Tag Archives: handicap ramp installation

The Realities of Age in Place Remodeling

Although a new concept, aging in place has become a notion that not only seniors but middle-aged people have started to appreciate the importance of.  Not only does it make sense because it makes life easier for you but also from a financial stand point.

 

No one ever wants to discuss getting older and not being able to care for themselves as they are today.  Trust me, I get that; I know for me it is one thing that is brought up all to often among my kids when talking with me and it is the last thing I really want to talk with them about.  However, the facts exist, whether we want to talk about it or plan for it, we will get older.

 

It is important to understand that if your goal is to remain in your home for as long as possible then the sooner you start preparing for the aging process the better.  Yes, you may only be in your forties but if you are already considering renovations around the home then you should start to include features that will make it easier to grow old with.

 

Aging isn’t really the problem.  The issue arises from the affects of aging.  There are several changes that occur mentally, physically, and your abilities overall tend to slow down.  It becomes harder to navigate the terrain later in life as the freedoms you once had become more difficult.

What Are Dangers In Waiting to Renovate To Accommodate Aging Needs

There are two areas in which I want to focus today as we discuss aging and the desire to stay within our homes, caring for ourselves: What are the most realistic dangers physically, mentally, and financially? and What will occur if you wait to act now?

Risk Of Falling

The biggest issue found in emergency rooms involving seniors comes from accidental falls.  Not only does the fall impact you today but also your future lifestyle.  Protecting yourself from accidental spills around the home is just one of the precautions that need to be considered sooner than later.  If you are considering an update to your flooring be sure to use materials that offer some type of slip resistance, even when wet.  The flooring should also take into consideration navigation, if a wheelchair or walker should be needed, the ease of maintenance, as well as the about of cushion and comfort it provides.  A side effect of falling is an increase in serious, debilitating, long lasting issues from broken hips to an increase in dementia.  It is crucial that steps are taken very early on to prevent the risk of falling as a fall will significantly decrease your quality of life.

 

If you wait to start planning and remodeling until after an incident you are really putting yourself in danger not only physically but mentally and financially as well.  The less able you are to take care of your self the more mentally frustrated you will become.  Especially for those of us who have remained active and are living a physical lifestyle.  Financially we are also affected because are ability to earn income will decrease and our care expenses will increase.

 

It comes down to the reality that designing and preparing your home for aging in place when renovating not only is a solid financial investment but also makes your home safer to live in right now.  Added safety around your home whether you are in your thirties or fifties can’t hurt.   Age in place remodeling helps increase your longevity and preventing accidents such as unexpected falls.   Without remodeling with aging in mind you could lose tens of thousands of dollars each year as you pay for assisted living and nursing home care.

 

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

Remodeling for a More Accessible Home For Seniors

As people age, there always seems to be more and more limitation that makes it difficult for them to be able to do the simple things that they once took for granted. Whether it not being able to climb the stairs like you used to, to be able to stand for long periods of time or even reach items in the kitchen like you used to. All of these things could happen over time or change due to a medical issue that makes it difficult to do the things that you use to do with relative ease.

 

These days more and more families are taking in their senior parents rather than see them have to live out their senior years in a home. While some medical reasons may make that necessary, most people would rather make it where their parents can either stay in their own home longer or simply move into their home.

 

To be able to do this there are often things that can be done to remodel their home or your home in order to make life a bit better for them. Some things are quite easy and other things will require a bit of remodeling and that usually means hiring a contractor and could cost a pretty penny. Below is a short list of some of the things that we came up with. Remember, not all of these will apply to your unique situation.

 

10 Things to consider when remodeling for a senior person

 

Pay attention to the specific needs of your senior parent or loved one – Always remember that you are doing this for your loved one and you need to include them in any changes to be sure they fit with them. One size remodeling truly does not fit all.

 

Be sure you have a complete plan of what you want to do – Be sure to formulate a plan and put it in writing so that you have something to follow when you go to put your plan into action.

 

If you have any doubts bring in a professional to evaluate the home – While you may be able to come up with some good ideas, you may want to have a professional come in and evaluate the home and make some recommendation.

 

Remove any obstruction in all access points – A very simple change that virtually anyone can make is to remove any and all obstructions at points of entry in a room. When you have difficulty walking even a bump in the carpeting can cause an obstruction.

 

Talk to all of the professional caregivers of your parents to get ideas – Another great resource for you to consider is to talk to all of the people who provide care for them to get some ideas on how to make their home life better.

 

Get a professional contractor – When the time comes that you need to do any type of structural changes to your home you should bring in a professional contractor for advice and help.

 

No-step entry is the first best step – Like the obstructions at all access points into/out of a room, a no-step entry point into and out of the home is a must. This will more than likely require you to hire a professional.

 

Consider pocket doors versus swinging doors – Turning door knobs and twisting handles on doors can be difficult for seniors, if it is possible you should consider replacing all of them in the home.

 

Electric stair lifts – Having a two-story home climbing stairs for many seniors is not only a chore but at times it can be potentially extremely dangerous. If you can afford it look into the electric stair lifts, it will give all of you peace of mind.

 

Reconfiguring the home – If climbing stairs are completely out of the question then you should immediately look into reconfiguring the lower level to have everything on one that level for them.

 

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

 

Changes To Keep In Mind For Age In Place Remodels

I have met with a significant number of homeowners that are concerned about making their homes accessible for their ever-changing needs as they age.  As a specialist in age in place remodeling it has become my mission to create spaces, when remodeling, that ensure clients changing needs will be met through the renovation process.  Aging comes with enough complications; the last thing that homeowners need is added complications surrounding their home.

Ranch vs Two Story

We don’t ever think about growing old when we purchase our first homes but often are first homes become are only home.  With that being said it is important to note that not every homeowner thinks about the hitches that come with owning a two-story home as you get older.  Many older homeowners have decided they want to stay in their two-story home, so it is my job to make it safe for them to access the second floor.  Obviously, an elevator can be installed however this can be quite cost prohibitive, upwards of $30,000 to $65,000, along with ongoing maintenance.  Another option is the installation of a stair lift, which allows the user to go up and down the stairs using an automatic chair.  This is a much more cost-effective option, ranging between $2,500 to $5,500.

Entrance

Depending on the type of entry way that currently exists the installation of a special ramp that allows access into the home via wheelchair or with walker assistance.    Handicap ramps can be designed to match the homes exterior or able to be removed and transported.  The actual door entrance as well should be evaluated.  A no-step entry way is as important as an entrance without stairs to individuals using devices to assist in maneuvering around.

Wide-Pocket Doors

Wider doors accommodate for the ease of movement using walkers, canes, and wheelchairs.  Another element that is helpful is to switch out commonly used doors throughout the home with pocket doors, when able.  Pocket doors do not need to swing in or out which allows for accessibility to two users if an individual were to need assistance or if mobility assistance devices were used.

Bathroom Modifications

The bathroom and kitchen spaces are the two areas that are of utmost concern when it comes to aging in place.  To combat worry from within the bathroom area there are a number of options to present to homeowners from walk-in tubs to built in shower seats.  My preference for safety and efficiency is the installation of a walk-in shower with a built-in bench.  This however will not satisfy homeowners looking to take a bath.  If an actual tub is desired a walk-in tub can be installed.  Along with these modifications it is important to add grab bars and a raised toilet to just add to ease of use with-in the space.

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

Things to Keep in Mind When Finding a Contractor

A Home Improvement Contractor is defined as any person who possesses or runs a contracting business who, through himself or others, undertakes, reasons to have the capacity to undertake, offers to undertake, or submits a bid for residential contracting work to a homeowner.

A Home Improvement Contracting Registration is governed by M.G.L c. 142A. Contractors who engage in residential contracting agreements with homeowners for work on their primary residence of 4 units or less, are required to register with OCABR. Residential contracting is defined under the law as “the reconstruction, alteration, renovation, repair, modernization, conversion, improvement, removal or demolition or the construction of an addition to any pre-existing, owner-occupied, building containing at least one but not more than four dwelling units.

But before you start flipping through the Yellow Pages and calling every contractor in the book, let’s get your expectations on the right planet. You should expect that in this day and age, skilled contractors are in high demand, good contractors are very, very busy.

This means when you do start buzzing contractors, don’t be amazed that they don’t instantly answer their phones – they are possibly standing on a ladder somewhere with their hands full when you call. Don’t take it personally or shoulder they are not interested in talking to you, but contractors won’t answer their cell phones every time it rings. Continuous disturbances slow down a jobsite. For this reason alone, most contractors wait until they are away from the jobsite before they return your calls.

Whether you work with a common contractor for house remodeling or act as one on your own project, getting a sight into the mind of a contractor can give you a new angle into renovation projects around your home. But what are the things you have to do before you start remodeling your house?

Here are a few things:

  • Interview candidate contractors:

When looking for contractors for house remodeling it is very important to get into the mind of contractors so that you know that they are able to do what you want and that they understand what you exactly want.

  • Do not delay your decisions:

If you want that your remodel goes well never delay decisions. Make sure that everything has already been planned out by you so that there is no hustle at the time you start your work and by that nothing will be left behind.

  • Don’t change your mind again and again:

Not everyone changes mind again and again but if you are one of those people who does then remember that every time you will change your mind a new order will have to be executed. Although to you the changes might seem minor but there are always added and hidden expenses which will show on later. So always be very sure about what you want to do at the first place. Do all the research and then execute.

  • Don’t work without a design:

The most important thing to remember when home remodeling is that never work without a design. Believe me it will result in devastation of all the resources and stuff. Make sure you have a pretty and a good sorted out design and all the design considerations.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Renovation Contractors Advice for Smooth Home Improvements

Home improvement renovations often don’t go as planned.  It is difficult without forethought and proper planning to stay on task and within budget.  There are a number of things that homeowners can do to help their renovation contractor to ensure a smooth renovation that sticks within the time table and budget allotted.

Top Advice from Contractors

Make Timely Decisions:  One thing that homeowners can do to make renovation projects smoother is to make decisions regarding the job ahead of time.  Most projects are delayed because of decisions related to the materials needed for the job.  Many times renovations will be going along smoothly until it comes time to finalize something simple like the color paint that should be used.

Don’t let what should be a simple decision derail your entire timeline.  By making the decisions ahead of time you allow contractors to schedule sub-contractors in a timely fashion.  When you change something as simple as the faucet to be installed after the renovation has begun the whole project can be thrown off.  If the faucet needs to be ordered and the order is delayed this will throw off when the plumber can come in and so on.  A change in something so small can throw a project off by a few weeks.  Make decisions at the beginning of the renovation and stick with them.

Leave Purchasing Materials To The Contractor:  Buying your own materials might seem like a great way to save money.  The truth is that yes, contractors do have to mark up materials but after the discount contractors receive the price they pass on to the homeowner will still be less than what they would cost at a home improvement store.

Renovations Only Go So Far:  Many times homeowners have million dollar dreams for a hundred thousand dollar house.  This is a big mistake that many people make.  The idea in a renovation is to improve the enjoyment homeowners receive out of their home.  The problem comes that comes in to play is that some homes max out their potential.  Also be careful where you spend your renovation dollars.  If your foundation is sinking then investing money into fancy cupboards is fruitless.  If you are in an area with ranch homes an upper level addition may not recoup its cost.

It is crucial that homeowners and renovation contractors have the ability to have an open dialogue throughout the remodeling process.  It is important that homeowners feel like their input is important but equally as important that they let the contractor do their job without being too much of a distraction.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Follow These Tips When Hiring A Professional Contractor

There are times when hiring a contractor to take on home renovations rather than doing it yourself.  If this is the case it is important to choose the right contractor to work with.  A contractor that is subpar can lead to a number of problems down the road.  The guidelines below are helpful when looking to hire a professional contractor to do work on your home.

  • First things first, it is important to always trust your gut instincts when hiring people that will be working in close contact with your family. A contractor that is hired to do a renovation project will be working in your home for weeks or possibly months depending on the size of the job.  If you don’t feel comfortable around the contractor that is reason enough not to hire them.
  • Check to make sure that the contractor is licensed, bonded and insured. These accolades give credibility to the contractor’s knowledge and abilities to provide home renovation services.  If a contractor is not insured the liability resides on you as the homeowner.  If they or someone they employ is hurt while working on your homes project then the liability falls to you, the homeowner.
  • Contractors are known to specialize in the services they provide. While some contractors are jacks of all trades like a handyman there are some that offer special talents in kitchen, bathroom or basement design as a specialty.  If your renovation is of a specific nature seek to find a contractor that specializes in the renovation you are seeking.
  • Before any work is performed be sure to have a contract in place. A contract is between the homeowner and contractor to specify what work is to be done, what materials are to be used, a time frame and a detailed list of costs involved.  Most contracts on projects of any length with break down the costs that are associated with each stage of the project and go into further detail concerning expectations.
  • When hiring a contractor it is important to understand the scope at which they will be providing services verse members of their crew. If they will be hiring out individual contractors to work on plumbing or electrical it is important that they note that upfront.
  • Any contractor that you employ should be willing to work within a reasonable set of guidelines put in place. For instance, it is reasonable to state that you desire work to be performed within a specified time frame during the day.  If you only want a contractor to perform services from 9:30 to 4:00 it is reasonable to expect that to be obliged.  Note this may cost you extra because of the additional length of time to complete the project but is well within reasonable guidelines.
  • Define what responsibilities fall on you as the homeowner verse what is expected out of the contractor. Who is in charge of removing obstructions that may hinder work that needs to be done such as furniture or fencing?  This should be in writing to ensure that each party knows their responsibilities upfront.

Hiring a contractor to do renovations around your home is not any easy task and should not be done in haste.  It is true that you get out the effort you put into things.  Take time to find a local contractor with a proven track record to complete renovations around your home.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Home Improvement Trends For 2017

Are you thinking about putting your house up for sale during the next peak selling season?  If you are considering this it is time to think about inexpensive trends to incorporate into home improvements that you are contemplating right now.  When you put your house on the market the goal is to make the home appeal to the most buyers possible.  This can be done by creating a more general environment that offers less personalization and more generalization to the space.

Homeowners considering new appliances will want to consider some of the newer finishes available.  Even if you prefer white or black it is imperative that if your plan is to leave the appliances with the home that you consider upgrading to matte or stainless steel finishes.  Matte appliances are quickly outweighing the popularity of stainless steel but both are still preferred over colored appliances.  Matte finishes on appliances are great for families as they hide fingerprints, dirt and smudges that other finishes don’t.

Another popular home improvement project that is in style is cork flooring.  Cement flooring has had its day in the sun but quickly is being replaced with cushioned flooring options.  Cork is popular because it is compliments a variety of home environments.  It is offered in a variety of styles and color options.

As flooring trends go, in 2017 shag and pile carpeting will be viewed as outdated with a more popular option being cut and loop carpet.  Textures and patterns in carpet will be popular as well.  If you decide on using texture and pattern in flooring remember to remain neutral and complimentary on the walls, counter and furniture.  This will keep the home from becoming too personalized and keep it neutral for buyers to be able to visualize themselves in the space.

Technology is another popular trend that people are looking to incorporate into home improvement, especially in lighting.  Circadian lighting is a popular upgrade that is helping to sell homes to modern day buyers.  This type of lighting is in sync with the rhythm of our bodies.  The technology communicated with a phone to allow the homeowner to control the temperature settings throughout the day.  Homeowners can set the day lighting to be warmer and whiter while fading to an orange glow in the evening for a calmer more relaxed lighting option.

Water quality is another trend that has become more important to new buyers as well.  If you are looking to increase the attractiveness of your home a great way to do this is with an improved whole-home water filtration system.  This is a trend that goes right along with the popularity we have seen in previous years for home to be more eco-friendly.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

The Challenges In Home Remodeling

There are many challenges that homeowners face when doing remodeling whether it is a big renovation like the kitchen or something smaller like painting a room.  Avoid allowing your home improvements to become an emotional or financial burden for you or your family.  Below are the top stressors to both contractors and homeowners when it comes to taking on any sized home improvement project.

Making Too Many Changes To The Original Plan

It is important to understand that every time a contractor needs to make an adjustment to the original renovation plan that it will increase the time and money that is being spent on the project.  After the construction process has begun, any change in the materials, design or such will lead to longer lead times and increases in costs.

Miscommunication

Miscommunication can occur at a multitude of levels during home improvement projects.  Whether it is between a couple, the material supplier, the contractor or a combination of the three, a failure to communicate can cause a great deal of stress.  Prior to beginning any home improvement projects discuss the chain of command for the renovation.  Clearly set up a path that communication should follow and adhere to it in order to avoid confusion and delay with the project.

Not Following A Budget and Ignoring The Cost Of Materials

Before beginning any renovation have a set budget that clearly defines the amount of money that is to be spent on materials and labor.  Without a set budget in place contractors do not know the limitations to put on material costs and such.  This leaves a lot of room for error between the amounts that the homeowner wanted to spend verse what the contractor is expecting.  One way around this is to define a budget and meet weekly to ensure that expenses are staying in line with expectations.

Lacking a Timeline

Frustration often occurs when a timeline for the project’s completion is not in place.  An experienced contractor should have a solid idea of how long a renovation should take to complete.  When there is a delay in the project it is important that the line of communication is kept open to avoid any resentment about the changing time frame.

Taking On Too Much At One Time

Some homeowners try to take on too many projects at one time.  If at all possible don’t take on a number of renovations all at once.  It is difficult enough to manage one at a time let alone multiple different projects.  Take your time when it comes to home improvement projects and don’t take on too much.  Even when you hire a professional contractor, taking on more than one project can lead to big problems.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Home Improvements and Their Return On Investment

Every update done to your home has a return on investment at resale that should be considered before tackling it.  Below you will find the average ROI you can expect when contracting popular home renovations.

  • Minor Bathroom Updates Average ROI 102% – Renovations to a bathroom that do not include redoing electrical or plumbing range around eleven thousand dollars. This includes replacing the tub, tile surround, flooring, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures.   If the tub is going to be too difficult to replace consider updating the tub by re-glazing the surface.  Fresh glaze allows a tub to appear brand new.  A fresh coat of paint and updated shower curtain or doors really add to the any bathroom renovation.
  • Updated, Simplified Landscaping Average ROI 100% – Hiring a landscape designer really pays off when it comes to landscaping. For the most part it is safe plan three quarters of your budget for materials and one quarter on the design and installation.  Check around your neighborhood to determine what is appealing to the exterior of homes that are similar to yours.  A bit of color can really enhance the landscape.  For a grand impact choose one color and vary the heights of the landscape plants.   Don’t allow the landscape to become overgrown.  Keep it charming and simple.  Walkways and water features are other attractive features that add interest and visual appeal.
  • Minor Kitchen Renovations Average ROI 98.5% -Most kitchens can be completely renovated without changing the floor plan of the space. To maximize your renovation dollars re-face cabinets and drawers, change out the sink and fixtures, cabinet hardware, flooring and countertops.  Additional lighting will add substantially to the kitchen.   The overall value of your home before the minor renovation will also determine the materials you should use.  For homes over three hundred thousand dollars can be updated with higher valued materials like granite, glass and stone.  Consider your flooring choice as well depending once again on the value of the home.
  • Exterior Improvements Average ROI 95.5% – The curb appeal of your home really sells itself. Updates to the siding can really change the appearance of your home while helping to lower maintenance.  Wood siding requires real maintenance whereas vinyl siding only really requires a spring power washing every other year.  Another renovation that contractors suggest when updating your home’s exterior is the addition of a new entry door.  Fresh paint to exterior columns can really freshen up the space as well.  Add some seating and lighting to really add to the return on investment of your exterior renovation.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Handyman Renovations Under $500

There are so many things that can be done to increase the appeal of a home without breaking the bank.  Below are seven of the best home improvements that local handymen can be hired out for less than five hundred dollars.

The first improvement that is always suggested by contractors has to do with increasing the curb appeal of your home.  For less than five hundred dollars homeowners can hire a handyman for the day to do just that.  Increasing curb appeal is going to involve different tasks for every home however the following improvements should be considered when seeking to increase your homes curb appeal:

  • Exterior Pressure Washing
  • Wash Exterior Windows and Screens
  • Repair Broken Concrete Sidewalks and Steps
  • Update The Mailbox
  • Edge The Lawn
  • Trim Bushes
  • Pull Weeds
  • Freshen Up Mulch

Another inexpensive home improvement that makes a big difference comes with the entryway of your home.  For less than five hundred dollars you can replace the front door, add some color to the entry, update light fixtures and add an entry door rug.  Contractors all say that the little enhancements to the home’s exterior appearance do a lot to add to the attraction of your property.  A well kept exterior translates into a home that is taken care of.

If you have five hundred dollars for home renovations another huge renovation that can be done that does a lot to increase the homes overall presences is repairing and painting the interior walls.  Handymen are often called in to freshen up interior paint.  A fresh coat on the walls and trim can really transform a room.  Don’t forget the ceiling!

Just like a new necklace can transform an old outfit lighting can change up a room.  A little pizzazz can be added throughout your home my switching up the style of lighting fixtures that are installed.  For less than five hundred dollars you should be able to budget for lighting upgrades and fresh light bulbs to almost every room in your home.  Larger fixtures such as ones you would find in a kitchen or foyer will take up the majority of the budget.  For these pieces consider looking for ideas outside the normal.  Online sites offer a great deal of large scaled budget lighting options that can be fairly inexpensive to reproduce.

No matter what home renovation that you choose there is a lot that can be done by hiring a professional handyman for the day.  For less than five hundred dollars it is possible to hire a local handyman once a year to add a different perspective to a space that needs some wow factor added.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.