Urgent WSB Reader Recommendation Request from crime victim

Just out of the inbox, from Steven:

My shed has been broken into twice within the last six months. I live on 11th Avenue, SW (Highland Park). There have been a string of automobile window-bashing within that same timeframe (12th Ave.) Don’t know if they’re at all related.

I want to replace the shed door with a steel or fiberglass unit, and also replace my basement door with the same…and also swap the deadbolt on the balcony/deck door to a two-way-keyed deadbolt. I’ve been quoted prices as high as $500 installation PER DOOR. That strikes me as a bit outrageous…considering the cost of the actual door itself.

I’m about to head out to both Home Depot and McLendon’s for some guidance help … but seriously, I have a wife and baby that I need to protect. What was stolen isn’t important, keeping my family safe is. Readers, please help me find a trustworthy WestSeattlite (or surrounding contractor) who performs good work at reasonable prices!

10 Replies to "Urgent WSB Reader Recommendation Request from crime victim"

  • cleat October 29, 2007 (3:12 pm)

    I don’t know if they will have exactly what you are looking for but
    White Center Glass & Upholstry
    9443 Delridge Way SW 206-762-8088
    did some when I had the house on 24th SW by (then) Earnst…. they were good to deal with and did a nice job… That time it was a vinyl slider but they may do other types of doors … I like to use those little guys when possible as opposed to mega chain stores…

    Good luck!!!

  • SomeGuy October 29, 2007 (5:45 pm)

    Can I suggest a third stop at Butch’s Guns? They have zero deadbolts but plenty of other options for stopping these shenanigans.

  • bbilly October 29, 2007 (6:22 pm)

    I’m not a big fan of guns, though I am a big fan of a good dog. Not a dog that’ll tear the guys arms off, but a dog that will bark when folks come in the yard.

    But, for the sake of the neighbors, don’t get one that barks when folks come “near” the yard. And realize you’ll have to clean up dog crap all the time. And don’t leave your dog on a chain or tie out. And for that matter, let your dog in the house some too, unless its some hearty dog that doesn’t even like it inside. And make sure your dog is good with children and cats if you have either or both. And…come to think about it, dogs can be a real pain.

    But, please don’t get a gun. Though I have to admit that SomeGuy’s suggestion cracked my a** up. And I am not some militant anti-gun guy. I just feel better when I think of less guns out there instead of more.

    As far as I care, you can get a gun and a dog, but you are probably better off with a good lock. Sorry I don’t have any suggestions for that.

  • jdp October 29, 2007 (7:09 pm)

    If they are replacing the door jamb also, and that includes the locks $500 is pretty resonable. I paid $800 for a wood door, lock and weatherstripping. Do not go cheap on a Home depot door lock, get a Schlage from a locksmith or a higher end hardware retailer. A $20 deadbolt is not that great.

  • The House October 29, 2007 (7:49 pm)

    Since this is a habitual thing, perhaps a camera with night vision would be appropriate as well. Then you could catch the dirtbags that are doing it.

    I’m in favor of guns, but they’ll only help if you catch the person doing it and they threaten your life.

  • Aidan Hadley October 29, 2007 (8:29 pm)

    I’m with The House. A camera is an excellent idea. Some of my neighbors and I have been looking into a camera for our alley and I’ve been impressed by some of the wireless video surveillance systems they’ve got these days.

    Getting a gun is risky for so many reasons. As violating and scary as it is to have some tweaker breaking into your shed, are you really prepared to use deadly force to protect what is essentially replaceable property? Are you prepared to go to jail for accidentally shooting one of the neighbor’s kids who was only pulling a prank?

  • Forest October 29, 2007 (9:07 pm)

    In theory, a surveillance camera sounds good. Of course, that assumes the criminal(s) would be indentifiable. I know someone who spent a lot of money on a night vision camera and got some high resolution footage of guys wearing huge t-shirts and ski masks.

  • LGS October 30, 2007 (2:54 am)

    Every level of increased deterrence reduces the chances you will be the next victim and the person looking to rip you off will go on to someone less-prepared. (I am not so sure about the “burglar-proof”).

    Seattle code only requires at least a one-half inch throw deadbolt, but a deadbolt with less than a one-inch throw is relatively ineffective. Because cheaper deadbolts will not stop a thief with a “bump key,” consider buying a top-of-the-line lock cylinder. (To understand what “lock bumping” entails, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lock_bumping and http://ezinearticles.com/?Lock-Bumping—Protect-Your-Home-From-Lock-Bumping&id=655405).

    Also, as I understand it, residential entries should be single-cylinder, with turn pieces on the interior. Check on Seattle’s building code with the Dept. of Planning and Development before installing a two-way keyed deadbolt in a residential building. It likely depends on if the door to your deck provides emergency egress. Mortise locks combine both the latch and deadbolt into one mechanism, allowing for emergency egress; a single turn of the interior knob or lever retracts both the deadbolt and latch.

    Some companies are making after-market products intended to defeat lock bumping. One makes an after-market device for one-way deadbolts with a thumb turn on the inside. I cannot attest to the relative effectiveness of any of them. Other companies with electronic keypad locks say theirs are the only truly “bump-proof” locks.

    Some tips: Consumer Reports article on door locks:

    A great little wiki how-to on burglary prevention: .

    Check out Seattle Neighborhood Group’s burglary prevention tips at

    My recommendations:
    Install a more secure door and frame, swapping the strike plate for a stronger strike box, upgrading the lock and using mounting screws long enough to secure the lock’s strike box and hinges to the 2x4s. Upgrades may cost you more than you want to spend, but consider the alternatives:

    * Spending 120+ hours after your personal and/or financial information is stolen, the average put in by an identity theft/fraud victim trying to repair the damage with endless phone calls, paperwork and related errands.

    * Uninsured losses.

    * The cost of a deductible before insurance pays on your claim.

    * The cost of higher premiums after the insurance company decides you are a high-risk customer (or worse, drops your policy).

    * The loss of irreplaceable personal items, such as digital photos stored on your easy-to-sell electronic devices.

    To offset the costs, talk with your insurance agent about negotiating a lower deductible or even getting a break on your premiums if you upgrade security lighting and locks around your home and property.

  • Kanti Selig November 8, 2007 (9:03 am)

    If you are still looking for a honest affordable handyman, I can help you. I had problems with vandilism as well, I also live in the area. (16th)

  • Tom Lee May 21, 2008 (5:21 pm)

    I’d get a gun if I was you. I’ve seen too much things happen lately. People getting jumped, houses broken into, etc… As the economy wains, it will just keep happening more. People who don’t work and try to make a living through stealing/cheating/dominating need to get blasted away.

    But be sure to get adequate training, cause when you are under pressure, you have to make a quick decision to shoot or not to shoot. There’s no messing around with the safety when you’re being attacked.

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