In response to this posting, while something is better than nothing, I am not a fan of putting up anything on windows or better screws or latches for doors or a covering for windows unless it really adds to equation and the cost is reasonable for the return on expenditure. As an example, a neighbor added a steel frame with mesh, its costs was about $6,000, it is very pretty with double sided keyed deadbolt and heavy latch/striker plate. Their security factor went way up, sadly the burglars decided to enter from the side yard and wrapped a concrete block into a thick padded moving blanket and heaved it thru the glass sliding door. As a matter of security the whole house has to be considered when planning and making upgrades, like the old saying “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”.
I have been planning on security improvements on at least a dozen homestead that I have lived at in the last 40 plus years. What is the best method for what I am trying to accomplish do. Am I trying to keep people in, keep people out, trying to stop home invasion, or random burglary, or create an image of a deserted homestead, or keep from outside views lighting in the home, or who/what is in the home.
I decided I wanted to have coverings for the windows/patio sliders that would stop or at least be resistant to thrown objects or easy access to the home by busting out glass, and also enough strength on doors to resist a handheld ram or sledge hammer. One thing is to read articles, which is great for a start, but unless money is no object we have to at the end of the day use money available as the most important factor for choosing our solutions.
On regular entrance doors a metal security door is a start, but they can be pried open with a standard crow bar pretty fast (watch law enforcement shows to see how easy they get thru them). My doors will have a pre cut two 5/8 or 3/4 sheets of plywood which I store in the garage, if needed I simply stand the plywood on the inside up against the existing door, they are held in place by two 4x4s which end fits into a fitted piece on the plywood 2/3 of the way up, and the other end of the 4×4 has a 4″ long 1/2 inch diameter steel rod that slips into holes in the concrete floor, thus giving you a re enforced door that is many times stronger than a latch plate located on a weak door frame or hinges that are their weak sister on the other side. I repeated this process for the french double doors. I also drilled in the plywood panel a hole that matches up to the peep hole in the regular door.
For the windows, through out the home, Please understand I have the newer type windows the upper portion of the window slide down and the upper portion slide up, so first I put both panel in the center position that gives you about a 1′ opening at the top and bottom of the window. I cut two pieces of plywood to fit the entire opening, putting those in place and in order to hold them there I cut two 2x 4 pieces that overlap the window opening on the inside of the house by about 6″ each 2×4 has a 6″ long 1×2 ” diameter in the center of the 2×4 that allows you to screw into the double sheet of plywood. So when installed on the window from the inside you have one 2×4 at the top (side to side) and another at the bottom, because the glass panel are open at the top and bottom. This method allows me to put each window covering in place or remove in less than a minute.
Now, we still have the garage doors to deal with, these are weakest link (my estimation) my solution was you guessed it more plywood sheets cut to with about 4″ wider and taller than the door by attaching 2×4 runners to the top and sides, this is done so that the sheets of plywood will touch the frames on the panel and the 2×4 will touch the garage wall around the door. I put the panels in place, than I have 4×6 that slip over the plywood across the bottom about 20″ off the floor and the second 4×6 about 40″ from the bottom and about halfway up. In order to make this one solid mass, I would roll my vehicles up against the 4×6 giving the whole door a very solid feel. You would have to measure your bumpers on the car in order to determine the heights for the 4×6 placement.
Please understand I am trying to deter and delay a forced entry, you cannot not eliminate one ever, so this gives me a warning and time to respond to a potential threat. As with all security prevention making a window bullet resistant is great in theory, but meaningless if you have a stick built homes as most of us do that is for the most part useless to stop bullets. I have had friends tell me that they have adopted this method and that from the outside the home gives an appearance to potential threats that maybe they want to look at other pickings.
I hope that this serves to help others who are needing a idea in order to provide maybe the means to give you an edge.
God Bless us and the U.S. – John in Arizona