Custom Cat Bathrooms (Boxes)
I’ve had this idea for the longest time. We own two cats (or they own us… semantics.) Where ever we’ve lived, I’ve always had this intense hatred for the cat box. I hate dirty stuff inside the house, yet they are indoor cats so they have to have a place to go inside. Catch-22 situation.
In our last house, I had a big box built out of particle board in the garage. I placed it up against one of the walls. The other side of the wall was our hallway closet. Then I had a hole in the wall professionally cut and dry walled…etc so the cats could walk into the hole from the house and go directly into the cat box. I also built another hole in the closet wall so the cats could walk from the hallway into the closet, then walk through the other hole to enter the cat box.
The box in the garage had a lid on it with holes poked in the top for ventilation. The lid was on a hinge so I could lift it up and scoop the litter from the garage instead of having to do it in the house and get cat litter fumes everywhere… etc. I also had a sheetmetal liner made to contain the litter. Cat pee is EXTREMELY acidic and will pretty much eat through wood like the bad paper towels in the side-by-side Brawny paper towel comparisons. So you have to have a metal liner of some sort.
It was a marvelous system, I can tell you. We absolutely loved it. On top of it, when we went to sell the home, we got a TON of potential buyers looking at the home solely because they want to see this “Custom Cat Box” solution we advertised in our ads.
Then, as I always do, I thought about ways I could market this system. The entire thing cost me about $350 including someone coming in and making the two holes in the wall and roughing them out to look professional looking. That also included the materials for the box and the custom-made sheetmetal liner.
If someone were industrious enough and handy enough with drywall and building a wood box… etc, they could make a nice living doing this.
Details: Do a prototype at your own house or a friend’s then take pics of it, put together a flyer featuring nice pictures of the system then go door to door, handing out this flyer (either by knocking on doors or just putting the flyer in the door) and watch the orders come in. The raw materials would cost about $50 so all the rest is your labor costs. If you charge $350 for the project, and sell one of these a day, you could be making $300 a day. Actual work time might consist of about 3 hours per job, give or take. The rest of the day can be spent on the golf course, or out getting more jobs. To take it even further, you could hire someone to do the flyer distribution and you just do the jobs when they call.
To make it easier once you get a job, you could prebuild the boxes at your own place and have them ready to go. Also, go to your local sheet metal fabricator and have 5 or 6 inserts pre-made so you can have them on hand when you get a job. Once you get a job, all that needs to be done is cutting the hole and finishing it nicely (roughing, drywalling… etc.) Then you just place the box on the other side of the hole, secure it, make sure it’s at the right height to meet the hole in the wall by customizing the legs or base that it stands on, and viola, you’re done. There shouldn’t be any permits needed as you’re not building a permanent structure. (Make sure you consult local ordinances as is always a good idea when starting ANY business.)
When advertising it, you might want to quote the absolute cheapest price it will take at perhaps $200 or so for a best case scenario. That would be for a really straight foward job of cutting a hole in the wall and mounting the box as described above. Then each job would of course require an individual quote. That’s because each garage is going to be different. Perhaps the best place to put the box will require a custom shaped box… etc. So, those jobs might be $350 or more.
That’s it. I’d actually do this for a living if I were better at construction stuff. There’s also another idea that relates to this one, but I’ll save that for the next post. 🙂
Now get bizzy!
Bizzy Man Dan