Warmer weather and longer days make for a good setting to undertake a home renovation project. As this article from popular mortgage company Prime Lending points out, tackling renovations during the summer and fall allow homeowners to complete their work in time to enjoy a remodeled home for the holiday season. Additionally, these late summer and early autumn months allow you to complete outdoor work in comfortable weather. We have many customers calling us around this time of year to address security concerns related to renovation work. In this post, we share some of our most popular home renovation security tips.
We will start with some ideas for securing your home during the renovation itself. Completing work on your home’s exterior can leave it vulnerable to crime. Furthermore, home renovations often require hired hands to help with the work. We will offer tips to make sure that these contractors do not commit any crime themselves while on your property. Additionally, we will discuss ways to ensure proper security after completing your remodel. Let’s begin with some steps to keep your home safe while undergoing a renovation.
Take Steps to Keep Your House Secure Your Home Renovation
You should look very closely at your home’s security during the renovation process itself. Completing major work on your home can open it up to a few dangers. For one, adding doors and windows provides exterior openings that burglars could take advantage of, given the opportunity. Beyond that, you may need to hire outside companies and individuals to help you complete your project. While you may have some friends helping you, odds are that you will not know everyone that lends a hand. Even if you trust the people and companies you hire for the work, the ability to keep an eye on things only improves your security. Additionally, you also want to limit workers’ access to your home. Let’s look at a couple suggestions for keeping an eye on your renovation project. We will then turn our attention to keeping workers in the right areas of your home.
Utilize Cameras to Watch Over Your Project
If you do have contractors working on your home, you should maintain the ability to monitor them. A home surveillance system provides you this opportunity. This ability proves especially important if you have others working on your home in your absence. Adding cameras to your work site beefs up security a number of different ways. For starters, you will have footage of anything that happens onsite. If anything goes missing, you can review the footage to see what exactly happened.
Additionally, the presence of cameras creates a deterrence on its own. The sight of cameras alone can change a potential criminal’s mind. A surveillance system also allows you to watch the video your cameras capture in real time. The ability to watch live and recorded footage, in addition to the visible deterrent created by surveillance, make adding cameras to watch over your home during renovation a powerful security measure.
Take Control of and Track Who Enters Your Home During the Renovation
Allowing others to help you complete a home renovation increases the need for security elsewhere in the home. You may not be able to completely secure a new addition during the construction process. You can, however, take extra measures to secure the rest of the house. We have a couple different options to provide this. For one, we recommend that you keep track of your keys during this process. We discussed re-keying your home in our Tips to Improve Security for New Homeowners. Consider putting the locks for your renovation on a separate key from the rest of your home.
Adding keypad locks or smart locks to your home can also provide additional security. You can give out the codes for keypad locks to trusted contractors. That way someone onsite can have access to the entire house if needed. Smart locks take this security concept one step further. When used in conjunction with a smart home hub or interactive cellular dialer, such as our powered by Alarm.com, these locks provide the ability to lock and unlock your doors with a smartphone. If someone needs to enter the home, you can allow them to do so remotely. This eliminates the need for giving away keys or codes. In addition, you can also lock a door from your phone or even set a schedule for the door to lock. Therefore, allowing temporary home access for workers will not put you at risk for having your house unlocked throughout the rest of the day.
Evaluate Your Security System Needs
Many of our alarm customers begin a home renovation only to wish halfway through that they had consulted us beforehand. Changing or adding doors and windows and cutting open walls can all cause issues with your home security system. Try to evaluate if (and how) your project will affect your alarm. This will allow us to help make sure that your work goes seamlessly. If you have a hardwired security system, the chances of your renovation affecting your alarm increase, as cutting into and through walls could also lead to cutting through security wiring.
In addition to anticipating any issues your work may cause, consider equipment you may want to add. On top of addressing any new exterior entry points, your renovations may create new unique security needs. For example, a sunroom often includes a number of casement windows for the sun to stream through. These windows also provide accessible entry for burglars to break through as well. Furthermore, these additions are usually in the back yard, where thieves are less likely to get caught by neighbors. Evaluating your renovation for potential new security contacts can increase security tremendously. Our list of security system contacts can help you determine what additional sensors you may wish to add.
Update Exterior Security Measures
In our post on Security for New Homeowners, we discussed the importance of making smart landscaping and exterior security decisions. Creating an addition to your home could require re-thinking your exterior security. Does your addition provide new potential access points for burglars? If so, consider adding new lock equipment. If your addition blocks neighbors from viewing parts of your home, consider adding exterior lighting and other security measures. Burglars look for convenient access to your home’s entry points and places to hide while scoping out a home. An addition in the back of a home could potentially end up providing both. Consult our post on Yard and Driveway Security for some specific ideas on adding security around your home’s new addition.
Ensure Proper Fire Detection
As we noted in our post on Residential Smoke Alarm Requirements in Massachusetts, many renovations require updating smoke detection throughout your entire property. Make sure to go through your local building department for proper permits and instructions. This process generally requires a set of blueprints and an explanation of the work you hope to do. Going this route ensures that your work gets inspected upon completion and that you do everything legally required to complete your home renovation.
We also recommend taking steps above and beyond the bare minimum to detect your home and family. Even if your addition does not require additional smoke detection, consider adding it. Installing smoke and heat alarms in an addition add both safety and security. Adding monitored fire detection, as recommended in our Security Tips to Save You Money, has a couple advantages. For one, you can better monitor your home and your new addition in the case of a fire or carbon monoxide emergency. Secondly, the insurance discount for adding this detection often outweighs the investment on the equipment itself. This is especially true when you already have a home security system in place. We recommend adding fire extinguishers in addition to detectors as well. Having extinguishers allows you to potentially stop a fire before it gets out of control.
Putting it All Together
If you are planning your own home renovation projects, this post should give you some ideas for addressing the security concerns and requirements that come with completing that work. Perhaps you’ve already implemented many of the security steps described here in your home. In this case, we can expand your security measures into your addition during the renovation process. Or perhaps you’ve decided that this work provides you a good opportunity to improve your overall home security. Either way, do not hesitate to contact us. We will provide a free site survey to help you plan security measures to secure your home, including your addition. Together, we will create a plan to make your home as safe as possible both during your renovation and after the work is complete.
Feature Photo Credit: Brock Builders on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 License.