Friday, September 23, 2011
Given all the bad real estate news around the world, it's nice to see something from the lighter side - cutting-edge, pet-friendly home designs from Japan. (As an interesting sidelight, note the tiny footprints of these houses.)
According to [the designer's] estimates, the cost to design a two-story, detached wooden home built to cat specifications ranges from 3.2 million yen (about $42,000 in U.S. dollars) for a 20-square-meter space (about 215 square feet) -- on up to 13 percent of the total construction costs for a space measuring more than 50 square meters (about 538 square feet), the company reports.
a cat-accessible loft that features skylights and windows;
a multistage cube of shelves with cat beds; and
a floor-to-ceiling scratching post column, wrapped in hemp rope.
And for dog lovers?
Features of a dog-friendly home typically include proper ventilation to eliminate hair shed; odor absorbent materials; and a dog shower or toilet. Other dog-friendly home features include: dog-level peepholes in garden walls, pet-door installations in each room, outdoor courtyards in dense urban housing areas, and scratch-resistant flooring.
"For dogs it's ... more difficult (than designing a home for cats)," Koyama said, adding that special attention must be given to materials used for the floors and stairs.
The cost to design a two-story wooden home to dog specifications can range from 3 million yen (about $39,000 in U.S. dollars) for a 20-square-meter space (about 215 square feet) up to 12 percent of total construction costs for a space exceeding 50 square meters (about 538 square feet).
American home designers and real estate developers, take note of this potential niche market in an otherwise troubled housing sector!
Jamie Baker Roskie