this “natural order” to things you are going to find that the results are not much to your liking.

Another reason for getting these big home improvement projects out of the way first is budgeting. It would be terrible to have wasted so much money on trivial, cosmetic improvement projects around your property that by the time you get around to tackling a crucial project, you no longer have any funds left! This is a mistake that many home owners commit, and sooner or later the pretty little improvements are tarnished by the larger issues that are still unattended. Having a sense of seasonal priorities can also be important when determining what project to tackle next at home, as what may be very important during the summer may not be so urgent any longer by the time winter rolls around (though there are projects that are highly effective year-round). So the next time the idea of home renovation comes to mind, don’t make the mistake of fooling around with little, insignificant projects; be brave and start planning the big projects that you’ve been putting off for so long!