Monthly Archives: August 2012

Home Security

It’s important to know how to enforce home security to prevent break ins and burglaries. There are steps you can take to make sure your home is safe and eliminate the chance of someone intruding.

You may have already read about things your burglar won’t tell you bouncing around the web. If you haven’t yet, it’s a list of things a consultant, who hosts the Crime Doctor Website, and a professor, who interviewed a bunch of burglars for his book, put together. It actually gave me a little bit of an uneasy feeling after reading the list. Knowing all the things that burglars look for before invading is good to know, but like I said before, not exactly comforting. So If we make sure and do these things I think it can up our chances of home security and maybe helping (a little) by putting our minds more at ease.

Things burglars don’t want you to know:

  • If you have nice taste outside, it most likely means you have nice taste inside.

  • Signs that you aren’t home: piled up newspapers, mail or flyers on the front door. If it snows while you are out of town, it might be a good idea to have a neighbor make some tracks around the house, so virgin snow drifts don’t give away the fact that you aren’t home.

  • Don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where a burglar can see if it’s set or not. A good security company will alarm the window over the sink and the windows over the second floor, where the master bedroom is.

  • Don’t ever forget to lock your front door, lots of times a burglar will try that first and lots of times they can walk right in.

  • Some burglars knock at your front door to see if you are home. If you are, they might ask for directions or offer to help in the yard. They may even carry a clipboard or carry a rake like a lawn guy to make sure and never look like a crook

  • Don’t hide your valuables in drawers or a safe that’s not secured to the floor.

  • A loud TV or radio can sometimes be as good as or better than a fancy alarm system. They have devices you can buy now that work on a timer and simulate the flickering glow of a real TV.

  • Burglars don’t like dogs.

  • Breaking a window, even if it’s a little noisy, is no big deal to them because even if your neighbor does here it, he will probably stop and listen to see if he can hear it again, and if he doesn’t he will just go back to whatever he was doing.

  • Make sure and use your alarm system. What’s the point of paying for it if you don’t set it?

  • Avoid announcing your vacations on Facebook, because it’s easy to look up your address.

  • Never leave a window open, even if it’s just a cracks

Things You Can Do to Ensure Home Security:

  • Lock your door, always. – 51% of break-ins occur during daylight. 49% occur after dark. 8,600 break-ins a day. 1 every 13 seconds.

  • Every exterior door (even the garage door to the inside of the house) needs a deadbolt with a full 1″ throwbolt. They should also be solid

  • Good exterior lighting around the house will prevent intruders. 40-watt bulbs on the porches should do the trick. Trimming the bushes should help too.

  • Double cylinder deadbolts are good for doors with glass an arms length away will help, because they will need to the key to unlock from the inside.

  • Sliding doors, when installed can easily be lifted out of place if not careful. Adjust screws in the door track to limit clearance. And make sure and add a broom stick or something similar in the track so the sliding door isn’t easily opened.

  • When out of town, take extra steps to have the appearance that you are still home. Automatic devices, like the flickering TV, or timers to turn on different lights at different times. Have trusting neighbors pick up your mail and newspapers, maybe even have them use your garbage cans. During the winter have them make tracks or have the snow shoveled.

  • Start a  neighborhood watch.

  • Make sure to hide our “spare key” well or not at all. Under the mat or above the door jamb is not good.

  • If something does happen, you would want the police’s help asap right? Make sure your house numbers are nice and big so they are visible maybe even reflective. Help others by reporting strangers running through private yards.

  • Don’t make it easy for a burglar to rob you. Hide your valuables or lock them in a safe that’s bolted down. Engrave your valuables with “this property is stolen from…” and include your divers license number. Don’t make it tempting for a robber when you have your empty TV box sitting in the driveway. Be careful, you don’t know who’s watching.

Sources: Weiser.com, 10 Things you must know about home security. Reader’s Digest, 13+ Things a Burglar Won’t Tell You, Author: Michelle Crouch from Reader’s Digest, September 2009. Richard T. Wright, criminology professor at the University of Missouri- St. Louis – Book: Burglars on the Job. Chris McGoey, host of crimedoctor.com.

Mudrooms:

So as I got to thinking about what to blog about next, I came across this post over on Remodelaholic, and I thought what a great list of awesome mudrooms and then I thought maybe I could talk about just a few that stood out to me.

Mudrooms are one of the most needed or wanted parts of the home. Especially when you have kids, then they have a place to hang up their coats, jackets, backpacks and a place to leave their dirty shoes. This goes for the rest of the family too… A great place for the husband to take off his muddy shoes if he was just out on the farm or maybe it was just a motorcycle ride up in the mountains. And for the wife to hang her purse and kick of her heels after a long day at work or long day of shopping. Whatever the case, this room is either a necessity or a room that everyone can fantasize about having.

There are endless ways of making (or dream about making) a mudroom fit your style and your needs. A mudroom doesn’t have to be overly large, it can be as simple as installing a few box shelves and hooks. Like for example this mudroom wall from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia:

 

Or hey!… Why not just stuff your mudroom in a closet? That’s pretty simple, right? This mud closet on The 36th Avenue is your example, and in my opinion it’s brilliant.

 

I do like the idea of just having the mudroom right in the garage. Just dress it up a bit and it will be simply perfect. Like this one from Thrifty Decor Mom. On her blog, you can see the before and after pictures of her mudroom that was created in her garage:

 

This last one I am about to show you is probably my very favorite of all. The Pioneer Woman created a mudroom/throne room from an old and too-large bathroom. A wall was taken out and was replaced with cubby holes to fit all the kids sports gear and whatever else. And a latter on a track was installed for easy reach. The sink is large enough to wash off whatever necessary. This mudroom will be the one I fantasize about.

 

Barns:

“No matter, where the road may lead, passing an old barn is not just passing by rotted out boards, or weather-beaten walls, the barns still standing in the distance represent the history of this country. With a few thousand still standing, the American stories embedded in the interior and exterior walls, recount the tales of our country. When listening to stories told about old barns – some are sad, and others are happy. There are funny stories, and scary stories. Regardless, of what kind of stories, you prefer, there is a barn story that will entertain and delight you.”

-preservemassbarns.org

I think old barns are so very cool. Seriously so cool. I don’t think I am the only one either. I think there is always someone taking a picture of an old barn, taking pictures with a barn (you know like family pictures or something), having a reception at a barn, or any kind of party for that matter, they also could be used in the original way – barn animals. There are some really awesome looking ones that are run down, not being used, and just as interesting and gorgeous as the rest.

Cheyenne, Wyoming. This barn backs up the taking a picture of an old barn. I wonder how old this one is.

Below is another old old barn.

This barn photo was taken during a wedding in Hudson Valley.

Some people build their barns super fancy, and I always get a little curious how much it cost them to build it that way. I will probably never know. Like this one for instance:

C Lazy U Ranch. This is not an ordinary barn, this barn has a Spa, and family style dinners. You can stay in lodges all scattered in the hillside, maybe to take a skiing trip, or go snowshoeing or whatever else.

Here are just a few more barns that I found interesting,

Cigar Barn

Turquoise barn from Genevieve Haudricourt photography

This hay barn was originally built in 1860 in Cobleskill, NY. It’s been restored as a barn style home in Michigan. So, I guess I forgot to add to the list that people also use barns as homes for themselves.

Tiny Houses

My husband and I were watching TV the other night, not unusual I know, but there was a show that came on and they were talking about tiny houses. And I am serious, when I say tiny. Some of these were the size of an RV and even smaller. And I thought to myself, How cool would that be? To have just enough space to easily clean and manage for you and your spouse? Maybe a cool retirement? Seriously though, how cool would it be? I am not saying I could do it right now, but maybe someday. Living life so simple, that seems dreamy…

Anyway, then today I came across another tiny house on Pinterest.

Check out this couple’s tour of the house here.

It seriously is so tiny, their bed is up a ladder and in a tiny loft. A very cozy little mobile home, with simple plumbing and a small wet-bath to wash up. Tammy says she wanted a more simple life and she and her spouse took the time to pay off their debt and downsize to a tiny house to focus on their relationships instead of worrying about things that don’t matter. How great is that?

This is one that I fell in love with… I would totally live in this one called “Tiny Retirement“.

How much more gorgeous can it get? I guess I didn’t just fall in love with how perfect the home is, but the landscape as well! I am sure it’s probably Photoshopped in there, but let’s pretend it’s real shall we?

And wait until you check out the inside. It’s so great!

It’s just the right size for 1-2 people.

Here is a ‘bigger’ tiny house, maybe a little more like a full sized tiny house that I thought was pretty awesome and a good size for a couple to downgrade too if they were worried about claustrophobia. with one bedroom and one bathroom.

When I started scrolling more through the Tiny House Blog to see more little homes, I saw this.

A Tiny Wish House. I can’t even breath. It is breathtaking. And the story behind it is even better. This tiny house was made for a 6 year old child who was diagnosed with Leukemia. And this was his “Make a Wish” wish. He wanted a fairy tale cottage, a tree house. You can read the rest of the story and the process of building this magical place and also see more pictures here.