In this blog I will do my best to describe the process I went through in turning my 1957 Ranch-style house into a 2006 Craftsman house as inspired by the Gamble House in Pasadena. Please feel free to comment on anything I write and ask questions as it is the only way we learn.

Note: Since completion of the house I have also decided to allow guest bloggers to post articles related to remodeling. This continues the education process.


TIMELINE
Architect Selection - December 2002 through January 2003
Getting a Permit - January 2003 through November 2004
Construction - November 2004 through September 2006
Post Construction - October 2006 through ???



Security-Minded Planning for an Extended Leave

remote-home-control
You're getting ready to leave for your dream vacation, and you have the entire month off. Some people will close their house up and just go. Others will hire a house sitter for the month, which gets expensive. New security technology and common sense safety tips combine to let you relax on your vacation without worrying about your belongings.

Alarm System


A home security system will sound an alarm and notify the monitoring company should someone break into your home. Just the presence of an alarm system will deter most burglars. For those that need the actual alarm in order to be thwarted, there are some things you can do to prevent the break-in from ever happening.
Home automation allows you to check in on your home and control certain functions in the house while you're away, explains http://www.securitycompanies.com/. The more you make the house look lived in, the less likely an intruder will bother. The vast majority of home burglaries are done only when the thief is absolutely sure no one is home.

Natural Deterrents


Lighting is a very important deterrent. Using programmable settings in a home automation system allows you to turn lights on and off throughout the day through your smartphone, just as if you were at home. There are also timers you can connect to the outlets/lamps if you don't have access to a phone.

Set up a schedule when the TV or radio comes on to make the house look lived in. Create the schedule as if you were home. Anyone watching your home will see and hear the evidence there are people inside of the house.

Ask for Help


Ask for assistance from a friend or neighbor. Have them drive by your home every other day. They can spot something out of place; perhaps a person watching your home for a long period of time.

Once a week, have them enter the house and walk around. Simple things, such as a leaky faucet or a broken window from a windstorm, can mean coming home to a mess.

Have them pick up any newspapers, flyers or other material left on your property. Letting them sit out is a sign no one is around to collect them and take them inside.

Watch Your Communication


There are dangers of posting too much information on social media pages. You are never quite sure who is reading your posts. Putting your trip itinerary online is announcing no one will be home for an extended period of time. Be prudent with your trip information, and who you give it to.

Create a Secure Home You can Leave


With some simple planning and the use of affordable technology, you can create a home environment you will feel safe leaving. You'll have more fun while on vacation not worrying about what you may come home to.

What tips do you have for extended vacation planning? Share them in the comments.
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