Home Improvement Ideas for Preppers
Being a prepper isn’t just about stocking up and storing stuff you need. It’s also about preparing your home to be self-sufficient, or at the very least sustainable, if there happens to be an emergency situation. There are many home improvement ideas for preppers that can help you be even more prepared in the event of an emergency.
Home Improvement Ideas for Preppers
Natural disasters, weather, nuclear fallout, energy shortages, calamities, or terrorist attacks are just a few of many situations that could cause your house to be unlivable. If you’re a prepper, it’s important to structure your home in a way that will benefit you and your family through those situations. The following home improvement ideas for preppers will turn your home into a safe haven during those hard times.
Items I recommend
- Fire Extinguisher or a larger Fire Extinguisher
- Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Brita Longlast Everyday Water Filter Pitcher (not everyone can afford a Big Berkey)
Invest in Solar Power
Solar power and solar lighting can be an incredible source of FREE electricity or light. Solar lighting indoors involves the use of clear “tubes” that extend from your ceiling to your roof, allowing you to take advantage of the sun’s energy during the day. We had some installed in our St. George, UT home and I was amazed at the amount of extra light we enjoyed. We put two in the kitchen-dinning area, two in a long hall, and one in the garage. It was great to have plenty of light for food prep, and to not have to turn the lights on as often as we traveled through the house during the daylight hours.
Let’s face it, most of us have never had to survive more than a couple of days without power, and in this day and age, it would be difficult to do so. Adding solar power, or just solar lighting to your home, can make it easier to live and function during power interruptions.
I must say, I can’t afford to install solar panels. I wouldn’t live long enough to recoup the cost. I love the idea of solar, but it’s too expensive for me at this time. I have wanted it for years, but it is what it is.
Evaluate your particular situation. Does your area get lots of consistent sunlight throughout the year? Some areas, like the Northwest, have many days of cloud cover, making the steady use of sunlight very difficult.
Collect Your Own Water
Although you probably have already started stocking and storing water, that supply may not be a long-term solution. You may be able to Find Other Water Sources in an Emergency, but knowing you don’t have to source the water will drastically reduce your stress.
A great solution is to use a cistern (an artificial reservoir) or another way of collecting rainwater. If you really want to be prepared with enough water, place multiple cisterns at various locations around your property.
This is another thing I have been wanting to do for many years, is to collect my rainwater. If you’re handy, there are many options. I’m not handy, so hopefully, I can buy one of these Rain Barrels in a few months. This one looks like it’s easy to install for me. My research has taught me it must be placed on a sturdy stand (off the ground) with additional downspout materials. But it appears easy to do. Be sure and check local codes, for some reason some municipalities don’t allow families to collect rainwater.
Build a Chicken Coop and Garden
Not only is it important to be self-sufficient with water, but you also need to be able to supply as much of your own food as possible.
A chicken coop allows you to have chickens both for meat and for eggs. If you aren’t sure where to start or how to build a chicken coop, check out this Home-Built Chicken Coop that you can build in one hour for as little as $50 bucks.
In addition to chicken eggs or meat, you can get fruits and vegetables from your garden. Even if you don’t have any land for a garden, I recommend you grow some plants indoors for survival. But, ultimately, you should learn How to Grow an Emergency Garden which includes food you can grow quickly and throughout the growing season, such as potatoes, carrots, beets, lettuce, tomatoes, and melons.
Extend Your Growing Season with a Greenhouse
In addition to just growing a garden, you may want to consider building a greenhouse. If you live in areas that get cold or have long winter seasons, a greenhouse can extend your growing season, allowing you to be self-sufficient longer throughout the year.
If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to building a greenhouse, check out these DIY Greenhouse ideas, or this Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse Kit on Amazon.
I’m really hoping I can install a greenhouse behind my small home after it’s built. Yes, It’s taking forever, it’s frustrating, to say the least.
Create a Home Improvement Food Storage Pantry
Although this isn’t necessary, it does help to have food storage all in one place so you can easily see what you do or don’t have. Additionally, the small spaces under your kitchen, or in a spare closet is sometimes not enough for a whole family.
A whole pantry dedicated to just food storage (don’t forget to rotate) is a great home improvement idea for preppers to help them stay organized and ensure they have enough food to feed their family for months, or even years, depending on the size of their family.
Install Door and Window Reinforcements
Typically overlooked, installing door and window reinforcements is a vital home improvement idea for preppers to consider. When there are state-wide, or county-wide emergencies, you may need to Prepare Your House Against Looters.
Door and window reinforcements boost your home’s security while also giving you peace of mind during normal times. Here are just a few reinforcement ideas to consider:
- Sliding Window and Door Locks
- Sliding Door Security Bar
- Door Jam Security Reinforcements
- Window Film Security (Makes it harder to break a window)
Invest in a Back-up Generator
Solar power is great, but what happens when you don’t have sunlight for a couple of days? You want options so that you can still have the power to keep your refrigerator and freezer running, cook meals, and take care of basic needs.
A backup generator is a great home improvement idea for preppers to add to their solar power system, or to include a solar-powered generator in their lighting. If you get a gas-powered generator, don’t forget to have a way to safely stock up on propane or gas so you are less likely to run out.
Install an Emergency Heat Source
Do you know How to Heat Your Home In An Emergency? If there is a natural gas or home heating oil shortage, your furnace won’t work. Additionally, if the power goes out, the fans won’t circulate the warm air throughout your home. If you live in an area that gets cold, or even if you don’t consider it too cold (think about Texas), having an emergency heat source can quite literally save your life.
There are many emergency heat source options that you can, with the necessary financial resources, add to your home no matter how new or old. I personally have a Mr. Heater Portable Buddy in case of emergencies, but if you have the funds to do it, I would also recommend a fireplace or wood-burning stove. In addition to alternate heat sources, your kitchen stove is typically powered by electricity or gas, so both a wood-burning stove and a rocket stove would give you an alternative way to heat and cook your food.
Consider Building Hidden Rooms as a Home Improvement
This could be an expensive improvement for your home, but is something to consider. Hidden rooms can be used to stash valuable possessions, but they also work as great hideouts in case you are in danger. If someone breaks into your home, you may need a safe place for children to hide while you defend it, or you may need somewhere to hide if you can’t defend it.
Build a Compost Bin
While having a garden is a great way to be self-sufficient, you will need to be able to fertilize it with nutrients. You can turn your food scraps and yard waste into rich garden nutrients. That’s why making a compost bin is a great home improvement idea for preppers.
You can make a compost bin almost anywhere out of anything. You can use wire fencing, a storage container, wine barrels, or even a trash can. Here are 23 DIY Compost Bin Ideas.
The truth is that we never know how long an emergency situation will last. Making a few simple home improvements can drastically improve your chances of survival if things last longer than a couple of months. Remember, luck favors the prepared! May God Bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Rain Water Tank Depositphotos_22338829_S
15 thoughts on “Home Improvement Ideas for Preppers”
Good Morning Linda. It would appear you daily posts are not reaching my mail box. I wonder if others are having the same issues? Please advise
Hi Chris, yes, I have issues, Harry sent me an email yesterday, thankfully, so I’m working on getting the issues fixed. It’s so frustrating. Thank you for asking, I really appreciate it!! Linda
Our generator is connected to our natural gas line, as is our grill, it switches over automatically. We do have a propane gas fire pit, but any other external changes would give our HOA a nervous breakdown.
We do have two full size pantry closets, and an additional 5 large closets, two of them walk-ins, thanks to the two little Italian ladies who designed our home.
Our basement is 1400 square feet, with glass block windows. I always thought we were safer if no one could tell if we were home, but my son in law is retired law enforcement, said it is the opposite. Our windows are not at street level. So the weakness I do see is the double patio doors with glass sidelights. Our backyard is totally open and fences are not allowed. Any suggestions?
HI Chris, you can purchase glass coverings that help with breakage if you want. Here are my thoughts on the glass sidelights and sliding glass doors. I believe it would depend on where you live and the amount of crime in the area. I could be wrong. I have a sister that has these roll-down deals that cover her windows in case she wants to feel more protected from an extreme situation. She feels safer. I would not feel safer. You may wonder why I say this, let me explain. If someone wants to get into my home they could use a hammer or a rock to break the windows and a sledgehammer to break through the stucco. AND if they can’t get through that way they could use a small bobcat or earth moving machine to break an entire wall and take whatever they want from the open wall. I can’t live in fear. Actually, I won’t. I do keep a porch light on my front porch and my back porch. People can jump fences, they did in my last neighborhood. But they were captured within minutes because the police had a helicopter overhead. They had escaped a freeway pursuit. We did not live in a dangerous neighborhood. We did have some petty thefts because some garage doors were open but that’s about it. I’m not sure this helped you. Matt is retired law enforcement, but this newsletter didn’t go out today so he won’t see this. Linda
Well I saw this today. Hate to be negative but I’ve gotta keep it real.
There’s a time to be seen and a time to be quiet and unseen. You’ve gotta know the differences. For crime yeah you want it to look occupied so they pick an unoccupied dwelling. True SHTF you might want to let the force pass especially if your outnumbered and outgunned which I’m guessing is the case for sure here.
I don’t understand living in a place where “it’s not allowed” and others have a say and in some cases you pay them to run you. Linda is deferring this so I can say it: HOAs are NOT YOUR FRIEND. Your trying to have your cake and say it too. You need to decide.
3M makes a window film that is tough. The downside is they can still burn you out.
You can not think small as your yard in a true SHTF event. You must control the whole neighborhood at least.
Double patio doors are terrible. You can 3M the glass but they are just too easy to tear apart and some even install from the outside so they can simply remove the door.
Ohh Matt, thank you so much for your advice. You know I love it. I’m so frustrated my newsletters are not going out. Hopefully, it will be fixed tomorrow. I REALLY wanted your input on this topic. I SOLD my home last October that was in an HOA. There are many reasons we sold but their control was not the only reason. But it was the BIGGEST reason. I need to live where I have a group of people that are like-minded. You all know exactly what I am saying. Safety in numbers. Great comment Matt, we needed this, thank you! Linda
I thank you so very much Matt and Linda for your valuable and appreciated input. My husband and I have been discussing this at length. We are in the outer edges of a 3rd ring suburb in Western New York, if that makes sense. No exactly country, but close to it.. We are safer than our last home of 35 years, because that neighborhood had started to change. The main street into the city, which was a positive when we bought, is now a downside as crime moves out. This home is right for us as we have aged, but as you have helped us see, not great if the SHTF. If the emergency is weather related, we are in a good place, but my husband thinks it might be a good idea to talk with our youngest son about ” joining forces” since he has 13 acres further out. He is local law enforcement so I think he might have a better point of view then mine. You have both given us a lot to think about and work on. God Bless you and keep you safe.
Hi Chris, thank you for your kind words. Mark is 75 and I’m 72 so I felt strongly we HAD to move closer to our kids and grandkids. We waited until the housing market was right and sold in 12 hours. It’s a relief even though the new build is taking longer, but I feel safer. God bless you and stay safe as well. Linda
I wish y’all the best on it. Wasn’t trying to be mean just gotta call it like I see it.
I think that having a plan to head that direction to join forces is prudent. It takes manpower to run 24hr ops in bad times. Someone’s gotta pull watch at every hour and chores still gotta happen. In fact I’ve made printed copies ahead of time of a duty roster.
Hi Matt, oh my gosh, that is a great idea!! I need to make a PRINTABLE for my readers. LOVE this!!! Linda
Matt, Never be afraid to tell me the truth. I always feel if your afraid of the answer, don’t ask the question. I value your input.
Just a thought Linda, while you are still in the planning stages of your new home. Have your electrician price out the wiring for a whole house generator. That first step might be with in your budget. Then later you can add the generator as funds allow. We “gifted” the wiring for my son while they were remodeling their old farm house and the wall were open. Just a thought.
HI Chris, oh that’s a great idea!!! Thanks for the great idea! Linda
I guess I missed this one, too–glad I saw it from your list!
Someone else mentioned a whole house, on-demand generator. We had one put in when my mother came home on hospice. It uses the same in-ground tank as for our furnace and stove. When the power goes out (as it did last night in high winds!) the generator pops on in about 5 seconds. (I do need to have some electrical work done: the plumber who installed out hot water heater, replacing the 60-year-old one, disconnected it from the generator… And the lights in the new barn somehow didn’t get connected, so I was feeding horses last night with a headlamp on!) Needs servicing once a year or so. It’s probably easier to install as a house is built, but ours is a 200-year-old house and we had no issues.
Planned for this spring is having hand pumps installed on two of the original dug wells. Doesn’t really look like a hard job, although I’m having someone else do it since I don’t have the tools to drill the well lid! Might also have them look at the old pipe that ran from yet another well to the kitchen, by gravity (another plumber, without asking, disconnected the line and replaced the faucet with a sprayer which we never used!) It was *so* handy, even allowing for letting it run a few minutes because of lead pipe.
Hoping to set a greenhouse into the side-hill behind the house, thus insulating one side; the location itself catches full sun all winter. I’ve been digging at it since last year; hope to finish and make a stacked-tire/rammed-earth retaining wall this year–then the greenhouse itself.
I’m seriously coveting the water tank in your lead picture…
Hi Rhonda, oh, you are so lucky to have a whole house, on-demand generator!! I’m glad you had headlamps, yay!! I’m hoping for a greenhouse but the house has to be built first. You are so funny coveting the water tank!! LOL! When we moved, I knew I was not leaving that huge 250-gallon water tank behind. We hired a group to move our stuff and they moved that tank so much easier than we ever could have. They did it with such ease!! It’s heavy and bulky, but it was going with me!!! LOL! It’s in a storage unit right now, but life is what it is. Linda