Landscaping Tips For Increasing Home Security

For many people, becoming a homeowner is a dream that requires years of hard work to turn into a reality. But this work is hardly complete once the papers are signed and the furniture has been moved in. No, there are mortgage payments to consider and general maintenance that needs to be performed. There’s also the notion of security, which every homeowner must bear in mind. But while insurance and alarm systems are crucial, there’s another way folks can bolster the overall security of their house and make it unattractive to intruders – landscaping.

Few would think that an activity so closely equated with gardening could be very helpful in deterring unwanted visitors. However, there are strategic design schemes and yard implements that can make the exterior of the home a veritable mine field for criminals. Here are just a few such ideas:

Consider Fencing

The first and most obvious security feature in a person’s yard is a fence. But not all of them are created equal. Some fences are merely decorative while others are designed to keep people out. Those who do opt for the latter should consider fencing that is difficult to climb, such as vinyl, or that has a high durability and intimidation factor, such as iron. Above all else, it is important to ensure any fencing scheme doesn’t inadvertently allow for dark corners nooks that criminals can exploit to their advantage.

Utilize Open Spaces

Speaking of hiding spots – criminals love them. That’s why it’s important for people to create as much open space around their home as possible. To this end, the closer they can get their yard to looking like a soccer field, the safer they will ultimately be. But this doesn’t necessarily mean forgoing plant life altogether. Homeowners can trim existing hedges down to three feet in height and ensure that branches from any trees near the home aren’t hanging lower than six feet off the ground.

Eschew Mulch

Flip through any gardening periodical or visit any home-improvement website and the landscaping tips on hand almost always involve using mulch. And this makes sense: the stuff is a great way to foster plant growth. But if exterior security is the principal concern, then it is best to forgo mulch in favor of gravel both on driveways as well as around any plants or flowers near home windows. This way, if a potential intruder decides to go sneaking around outside the house, the crunch of feet on stone will likely give him away.

Motion-Sensor Lighting

This may sound like a high-tech security solution, but these days security landscape lighting can be purchased relatively cheaply. And the best way to utilize these systems is by strategically placing them outside of the garage door as well as near doors, windows and fencing.

These are just a few ideas homeowners can implement to keep unwanted visitors at bay. Because if the home is to be viewed as a castle, then the exterior should be seen as the first line of defense, and making it as unattractive as possible to the criminal eye is the best way to ensure piece of mind.

Kiersten Gurry is a freelance writer in Flagstaff, Arizona. She writes on a wide variety of topics in the home improvement industry specializing in ornamental artwork. In her spare time she writes for

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