6 DIY Home Security Hacks for under $20

I love the feeling of knowing that my home is secure, but I hate the thought of wasting money on an $80/month home security system.  Monthly expenses can pile up so fast that it feels like I don’t even have a paycheck anymore.

So, I set out to make my home MORE secure than with a security system, on the cheap.  I think I’ve succeeded.  

Here are a few of the products that helped me secure my home inexpensively.

  1. Window and Door Alarms
  2. Brace to Secure Sliding Doors
  3. Fake Home Security Signs
  4. Dummy Home Security Cameras
  5. Door Stop Alarm
  6. Motion Sensing Spotlight

Stick around to learn a little bit more about how you can use some or all of these hacks to better secure your home for around $20 or less each!

Window and Door Alarms on the Cheap

Cost: About $20

Time to Install: 10 minute

Windows are a common point of entry for burglars, and windows on the second story of a home are extremely dangerous around mischievous kids if you forget to lock the window.  In fact, my nephew fell out of a second story window and was seriously injured.

My wife and I purchased these door and window alarms (actually we purchased a few of these sets) and put them on every door and window in the home.  Whenever a window in the home is opened, a (very loud) alarm sounds.  You can set the door alarm to chime or alarm.  We always just set them to chime so we know if a kid opens the door.

You can get these awesome little inexpensive alarms for around 20 bucks on Amazon (click the link to check the current price), which is WAY WAY WAY cheaper than paying for a “real” home security ripoff system.

Secure the Sliding Glass Door

Cost: About $15

Time to Install: 10 seconds

Your sliding glass door is, unquestionably, the least secure entrance to your home. All a criminal has to do is to push up on the door from the outside, and gently push in. That lifts the door off the track and easily pushes it up over the lock catch. In seconds a criminal is in.

The fix for a sliding glass door is painfully simple, and it’ll only cost you $15.  MasterLock makes an EXCELLENT dual-function bar to protect sliding doors.  Get it on Amazon by clicking here.  You can even cut a chunk of a dowel to put in the track if you want to go cheaper.

The reason I like this bar instead of a dowel is (1) it looks a lot nicer, and (2) it has a pad on it so it doesn’t scratch the heck out of the casing around your sliding glass door like a dowel can.

Watch this 30 second video to see how easy it is to break into a sliding glass door…

Fake Home Security System Sign

Cost: About $10

Time to install: 2 minutes

There are a lot of homes that criminals to rob.  They have thousands to choose from.  So anything you can do to the exterior of your home to warn criminals that your home is not a good choice may be enough to convince them to go elsewhere.

I have a fake security system sign in my front yard for exactly this purpose.  It gives me the biggest benefit to a home security system (deterrence) without the ridiculous monthly cost.

Check the current price of the home security system sign that’s available on Amazon.

Dummy Home Security Camera

Cost: About $10

Time to install: 15 minutes

Similar to the fake security system sign, the fake camera serves the same deterrent purpose.  Placing 2 or three of these fake security cameras conspicuously around your home can be a strong deterrent.

I especially like this camera because it has a little blinking LED light.  For me, the light lasted about 9 months before I had to change the AA battery.  I had 3 of these around my home when I lived in a bit of a rougher neighborhood.  Did the trick! Several neighbors had break-ins  and vandalism and we never did.

Get this dummy security camera over on Amazon.

Doorstop Alarm

Cost: $10

Time to install: 1 minute

This one probably won’t be a good fit for most homeowners, but if you live in a very high crime area or if you travel alone in hotels (especially women!), then a doorstop alarm is a clever invention.

It does about what you’d expect it to do.  You set it behind the closed door.  If anyone forces the door open, the alarm sounds.  You can also use it as a normal doorstop by turning it off.

Get the doorstop alarm over on Amazon.

Outdoor Motion-Sensing Spotlight

Cost: About $15 for the one I like

Time to install: 10 minutes

I’ll start this one by saying that this product has 5 THOUSAND 5-star reviews on Amazon, and I’ll add my 5 stars to that.

You simply screw this into the side of your home or wherever you want to place it.  It’s powered by batteries so you don’t need an electrician–and the batteries last a LONG time in this thing.

Anytime motion is sensed at night, the spotlight turns on.  Criminals don’t like the attention it puts on them, and will likely find a darker home to rob.

It’s also kind of handy that when you walk outside at night, it lights things up for you.  It’s pretty bright, too.

Get the Mr. Beams light on Amazon.

Luke Miller

Luke Miller is a writer, real estate professional, rental property investor, and home renovation enthusiast based in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up in Iowa in a self-sufficient household where he learned the skills to do everything from plumbing, drywall, to basic handyman repair for everyday problems. He enjoys sharing his vast experience and his continuous learning with fellow DIY enthusiasts.

Recent Posts