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Pet-Friendly Home Remodeling

March 5th, 2011

Pet-Friendly Home Remodeling


Although home remodeling is something we humans use to improve our own creature-comforts, pet owners often can’t resist the opportunity to incorporate upgrades into their remodels to better accommodate their furry little friends. Not only can remodeling around your pets improve their lives in your home, but incorporating pet needs into your remodel can make your own lifestyle more comfortable as well. The remodeling team at greyHouse recently worked on one such renovation, a large addition on the north side of Raleigh, NC that also included kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling and overall renovation of the existing house. The homeowners are devoted parents of a handful of friendly felines, and it was through this enlightening project we had the opportunity to utilize pet-friendly remodeling techniques in a real-life application.

Fun Feline Features for Home Remodeling

Cats are certainly easy pets to take care of, but they’re not entirely maintenance free. Scratching posts and litter boxes, especially, can be eyesores (and nose-wrinklers) if your home doesn’t have a tucked-away spot to house these unsightly accessories. Luckily for homeowners, there are plenty of ways to accommodate these not-so-enticing pet necessities. First, depending on the type of remodeling project you’re undertaking, look for an opportunity to include a separate space intended primarily or entirely for pet needs. Although kitchen remodeling might not offer such opportunity, bathroom remodeling & basement finishing both often allow for built-in, pantry-sized areas in parts of the home away from traditional gathering places. These spaces, if possible to construct, can house smelly, unsightly litter boxes and also store other pet-related supplies. To help with the stigmatic odors and unavoidable dust, additional ventilation can be added to the area during the HVAC rough-in of the remodeling phase. Special cat doors (like a doggy-door, but for kitties!) can be installed leading into the area to further block out odors while still allowing access for the animals. These access doors can also be installed leading to sunrooms or screened porches, so animals can access these special spaces without their humans having to sacrifice with their heating & cooling bills.

Doggy-Designed Remodeling

Aside from the standard doggy-doors that have graced homes for years, there are a myriad of dog-driven features remodelers can easily – and discretely – incorporate into their home renovations to make dog parenting simpler. One of the most common frustrations dog owners face is having to corral their attention-seeking friends into pet-appropriate parts of the house. A common fix for this issue is the installation of rudimentary (and unsightly) dog gates that install using tension in doorways. But why settle for an eyesore in your newly remodeled home when you could have your general contractor install a built-in gating system that blends seamlessly with the landscape of your home? From pocket door-style gates adorned with wainscoting to swinging frameless glass half-doors, there are options for any style from classic to modern. Using a design-build contractor who develops custom plans is the most efficient way to incorporate these built-in upgrades.

Dogs have also been known to be hard on floors, particularly hardwoods that can easily be scratched by their nails. Custom natural wood flooring, which would otherwise be the most susceptible to marring, can be installed with additional lacquers to protect against pet claws and extra-heavy wear and tear. For families who kennel their dogs at night, built-in kennels that steer away from the traditional cage-style confinements can be installed during the remodel. These not only are part of your home and a great selling feature for dog-owning buyers down the road, but you’ll feel good about putting your dog to bed each night in a kennel that doesn’t have a cold metal door.

Lastly, most dog owners have an outdoor dog house located on their property. A quick and inexpensive upgrade for your beloved pet’s personal space? Have your home remodeling contractor add coordinated siding to your doghouse while he is managing the siding replacement on your home. This will tie the two structures together, similar to the way a detached garage jives with the main structure.

Awesome Aquatic Alterations

While fish, turtles and other marine life are not nearly as invasive as a dog or cat, they are equally as important parts of their owners’ lives. While not every fish owner will feel the need to incorporate their little swimmers into a home remodeling project, there are a few quick, easy and inexpensive projects that can be incorporated during the design phase of remodeling. For one thing, the most unique feature to having aquatic life as pets is their self-contained home – that can also double as an artistic design feature. Tropical fish tanks that house a multitude of colorful creatures can (and often already do) serve as the focal point in a room, so why not incorporate a built-in space during your remodeling project for the tank? Popular in upscale hotels and fancy restaurants, fish tanks housed in the pass-throughs of walls offer a unique design feature that put your pets on display. It’s likely that people who own fish on this scale want their tanks to serve as a design element, so constructing a built-in shelf, table or wall space to incorporate a tank is a no-brainer.

Regardless of what type of pet you’re a parent to, there are plenty of ways to incorporate their wellbeing – and your comfort – into your home remodeling project. For more creative solutions on pet remodeling, contact the greyHouse Inc. design team at greyHouse is a pet-friendly remodeler, both personally and in the renovations we manage. Visit our offices & showroom to meet our pet consultant, Wynn, pictured below.

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