Beware, DIY home renovators, remodelers, house flippers, and new homebuyers. Robberies are increasingly linked to construction materials, taken right off the job site. Construction sites lose on average $5,000 in supplies and equipment. While much of this takes place on larger build sites (residential, commercial and industrial), smaller, project sites are also at risk for theft and vandalism. Keep this in mind when you add-on to your home, replace your roof, or build out your deck/patio.
There are several reasons why this may be the case:
- Rising cost of copper: The cost of copper is on the rise, making it a hot commodity for thieves. It is also easily available on many construction sites in the piping, wiring and fixtures, which are frequently left unattended.
- Easy access: Building materials are often left out, either within the framework of the new construction or in the yard, with little monitoring.
- Vacancy: Depending on the size and scope of your renovations, you may not be living onsite during the construction period. As a result, your home becomes more susceptible to intrusion, simply by being empty.
- Workers common: When construction is taking place, neighbors almost expect to see workers and strangers around your home. This makes it easy for someone who may not belong there to approach your home.
So how do you fight back, and make sure theft doesn’t interfere with your remodeling job? Below are three quick tips.
1. Secure Your Site and Materials
Always lock your property before leaving it. In Texas, 90% of residential copper theft resulted from the material being left staged in the home or unlocked. If making renovations to entranceways, consider door and window guards as placeholders in the empty spaces until final products are installed, instead of leaving the property open. These metal frames sit in place of the door or window, as a way to deter break in and intrusion. If materials need to reside outside of the home—in the yard for example, lock them up individually or put security sensors on them to trigger an alarm if disturbed.
2. Consider Video Monitoring
Video monitoring lets you keep an eye on your property from afar simply by logging into the cameras via your smartphone or web browser. This way, you can check in at regular intervals, even if you aren’t always on site. For added security, sync with motion-triggered sensors (attached to your building supplies) to get notified via email or text if anything is amiss. Videos are also archived, should an incident occur and you need to refer back later.
3. Keep Neighbors Informed
Talk with your neighbors. Tell them the names of the construction companies that you contracted and what their uniforms look like (if applicable). Give them a heads up on days when you expect work to take place. If you’re going at the project alone, let them know that too. This will help them notice if something doesn’t look right.
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