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Are doorbells Obsolete?

There are a number of things builders include in a home.  Some, like smoke detectors or hand rails, are included because the Building Code says they have to be there.  But many things are included because our customers EXPECT them to be in the home and disappointing customers is not what a quality builder wants to do.  But as technology and habits change, including items that are no longer used is a waste of time and money.  Take the telephone for example.  Ten years ago it was common for people to want a phone jack in practically every room in the home.  They needed one in the Kitchen, Master bedroom, office, each kids bedroom, plus the family room, laundry room, and sometimes even the bath.  A formal living room and dining room were practically the only rooms exempted.  Yet today, with cell phones being so prevalent and telemarketing being so predominate, having a “land line” at home is becoming more and more of a rarity.

Another item that seemed to come and go was the “SMART BOX and Structured Wiring”  It wasn’t that long ago that “experts” were telling us all that our homes needed to be “wired with the latest CAT (pick a number, any number) wiring for anything to operate.  Builders reacted and have expensive wire strung all over the house.  Yet today how many homes simply have a wireless router connected to one cable or DSL port to serve the digital needs of everything in the home?

Which brings me to doorbells.  Who rings your doorbell?  In our home it’s the door to door sales people, survey takers, evangelists and occasionally a politician running for office.  The people we know or more commonly, the people our kids know, either text or call from out front.   To teenagers, ringing a door bell is way too invasive, almost rude.  The assumption is “if you don’t know me well enough to know my cell phone number, what makes you think I want to talk to you”? It may be way too early to see if Society’s norms are changing in regard to front door etiquette and if they do change that doesn’t always mean it’s a change for the better.  In addition to the unwelcome intrusions that peddlers and petition solicitors might make, are the next door neighbor that needs to borrow a cup of milk for their dinner that night.  Neighbors generally use a door bell when there is a local need and neighbors are what makes a community a great place to live.  It’s too soon to tell whether doorbells will go the way of the land line phone, but it’s good to know that doorbells still come standard in a Maronda Home, if for nothing more than to announce the arrival of the UPS package at the front door, the next door neighbor that stopped by because they need a some help or the little Cub Scout that wants to know if you want to buy some popcorn from his troop this year.  It’s all about the fabric that makes up a community, and makes your house a home.  Who rings your doorbell?

About Tom Greenawalt

Tom is a Licensed Builder in the State of Florida. He has been in the construction industry for 35 years building new homes in Pittsburgh, Washington DC, and Chicago before moving to Central Florida. The majority of Tom's career has on detached housing for entry level and first time move up buyers. He was with Maronda Homes for over 15 years.

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