Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

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Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

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Find Your Dream Backyard

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

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DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

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Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

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8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

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Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

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Popular in Home Improvement

Securing Special Doors

Learn how to secure interior and exterior doors beyond your front entrance with these helpful tips and tricks.

Your home may have one or more entry doors that you can't easily secure with a standard dead-bolt lock. Sliding glass doors that lead to a deck or patio, double doors, doors that open to the outside -- and the often-overlooked garage door -- are all potential points of entry that need special protection.

Some thieves will try to lift sliding glass doors right out of their tracks to gain entry. To keep that from happening, insert strong metal spacer plates between the doors and their top tracks. To install them, with the sliding door open, screw two plates per door into the top track where you've predrilled pilot holes.

To prevent a burglar from forcing open a sliding glass door, insert a steel pin into a hole you've drilled through the inside door frame and partway into the outside frame. Be sure to drill at least 5/8 inch away from the glass so you'll clear any glass that extends into the frame. For still more protection, place the proverbial broomstick handle in the lower inside track.

Heavy-duty keyed locks mount with "one-way" screws on the inside edge of the inner frame (at either the top or bottom). To secure the door when it's partially open for ventilation or pet access, drill a series of holes for the lock's bolt at intervals along the upper frame.

With double doors, you'll need to double your defenses, securing each door separately and in different ways.

Protect the door you use most often as you would any hinged entry door -- with a dead-bolt lock, high-security strike plate, and reinforced hinges.

Secure the other door with sliding bar or barrel bolts at both top and bottom.

Burglars like out-swinging entry doors because they have exposed hinge pins: No matter how strong the lock, they can simply pull out the hinge pins and work the door away from its frame. You can derail their plans by installing a steel door pin adjacent to each hinge. When the door is closed, the protruding pins mate into their own "strike plates" to prevent the door from being pried out even with the hinge pins removed.

Another vulnerable component of out-swinging doors is the door jamb. Unlike doors that open to the inside, there's no stop along the jamb to protect the door's latch or bolt from a pry bar or a hacksaw blade. To protect the lock, install a metal guard secured to the outside of the door with one-way screws or other hard-to-remove fasteners.

To a burglar, your garage is a triple treat. It's likely home to bikes, lawn equipment, and tools he can easily move and fence, it's usually unoccupied so he can break in with less risk of detection, and -- best of all -- if it's an attached garage, it gives him a concealed entry point to the rest of your house.

Make sure your garage door is solid and in good repair, with no loose, damaged, or inadequately secured panels that a burglar could climb through without opening the door.

Treat your garage's access doors, windows, and the interior door that leads to your house as any other vulnerable point of entry.

Finally, burglar-proof your automatic garage-door opener. The preset code it had when it came from the factory was meant to be changed. Savvy thieves know the factory codes of most brands, and using openers that duplicate them is one of the first ploys they'll try to gain access.


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