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Steel vs Plywood: Why take the financial risk on plywood board-up?

DAWGS Vacant Property Security’s steel door and window guards provide a more cost-effective alternative to plywood board-up.

There is no comparison. DAWGS is more secure than plywood board-up at a similar price. Plus, steel delivers superior security and adds curb appeal to vacant investment properties.


Steel Door and Window Guards

Plywood Board Up

Strength and Durability

DAWGS steel door and window guards are stronger and more durable than plywood board-up. Steel windows are designed to withstand forced entry attempts.

Plywood is susceptible to damage and rot. Anyone with a few tools can easily breach plywood board-up.


Steel doors and window guards provide a higher security level than plywood board-ups. Steel door and window guards are designed to prevent break-ins and have security features like multiple locking points and reinforced structures. Unlike board-up, coded steel security doors enable secure, managed access to vacant properties.

Although plywood board-up can deter casual trespassers, it is not effective in preventing determined intruders.

Curb Appeal

DAWGS rents attractive steel panels to cover door and window openings on vacant buildings.

With NATIONAL COVERAGE, DAWGS’ steel door and window guard solutions come directly from one of our regional distribution centers.

Property investors, property managers, housing authorities, rehabbers, and real estate professionals trust DAWGS to keep their vacant properties secure, looking sharp, and ready for showing or resale.

The problem with boarding up a vacant property is that the boards make the property stand out in the wrong way. Whenever you throw plywood up on a vacant property, regardless of the community it’s in, plywood puts a big red X on that property. It immediately becomes a beacon for squatters, drug users, and thieves who break in to steal appliances or copper wiring.

Plywood makes it very obvious that no one is home and no one will be for a long time, and aesthetically, plywood just doesn’t look very good – even when you put it up brand new, it still looks cheap.

Theft Deterrent

Compared to plywood board-up, DAWGS steel window and door panels are an effective theft deterrent. Intruders see it and know to move on to the next place (which is probably boarded up with plywood).

Plywood board-up makes the building look run-down and vulnerable, which can attract theft, squatters, and trespassers.

Better Aesthetics

Steel door and window guards provide a more aesthetically pleasing and permanent solution than plywood.

Plywood board-up can give a transient and unattractive appearance to a building or window. It is an eyesore and may negatively impact the overall aesthetics of the property and the neighborhood.

Superior Installation and Maintenance

Steel door and window guards provide a long-lasting solution with minimal maintenance requirements.

Plywood board-up is relatively easy and quick to install, requiring basic tools and materials. However, it needs to be replaced periodically due to wear and tear. It is also easily removed by criminals seeking access to a property.


Products from DAWGS (steel door and window guards) are a better value than one-time use of plywood. Steel offers additional security features such as security-coded doors, better aesthetics, and peace-of-mind from professional installation.

Plywood board-up is generally less expensive but far less secure than steel security windows. Breached board-up can result in additional costs of repairs resulting from break-ins, stolen contractor tools, and theft of construction materials.

Remote Management

With steel door and window guards, the DAWGS installation crew provides remote management, allowing owners, investors, and lenders to avoid unnecessary travel – saving time and money.

Security-coded doors allow remote management, giving realtors and contractors easy access to the property.

Plywood is usually temporary and must be replaced due to rot and vandalism. Once installed, plywood board-up monitoring is the responsibility of the property owner or manager.

Reusable and Sustainable

Not only is steel more cost-effective over time, but DAWGS’ steel door and window guards are sustainable and reusable. Steel security door and window guards are rented, not purchased, allowing the assets to be redeployed quickly to new projects.

Plywood board-up is only good for one-time use, creating waste and burdening the environment.

Installation Quality

Steel window and door panel installation is performed by a professionally trained and insured crew.

The DAWGS professionals installing steel on every door and window do it efficiently and promptly – without damaging the property.

With DAWGS, you get the peace of mind that comes with our unparalleled strength, enabling you to repair and sell your property faster and without worry.

Plywood is screwed directly into the window and door frames, damaging the property and creating additional repair costs.

In addition, anyone with a crowbar can easily circumvent plywood.

DAWGS is more secure than board-up at a similar price

Compared to plywood, DAWGS steel security windows and doors offer a more robust and permanent solution for short or long-term security needs.

In short, if you have anything of value you want to protect, plywood is a poor substitute for steel.

Want more information about DAWGS? Request a quote today.