Home Improvements That Pay You Back

moving packing boxes

There are many good reasons to undertake a home remodeling project. Sprucing up a bedroom or bathroom, for example, can increase the room’s functionality and make it more attractive. And the right exterior renovation can boost your home’s curb appeal and make it the envy of the neighborhood.

There are also several improvements that will provide financial benefits by increasing your home’s resale value. The following projects can deliver an excellent return on your investment when the time comes to put your house on the market:

  • Making minor bathroom renovations: Many folks make the condition of the bathrooms a top priority when determining whether to purchase a home. The good news is that you don’t have to tear the entire room apart to make a cost-effective upgrade. A project that involves replacing the tub, sink and flooring could produce up to a 100 percent return on your investment.
  • Redesigning a kitchen: The kitchen has become the focal point in the modern home. A kitchen upgrade that includes replacing the oven, range and fixtures, as well as re-facing the cabinets and putting in laminate flooring will cost around $15,000. It will also yield a return of up to 98 percent when you sell your house.
  • Transforming an attic: Converting an attic into a bedroom can provide badly needed sleeping space for a growing family and increase a home’s value. Depending on where you live, an attic conversion will yield a return of 80-105 percent at selling time. Your attic project should include the installation of high-quality insulation, assuming you don’t already have it.
  • Remodeling a basement: A finished basement can give you additional living space to use as a spare bedroom, family room, entertainment area or “man cave.” You should also be able to recoup about 90 percent of a basement renovation project’s cost upon selling your home.
  • Improving the exterior: Unless buyers are looking for a bargain-priced “fixer-upper,” they’re likely to drive by without stopping if they see a house with a dilapidated exterior. Making improvements such as painting, installing new siding or upgrading the landscaping will increase your home’s resale value — and make it more inviting to prospects.
  • Building a deck: Adding a backyard deck or patio or expanding the porch will also add value to your home and increase its visual appeal. The typical deck project costs around $10,000-$12,000, but you’ll get about 90 percent of that back when you sell your home.
  • Investing in smart technology: You might not think of features such as home automation and wireless security cameras as home improvements, but today’s home shoppers, especially younger buyers, are looking for “smart” technology that is already integrated into the design. This can you a competitive edge over other sellers, especially during a buyer’s market.

Titan Alarm, Inc. Can Handle Your Home’s Smart Technology Needs

If you own a home in Phoenix or Tucson, AZ or the surrounding areas, Titan Alarm can install an innovative security system equipped with the latest home automation technology. Contact us to schedule a free in-home consultation today.

Learn More About Home Automation

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

What Intruders Don’t Want You to Know About Home Security

Installing a state-of-the-art security system is an important step to reduce your risk of a burglary or home invasion. However, experienced criminals look for any opportunity they can find to thwart the system — what might seem like an insignificant detail to you can help a crook decide whether to target your home or move on.

Use the following tips to help you “think like a thief” and decrease the likelihood that you’ll become the next victim of a break-in.

  • Trim trees and vegetation: When burglars see a home surrounded by trees, bushes and hedges, they may view it as the perfect cover to obscure them from neighbors and passersby on the street. Keeping the vegetation trimmed may detract from your property’s curb appeal and reduce shade, but it can also prevent thieves from targeting your home.
  • Don’t leave a spare key outside: Some folks think they’re being clever by stashing an extra house key in the ceramic giraffe on the porch or under the doormat. But veteran burglars know all the hiding places. Leave your spare key with a trusted neighbor, or better yet, install door locks you can activate with your mobile device.
  • Set the alarm during the day: Many homeowners mistakenly believe that burglars only practice their craft under cover of darkness. Therefore, they often neglect to activate the security system before leaving for work in the morning. Thieves are aware of this, which is one reason many burglaries occur in broad daylight. Always set the alarm, even if you’re only leaving the house for a few minutes.
  • Don’t broadcast your out-of-town trips: We all love to share our traveling and vacation adventures on social media. Enterprising crooks also monitor Facebook and other sites to see when you’re heading out of town, giving them an open invitation to stop by for a “visit” while you’re away. Wait until you get home to share those fabulous photos from your trip!
  • Watch what you put in the trash: Did you just purchase a new flat screen TV, computer or other expensive electronic gadget or household furnishing? If you place the item’s box with your curbside trash, your friendly neighborhood burglar will also be aware of your purchase. It requires a little extra effort, but breaking or cutting up the box before putting it in the garbage can help keep the thieves away.
  • Hide your ladder: It’s more convenient to keep the ladder on the side of the house, but a burglar can also use it to gain access to a second-story window. Store the ladder and other “stackable” items inside your (locked) garage when they’re not in use.

Contact Titan Alarm for More Helpful Home Protection Advice

As the leading home security solutions provider in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ, Titan Alarm, Inc. can provide additional tips to help you create a burglar-proof home. Contact us for more information and to schedule a no-obligation security consultation today.

Learn More About Stopping Home Intruders

Updated by Titan Alarm on October 31, 2018.

How To Stop Porch Pirates

Have you ever received a notice from a delivery service informing you that they’ve dropped off your package — only to discover that the item isn’t there when you get home? You may have been the victim of a so-called “porch pirate.” These individuals steal packages from porches and stoops, often in broad daylight. The most brazen pirates will follow delivery drivers as they may their rounds and pilfer the packages as soon as the truck is out of sight.

Each year, millions of Americans have had their delivered items stolen by porch pirates. While package thefts occur more frequently during the holiday season, many “professional” pirates practice their illicit trade throughout the year.

Tips for Preventing Porch Thefts

The following steps can help you from becoming your friendly neighborhood porch pirate’s next victim:

  1. Choose an alternate delivery option: Rather than having the package delivered to your home, explore the possibility of using one of the following alternatives:
    • Amazon locker boxes: If you ordered the item from Amazon.com, you can choose to pick it up at one of their locker locations. If you’re unable to collect the package within the three-day timeframe, Amazon will issue a refund.
    • Post office boxes: Some (but not all) shippers will send packages to a P.O. box for pickup.
    • On-site pickup: Many companies will allow you to pick up ordered items at their location.
    • Trusted neighbor’s home: You may also be able to arrange to have the package delivered to a neighbor’s house if no one can be home to meet the delivery driver.
  1. Use home security features to keep porch pirates at bay: If none of the above methods are practical or convenient, modern home security technology can come to your rescue. All these options are compatible with smartphones and tablets, enabling you to monitor and control them remotely:
    • Doorbell cameras: In addition to alerting you when someone is ringing your doorbell, these innovative cameras will notify you whenever they sense motion on your porch.
    • Smart locks: Use smart locks in tandem with doorbell cameras to thwart porch pirates. Use your camera feed to confirm the presence of a legitimate delivery driver, then press a button on your smart device to unlock the door so the driver can leave the package inside. You can them re-lock the door when the driver departs. If you’re not comfortable with the thought of a driver entering your home, you can install a smart garage door controller that allows access to the garage instead.
    • Outdoor surveillance cameras: Cameras placed at strategic locations around your home will provide a sweeping view of your property. In addition to enabling you to watch delivery drivers from the moment they arrive unit they drive away, you can also keep an eye on a package left at a spot other than your front porch.

Nothing is worse than anticipating a package to be on your doorstep and realizing it’s not there. It’s a growing problem in neighborhoods across the U.S., too. Packages are disappearing from porches, stoops and doorsteps — and porch pirates are the culprits.

Porch pirates are thieves who steal delivered packages from your house. Because more people are shopping online, more deliveries are arriving each day to homes, especially during the holidays. When you are at work, school or running errands and unable to accept the packages, it results in an easy target for thieves.

How to Prevent Stolen Packages

Here are a few tips on how to avoid your special deliveries from being stolen:

  • If you aren’t home at the time of delivery, send it to your workplace or a friend or family member who will be available.
  • Request a signature for packages and deliveries to make sure the right person is receiving the box.
  • Don’t leave gifts in open view. Surround your front area with shrubs or plants to enclose your area for more privacy.
  • Don’t advertise package arrivals with posts on social media.
  • Use smart package lockers from Amazon. Their lockers allow you to pick up your package at selected locations.
  • Request an access point for deliveries besides your home, like a grocery store.
  • Track your package so you know the exact day and time of your package’s arrival.

Installing Video Surveillance Cameras to Impede Porch Pirates

One of the smartest and most effective ways to thwart off porch pirates is to install security camera systems where your packages are left — whether it be at your front door, side garage door or even back porch.

Security systems can deter thieves, especially when you place cameras in evident and visible locations. However, you will want to apply them to high areas, so thieves don’t tamper with the system. If a porch pirate notices your security system, it can prevent package theft not only at your home, but it may also help secure your neighborhood as well.

Along with a security system, always make sure your home in well lit. Use outside lights, motion lights, spotlights and timed lights while you’re away to give your home a lived-in look. An alarm system is also a helpful tactic if you want to prevent package theft.

Titan Alarm Is Here for You

Our professionals are here to assist you in determining the ideal security system for your home. With our innovative systems, you can control your alarms, cameras, door locks, door, bell and lighting all with your smartphone. You will see who enters your property at all times whether you are home or away.

For more information about how we can help you keep special deliveries safe, contact us today.

Learn More About Home Video Surveillance

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

Page Updated November 1, 2018

Wireless Surveillance Camera Installation Tips

Surveillance cameras serve as the backbone of any reliable home security system. Strategically placed cameras enable you to monitor the most vulnerable areas, providing 24/7/365 protection against burglars and intruders. Today’s smart technology even allows you to use your tablet, smartphone or Internet-connected computer as an extra monitor.

Achieve Added Protection With Wireless Surveillance

Many homeowners in the Phoenix and Tucson areas are discovering the benefits of installing a wireless surveillance camera system. Because there is no need to run wires or cables, you have greater flexibility to place the cameras exactly where you need them. The lack of wires also streamlines and simplifies the installation process.

The following tips can ensure the ideal wireless camera system setup in your home:

  • Conduct a camera system layout: Before purchasing any cameras or equipment, determine where you need to place the cameras in your home. Many burglars attempt to enter a home through the front door, so this should be this is a prime spot for a camera. Other spots include the back door, off-street windows, detached garages and any areas not visible from the street. Creating a rough diagram of your property can help you determine the best places to install a camera.
  • Determine proximity to electrical outlets: The beauty of wireless camera systems is that they do not require connection to a central control panel — they operate via your home’s existing Wi-Fi network. However, unless you choose battery-powered cameras, you still need to plug them in. Make sure you select camera placement locations that are close enough to electrical outlets to maximize the advantage of “plug-and play” connectivity.
  • Ensure there is sufficient signal strength: Are there areas in your home where the Wi-Fi signal is unreliable? Placing cameras in these spots may result in poor connectivity and “choppy” video streaming. If you need to install a camera to protect an area with poor signal strength, you may add a Wi-Fi extender. Removing obstructions that may be blocking the signal can also improve its strength.
  • Maximize your cameras’ motion tracking capabilities: Cameras are available that can track movement — this allows you to follow an intruder or he or she traverses your property. For best results, install your cameras about seven feet off the ground and angle them slightly downward, as this will provide the most expansive field of vision.
  • Take advantage of remote monitoring and instant alerts: One of the biggest advantages of a wireless surveillance system is the watch live or recorded camera feeds with your smartphone or tablet. Using this feature will allow you to monitor your property — and gain additional peace of mind — even if you’re hundreds of miles from home. You can also receive instant alerts that will notify you whenever your cameras detect movement.

Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. to Learn More About Wireless Surveillance Systems

Titan Alarm can help you select and install a wireless camera system that will provide around-the-clock protection for your Phoenix or Tucson property. Contact us for more information and a no-obligation in-home security consultation today.

Learn More About Home Video Surveillance

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.

How to Install a Security Camera Quickly

When you don’t have time to call in the professionals, learning how to install your security system quickly can mean all the difference when it comes to your safety. Many cameras are DIY-friendly with a simplified installation process to save you time and money.

Predetermine the Location of Security Cameras

It’s vital to predetermine the location of each camera. Knowing where you want to install your system before you set it up will save you time and the hassle of relocating cameras once they are in place.

Whether you have one camera or five, install them where you have the most visibility of a specific area, such as your front and back doors, the garage or other entry points. Refer to the following tips to optimize each location:

  1. Place cameras high off the ground: Instead of placing cameras at eye level or lower, applying them to higher areas can protect them from vandalism. The higher location also helps to cover a wider scope. The best angle is for the camera to be looking down from a corner so that you can see exits and entrances.
  2. Keep systems under shelter: While security cameras are often waterproof, mount them in covered areas to keep a high quality of security footage.
  3. Mount your security cameras away from light: Installing cameras away from various sources of light such as the sun, lamps and porch lights can help with visibility and reduce glare.
  4. Use an obstruction-free area: With no obstructions in front of your cameras, you can increase the system’s view.
  5. Protect the cables: Place cables on the side of buildings or in safer areas.
  6. Place the cameras in an obvious location: Obvious placement can deter unwanted people from entering your home or property.

How to Connect Cameras Efficiently

Depending on the type of camera system you invest in, there are different ways to connect each. For example, a wireless system doesn’t require cables to run through the ground or a building, but components will likely still need to be connected to a power source.

Here’s what you need to know about the camera installation process:

  • Place the camera mount in the desired location and mark where on the wall each screw should go.
  • Make a hole for each screw using a drill.
  • Hammer in molding pins if available and screw the mount into the wall.
  • Position the camera to give you the best view.

Attaching a camera to a power source is simple, too. Most systems will come with a power adapter you plug into a normal wall socket. Plug the source into the outlet and the other end into the back of your camera, and you are ready!

Security Camera Systems From Titan Alarm

Get your system up and running right out of the box. Designed for DIY-friendly installations, Titan Alarm’s security systems are simple to set up, so you don’t have to rely on the experts. As your go-to full-service alarm company, our systems allow you to control your alarm, camera, door locks, door, bell, thermostats and lighting all with your smartphone. You will know who is coming and going at all times from your home or business.

Contact us for more information about security camera installation today.

Learn More About Commercial Video Surveillance

Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.