Protecting your home from the outside in is an opportunity missed by a lot of homeowners. Landscaping is often thought of as being something beautiful to look at. It can certainly enhance a property’s value with a well-planned design and a good quality installation.
A beautiful landscape, beyond the native plants, ornamental trees and flowering shrubs, can give you an invaluable opportunity for protecting your home when you include a few beneficial steps in planning your landscape design.
Landscaping, believe it or not, does have a direct impact on your home’s security so take steps to make sure you and your family are a little safer with these suggestions. Remember, just because you live in a nice neighborhood, where nothing ever happens, that doesn’t mean nothing ever will.
1. Where Your Trees Are Planted Makes a Difference in Protecting Your Home
The planting of tall trees and shrubs next to your home provides an inviting screen for any would be intruders who may be casing your neighborhood. It not only allows an intruder to get between the tree and your house, hidden from street view and street lights, but tall trees can allow access to second floor windows or a deck, if climbed.
If you choose to have trees near your home, plant them with a sufficient gap of at least 7 or 8 feet from your home’s foundation to deter intruders. If your home has mature trees close to the house, consider trimming back your branches to create an acceptable gap.
2. Protecting Your Home Benefits When Lighting Your Way to Safety
Landscape accent lighting can create a very dramatic effect when drawing attention to special features of your property. Not only does it offer suggestion of the daytime beauty your landscape holds, but it can also be a great deterrent to intruders.
Combining accent lighting and up lighting with motion sensor flood lights will make a stealth approach by an intruder almost impossible. Consider adding landscape lighting, when protecting your home, to a pathway, stair or placing lights under your deck when planning your landscape.
3. Another Reason for Manicured Lawns
The reason we install lawn areas around our home is not only for aesthetic value but also to provide a venue for family recreation and entertainment. It provides an attractive backdrop for the rest of our landscape and gives back to the environment by stabilizing the soil beneath it against wind and rain.
When your lawn or landscape is not maintained it sends a message to any potential intruders that your home may be an easy target. Any overgrowth, or uncut grass, suggests a homeowner may not be in residence or out of town. Performing regular maintenance, even if by a neighbor or professional service while gone, will not only preserve the health of your plants, keep your yard looking beautiful but will also deter those who would take advantage of you while you’re away.
If you are really adverse to lawn care but still want the look of a manicured lawn, consider using artificial or synthetic turf for portions of your yard. The quality of these options on the market today are superior as is the look.
4. Choosing “Angry” Plants for Protecting Your Home
Law enforcement recommends not planting, or allowing any bushes or shrubs near your property to grow above three feet. Large bushes clumped together can offer an easy hiding opportunity for a would-be intruder who chooses to work his or her way around your property.
Consider any of a number of “angry” plant species that deceive with their beauty but bite when disturbed.
Plants or shrubs that have thorns, spines, or are on the prickly side are frequently used as a deterrent against intruders when planted below windows, around a deck or your property’s perimeter.
5. Where Do You Keep Your Tools?
Leaving tools, ladders or gardening equipment in plain sight is not protecting your home and is about as bad as leaving your garage door open when you’re away. Why invite an intruder to take that ladder you’ve left leaning against the house in the backyard to explore the bathroom window you’ve left open on the second floor?
It’s best to keep yard equipment out of sight either in your garage or consider adding a small modern shed to your design if space permits. Storage sheds come in a variety of sizes and types and can even be made to look like a smaller version of your home’s design and theme…not only are they lockable but they free up space in your garage.
6. The Downside of a Privacy Fence
One of the benefits of a privacy fence is…well, privacy. Many people, particularly those that may live along a busy street will put up high fences, tall shrubs or trees for screening and road (or neighbor) noise reduction.
The downside to protecting your home with this option is that a potential intruder, like the trees around your home’s perimeter, can easily be screened from street view and street lights. If privacy fencing or screening is a must, then add to your design other security measures such as motion sensored flood lighting to compensate for the security you lose with the screening.
7. Why Decorative Landscape Rock Works in Protecting Your Home
Adding mulch around your garden is not only an attractive look but benefits your plants, trees and shrubs as well. Mulch next to your house, however, provides a quiet walking surface for potential intruders.
Just as attractive and a better security option around your home’s perimeter is decorative landscape rock.
Landscape rock comes in many colors, aids in site drainage but also works to control weeds which in turn cuts down on your maintenance. While landscape rock is a little more expensive than mulch up front, it will last longer.
8. Policing Your Patio
Patios and decks are traditionally built right next to the home, mainly for convenience of the homeowner. However, doing this provides an easy platform for an intruder to approach your home from behind.
Consider adding a new patio or deck away from direct access to the back of your home yet still attached by design through a landscaped pathway or pavers. Or, consider adding a gazebo to your backyard for entertainment and family gatherings.
Protecting your home to keep it secure doesn’t mean you need to turn it into some kind of high-walled, barbed wire fortress. There’s a wide range of design possibilities available that will give you the beautiful landscape you envision but with the quiet unassuming benefits that will help you protect your home.
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