Would a couple with children build a home that was not suitable for children? Would a professional who works from home build a house that would not accommodate a home office? Would a family that includes a handicapped family member build a home that was not properly equipped for even basic handicapped accessibility? Of course not, you say. So why would a pet owner build a home that was not designed to make pet ownership as convenient as possible? With 62% of households including at least one pet, according to Professional Builder magazine, home buyers are increasingly focusing on how to accommodate their pets.
Custom home builders, like B.O.L.D. Homes, are uniquely situated to meet the needs of pet owners in their new home purchases. In many cases, custom designs for pet households do not require extra costs or sacrifices of other conveniences – rather, they just require a little ingenuity, a little flexibility, and outstanding customer service. At B.O.L.D. Homes, that’s our specialty!
Dog owners should consider having their builder install features such as pet doors to allow dogs to enter and exit the home or the garage unassisted, and invisible fence to keep them at home. No more daily schedule of let the dog out, dog in, dog out, dog in!
Other features popular with dog owners are not extra amenities, but just alterations in the features already found in any new home: consideration of where doorways are placed, as a means of confining dogs to hard floor areas of the home, or installing permanent or removable dog gates or Dutch doors in some openings.
Every dog owner must consider how to handle their dog’s “business” in the yard. Options are available today for pet waste management, including a system that allows waste to be deposited directly into the sewer through an attachment to the sewer/septic clean-out.
Similarly, cat owners often struggle with where to put litter boxes, in order to find a balance between convenience for the cats and unobtrusiveness for the humans. Why not build a litter box cabinet in your laundry room? Builders are even installing low-volume fans inside these cabinets to keep air circulating and odor to a minimum.
Some cat owners would like their pets to enjoy the great outdoors without becoming subject to the dangers and parasites that the outdoors presents. Solutions include a pet door to a “cat run”, an enclosed area that allows in the sunshine and fresh air, but keeps out predators (and prey – sources of parasites). Other cats are contented with the availability of a sun room or screened porch – features that pets and owners alike enjoy, often in one another’s company!
At the very least, cats enjoy looking out the window, and extra deep window sills or window seats can provide hours of entertainment or comfortable spots to nap for your feline friends.
Cat and dog owners alike should take their pets into consideration when selecting basic materials such as flooring and wall coverings. Washable paints are available which make maintaining clean wall surfaces much easier – especially for families which include dogs with a tendency to drool.
Hard floors are undeniably preferable for use with indoor pets, rather than wall-to-wall carpeting. They are easier to clean and more durable. Ceramic tile is often considered the best option for easy cleaning and damage-resistance. Wood, slate, and laminate are close behind. However, high-quality stain-resistant carpets have come a long way in their ability to recover from spills, messes, and accidents. Keep in mind what colors will best hide hairs when you make your color selections, or what styles will least reveal scratches or scars from claw marks. Distressed wood floor can be great for creating a country, old-style aesthetic while also hiding minor pet damage.
Don’t forget, when you plan your cabinets and closets, that pets tend to accumulate toys, dishes, food and medicines that also require storage, in addition to their human counterparts. Placement of this storage is of equal importance, because some clever cats and dogs will help themselves if food is stored within their reach!
Avian enthusiasts might enjoy the benefits of a backyard flight cage to accommodate their feathered-friends, or a built-in bird cage, or a “bird room” in their home.
If keeping an aquarium is your hobby, consider having a custom aquarium installed in your home. With proper design of the floor supports, very large aquariums holding many hundreds of gallons of water can be built into the interior design, complete with decorative trim and cabinet / drawer space above or below.
Finally, home cleanliness can be maintained more conveniently by making wise vacuum and air filter options in your home. A strong central vacuum system can be very convenient for regular sweeping, as the canister is installed and does not have to be lugged around, room – to – room, and up and down the stairs. Air filters help to trap allergens and improve air quality for you and your pets.
These are just a few ways a pet owner can include specific conveniences to their new home to accommodate their friends. During all of your pet-related chores, consider how they could be made easier through the design of your home. Make an appointment with your B.O.L.D. sales representative to discuss how these design ideas can become a reality in your very own custom “animal house!”
For an answer to your home design pet questions, contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.