Thursday, December 18, 2014

Age In Place Remodeling Tips For Bathrooms

The baby boomer generation is starting to reach retirement age.  As this occurs more and more people from that generation are choosing to live in their own homes instead of moving into independent living facilities or senior care homes.  One of the issues that arise in these situations is the safety of individuals living on their own when faced with issues that seniors face. The biggest issue being more limited mobility or mobility using a walker, cane or wheelchair.  One of the biggest challenges seniors face is within the bathroom.  In order to create a bathroom that is safe for individuals wishing to age in place take into consideration the following ideas.

First it is important that from every angle in the bathroom individuals are able to access a bathroom grab bar.  The addition of grab bars allows seniors extra support as they enter and exit the shower area.  They are also there to support seniors during their showers if at any point the individual feels off balance before a fall occurs.  Additional grab bars should be placed on the sides of the toilet allowing individuals to sit or stand with ease.   

A shower seat should be installed to accommodate ageing in place seniors.  Even better than using a portable seat in the tub is having one that is built directly in to a walk-in barrier free shower.  Depending on the type of 
bathroom remodeling you can afford you can adjust the type of renovations.  If a new shower with a built in seat is not affordable a portable shower seat will work just as well.  

Look into updating the hardware in place on all of the cabinets within the bathroom.  Knobs are more difficult for elderly hands to grasp.  For this reason it is best to replace the hardware with pulls that are large enough to grasp. For seniors who are limited in the movement that have with their hands the hardware pulls need to be easily drawn out.  

Bathroom shelving is another area of concern for seniors with limited mobility.  When faced with a body that has become riddled with arthritis essentials placed in the back of the cabinets becomes unable to be accessed.  All shelves within the cabinets should be replaced with shelving that is able to be pulled out for easy access to items within the depths of the shelf.  This will allow for optimal storage and ease of use to seniors choosing to age in place.  

Lighting is another concern for aging eyes.  Seniors need additional lighting within the bathroom to be safe while using the space independently.  More lighting is needed for simple everyday tasks that seniors were used to doing with dim lighting.  Caution should be used when updating the bathroom lighting to prevent glare which would make it difficult to see, the opposite affect we are going for.  Bathroom lighting renovations should use direct lighting with fluorescent colors for the best results.  Add in additional lighting within the shower stall as well.  

Age in place remodeling is something that all adults need to consider as they renovate different rooms within their homes.  It is cheaper to add in universal design elements into each room renovation as you are updating your home then when it becomes necessity later on.  

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 today all of your home renovating needs.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Keep Seniors Aging In Place Safe This Winter

In today’s society there are fewer and fewer seniors choosing to live their lives in independent care facilities instead option to age in place as long as they possibly can.  When an older adult choose to continue caring for themselves there are special precautions that loves ones can take to ensure that they continue to be safe on their own.  Daily living needs change in the elderly including a person’s mobility.  This is a particular challenge when the winter months are upon us.
When an elder person lives on their own or perhaps in the care of another senior there are special challenges to overcome in the winter.  This is especially true with those seeking to live in more isolated, suburban areas.  As winter moves in the colder temperatures set in.  Seniors are highly susceptible to catching a chill because of their lack of circulation and with taking certain medicines.  Because of this it is important that we take several precautions to help older adults aging in place throughout the winter.
Often times cranking the heat is not an answer many retirees can afford.  To beat the chill without selling your soul to the utility company follow the suggestions below.
Cold air can find a way into the home through even the tiniest of holes.  When looking at keeping seniors warm without heavy duty age in place remodeling such as new heavily insulated windows try using winter weight curtains.  Keeping curtains closed at all times will help keep the heat in.  You can increase the warmth by adding weather stripping and plastic on older windows as well.  To compensate for the loss of light the windows provide be sure to add additional lighting to rooms.
Help seniors rearrange furniture in a fashion that allows them to avoid sitting directly in front of areas that are drafty.  Sitting directly in front of the path of a cold draft will guarantee a chill.  Instead move the furniture and that favorite chair closer to the sources of heat within the room.
Take loved ones out to shop for indoor winter clothing.  It is advisable that seniors choose clothing that can be layered that are both warm and comfortable.  Socks and slippers with grips are a must and can help save a lot of body heat from escaping.
Slippery steps and handicap ramps can make leaving the house incredibly challenging for seniors.  Hire a snow removal crew to come in and shovel as well as put salt in place.  The small amount that you will pay for this service is recouped ten times over with the money saved from hospitals stays with broken bones from falling on ice.
As with any other time of year it is important to put in to place a set of safety guidelines for elderly parents to abide by.  Winter presents challenges for everyone but especially those aging in place.  Check on seniors every day to determine if the heat is running and to ensure they are safe throughout the cold winter months.
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 today all of your home renovating needs.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Art Of Age In Place Remodeling

Aging in place is a concept that is easy to get on board with.  The concept of universal design and age in place remodeling are both widely accepted concepts within the home improvement arena.  This may possibly come from the idea that many of us are staying healthier longer and are able to care for ourselves within our home environment.  The idea of having the freedom of living alone taken away from us is frightening and for the most part something many of us want to avoid. This is completely possible with smart remodeling. 

Tips To Consider For Age In Place Remodeling
  • First consider the space you live in.  Is the home all on one floor or are there levels of the home that you will need access too?  This is the first concern to address within every space.  If the home is a ranch are the hallways too long?  Do you easily lose stamina walking from one end of the house to the other?  If the home is on more than one floor will you consider the addition of an elevator or chair lift?  These are all pricey renovations that really need some forethought. 
  • Install at least one entry way into the home that includes a no-step entry. With this comes some special considerations including making sure the space has a covered entry. Additional drainage and a level space to maneuver on outside of the entryway. 
  • The doors within the home may need to be widened to accommodate the use of a wheelchair or walker.  Altering doorways can be difficult in that you have to be aware of wiring as well as the structural load of the home.  This is one alteration that may not be easy but is essential in easing access into and out of rooms within the home. 
  • Another renovation that is often done with aging in place is the addition of pocket doors.  This allows the homeowner to have additional space to maneuver without the hassle of a door in the way.  Pocket doors have one drawback that is easily modified, the handles.  In order to accommodate aging hands and lessened dexterity add a pull to both sides of the pocket that fits just outside the pocket.
  • Bathroom spaces are always the most renovated rooms within homes that are undergoing basic changes to allow for aging in place.  The addition of a walk in tub is not necessary.  They are expensive and offer only a very narrow door in which to enter.   All of which I see to be a hazard.  Instead consider ripping out the tub and in its place adding a walk-in, no-step entry shower.  Include in the space easy to maneuver temperature controlled faucets, a built in bench seat with plenty of grab bars to help sturdy aging bodies as well as an adjustable, removable shower head.
When it comes to any age in place remodeling project consider how it will ease your lifestyle.  The list above includes the most common issues seen in homes that are renovating to allow for aging in place.  

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 today all of your home renovating needs.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Improving Care With Age In Place Remodeling and Universal Design

People in today’s society are living longer.  They are in better health and can remain independent longer than even the people of our grandparent’s generation.  Even in better health, growing older means that special arrangements need to be made around the house to assure safety and to meet the needs of our changing abilities.  If you have decided that you are going to downsize and move into a smaller home look for a home built under universal design guidelines.   However, if you are hoping to remain in your current home there are many age in place renovations that can be done to maintain independence while increasing safety. 

Homes that are built with the universal design philosophy are produced in and environment with products that are created especially for older people or people with disabilities.  Barrier free layout concepts are applied throughout the home while maintaining the aesthetics of the home.  Examples of universal design applied to the home include:
  • Entrance and exits on the ground level are smooth and easy to access. 
  • Flooring surfaces are created with texture to remain slip resistant.
  • Throughout the home handles are levered instead of knobs.
  • Bright lighting is present in abundance in every room of the home.
Many people choose to stay within their own homes instead of moving to a home that explores the universal design concept.  When this is the case there are several age in place modification that can be put into place that will make the environment safer while keeping the aesthetic beauty of the original home. Here are some simple age in place modifications that can be done to create a safe and secure environment for aging adults.
  • Reduce the temperature on the water heater to avoid scalding. 
  • Knobs on doors, faucets and cabinets should be replaced by levers. 
  • In the entrance and exits of the home additional lighting, with motion sensors should be installed. 
  • All flooring should be inspected.  Remove all scatter rugs and add texture strips to any flooring that is slick such as bathroom and kitchen tiles.
  • If the home has steps make sure that handrails are secure.  If the stairs are used on a regular basis consider adding an additional handrail to the opposite side of the stairway as well. 
  • Special care is needed throughout the bathroom area.  Install easy to use levers handles on the sink, shower and bathtub.  Add grab bars and install non-stick strips to the slick tub surface and bathroom flooring.  Lighting with a motion sensor is a nice addition to the bathroom of aging adults as well. 
  • Add additional lighting to the kitchen.  Cabinetry should be installed with sliding shelves to allow for easier access. Tools that are used frequently should be moved to locations that are easy to reach and that don’t require bending or reaching. 
  • Furniture should be arranged throughout the house to allow for minimal obstructions. 
  • Telephones should be installed in easy to reach locations throughout the house.  This can easily be done by installing a central phone base with additional charging ports in every room in the home.
Changes to your home should be done over the course of time.  As you are remodeling your home consider using age in place remodeling products and techniques.  This allows for a gradual transition transforming your home into a safe place to age.

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 today all of your home renovating needs.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Choosing Between Permanent and Temporary Wheelchair Ramps

There comes a time in all of our lives where we have to make tough decisions about the care of a relative.  Often times this window of care is relatively short but difficult.  There are a million decisions to consider when bringing a loved one into your home to be cared for.  One of the choices that may need to be consider has to do with access the home.  When a wheelchair is needed to ease movement not only throughout the house but granting access into and out of the house handicap ramps are considered.
When it comes to installing a wheelchair ramp this alone brings a myriad of decisions to consider; the first of many is whether you want to install a temporary or permanent ramp.  More often than not a temporary handicap ramp will suffice.  The need for a handicap ramp in most of our homes is just that, temporary. Most situations that require the use of a wheelchair are temporary, a child breaks a leg, or a parent comes to live out their final time.  The ramp is only needed to provide ease of movement for a short period of time and therefore doesn’t require become a permanent fixture.
There are situations in which it is necessary to install a permanent handicap ramp to a home.  This is the case when there is a long term diagnosis that will make moving in and out of the house more difficult as time progresses.  When certain illnesses or accidents occur it can leave us limited in mobility.  Permanent handicap ramps allow us to easily maneuver in and out of our home while keeping the aesthetics of the home intact.  Permanent wheelchair ramps are created to blend in to the home’s exterior creating a seamless transition between the interior and exterior of the home.
It is up to individual homeowners, dependent on their unique situation whether to install a permanent or temporary ramp.  Once this is decided upon there are several other considerations that need to be solidified before construction can be started.  One decision that needs to be made is what material to build the ramp from.  Ramps are most commonly aluminum or wooden.  Another consideration is the length of the ramp.  Think about the slope of your entrance when considering the length of a ramp.  Although shorter ramps are easier to move from one spot to another, in the case of multiple entry and exit points, they also increase the steepness of the ramp.  Longer ramps are easier to manipulate for users.  The drawback occur if the ramp needs to be moved and the expense.  Longer ramps are naturally more expensive than shorter ones.  More material is needed to make them and the installation process takes more time.
No matter what you decide; temporary or permanent, long or short, aluminum or wood the same end result is desired. Easing the mobility of entry and exit to the home for loved ones who are having an increasingly difficult time maneuvering stairways.  Handicap ramps are great not only for wheelchair users but for people needing canes and walkers to assist in walking as well as those that suffer from knee, back or hip issues.
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 today all of your home renovating needs.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Home Improvements That Increase Your Home’s Value

Are you looking to sell your home this summer? There are some minor tweaks that can really add value to your home.  Inexpensive upgrades may not increase the value of your home however they can help you sell your home faster.  When looking to sell your home quickly here are some tricks that can improve the time it takes to sell your home.  There are also some improvements that hurt you when going to sell your home.  Here is a list of things to think about when working to sell your home before summer ends.

One thing to make sure of is that you don’t improve your home in ways that will not matter to buyers.  When looking to sell your home, before starting any home improvements talk with local contractors and professional realtors.  They will help you better understand the desires of buyers in your particular area. If buyers are looking for extra bedrooms or bathrooms you will know how to change the space you have to fit those desires.

One area in which homeowners often upgrade unnecessarily is high end appliance and fixtures.  While in certain homes, within certain areas this may be a necessity for many homes new appliances from well-known name brands are better than top notch quality, super technical appliances and upgrades.  Instead of high quality appliances, purchase decent appliances and use the extra money to inexpensively update carpet and deep clean grout.  The cleaner, more maintained a home the easier it is to sell.

The layout and use of rooms is another thing that helps sell your home quickly.  If you have a spare room but buyers are looking for nurseries manipulate the space to resemble what they are looking for.  Change the homes layout and use of space to meet the buyer’s demands in your area.  Office spaces may be a must for buyers in one area while game rooms may be what is needed in other areas.  Your realtor will help you to understand what local home buyers are looking for in your home.  The layout of your home should be changed to meet the buyer instead of what was convenient and needed for your family while you lived within the space.

De-clutter and minimize in every room.  Your home should be free of personal litter and knick-knack.    Take your space back to the basics.  Create a home where buyers can see themselves and not just your family.  When buyers are looking to purchase a home it is important that they can see themselves and their belongings in the home.

Other cheap alternatives to making home improvements without too much outlay are new ceiling fan blades, touch up paint on the exterior add touches that buyers in your area are looking for.  Don’t put on a ton of money upgrades when you are looking towards your future in a new home.  Room additions, kitchen renovations, bathroom remodels and basement remodeling are all projects to be left to the new owner. Save your money and only take on the small renovations that will make a visual difference.

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 today all of your home renovating needs.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Comfort Provided By Aging In Place

When it comes to growing old in today’s world things have changed a great deal from our grandparent’s day.  Growing up it was always talked about as my grandparents aged that they would move into an independent living facility and then directly into an assisted living home.  There was never a discussion about making it possible to retrofit their existing home to make is possible for them to stay safely on their own in their own home.  Today we do everything in our power to make the home that our elders live in as they age as safe as possible for them to continue to live independently.

There is a certain degree of dignity and freedom that our parents have when they are able to continue to thrive on their own without assistance from others.  This change alone leads many older people to prosper in health.  With this change comes the need for minor home modifications that are put into place to help assist in aging.  There are a variety of plans that can be implemented that assure a safe living environment for your loved one.  Here are some things to consider when thinking about renovations to a loved one’s home or to your own as you yourself travel through the aging process.

First consider the home that you live in and if it will be possible to live in the home as you age with a few minor renovations.  If you currently live in a two story home can you have an electric ramp chair installed on the stairway or does it make more sense to move into a home that has everything on one floor.  The problem with homes built on one floor is that they tend to have longer hallways.  If you do not have the strength to maneuver the length of the long hall way it may be better to have a smaller two story home with a chair that maneuvers the stairway for you. 

If you choose a one story home and the long hall way is too much for you at times consider using a wheelchair or other wheeled cart for the length of the hall way.  This often is a lot easier and more convenient that dealing with the stairs.  Stairs, even with the use of a chair lift are often inconvenient.  The stair lift takes a great deal of time to maneuver in and out of.  This could be really inconvenient especially in an emergency situation.

All entrance to the home, rooms and shower areas should include a step-less entrance, a widened door jam and pocket doors.  Pocket doors are of course not an option with the main homes entrance but are necessary throughout the home.  Pocket doors eliminate the hinges and jam barrier as well as the inconvenience of the door opening in and out.

Bathrooms in homes that are being remodeled to provide ease of use for aging adults should be renovated to include heightened toilets, increased lighting and step-less, door-less entry into the shower.  A built in bench should be included as well as grab bars on all sides of the shower and exit. The shower is the number one place for accidents within the home so use caution when remodeling in this area especially when helping parents that would like to age in their home.

Every home remodel, every age in place scenario and every senior is different.  The challenges faced throughout the process on whatever level are unique to each and every family.  Be patient through the challenges and as always consider the contractor before hiring them.  Ensure that they are familiar with special needs remodeling and the guidelines put forth by ADA.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Straightforward Tips In Home Remodeling To Age In Place

There is an increase in the number of seniors choosing to stay in their homes rather than moving into assisted living facilities.  With the rise of our older generation staying within their homes it is important that we as caregivers know how to provide an environment free of obstacles that may hinder the homes accessibility. 

Many age in place home renovations can be done by do it yourselfers but others such as the installation of wheelchair ramps require hiring an outside contractor.  The list below will provide you with some easy tips on renovating the home to provide a safe living environment to grow old.

One easy tip is removing loose rugs and carpets.  This may not sound like a big deal but this easy and inexpensive tip makes a large impact.  If it is impractical to remove the rugs secure them with the use of double sided sticky tape.  Loose rugs and carpets increase the risk that comes along with falling as one ages.  A fall in your twenties is totally different than a fall in your sixties.  Bones are brittle and are at an increased risk of breaking.  The healing process is also not the same.  All rugs and carpets should either be removed or secured to prevent accidents from the loss of mobility we experience as we age.

Consider updating hard to use appliances.  Seniors tend to have issues with mobility and bending in general.  Limit the need for them to stretch or excessively bend.  This can be done with simple appliance updates such as a new raised front loading washer and dryer. The basic goal in updating appliances is finding models that adapt to the changing needs we experience as we age.

Replace the handles on cabinets and doors throughout the home. Lever style door handles are much easier to use and require much less effort to open them.  Seniors with arthritis will find traditional doors hard to open. Cabinet pulls make cabinets easier to open as well.  These simple changes are effective and inexpensive.  Little updates make life much easier with aging joints.

Another simple change that makes life easier on seniors is replacing old style light switches to new style rocker switches.  Arthritis can be an incredibly debilitating disease that makes seniors unable to accomplish the simplest of tasks. Rocker style light switches make turning the lights on and off simple.

The most important tip of all is to update the bathroom.  Most accidents when it comes to seniors happens in the bathroom.  Make the switch from a traditional style tub to a no threshold shower with a bench and grab bars. It is also important that you replace the smaller traditional toilets with a higher toilet.  This will make getting up off of the toilet much easier alleviating the strain that comes with getting up off of the toilet.

Seniors thrive when allowed to continue to live independently.   It is important to allow them the freedom that comes when still in your own living environment instead of moved to a retirement home. The tips included in this article will start you on your way to providing a safe place to continue to live the life they want.

The Home Doctor offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Even Small Remodeling Jobs Benefit From The Experience Of A Contractor

When people consider remodeling their homes they are often under the illusion it has to be a crazy, long drawn out project.  This is not the case especially when you hire a contractor.  Many of you are thinking that there is no way you can afford to hire a contractor for your home remodeling projects however this is not the case.  When you take into consideration the time and effort that doing it yourself takes, hiring a contractor seems incredibly reasonable. Especially when they do it yourself project ends up way behind schedule and you have to take days off work to finish it so that your family doesn't make your move to the garage. 
One of the quickest ways to give your home an upgrade is with new flooring.  Whether it is refinishing a dull hardwood floor or taking up old dingy carpet and installing a new hardwood floor.  With all the latest trends available in hardwood flooring it has become easier than ever to install and less expensive than ever before.  With wood upgrades you also cut down on a lot of allergens that are present, collecting in the carpet.  This is particularly important when you live in a house with pets. 
Another fresh update that can be done takes place in the kitchen and bathroom with the cabinetry.  With some simple paint, refacing and/or new hardware you can completely change the look of your space. If your space allows for it, crown molding can be added which makes the cabinets look grander.  Cabinets are the focal point of your kitchen.  A little bit of paint and some update hardware can go a long way. 
 Another fairly simple, inexpensive kitchen renovation that can be done to update the look of your space is by adding to the back-splash.  A contractor can give you plenty of ideas on what materials will blend in well with your kitchen.  Popular options include tile, mosaics and glass.  This is a remodeling project that can easily be done in a small amount of time, with limited resources that makes a statement in your kitchen space. 
If you are looking to really go to town in your home add a splash of color.  Adding color to the rooms within your home really spice it up.  With different colors different emotions are expressed and in turn can change a room from bland to striking.
Adding to the exterior of your home is another way to spruce it up.  A change in landscaping or the addition of a deck can change the way the way you use your space.  A yard that is uneven and constantly wet can turn into a fun zone with the removal of some shade trees, letting the sun in and a deck.  It completely takes a space that wasn't being used and makes it able to be enjoyed.  Add a garden, a horse shoe pit or jungle gym to the yard; all of these additions bring life to your yard. 
Home remodeling projects inside or out can enhance your home.  Hiring a contractor to handle minor or major renovations around your house will leave you without the mess so your able to sit back and enjoy the updates.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hiring a Home Remodeling Contractor Verse DIY Home Renovations

When it comes to home remodeling projects whether you are a do it yourself homeowner or a general contractor you should always consider what you are doing to help or hurt the progress of the renovation.  There are several major things that can stall a project adding weeks, maybe even months, to a simple remodeling project.  Below are some tips to help homeowners working with a contractor or doing renovations themselves to help keep the project on track budget and time wise.

The first tip is super important. Don’t postpone the decision making process.  For a remodel to go well you really need to have a plan and make decisions before the project takes off.  It is wise to give some forethought into complications that could arise and actions plans to compensate.  You might think that the complications to projects are what really delay the remodel but this in fact is wrong.  Most contractors will tell you the biggest project delays come from homeowners making the small decisions such as the color of the paint or what type of faucet to purchase. Every detail of the remodel, no matter how big or small works in conjunction with other aspects of the project.  It is a domino effect; each piece relies on the other.  

Being indecisive and changing what you want at any point throughout the project will result in added costs and time.  Even a minor change can throw the scheduling off especially when more than one contractor’s schedule is involved in the project.  Time is spent communicating changes to everyone involved on the remodel as well as the increase to the budget for everyone’s time as well as new materials.  You can see how a decisive, clear, well thought out plan helps with entire remodeling project from a kitchen redesign to finishing a basement

Sometimes there are situations in home remodeling where you can actually invest money to improve the house that will actually not add an equity value to the home.  For instance, if you live in a community filled with starter homes adding a gourmet kitchen to the house may be something you desire but come time to sell you will not recoup the value.  Also, make sure that you are renovating where it is important to the home. New cabinets and a fancy kitchen do nothing for your home value if paired with cracking foundations and old plumbing. Sometimes it is better to look into remodeling where you need to rather than where you want to.  Invest money into your home that will help you achieve the maximum return on investment and equity into your home.

A budget is set forth before a project of any magnitude is taken on.  It is important to have the money to cover what is needed.  The best advice anyone can give when remodeling is to have a contingency fund set aside in case something does arise.  A contingency fund isn't money to be used frivolously on material upgrades and such but instead there if something happens in the process that was not planned for.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Making The Most Of Your Bathroom Renovations

When it comes to redoing your home one of the best rooms to renovate is the bathroom.  Before you jump into the latest in trendy bathroom tiles and fancy bathtubs there are some basics to cover that will allow your renovation to be the vision you imagined.  Any home modification can take on a life of its own however if you follow the checklist below you will stay on track and things will run smoothly.

The first thing to consider is coming up with a realistic budget.  Get quotes from different contractors and go to different home improvement stores to check out prices on the pieces that you are leaning towards.  If you want marble but can only afford lament then you might consider waiting on the remodel or allotting your funds differently.  You will want to take diligence when looking at the prices on tile, fixtures, countertops, mirrors, tubs and bathtubs.  These items can all add up really quickly so you want to keep a close eye on your budget.

The bathroom is a small room but don’t think that this means that the renovation will only take a few days.  Renovations can run into issues along the way, especially bathrooms.  Bathrooms are an area that things can pop up such as the wrong backer board was used originally and created a mold issue.  The floor is an area of concern as well when it comes to a bathroom. You will want to make sure the base is sturdy and free of imperfections.  Hidden problems will occur so make sure to budget for the extras.

When it comes to the bath area, the design and functionality is the most important factor for us as homeowners.   The bathroom should flow in design and function.  Function comes in the layout of the bathroom.  This is something that should be gone over with the contractor and the room designer.  They should know how you will use the space so that it provides function and flow for you and your family.  When it comes to choosing colors for paint, tile, the vanity and such this is mostly personal preference.   Neutral works best if you are planning to put the house up for sale as it is most pleasing to everyone. 

I am all for it when it comes to most do-it-yourself projects however when it comes to bathroom renovations it is best to hire a contractor.  The job comes with complexities such as electrical, plumbing and tile work.  All of these are not easy tasks to master and the advantages of hiring a bathroom contractor can alleviate a lot of headaches. 

Speaking of electrical, consider adding lighting to the bathroom space. If this was not something that you originally thought of consider it now.  Bathroom lighting is so important and can really add a lot of interest to a small space.   Without proper lighting especially in homes of aging people the bathroom can be dangerous.  Add natural lighting first if there isn’t any and from there add bright lighting, recessed lighting adds to the brightness without requiring anything but ceiling space.  If you have a small bathroom recessed lighting can help you open up the space. 

 One more thing to think about when remodeling the bathroom is your needs as you age.  If you are redoing a bathroom space it is the perfect time to add in some basic age in place modifications that will help you in the future as you age.  Basics can include levered faucets and pull knobs along with in place grab bars in the shower area.  A taller toilet can be installed to ease getting up and can easily go unnoticed unlike the over the toilet chairs that are often used.  Aging is something that will happen to all of us, preparing for it is not a bad thing and during the renovation process is the perfect time for this.