Transforming Your Home Into A Fortified Castle

As we increasingly move into an uncertain and dangerous world, for many of us our homes will be our last refuge of safety and security.

While the ordinary home at a minimum provides shelter from the elements, the fortification of the home will become (and is becoming) an important and even crucial aspect to deter or defend against human elements who wish to steal or do harm.

The environment is already dangerous to an extent. It will become ‘orders of magnitude’ worse during societal collapse conditions. Will your home be safe from the elements then?

For example, lets say that society (for whatever reason) has crumbled into social chaos which has badly affected the ability to acquire one’s daily needs. Vast numbers of people have subsequently become hungry and desperate due to the lack of reliable supply and distribution. Maybe there has been some help but it has not been enough. Or maybe the help has run out or has run low. The government has not showed up in the community and there has been no definitive word whether or not they will show up at all with truckloads of food and other needed supplies.

Those who are inclined to be more aggressive will be out first on the streets and neighborhoods looking to resupply – always on the lookout for food. As others become increasingly hungry they too will hit the streets in search of food and supplies.

One might expect that all grocery stores, convenience stores, etc.. will be hit first. It won’t take long to clean them out. Then what?

They will begin prowling homes. Even the homes in your neighborhood. Even YOUR home.

How will they do it? Some, especially in the beginning, will knock on doors asking for handouts. If they receive a handout, I suspect that they will soon be back for more. I’m not suggesting one way or the other what to do – that’s a personal choice – I’m just saying…

Additionally, it won’t be long after the first knock on the door — there will be yet another knock, this time from someone else. And so on… What then?

It may eventually reach a point where there will be no knock on the door as the street danger increases. With little or no warning the takers will be on the hunt and may break into your neighbor’s home and then your home to “take”.

It’s bad enough that home burglary is a problem already (obviously much worse in some areas than others). However when you couple that particular bad element with desperation, there’s going to be a whole new set of problems…

And in fact, it will likely get violent.

People today are already on the edge. When I travel outside of my rural area I especially see the aggression, the bad behavior, the rudeness. When these same people become increasingly desperate, there are going to be fireworks. And it won’t take long.

How are we to defend against it from the standpoint of our homes?

First, obtain your own long-term food storage supplies so that you will not become one of them!

That said, how does one turn their home into a fortified castle?


While many of us might envision a tall stone castle surrounded by a moat with a drawbridge (complete with fortified defensive batteries), this is likely beyond the budget!

Therefore a few thoughts come to mind:

Absolutely #1 in my mind is to move out of densely populated neighborhoods or regions. Those places are going to become incredibly dangerous if and when societal conditions cross the threshold of civility to social chaos.

While your commute to work may be longer, living more rural – outside the madness – may be the difference between those who make it and those who don’t. Of course there is LOTS MORE to it than that, but at least you will stand a chance.

Gate, Fencing: If you have your own long driveway or road that leads to your home, consider installing a gate. Something solid and well secured – like a big heavy swing bar crossing the road. You might normally leave it open, but if a time comes when you want to deter people or vehicles, there is nothing like a big fat message that is sent when one approaches a closed gate (coupled with appropriate signage for more effect).

Doors: The first level of securing one’s home is to ‘harden’ your doors and locks. You might even replace certain doors with stronger doors. Long screws in heavy duty striker plates that go all the way into the framing. Install a deadbolt to augment your existing door lock. Use a door security bar which is very, very effective from the door being bashed in.

A dog: They bark. It’s like having another body on security.

Cameras: Real or even fake security cameras. They will psychologically deter. Not only will they deter when attached to your house, but installing near the entrance to your property sends a loud message.

Window barriers: You might consider securing 1st-floor windows if it really gets bad… Plywood (or other materials) to use as window barriers (especially for 1st floor) for when it really hits the fan… though it won’t stop bullets.

Bullet resistant walls: In fact most homes are like soft butter to bullet penetration. Think about how you might go about establishing a safe area to defend from. What materials might you use to provide some level of bullet resistance? Here’s an article on Bullet Resistant Wall Construction.

Arm yourself: For goodness sake, always be armed during these conditions.
Handgun on your person and rifle within reach.

Exterior defensible positions: Rock walls? Other? Can you implement hardened positions to defend one’s castle?

Security checkpoint: The idea is to stop the bad element before they have the opportunity to get close to your castle. Intercept others coming to your home at a checkpoint away from the home (e.g. at the beginning of the road-driveway). Establish a defensible position there if possible or applicable to your site layout.

Night Vision: If collapse conditions become truly awful to the extent of total SHTF, night vision will be a must. Those who don’t have it will not make it against those who do. Period. It is a game changer and a big force multiplier. They are expensive. However those who are prepping for level-3 and level-4, find a way to make it happen.

One of the best sources for night vision is from Bob over at, and if you ever purchase from him, let him know I said hello from Modern Survival Blog. I visited his place earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed the stay.
U.S. MADE NIGHT VISION, Helmets & Accessories

I’ve reached 1,000 words and have thrown out some ideas to help get the wheels turning. Now it’s your turn. How might we transform our homes into castles while preparing for a level-3 | level-4 collapse?


  1. I currently live in an apartment building in a small city and probably will be for a couple more years. Home security is something I think about a lot. The building is an old Mill so it is actually pretty solid with very heavy fencing around the parking. Long term goal is to move back to a rural community in a few years but for now I have to plan for situations here.

    My biggest fear is actually fire. In any type of emergency situation, I don’t have control of the other people living in my building. While I can keep them out of my own apartment, I cant stop fools from being fools in other apartments and if a fire gets started, half my preps could be lost.

    Until we can move, I do as much as I can to improve my skills. Absolute worst case would be bailing out to the wilds. I still really look forward to when I can get out of the cities.

    1. Peanut, and to anyone else. Film is great, however for the maximum amount of security, the film needs to be installed behind the frame. The glass is unprotected at the edges and the glass will break. Mind you it is still more difficult to remove the broken glass.

      I picked up an iron gate for free to install inside over our Dutch doors and covered with plywood. 3/4″ plywood with metal stud framing pre-cut for all other windows. I have several hundred sandbags ready to fill for exterior walls. I just roll back our fake lawn and I have plenty of 1/4″ minus gravel. I also have carpet tack strips for the fences and nails sharpened ready for pieces of plywood.

      1. Papa

        Speaking of carpet tack, I have strips of carpet tack nailed to the inside top of my privacy fence with the tacks pointed up. If anyone were to grab hold of the top of the fence and try to climb over, they would grab hold of those sharp tacks and — ouch.

        1. That’s a great idea… I have lots of extra tack. I know how I’ll deploy it now.

        2. I have a wide manual-rolling gate across my driveway. While the gate itself will certainly discourage access, it is still possible for someone to climb over over if they really reeeally wanted to. So I bought a couple boxes of longer flat-sided stainless steel horseshoe nails (of all things), then sharpened the ends with a dremel wheel. Then expoxied the nails, flat side against the square tubing of the gate and pointy end up. Then painted them black to match the gate, cuz aesthetics still counts for sumpin. End result: it is now impossible to grab a bar to climb over the gate without getting a palm pierced by a horsheshoe nail. Quite serviceable, if I do say so myself.

  2. Transforming my home. I am living in the city. I had a plan to sell my house and get out of town when I retired but when that day arrived my wife got cold feet. My house is over 55 years old, cedar shake exterior. I would love to build concrete walls but can’t afford to. I have installed metal bars on all openings but I know when the SHTF we are ultimately going to die. We are getting to old to bug out. Have ample supply of preps. Plenty of ammo. Although I always think we need more. I just feel like I could have done better. I pray we never have to face what I fear. I hope this will help convince somebody not to wait for to long to make your move. Everyday we are getting closer to what ever is coming.

  3. There is a REASON that 3rd world houses where frequent violence is common have concrete construction and bars-grates over the windows/doors.

    Instead of trying to rebuild your soft home into a fortress look into the “50.00 and Up underground home” book and build a “Root Cellar” with a plan to rebuild it expand it into a home and green house. Personally I would also see a need for a sub level below for water storage and other items. A hand pump well maybe?

    NH Michael

  4. This is an excellent article and wonder how many in the past have turned their noses up, because it wasn’t plausible that it would happen then. Over the years I have signed on to sites to offer info, Like Hide In Plain Site.
    How about those beautiful yard creations made of stone, railroad ties, and other building material that can become fortified firing positions. Pave stone and sand filled cinder block that can be assembled where you need it.

    The subject of Home Defense and Alert Gismo’s is very, very rarely discussed in depth. Most are afraid of getting in trouble, or might inadvertently injure our love ones. New or used body armor is a plus. Yes I did soft plate the truck and installed 2 plates. Use it to go from/carry from the truck to the safe room.

    I will pass this tip along.

    You might want a good set of Goggles. Wrap around type To keep flying glass and other debris from your eyes. As projectiles moves through the building it will create a fragmentation hazard beside you getting shot. How about 50 rounds going through you Nice Plate dinner China or Stem Crystal glassware that have been safe placed in the china cabinet for years.

    A good set of work gloves and a pair of work shoes too.

  5. For the night vision, if you can’t afford whatever expensive gimmick is “in” this week, please consider alternatives. Some herbs can (!) increase night vision exponentially, to the point of making regular daylight painful. Also, if you’re in a brightly lit house you are essentially night-blind. Intruders are going to expect any defenders to be IN the house.

    1. An inexpensive flare pistol (walmart sporting goods) for a boat for instance will help level the playing field. Zeroes out most NVDs and lights the area. Trip flares are nice too.

  6. I believe that the building code needs to changed for new construction. With the evil cult that seeks to destroy us, with organised crime revolving around the illegal drug trade, plus more violent street crime, the taxpaying citizens need to be permitted to defend themselves. The more violence against my people, the more I stick to my own demographic. Good fences make good neighbors. Good bullet proof houses make live neighbors.

  7. This is great because I’ve been thinking about the matter recently due to a very real threat from an unwell individual who has been making threats against my family.

    Last night I returned from a 2 week trip to Russia and Armenia. I visited friends at their homes. In every case the front door was heavy gauge, reinforced steel, perhaps two inches thick, mounted upon 3 unequally spaced, very heavy barrel, sleeve-beating hinges where the top 2 hinges are closer together than the bottom 3rd hinge. This ostensibly makes the door more resistant to hinge side kick downs, also the hinge halves did not face each other when closed. The frame side of the hinge had the useless center material milled out, so that the smaller inner hinge plate, when door was closed, nested inside of the milled cut out of the opposing hinge. With the door closed these nested section provided far greater strength than the plate hings you find at Home Depot.

    The outer face of the door had a simulated wood grain finish (looked really good), that was also steel, welded to the main door core. There were three primary latch group assemblies. Primary was a single, 14mm x 14mm spring loaded slide bolt that set into a square receiver in the frame. The secondary lock mechanism was operated by a steel knob inside, and a High security deadbolt-type lock on the outside. Except it didn’t throw one deadbolt, it threw THREE 12mm round bolts, spaced several inches apart, into matching receivers in the door frame.

    The tertiary locking mechanism was operated by a big old-fashioned skeleton key, that drove a rectangular 12mm x 30mm steel bolt into a reinforced sleeve in the upper part of the door frame.

    * I WANT ONE – NOW!! * Has anyone seen this?? Know how/where to get it?

    Even the fifth floor tilt-in windows were high security, with a quarter turn handle that operated 3 control rods spaced at 90 degrees apart. The other end of each control rod, in-turn, caused a pinching mechanism in the top and both side of the window frame to open and closed, pinching two opposing 45 degree ramp slides into and apart from a mating machined block in the outer frame, all with a simple quarter twist of the handle.

    Saw a few other clever ideas for home security too. I’d love to find someone state-side importers who sell such vault-like doors and windows.

    1. McGyver 68
      HI, glad to have you back. Sorry to hear about the duffus down the street giving you a migraine again.

      Did you take photos of the hinges, locking bolts on these doors? If you are unable to locate a seller/creator you could find a blacksmith or a tool & dye person with high expertise to create what you want.

      Do I hear the sounds a new business venture just waiting to happen…let us know.

      There is a business that this might be something they can use, will have to check with them later, they are not available at this time.

  8. For those of us who may live in a home with a “crawl space”, don’t forget to secure that small door as well. If anyone has good ideas, I’m listening.
    luv ya’ll, Beach’n

    1. I’ve been thinking about how I would defend my house all by myself. If things go real bad, I couldn’t do it. All they would have to do is set my house on fire and I would have to try to escape out the back door. Hopefully, they would realize that they would gain nothing, since all my preps would be destroyed.

      For a lesser intrusion, I have been considering 3M film, but it is supposed to be hard to install by yourself — and pretty expensive. I have several bookcases and dressers that could be shoved up against my windows. I would have to take everything out of them so that I could move them and then, once the chests, etc. were moved, I would have to put everything back again and put something in front of them to keep them from being knocked over. My two biggest heaviest bookcases happen to be located near my two most vulnerable windows (the biggest one is the picture window in my living room; the other one is located in my spare bedroom in the back of the house and completely invisible to my neighbors — so that might be a tempting target.) Each of those two bookcases is exactly the right size to exactly cover the window it is next to. Those bookcases are too heavy for me to move by myself, even empty, and I would need help.

      The books would provide some protection against bullets. I don’t think the clothes in the dressers would offer any protection, but bullets would certainly go right through my walls, anyway. The only protection against that would be the fact that the invaders wouldn’t know exactly where I am.

      Someone somewhere suggested fish hooks hung at eye level in your yard in case someone came through your yard in the dark; I bought a bunch of fish hooks, just in case, to hang from my clothesline. There is a river nearby with fish, so the fish hooks could do double duty.

      Empty pop cans with small rocks, pennies, bell, or other noisemakers inside and hung from a line strung at various places in the yard would provide some warning of an intrusion. I also have a lot of solar motion lights in both front and back yard. I have some of those battery operated door stops that squeal loudly if anyone opens the door.

      I have a six foot privacy fence around my house, except for the front, where the maximum legal height is 42 inches. Soon there will be a similar fence around my new lot next door. The people behind me just put a six foot privacy fence around their property, and the people next to them also have a six foot wooden privacy fence. So on two sides someone would have to climb over two or three six foot fences to get to my yard. On the third side is a parking lot for a 4-plex. An intruder trying to climb the fence would be fully visible to the people in the 4-plex. Intruders probably would try to break into those units first, so I might have help in the fight. That leaves the street side, with its 42″ chain link fence. I have a chain and padlock to secure the gate, but that is still the most vulnerable entry.

      1. DaisyK

        in front, where it is least protected,
        could you put

        some Sea Buckthorn (both male and female), — have huge thorns

        some large thorned roses?

        1. Anon,

          I have started a hedge of burning bushes. There is also a patch of raspberries in the corner.

          I planted them about 4 years ago. The burning bushes are supposed to be 5-8 feet wide and 5-8 feet high so they should have been very high and wide by now, but they almost died and are just now coming back. In November 2014, I broke my leg and was unable to let my dog out the back yard due to the stairs. So I had to let him out the front to do his business. Only when the bushes almost died did I realize that he was urinating on those bushes. Now they are about 2 feet high and there is lots of space between them.

          I hadn’t heard of buckthorn. I just now looked it up. I was looking for something thorny, but no one suggested buckthorn. I might try some of that. I tried to find roses, but I am in Zone 4a — some years Zone 3. (It sometimes gets to minus 35 here. Record low was minus 43.) Roses are mostly Zone 5 or above. Maybe I will try to get some buckthorn bushes and plant them in the spaces between the burning bushes. Thanks.

          I have raspberry bushes all along my north fence. And in the new lot next door that I just purchased, I have about 25 lilac seedlings planted and about 23 Nanking cherry tries — alternated to eventually form a double hedge. So far, one of the lilacs and one of the cherries has died.

          In my front yard, I have plans to string some chains across from fence to fence, making one more barrier for an intruder to hop over. And there will be eye-height fish hooks strung across in other places and noisemakers that will sound if any of the chains or wires are disturbed.

        2. Sounds beautiful. On two sides of my property is abandoned acreage overgrown with brush, vines,old fencing, and lots and lots of poison ivy. We have to use a lot of weed killer to keep it at bay, but I don’t see a human having an easy time getting through it. We have blackberries on the other side, but nothing in the front.
          Dogs are the best security alarms. Even if they sleep on the job, they sure are aware of anything approaching.

    2. Beach’n

      I read a post form our friend NRP about his crawl space and have deduced that is where he keeps his TP stash. He probably has it guarded by Rattle Snakes.

    3. Beach’n — I wrote an earlier response but it went to the netherworld, along with another comment, or Ken’s put me on a time-out. lol
      We have a crawl space under our kitchen and there is a cut-through that provides access into the main area of our basement. The crawlspace access from the outside is hidden from view by our back porch.My husband covered it in wallboard, but I am wanting it opened for an emergency exit. He doesn’t want to open it up. I think he’s afraid of creepy-crawlies like spiders, not homo sapiens.
      I would think that if we did put in an interior access door, we would use metal rebar or something similar, drilled into the frame to prevent an easy access from the outside.
      I hope this comment shows up…

  9. I live remote on 45 acres of limited pasture, mostly heavily wooded, rugged ridges and deep hollows. My home and outbuildings occupy the highest elevation in several miles. Sounds like it would be easily defensible, but it has some weaknesses. The county maintained, unpaved road cuts my property in half and is about 100yds from my home (concealed by woods). A private access road for land locked properties behind me runs about 200ft from my home, dug out from the side of hill ridge where I live. My one and a half acre “yard” is barbed wire fenced around the perimeter with a gated drive.

    Like most of you here, I’ve studied and fretted of how I would defend my home if things go bad south. I’m a hunter, not a new prepper hunter in training, but a life long hunter. I asked myself this question, how would I bag a Dennis? How would I bag a Dennis, knowing he will be armed and proficient and very capable of fighting back? My answer? I would ambush him from cover when he responded to the stimulus to step out the door of his house (rock thrown onto porch, his dog barking, even someone shouting or making some other commotion). I would do this at night, under the cover of darkness.

    How would Dennis, the hunted, defend against this hunting tactic? Locate every hide, place of cover and concealment within line of sight of those doorways and go nocturnal. Ambush the ambusher, using those danger spots you have located. Do some prep to make them less obvious, but more comfortable for short term occupation (guard duty). Create trails through the underbrush to route potential evil-doers away from your hide, but inside your engagement zone. Install early warning devices (don’t have to be expensive, improvise).

    This is not my only target hardening, but is among my primary defense preps to implement under dire circumstances. Living remote, as I do, causes me to worry that barricading myself in my “fortress” may result in my “fortress” becoming my inescapable coffin. I do well in the woods, hopefully better than my adversaries.

    1. maybe it would be better to try and see if Dennis Is Capable of being a Friend instead of just assuming that each of you are out to kill each other. I am buying 30 acres in a remote area and cerntainly don’t want to consider everyone an enemy.

      1. Old timer,

        Wholeheartedly agree.

        The discussion, at least I thought, was defending the home from attack after a catastrophic, life as usual, disrupting event. My suggestions were for night-time defense against intruders. I might suggest if you buy that 30 secluded acres and you move there, and an shtf event occurs, don’t set out at night through the woods to someone’s farmstead, unannounced, hoping to make new friends.

        Please don’t confuse me with someone with a “shoot first, ask questions later” attitude. I’m anything but. I’ve got extensive experience with “ne’er do wells”. In most cases a day-time intruder is much easier to discourage than those who operate under the cover of darkness. Daytime, they usually do not expect nor want a confrontation. Night-time evil-doers are usually on a mission to take their objective no matter what they encounter. The ambush post is not just for employing deadly force, but for observing the intruders and hopefully, their intentions.

        If that 30 acres is in my neck of the woods, come on over and knock on my door (or holler at me out in the pasture). I get along good with my neighbors, scattered among the hills as they are. If someone suffers at my hands, trust me, no one will question the necessity of my actions.

        1. P.S.- You seem to have missed the fact that my post was suggesting that if you see yourself as being a possible target from an aggressor, try to put yourself in their mind and how they would carry out an attack, to formulate a possible defense.

  10. Well,
    Money is tight, so what we got is what we got,,, not going to be fortifying or buying anything fancy,,,it will be scrounge up what i can here on the homestead.

    1. Nailbanger I agree. I’m tired of posts about those who are buying property and everythingelse they desire. Most people are’nt as fortunate. Don’t tell us how to spend 100 dollor bills we don’t have and give us practical solutions, please. I don’t even read through posts that start with “I bought” something over 100 bucks! I’m tired of. Be real
      Randy raised in the mountains and the projects at the same time….

        1. P.S. Nailbanger. I’m a 45 yr, 4thgeneration nailbanger, the real one swat sinkum kind.

  11. This is a very good exercise to get everyone thinking!

    We have most everything covered that has been mentioned, with the exception of siting and practicing home defensive strategies from specific positions. We know of a bunch of decent spots and having the big advantage of knowing our land and the lay of the land/hills, so we could use these positions to our advantage (we also have 2-way communication which is an asset). If a crisis were to arise, we would have adjacent neighbors that would act as force multipliers, too.

    Personally, I have a fear of gang-mentality attacks with guns or from flame throwing objects like moltov cocktails. On my ‘want list’ are several more fire extinguishers for our main floor. I even think about purchasing large steel plates that could be mounted in one large interior room for a worst-case scenario. My husband listens and understands, but argues that if conditions are about to get that bad, we would leave, especially if we are by ourselves.

    Let’s think beyond our home security ‘checkpoint’ at the driveway or street’s edge. What about the road(s) leading into our homes? We have a neighbor who owns a medium-sized excavating business. He owns large equipment and many Jersey barriers that are on a back lot not far from his home place. Needless to say, those barriers would be employed to shut off our road from regular traffic if conditions warranted it. And spare equipment or some of his sea containers could also be placed into use. He is a huge asset! Anyone else have the roadway ingress/egress around their home planned for? (Even vehicles or dropped trees have value as road blocking items.)

  12. Some of us live in sparsely populated areas that offer less to marauding gangs than downtown liquor stores.

    So, what are the risks here? Look at your neighbors that know your routine, garden, house, guns, vehicles, fuel supplies, animals, driveway alarms, emergency lighting, … when the SHTF, that lustful smile on your neighbor’s face will not be for you or your DW. My plan “B” must include a departure from predictability.

    Or, when things go medieval, a siege castle would be the answer. Just look at so called “less civilized” countries and see the concrete walls around their properties. Mine would look like a normal Mexican hacienda with a gated courtyard. Given the resources, I would not be in a hole in the ground but a deceptively hard above ground structure.

  13. One of the things I had done was take the sidelight out from the front door and replaced it with 4″ glass block cemented in place. I believe it would help deter someone from smashing the window in and just unlocking the door.
    ant to let you all know they found a donor for my grand nephew. Now the critical procedures will start soon. IF I understood what my niece indicted as the plan He will get about 8 days of chemo then start the donations of marrow. She thinks about 3 weeks
    Please keep the prayers going and Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and support.

  14. Well y-all knew I was going to chime on this one, First of all let me say I have been in the construction trades for well over 45 years, and have built everything from a household shed to multi-story high-rises to banks, including a few concrete barracks and bunkers on Camp Pendleton.

    Let me tell ya, there is practically nothing that a well-trained and organized group of Mr. Borton’s cannot penetrate, even a structure short of Cheyanne Mountain. Ya could spend millions upon millions of green-backs and still come up as a loser on the Homefront.

    Now with that in mind, let me toss out a few ideas for ya all. Ken asked for ideas on Level 3 and 4, I’m going to start with Level 1. These ideas will be in addition to Ken’s.

    Level 1. Lock the dang doors and windows, Drive into the Garage (toss out all the crapo that filled the Garage and use it for what it’s meant for, the CAR/TRUCK) Close the Garage door BEFORE you unlock the car door. Keep your eyes open and keep your mind sharp, walking in a store or anywhere in a fog will make you a target very FAST. Turn of the friggen Dumb-Phone. Be aware of what’s going on and stay the heck home if there is a disturbance, do NOT go to the store for those last little things, may be the last trip you ever take.

    Level 2. Personally I don’t have much faith in gates and fencing, there are not a lot of gates a 6000# truck at 40+ MPH is going to stop. Additionally not many F&G’s are going to stop a gang, Barbwire and chain link is easy to cut and pull back. Get some sort of early warning sensors for around the property. Knowing that someone is approaching is 100 times better than a fence; Fences will keep out the honest people, maybe.
    A good lock system and strong doors are good; window covering/film is good at this level. It will buy you some time to prepare for an intruder. But ya might remember, as Ken said, walls are paper thin, and will NOT stop even a 22 most of the time, all alone a 7.62.
    Make dang sure you have a deterrent system at hand and remember if being shot at through a wall, the fire can go both ways.
    Your best defense at a level 2, is your knowledge of the area and the home, now the ‘blind’ spots in your home and use them, as the outside.

    Level 3. Fortifying the house is very expensive, yes you can get Bullet Resistant sheathing and install it all over the home, and you can replace the walls with concrete or filled block. You may install Hurricane Proof Windows and steel doors. Problem is, this will also put you in a box, and if the ‘bad-guys’ believe you have something they need-want, they will burn/gas/wait you out. Ever see a concrete wall shot with a 50? Goes right through 8” of solid concrete and makes a heck of a mess on the other side.
    Ever see a truck hit a house wall at 45MHP; I have seen the remnants of the house after the truck went totally through it. Even with reinforcement 6000# is hard to stop, and the ‘Bad-guys’ will use any means they can find. FYI, there are always ‘soft’ spots in construction, such as the windows and door areas where they are attached to the structure, yes long screws into the framing is good, but won’t stop Mr. Borton and his F-150, guaranteed. Build a ‘safe room in the basement, of inside the home someplace, make sure you have a secondary excape.

    Level 4. NOW where having fun, ya got 5-6 million for a 2000 SqFt house? I would bet there are those out there that are spending that kind of cash, Why? Let me tell ya, there is NOTHING that the .gov cannot destroy if they want in. Remember the MOAB?
    But yes home protection at his level can be had Vault like doors, 1” Bulletproof windows, 18” concrete walls, complete self-enclosed life systems (water, sewer, electricity, so on). If ya really want to live in an underground bunker, that also can be had.

    Ok, enough of that; do I agree with fortifying your home? You bet yar tush I do, but going crazy and in debt for thousands and thousands of $$$$ is not such a good idea, use you head, make good decisions on what you need, and for crying out loud, don’t open the door to anyone without knowing who it is..

    Everyone MUST evaluate your lifestyle and decide the best plan of action; self-protection and home security are paramount. BUT know when to walk away for a time if the area gets too hot, hit the BOL and hope your luck holds out.

    Biggest thing, like Ken said, put some distance between you and the problem, get the HELL out of the cities, masses of people will destroy an area within days, do NOT believe that you and 4 buddies can hold off 1000 starving people, ain’t going to happen I don’t care if you have 35 locks on your front door, you will lose.


    1. NRP,

      Great post. You’ve spent a career building structures, I’ve spent a career dealing with the aftermath of break-ins.

      I’ve yet to see (don’t mean they don’t exist) an un-breachable home. A determined thief/intruder will eventually succeed, given tools, time, and motivation. The cleanup afterwards is determined by the amount of force necessary to gain entry. Your efforts to prevent an intrusion dictates the time, effort, and equipment the bad guys will be willing to expend, and the size of the repairs/cleanup you will have to deal with afterwards. A shower curtain across the front door opening will keep the honest person out.

      Hardening a structure is a good thing, but, in the end you’re discouraging the timid and slowing down the determined. The only sure defense comes from the human who controls the structure and takes advantage of the time the physical barriers have bought them. That barbed wire fence stops no one, but it slows them down, both coming and going, and acts as a funnel to where you prefer they enter.

      Your own behavior can be a deterrent also. Give yourself an extra ten minutes when you’re going to leave the home for a while. Leave, circle the block or drive around the neighborhood for a few minutes and return to your home. Do this occasionally when you have no intention of being gone for an extended period. If being watched, this unpredictability is a discouragement for thieves who might have targeted you.

  15. Great article and lots of good comments/suggestions/ideas so I won’t repeat what most said. I live on rural property and have a barbed wire fence going around a sizeable amount of the property. I also keep two rolls of barbed wire and metal stakes for when the SHTF and I need to roll out more defenses. A coil of barbed wire at most stores (even Home Depot and Lowes) go for around $45. If/when SHTF it is easy to roll out (have proper gloves and a friend to help). You can then attach cans with pebbles in them for a sound alert, signs warning trespassers, etc. Most people with evil intent will look for easier pickings if they see that you had a plan and are willing to defend.

  16. I suppose if intruders want to get in during a level 3 or 4 collapse, they will find a way no matter what fortifications are made if you don’t cut them all down first, but if shtf and they come after my place in the boonies for food, they won’t find much useful when it is all hidden buried under brush piles and leaf debris in the forest, I plant camouflage food, and wild plants I cultivate along the woodsline they would never think as food. So when they find nothing, they won’t be back. After I escape and they leave, I will be.

  17. As some others have said, no place is impenetrable. Even banks get robbed. My philosophy is to make my home less desirable than the neighbor. We live in a small country town in a neighborhood that is mostly older retired people. We are the rednecks of the neighborhood. I do have the long screws in the door latches. I also have roses and blackberries planted under many of my windows(thorns). I have a shed that connects the house and garage which makes the back yard surrounded on 3 sides. I have a scrap metal pile on the other side of the garage. We have a pit bull that can be very intimidating. My wife and I both pack and there are weapons stashed all around the house. If anyone makes it into the house our bedroom door is reinforced and has a deadbolt.

  18. My 2 cents… Don’t forget most homes will burn fairly easily and more than likely bad guys will get in regardless of door locks and window film.

    If bad guys can’t get in plan B will be to burn you out.

    It is better to plan to abandon your home.

    I suggest you store supplies in hidden / buried caches around your property when the time comes. Before hand plan ahead and bury 5 gallon buckets with the screw on lids ahead of time. Then when the time comes you can fill them with what ever supplies you have. Then cover back over with natural surroundings (leaves , pine needles etc.) to camouflage.

    Be a secret squirrel.

  19. No – the barbed wire, thorn bushes, covered windows, non-combustible construction, second floor shooting positions, dogs, cable or pipe swing gate, … will not stop a determined group of criminals. But if you were a looter, are you going to tackle this place for some freeze-dried food and an arss full of lead or are you going for the easier targets down the road? That hundred mile drive to get here has taken time and fuel – you going to crash you vehicle into a building for little gain.

    I’ll mention what else someone like NRP can do or anyone with access to a backhoe – a three foot deep trench can stop most vehicles – even some larger equipment if the earth is loose. Not deep enough for a good fighting position but is excellent for back-filling the dumbasses that tried to rob you.

    1. Forgot to mention that here we have snow and cold for many months of the year – hard for the bad people to get anywhere when the roads are not plowed. How long would someone remain outside your place with temps at minus fingers and toes while you return fire from the comfort of your house? Let them try and track me in 4′ of snow while I flank them on snowshoes.

      1. hermit us
        They will freeze while you stay warm, been in your neck of the woods–loved it.

        Remember the -70 degree Siberian express? When it hit zero we sang ‘Tropical Heat WAVE’ at the office in Missoula MT. (off topic)

        1. AC

          Ya, you have to keep moving while you pee or you freeze in place. But it is great because we do not get too many ISIS types in this cold OR not too many Kalifornian beach bums.

      1. NRP

        Na, we have bears here that will dig up good smelling stuff – hate to deny them a good meal. Just make sure the trenches are at least 300 yards down wind if possible – but just the right distance for your tack driver.

        1. @ hermit us

          300 yards? Well i guess I could pull out the Ruger 10-22… kinda of a short shot ya know. :-)


        2. NRP

          I forgot you live in the bald tree-less desert. Here at 300 you have to shoot though six trees at least and at night the shots get a little more difficult – but I will practice more.

        3. @ hermit us

          Trees? That’s what a 50 is for, just go right through those suckers… LOL


        4. @ hermit us

          Slingshot is only good out to about 200, any more the wind is a factor


  20. We are lifestyle preppers. We are prepping for “anything”. When the SHTF, we will do our best with “building and finishing our castle” but at the same time we have built up our neighborhoods as well and plan to survive as a group and/or community–not as a single household. A single person or family will not survive alone…I say again will NOT survive alone. There must be a community…an Army of like-minded folk and well organized and with practiced and proven security methods to include: food storage, ready available water supplies, ammunition caches, medical supplies and trained individuals, engineering and building materials and last but not least communications across the board.
    “Si vis pacem, para bellum…If you want Peace, prepare for War”.

  21. From my own military experience I agree. Only thing is that “a man’s (and woman’s) home is their castle”. I am not one to bug out, I will defend what is mine and take out as many as I can, and if I am being overrun then the whole thing will come down with me and my kin folk. If enough people have that attitude the bad people will be in for some real hurting.

  22. There’s something to be said for a house that looks so poor and untended that no one would think it held anything valuable.

    My parents and 4 kids lived in an old one-bedroom house that had been moved from another location. It didn’t even have a foundation; there were no closets; the bathroom and kitchen were so small that you almost couldn’t turn around in them. Over time, my father added two bedrooms in the attic, installed a shower and a dishwasher, and put in copper plumbing, but he refused to do anything about the outside. The house looked like it was falling down, had no paint, a roof that looked like it leaked, etc. But he said that the County Assessor would raise his property taxes if she saw a nice-looking house. So I lived in a dump until I got married. But the taxes were low.

    So, if we can’t fortify our house against flamethrowers and Hummers that want to crash through our gate and into our house, then maybe we should make it look like there is nothing worth stealing. Scatter a bunch of trash and old clothes in the front yard to make it look like the house has already been looted. Or put up some signs saying, “Quarantine” or “Unsafe Building; Enter at Your Own Risk.”

  23. Window film is nice, but a double layer of Lexan plexiglass is nearly bulletproof for a good number of calibers. I wouldn’t cover the whole window though because I would want firing ports for returning fire.

    Additionally I would keep sandbags at the ready so I can line them up against the wall under the windows for cover. Also keep a nice clean line of fire on the property and create kill zone traps, places that naturally funnel the enemy where you want to engage them on your terms.

    Having stacks of sandbags outside the home for fighting positions is a little unsightly but you can get a similar effect from very large potted plants or high raised bed gardens. Just be aware that if the enemy gets close enough they could be used against you.

    Tin roofing and brick walls help a lot against the fire threat to a decent degree of protection.

    Breading rattlesnakes is also a pretty good deterrent, plus if times get bad enough you can also eat them.

    Another approach I’ve also heard before is to just make your house appear as though it’s already been looted and/or burnt out.

  24. @ 0ldhomesteder

    3400? Holy ship!!!! Iv done 1500 on a 24″ but holy ship….. 3500???? Need to work my game some more i guess

    Gin and Popcorn my friend


  25. We ask what attracts mosquitoes, let us ask what attracts a home invader.: easy entry, obvious location of goods, rapid and unsuspicious exit. Make note of unfamiliar traffic casing the neighborhood. Don’t keep goods in obvious locations like refrigerators, ovens, bedrooms, desks briefcases or carry safes. Fake work trucks parked outside should be investigated. Before you use a firearm in a dark house make absolute sure where everybody is before you go forward. You are most vulnerable when you do not or cannot expect assault.

  26. Thank you everyone for all the comments and suggestions. It is something we all need to consider. I pray we will never have to be in the position to defend against threats, but it seems that the direction we are headed in. We need to be vigilant and aware, but not paranoid, and know the difference between the two.

  27. Thanks to all for your input.

    The best perimeter alarm I have seen: wasp nests and bee hives. Invaders would have to take those out prior to making entry on your property or arrive by enclosed vehicle. A man on foot is easily located by sound of screaming and yelling. Ghillie suits do not keep out yellowjackets.

    Minimal caliber specifications for roadblock duty: 7.62 semiauto rifle. First 2 rounds in magazine are AP to put in the engine block of oncoming car or truck so they do not go far. the rest are soft point anti-people rounds. This combo worked well against a criminal that tried to go through my roadblock back in the day with a large American made sedan. Ultimately, the shot to the head is what stopped the vehicle. My varmint rifles were back in the gun safe at home. Knowing that his family or gang affiliates are still out there is never far from my mind.

    I have been thinking of installing some “Decorative Rock Art” pieces out front – I just love that concrete block. It may not stop an automobile but hitting it will ruin the drivers day. ( and give me time to change magazines) My home itself is made primarily of wood. Something that can be breached or heavily damaged by young punks with petrol bombs. This is not lost on me and my better half ( nicer than me anyways.) does not want to live in a fortress anymore. Still I remind her that Daddy’s little princess who is now the Queen needs a proper castle in which to rule over her numerous cat minions.

    I may be able to install a few of my home security ideas yet. ( the day is young and we are burning daylight.) Survive well to all on this site.

  28. We always cleared fields of fire for a defensive position. the less stuff in your yard the better. You do not need hardened positions in your yard unless you have your own infantry section to man them otherwise they will be used against you. Best defense is a nice open property with good fields of fire in the back country with dogs to warn you when outsiders are near. A few things I found interesting during a green on green ex house clearing: smooth Plywood over the stairs makes quite the slide and very difficult to get up. Chicken wire over the windows stops any hand thrown weapons getting in like frags, tear gas and smoke.

  29. I live in a rural wooded area. I have a two acre yard with a six foot no climb fence and gate, both topped with barbed wire. I have a battery powered alarm at the gate and two large dogs to raise a alarm if anyone comes to my gate. This stops politicians, salesmen and thieves. If things went really bad I would dig myself some fighting holes like we did in Vietnam and defend my property. I would have enough people and supplies here to make this doable. Houses are a bad place to be with all their blind spots and walls that bullets can penetrate. If things get this bad America as we know it is gone. I hope and pray that such a horrible fate and conditions are never forced upon us but I would gladly give up what few years of life I have left to leave my grand boys a free America.

  30. One thing I’ve been considering is the use of old tires for outside defensive positions. Stacked up and filled with dirt, they provide much more protection than sandbags. Think of it as an above ground foxhole. Fortunately, my house is a bit over 200 yards from the nearest paved road and I have good elevation. We can block the entrance to our property with pre-staged telephone poles in less than 10 minutes.

  31. My city has many drug and gang related shootings and last weekend shots were fired near children playing in a park. Then there were a couple more targetted shootings in areas with well kept single family homes. Several neighbourhood houses also sustained damage by the bullets. This is the new normal in Canada’s capital city, where illegal drugs, including fentanyl, illegal guns and gangs operate. The suburbs are now as bad as the crack ridden downtown core, which I avoid. People walking their dogs found bodies in abandonned cars on their street. I always set my alarm system at night, when I am out, and by 9 pm when I am home. There are a few home security cameras on my street. Until politicians wake up, this problem will continue. I want the building code changed to require bullet proof doors, windows and siding.

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