Privacy and Security: Make Your Home A Fortress

by Sarah Ruhlman
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It’s hard to believe that thousands of years ago, humans lived in communal buildings. The idea is frankly astonishing to those of us accustomed to 21st-century living. Sharing a space with your family is difficult enough, never mind the entire village knowing your business.

Privacy is something to be treasured, no matter what founders of social media network’s think. Most of us see our home as the last vestige of privacy, the one thing that we can keep hidden from the world. People may be able to wander into our offices or peer through our car windows, but home is strictly a place where it’s invitation only. We love having somewhere that separates us from the rush of the world and the rat race, where we can kick off our shoes and relax. The phrase “behind closed doors” is ever-more appropriate, as we share some aspects of our lives on social media, and keep the rest just for us.

It can be difficult to bring about the sense of ultimate privacy if you live close to a road or pavement. The temptation for people to glance in is all too much- you’ve probably even done it yourself. We’re all guilty peering through windows to check out the decor or even what they’re watching on TV.

Privacy is not just about having time away from the world, of course. It’s also essential to protect your home and those within it. Security is a constant concern for the modern homeowner; even if you leave in a safe neighborhood, no house is immune to burglary. Sensible precautions are always advised. This is important if you have expensive items on show through windows, such as televisions and game consoles. You wouldn’t leave a laptop in a car in a mall parking space, so why advertise the availability of valuable electronics in your home?

The security issue becomes even more paramount if you go away from home for an extended period. No one wants to go through the nagging concern of enjoying a vacation while simultaneously wondering if the house is okay. By ensuring you are well-protected, you can shut off and relax.

The needs may seem different on the surface, but mastering privacy and security can be seen as killing two birds with one stone. The desires complement one another. You may find that resolving one means that the other is taken care of at the same time. After all, their primary principle is the same- your house is for your eyes only and is of no interest to anyone else.

Below are a couple of methods that can bring a solution to both issues, from simple choices to something a little more heavy duty.


Go Natural: Greenery To Give You Space

Author JK Rowling earned the ire of her neighbors when she erected huge trees to block the view of her Edinburgh home, but the concept is sound.

The great thing about planting trees and hedges is that they can go anywhere you want. Whether you want to shield a low window or go the Rowling route and block the entire front of your property, the plant exists that will let you.

You can also select a type of greenery based on your requirements. Thick, dense trees will dull noise from a road while anything with thorns will be an extra deterrent for a burglar.

There’s also the environmental aspects- a few more trees in the world is never going to go amiss.

Shuttered Doors

It’s a shame that shutters went out of fashion with the advent of windows, as there is no doubting their efficacy. Rather than the old wood shutters of provincial France, modern examples are designed with absolute security in mind.

For example, electronic roller shutters give you total control of who can see into what part of your home. You can also control them from inside. You can install them over any window, which is useful if you have ever had issues with windows being broken by kids playing baseball. No more picking up shards of glass and accepting apologies from parents!

While these types of shutters may make the inside of your house dark, you only need to install them on the street-facing side. They can also be used over doors, or any other area you wish to protect. You may be able to install them yourself, but it may be wise to hire someone else to make sure it’s done right.

Where these come into their own is when you go on vacation. Seeing a house securely locked up with shutters is going to bring two things to the mind of a potential thief. First, those look like they’d be tough to tangle with, and maybe another house will be less well secured? Second, if that’s how serious the homeowners takes security, they almost certainly have an alarm- time to find another target.



It may seem like an expensive measure, and no one is going to try and pretend otherwise. Gates are perhaps the option to look for if you have tried everything else, and are still getting unwanted visitors.

A gated driveway is a luxury, but it doesn’t have to be a fortress. You can find decorative options which will both look good and serve a function.

If you want to bump up the security aspect, installing a CCTV system you can see from inside the house will do the job. Not only will you have a privacy screen between your home and the outside world, but there’s also the total control over who comes inside.

If the cost is prohibitive, try one of the aforementioned options and see if it does what you need. It might be tempting to jump to the most robust solution, but there’s also a chance it will be overkill. Gates require a lot of money and maintenance, so don’t rush into the decision without knowing it suits you and your family.

Take all of the above into consideration and see what is going to work for your home. Remember, with any choice; regular maintenance is essential. You want whichever method you choose to work as well in ten years as it does on the first day it is installed, so run checks to ensure all is as should be. Good luck!

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