Add Safety and Value to Your Home

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Is Your Home Safe?

Remodeling tips that will make your home safer, more comfortable and more valuable when it comes time to sell

If you're updating or remodeling one or more rooms in your home, or building a new home, this is your opportunity to make it safer and more comfortable, as you and your loved ones may stay in the home for years to come. How? By incorporating universal design and age-in-place functionality. The increased comfort, convenience and accessibility will help you and your loved ones maintain independence well into the future.
It’s important to use contractors and other professionals who are experts in universal design and age-in-place home features, to ensure that your updates or new construction meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards. The U.S. population is aging, which will provide greater future demand for these features, which in turn will boost the resale value of your home.
Here are several key features to consider:
• Widen doorways and hallways. These passageways should be at least 36 inches wide to allow ample access for wheelchairs and walkers. Avoid flooring transitions and raised thresholds wherever possible.
• Raise the dishwasher. Kitchen design is a key area of focus when properly designing an ADA compliant home. In addition to lowering counter tops and cooking surfaces to accommodate people in wheelchairs, as mentioned above, the dishwasher should be raised 8 to 10 inches higher than the traditional height. It's difficult, and therefore a safety risk, to reach down and into the back of a dishwasher.
• Make the kitchen safer and more user-friendly. Incorporate sliding shelves and turntables in your cabinets, making access much easier. Use rounded or clipped corners on countertops, we’ve all caught our hip on a sharp corner, ouch!
• Place easy-to-grasp handles and pulls on all cabinets and drawers, to make them easier to open and close. Remember, as you age it gets more difficult to grasp things and you lose strength in your grip. Even without a major remodeling project in mind, it’s easy to replace existing knobs or handles on your drawers and cabinets.[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; "][x_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" bg_color="" style="margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_column bg_color="" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_image type="none" src="http://aristahc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Capture2.png" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; "][x_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" bg_color="" style="margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_column bg_color="" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_text]• Install a low-threshold shower in your bathroom, which reduces fall risk and also allows wheelchair and walker use. In addition, include grab bars and a hand-held shower head.
• In areas with water or steam, such as a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, use nonslip flooring tiles. Install powerful electric ceiling vents in all the bathrooms to lessen the build-up of moisture during showers and baths.[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; "][x_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" bg_color="" style="margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_column bg_color="" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_image type="none" src="http://aristahc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Capture.png" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; "][x_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" bg_color="" style="margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_column bg_color="" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_text]• Replace traditional round doorknobs with lever-style handles, the kind you see in nearly all new public facilities.
• Raise electrical outlets to a height of 24 inches, so you won't need to bend over to plug and unplug things. And place them in convenience places – planning your furniture arrangement in advance can help you place outlets where they aren’t so difficult to reach.
• Be certain steps are deep enough to accommodate a walker. If necessary, you can add gritty slip-resistant paint or purchase gritty tape at your local hardware store. If you use the tape, make a habit of regularly checking to ensure the edges don’t work loose over time.
• Attach hand railings to both sides of stairways, to assist with travel in either direction.
• Install lower-access shelves, hanging rods and baskets in closets and storage areas. There are many flexible and affordable systems available at your local hardware store.[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; "][x_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" bg_color="" style="margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_column bg_color="" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_image type="none" src="http://aristahc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Capture1.png" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; "][x_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" bg_color="" style="margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_column bg_color="" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_text]Even if you're nowhere near your golden years, incorporating some or all of these features into your home is a smart move. If an elderly parent needs to move in, or you or your spouse has an accident, some of these home modifications could become an instant necessity. If you wait until there’s a crisis, it will be much more stressful and likely more costly to retrofit components of your home.[/x_text][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section][x_section style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; "][x_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" bg_color="" style="margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_column bg_color="" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; "][x_author title="About the Author" author_id=""][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section]

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