6 FAQs About Home Security, Remodeling, and New Additions

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While homeowners once packed up their possessions and moved on the average of once every five years, the modern trend is to stay put and use the money to remodel the home you live into a bigger, better structure that is more of what you want. Taking out a wall, expanding a closet, or building a deck can add livable room to your home, but it can also fill your home with plaster dust, construction noise, and grumpy construction workers. Before you decide to change your home, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about home security, remodeling, and new additions.

1. Do you need a permit to have a security alarm system in your home?

Many city governments require any security system with a loud alarm in a neighborhood with homes surrounding the building to have an alarm permit. There are differences between fire, break-in, and police alarms, so check with your local city or county to see what permits and alarm licenses are necessary if you decide to install a noisy alarm to scare burglars or notify of home intrusion.

2. Do home security systems really deter criminals?

Several studies have been done that show burglars do look for homes without security systems, especially security cameras. While having someone take your items may make you sad, the sense that someone broke into your home can violate your trust in the building and your home’s ability to protect you. According to incarcerated burglars, more than 60 percent reported that homes with security systems were left alone.

3. Is there an organization that regulates home security companies?

No, there is no central organization that regulates all home security companies. However, each state has a regulatory board with licensing and permits that must be secured before that company can do business within the state.

4. What alternatives do I have to a home security system?

Whether you’re unable to purchase a home security system or are in need of further improving your sense of home safety and security, you can do no wrong by looking to your community for support. Groups of neighborhoods and residences often form support systems to establish a sense of community and create a safe environment for children and loved ones. You can read more about how neighborhood watch groups operate through the resources gathered by our friends at Porch, and learn of all the added benefits that occur when members of a community come together.

5. When remodeling, if I want to add solar panels, how many do I need to purchase?

It may surprise you that one of the most frequently asked questions about solar power is: how many solar panels to power a house or addition? The answer is that there is no certain amount, rather it depends on the number of people living in the home, how much electricity is consumed each day, and what your average weather conditions are.

6. Is it better to build up or build out when creating an addition?

The simple answer is based on the size of your yard and how much of it you can give up without compromising the ability to sell your home in the future. Building out requires the loss of parts of your yard while building up (often over a garage or above your home), allows you to keep your backyard. There is no right or wrong answer, but you must check with the zoning regulations of your city or county before deciding.

7. What problems are associated with remodeling projects?

Other than the dust, noise, and inconvenience of having workers running through your home for about 12 hours a day? Depending on the room you are remodeling, the area of your home altered by the building, and how much disruption the remodeling will do to your home, you should be prepared for a modicum of disturbance that you don’t expect, and a great deal that you do. For example, if you are remodeling the kitchen, be prepared to eat out for the four to six weeks it takes to tear down and rebuild the room. Also, consider the health of your animals with strange people constantly moving about.

Your home may be your castle, but when you want to remodel, improve, or add security to the structure, it can be disruptive to your home life. If you are prepared, the transition can be much easier. So, whether you choose to add a security system, solar panels, or remodel a room, you can be assured you are prepared for the project and all the problems it may entail. 

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