After years of scrimping and saving, your hard work has paid off and you’ve finally managed to buy the home of your dreams. In modern-day America, the purchase of a home gets you more than just a place to live. It’s physical proof that you’ve officially made it! Gone are the days of haggling with landlords and scouring the market for cheap rentals; the days of financial freedom and financial security have begun.
Of course, buying a home comes with its own set of responsibilities and headaches. There’s a reason why many financially stable professionals opt to rent instead of buy, after all. From routine maintenance to unexpected expenses, owning your own home can end up costing you quite a bit more time and money than you might have expected.
One of the most important yet tedious tasks new homeowners will undoubtedly face is of securing the property. With an investment that represents the lion s share of your life savings, you’d rather be safe rather than sorry when a burglar strolls up onto your front porch with a crowbar or lock pick in hand!
Once you get around to researching ways to improve your home’s resistance to break-ins and burglaries, it won’t take you long to realize that home security can be very expensive. As you stare at your computer screen in a state of shock after seeing the advertised price of a home alarm system, one thought is likely to cross your mind: “Is there… anything cheaper?”
1. Securing your home: diminishing returns
There’s an old adage that you’ve likely heard a hundred times if you’ve heard it once: “You get what you pay for”. While this rings true most of the time, there s another principle you’ve got to keep in mind. That principle? Diminishing returns. At a certain point, any additional money you invest in your home security will do less and less to keep your home safe, ultimately proving the added effort to be a waste of your money.
What do we mean? Well, consider the following hypothetical. Let’s say you invest $300 in a home security system and an additional $15 a month for maintenance and monitoring. By doing this, you’ll obtain a substantial improvement to the safety of your home, thoroughly lowering your home’s chances of being burgled or robbed.
Now, let’s say that you invest another $200 on a set of security cameras for your home. You might marginally improve the practical security of your home, but the increase in your home’s safety will be far less per dollar than your initial security system investment. Do you see our point yet?
Ultimately, the best way to get optimal home security without breaking the bank is to ask two simple questions before purchasing additional safety upgrades for your home. These questions are as follows: how much will this upgrade get me in terms of practical security, and is there an alternative that offers similar results for a lower price?
2. Home security upgrades that won’t break the bank
Now it’s time to talk about cost-to-effectiveness ratios and home security upgrades. In this next section, we’ll be covering a number of simple, inexpensive, and easy-to-implement home security solutions that offer substantial improvements to your safety and security. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so we won’t waste any time; let’s get into it!
3. Improved locks and latches
The best and most inexpensive way to instantly and substantially improve your home’s security is by installing better locks and latches. These are the most vulnerable points of failure in a break-in scenario, but luckily are also the easiest to upgrade. With a small, one-time investment, you can massively reduce your chances of becoming the victim of a break-in!
There are two ways burglars can attack locks and latches in their efforts to get into your home: a pick attack and a brute force attack. Pick attacks involve picking a lock by exploiting flaws in its design, while brute force attacks consist simply of an attempt to gain entrance into a home by using mechanical force to overwhelm the tensile capacities of a lock or latch.
When buying new locks and latches for windows and doors, do your research in advance and find the models with a good balance of attack resistance and economical pricing. There are a number of excellent sources for this information, and buying the best lock and latch models is a cinch with online markets such as Amazon and eBay.
4. A sturdy deadbolt and striker plate
In the same vein as improved locks and latches, our next recommendation will go a long way toward preventing forced entry into your home. Better locks and latches are great for preventing forced entry, but if you want to fully protect your door from all types of attacks you’re going to need a good deadbolt and striker plate.
Deadbolts are quite simple, in essence; a thick, heavy block of steel that fits into a cavity in your doorjamb when closed, effectively lending your door a tremendous amount of mechanical resistance to physical attack. Deadbolts are cheap and easy to install, making them a must-have for home security.
In order for your new deadbolt to be as effective as possible, you’re going to need a good striker plate. A striker plate is a simple steel plate with an indent or cutout for the bar of your deadbolt, effectively creating a seal that can only be opened from the inside. With the benefit of a steel door frame and sturdy construction, a quality striker plate and deadbolt make your door immune to any but the strongest physical attack.
5. Window and door intrusion sensors
While quality entrance doors can be rendered virtually impenetrable by the conventional attack, there’s only so much that you can do to protect your windows besides simply replacing them with impact-resistant models. While you may not be able to afford expensive impact-resistant windows, there is an inexpensive way to make sure that you’re instantly made aware should one break.
In recent years, mass manufacturing and microelectronics have made laser sensors both widely available and dirt cheap. For less than it costs to put new tires on your car, you can install sensors that emit a loud alarm whenever laser contact is broken, instantly alerting you to potential intruders or other threats.
It doesn’t end there, though; far from it, in fact! With the benefit of modern technology, many new door and window sensors can also be configured to send an alert to your phone should someone break into your home while you’re away. When paired with a pre-installed home security system, these sensors can literally be a lifesaver!
While home security can often seem like a hopelessly expensive endeavor, we hope we’ve inspired you to think outside the box and stay under budget when upgrading your home security. It won’t be easy, but with a can-do attitude, a willingness to learn, and some careful research and study, your home can be as safe as any professional security company could ever make it. Next time a burglar or robber comes around trying to take your things, you’ll be prepared!