October 2000 Edition

Remote Door Bell 

We have a three story house and the door bell is located upstairs. When we are in the basement, we cannot hear the bell. Is there some way to add another bell in the basement?
There are two possibilities you might consider. First of all, you could run a wire from the upstairs bell down to the basement. This is often accomplished by dropping a wire from the attic, down a chase (an opening in the wall that is open to the basement). If this is possible, you can connect another bell in the basement. A home center can show you how to accomplish the task and what materials you will need.
Another option is to purchase a wireless door chime. You can have a switch located at the front door and the rear door with a receiver on each floor. You can also have a different tone for the front door and rear door. Check with your local home center or RadioShack for additional information and pricing.

Driveway Monitor

Our house sits back quite a ways from the street. Is there a way to let us know when a vehicle comes down our driveway?
Security is always an important con- sideration when your house is secluded from the street. What you need is a driveway monitor. It lets you know when a vehicle comes onto your property. A discreet sensor is placed at the end of your driveway that sends a radio signal up to 400 feet to the receiving unit inside the house. The receiver emits a signal and triggers a LED light to alert you of an approaching vehicle. Registering changes in a magnetic field, it will only detect large metal objects, and not be triggered by people or animals. They are easy to install and operate. The cost is around $150.00. One unit that is available is the "DesignTech Driveway Monitor" sold by RadioShack. You can also check with a home security company. 

Security Lighting 

The power goes off in our house quite often. We have a batch of candles handy just in case of a blackout. Is there a lighting system that can be added to a home similar to those in commercial buildings?
Home backup lighting systems have been available for years. Emergency lighting provides bright illumination where you need it when the power goes out. Most units come with dual lights with swivel base for positioning at any angle. They also come with motion detectors with built in photocell for automatic dusk to dawn operation for outdoor use. They have a self contained PIR sensing security light when unplugged or the power goes off. Most units come with a maintenance-free rechargeable battery and 110V AC adapter
Another popular type of security light is a flood light with a motion sensor for outdoor use. These units are very inexpensive and can be used all around the house. My favorite place is in front of my garage. When I come home late at night, the light automatically comes on before I open the garage overhead door. The sensor will turn the light off after approximately three minutes. 

Remote Control 

We like to leave a light on in our house for security when we are away. Often we do not make it home before it gets dark. Is there a way to do this by remote control?
 You now can turn on appliances and lights from any touch-tone phone! This will save on your electric bill by only turning on the item when needed. My problem is forgetting to turn off the coffee maker when I leave for work. Now you can turn "on" or "off" any appliance whenever you want by using your phone. Pricing is around $60.00. What could be easier? 

Mail Alert 

With all of the fancy security systems and electronic gizmos in the house that turn on everything from the stereo to the oven, is there a way to tell when the mail arrives?
 Tired of trudging the length of your driveway and back in the pouring rain, only to find that the mailman hasn’t yet reached your street? What you need is a mail alert detector. The detector has a sensor that will send a signal back to your house when the mail arrives. A beeper or a flashing LED light will announce that the mail has arrived. Press a reset button on your house unit, and you’re ready for the next delivery. What will they think of next?

 Source: RadioShack

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 1003 Star Court, Norcross, Georgia 30093. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote Of The Month

"Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave,

and grow old wanting to get back to."

- John Ed Pearce

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Cynthia Harrison

Northside Realty

200 South Main Street

Alpharetta, Georgia 30004

**** Thank You****