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Home Remodeling For Pets

Are your pets happy with their living accommodations? Is Fido happy about the fact that his crate is hidden away in the mud room because it is less than attractive to look at? Maybe Fluffy is a little disgruntled that her litter box is hidden away in the basement for much the same reason.

The good news is that there is a lot of companies out there who are coming up with some rather clever pet furniture and even home remodeling ideas that take your pet’s needs into consideration as well as your own.

Doting pet owners are increasingly creating actual pet suites for their furry friends within their homes. Some are including a special pet nook as a part of an existing room while others are even choosing to devote an entire room to the project.

So how do you go about creating a safe haven for your pets? Choosing an adequate space is the first step. Your pet will need a place with good air circulation and a fairly constant temperature. An easy to clean hard surface floor is ideal, so that any accidents can be quickly and easily cleaned up. Hardwood may not be the best option as pet urine tends to penetrate it quickly so a good quality vinyl or ceramic tile floor may be a better choice.

How you choose to “furnish” your pet’s new suite is entirely up to you but there are a great many surprisingly sophisticated options available in the modern pet furniture business.

Both dog crates and litter boxes can be hidden away in attractive wooden cabinets that look just like “regular furniture” and a large number of pet beds, cat posts that look like attractive shelving and even real wooden cat trees can be purchased (or even custom crafted by a carpenter) to give your pet’s personal space an attractive air.

Burglar Alarms and Video Surveillance – Your Home’s Most Important Design Detail

Imagine coming home after a long day at work and walking into your home only to find your backdoor is standing wide open. In a split second you notice the broken window and glass (and yes, they can even get through hurricane impact windows and doors!)all over your floor. Your stomach instantly wrenches at the thought that you’re about to discover your entire world has been turned upside down and your peaceful home has become the target of a home invasion.

This probably isn’t something most people consider when they are thinking about remodeling or decorating their home. Our thoughts are usually about furnishings, colors, future entertaining and raising a family in a beautiful new environment. But this is probably one of the most important details that you should consider to protect yourself, your pets, your loved ones, and your new life.

Burglars do more than just steal your belongings. They steal your sense of security. As you look around your home after a burglary, you imagine some stranger rifling through all of your possessions, touching your things and randomly grabbing anything you’ve collected during your lifetime like they were at a flea market. You try to imagine the moment that they approached your house to see if you were there. Did they knock first? Did they walk around the house a few times first? Did they operate alone or with someone else? Did they have a weapon and if so, what would have happened if you were home? Did they scare or hurt your pets? Did your arrival scare them out of the house and if not, how long had they been gone?

In addition to stealing your security, there is a high chance they can steal your identity as well. Most homeowners have “safe places” where they store important documents and items such as passports, social security cards, credit cards, checks, etc. Once in the hand of a thief, this can disrupt your life for months to come as you try to regain your financial security.

As the first few days go by, it becomes more and more difficult to rest at home. Falling asleep takes longer as every little noise in and around the house makes you want to get out of bed to make sure everything is okay. There’s that little voice in your head wondering if they are coming back for more.

Nothing will give you more peace of mind than a good burglar alarm. Doors, windows, and motion detectors all help catch any movement within the house. Motion detectors can be set to preclude any pets to avoid false alarms and you can set your alarm to allow you to stay in the house at night by bypassing the motion detector while leaving the doors and windows still protected.

And if you want superior protection, the new standard in home protection is video surveillance. High resolution infrared cameras, now available with up to 700 line resolution, can be place indoors and outside to capture every smallest detail in color, day or night. They are accessible by an internet connection or smart phone to view while you’re not home even if it’s to check on your babysitter or the housekeeper. Systems can be custom built to fit your needs with up to 12 cameras if needed. In addition to the cameras, you’ll also need a separate DVR, hidden in a remote spot, for recording purposes. It’s an excellent backup if you should have a problem or even suspect a neighbor who may be abusing your property while you’re not home.

Video monitoring is also great to see who is at your front door before you open it. Complete systems with installation could run $2500 to $4000 depending on your specific needs. Once installed, they are pretty much a “set it and forget it.” If you should have a problem there is no need to remember all the details of trying to download any video. Police departments now employ specialists who will come to your home after an event to download any video that might be helpful. However, a simple thumb drive inserted into the front of the DVR will allow you to download any footage that you want to save.

Burglar alarms and video surveillance systems will not guarantee that you still won’t be the victim of a burglary. They will, however, provide an excellent deterrent for anyone who thinks you are going to be an easy target. And they will substantially increase the odds of catching any perpetrator.

So protect your family and yourself. Protect your pets, family heirlooms and most of all, your security. Once it is taken from you, the world will never look the same.

Home Selling Advice: Think of Your Home as a Product

It’s not easy for most people to do, but the moment you decide to sell your home, it becomes something else — it becomes a product, to be sold like any other product. It can be a sobering thought, but it’s a necessary mental step to take if you’re going to sell your home quickly, and for as much money as possible.

The first step in that process is to look at your home with a new set of eyes: the eyes of a buyer. They don’t have the emotional attachment to all of your knickknacks and family photos that you do. To them, a shelf filled with various trinkets and souvenirs is merely a collection of clutter; something that prevents them from seeing the real house underneath all your stuff.

In order to attract a buyer in today’s marketplace, you’ll need to increase its attractiveness as a product. That can involve adding a new coat of paint, getting rid of excess furniture and other clutter, and clearing the kitchen countertops of a variety of items that aren’t used on a day-to-day basis.

You don’t have to do any expensive remodeling. You simply have to show off your home to its best advantage. After all, it needs to look good on the shelf, to attract a buyer’s attention, then it needs to interest them enough to take a closer look, and finally, it has to fill their needs to the point where they want to purchase your product.

Of course, price is important to homebuyers, just as it is to anyone who is looking to make any major purchase in their lives. But buyers can generally find several houses that are similarly priced, so your product must have an advantage over the competition if you’re to get a sale. And that begins with market research.

You can do your research by simply walking around and through your house, looking at it as if you were a buyer, seeing it for the first time. You may be surprised at what you discover, but it’s a necessary process, and shouldn’t be overlooked. Often a few minor repairs and touch-ups can make a huge difference–both in time of sale and in the price paid by the buyer.

Make your home as warm and inviting as possible, because more than most major purchases, people buy homes according to their emotions. That process begins by making your home feel homey without feeling cluttered. It’s a fine line, but important to your overall success. If you have a wall filled with family photos, take them down. They may be your ancestors, but to buyers, they represent clutter. Whenever you can’t decide whether something should stay out or not, it’s best to take it out of a room. Buyers can imagine their own furnishing in rooms that aren’t filled to the brim with your stuff.

So, in order to sell your home faster and for a higher price, start thinking of it as a product you want to sell to a willing buyer. It will help your get the home ready for sale, and it may even help you detach your emotions, making it easier to move once a sale has been made.