Getting Ready For Aging In Place

As we get older and look around our homes, we may realize there are some items that are either becoming difficult or will become difficult as we age.  It is never too early to start planning or making small changes to start to accommodate aging in place.

Here are some ideas of items you can change to aid with aging in place, from small projects to more involved projects.

  1. Bathroom Grab Bars:
    One of the easiest things to do is to install some bathroom grab bars. Install in bath units and/or by toilets for safety.  Please note, grab bars are designed to take one’s weight and do need to be properly installed.  Just screwing into drywall would do no good.
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  2. Counter Height Seating (also known as Bar Height Tables):
    As we get older, getting in and out of chairs can start to become difficult. Consider replacing your traditional kitchen table with a counter top height table and chairs. If designing a new kitchen, then adding a counter top breakfast bar would also fit the bill.
  3. Separate Cook Top Range and Wall Oven:
    Do you have a slide in range-oven unit and is it hard on you when you bend to get items out of your oven? Then consider changing to a cook top range and wall oven units.  You can then place your wall oven at counter top height or any height that works best for you.
  4. Front Load Washer & Dryer Risers:
    The newer energy efficient front load washers and dryers can save you a lot on your energy bills. But just as with the oven, constant bending to load and unload them can become a problem.  Consider putting you front load washer and dryers on some risers.  Most pre-made risers are around 15″ tall, which will make loading and unloading  your front loaders easier on your back.
  5. Relocate Laundry Room:
    Is your washer and dryer in your basement? Tired of hauling laundry up and down flights of stairs?  Consider relocating your laundry room. Move it to the first floor, or if you have a two story home and can find the room, create your laundry room on the second floor near the bedrooms.
  6. Stair Chair Lifts:
    It’s not such a new idea, but more and more companies are making stair chair lifts. They easily attach to your existing stairs and most fold up for easy access. Stair lifts are a great way to keep being mobile regardless of where your stairs may be located in your home (basement, second floor or even outside).
  7. Wet Room Bathroom or Low Entry Shower:
    A wet room bathroom is where the shower is integrated in to the bathroom instead of being a boxed off space in the corner. The big difference of course is the level of the flooring. A wet room has no step or tray for the shower area. The floor being a suitable gradient so water drains away and doesn’t flow out right across the entire bathroom floor. Or as an alternative to redesigning your entire bath would be to replace your bathing area with a low entry shower.
  8. Area Rugs Beware:
    Rugs that slip can be a problem for anyone, regardless of age or ability. If you use area rugs, then be certain to use something to keep them in place.  You can use rug grippers, double stick tape, non slip mats underneath to name just a few, to keep them in place.The Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”  for more information, see their web site: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/healthtopics/healthyaging.htm

Thinking about updating a portion of your home, then give us a call, Adams Design Construction, Ltd 608-241-9009, we’d love to help you make your dreams come true!

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4 Tips for Designing the Perfect Kitchen

Whether you’re planning a full scale kitchen remodel, or building one from the ground up with a new home, a great design will help you make it the perfect kitchen. Here are four tips to keep in mind when working out designs for your new kitchen:

1) Create an Efficient Workspace – Above everything else, a kitchen is a workspace. And whether you’re preparing a meal for ten or two, it’ll be infinitely easier on you if your workspace is organized and efficient. Typically, while working in the kitchen, you’ll be moving back and forth between three areas: the refrigerator, the stove, and the sink; also known as the kitchen work triangle. Designing your kitchen to optimize this triangle will go a long way to make it a great place to work.

Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen design and remodel by Adams Design Construction


2) Keep it Open  Every kitchen, especially smaller ones, can benefit from having an open layout. Keeping a kitchen open and flowing out into a dining or living room will make it feel way bigger than it actually is. This can be taken even further, by using open shelving instead of cabinets, smaller appliances, and sleeker furniture.

3) Light it Right – Too many kitchens try to rely on a single light in the ceiling to get the job done, when this usually isn’t the best way to do it. Often, a combination of different types of light fixtures, some providing softer, ambient light, and others more focused, is the most effective way to illuminate the kitchen.

4) Air it Out – Those onions tasted great in the dish you just made, but the lingering smell all around your house isn’t so great. Incorporating adequate ventilation into your kitchen design with windows and range hoods will help keep the rest of your home free from any odor, smoke, and moisture created from cooking.

Designing the perfect kitchen can be a daunting task, but you don’t need to do it alone! At Adams Design Construction, we’ve been designing kitchens that look and work great for more than 30 years – we know what makes a perfect kitchen. Contact us to make an appointment, and we’ll help you make your dream kitchen a reality.

How to choose siding color

Spring time can also be called Home Improvement time. Step outside and take a look at your home from the curb, or otherwise known as curb appeal.  What does you siding look like? Is it time for a siding replacement? Or is the paint on your siding starting to show fading or peeling? Choosing a siding color can be an overwhelming experience. After all, it is likely that you’ll be keeping the same siding color on your home for several years to come.

it is important to address a few key tips and tricks in selecting the right siding color. We have complied a few key factors to help you choose the right siding color:

The color of your roof.
Your roof color will play an important role in your siding color selection. After all, the lifespan of a shingle roof is around 20-30 years. It may not be a good idea to select a siding color too similar to the roof color. For example, a dark roof and a dark siding color can make the home look dreary and uninviting; on the other hand, a light roof and a light siding color can make the home look too bright and sterile.

The size of your home.
The size of your home is another factor to consider when choosing your siding color of choice. A larger home may look drab with darker siding since the dark color can be overbearing. However, a larger home shouldn’t have exclusively light colors. It is also important to create contrast. A good idea would be to contrast lighter siding with dark accents, such as the shutters. Plus, since dark colors grab your eye, we suggest including dark colors in accents or places where you want to catch the viewers’ attention.

The architectural style of your home.
What’s the architectural style of your home? Often, different home styles are known for different siding colors. For example, Colonial style homes often have white siding and Craftsman style homes are known to have darker siding colors, such as sage. However, don’t be afraid to bend the rules…well, to an extent. To give an example, a home style that is known for white siding might look attractive with light gray siding. The subtle shift of color is unexpected and fun, without looking to out of place.

Color Trends
In addition to these tips, it is also a wise decision to avoid a siding color that is too trendy. After all, the siding that you choose is a huge investment and cannot be easily changed – no matter the material you choose. If you want to include a trendy color, it is best to include it in accents that are easier to swap out. This can be in items such as entry mats, planters, and the like. That way, it is simple to swap pieces out when you grow tired of that color.

In conclusion, choosing a siding color for your home can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. Don’t be afraid to try out some sample colors on your home first.  Need help, Adams Design Construction are always happy to help, so give us a call if you’re in Dane County, WI  608-241-9009, or visit our website Adamsofmadison.com.  We’d love to hear from you.

Springtime and Clean Windows

Have you ever wondered how those professional window washers move so fast with the squeegee, and the windows turn out perfect? Well, there really are some tricks to it that are simple to learn, and once you do, dare I say it, you may even enjoy washing windows? It is possible!

So, read on for our Washing Windows Tricks:

The first trick is to invest in a good squeegee. They aren’t expensive and they are worth every cent! Those $1.99 ones just will not do. A professional squeegee has a very soft, rubber blade with no imperfections in it.  You can also get extra rubber blades and simply replace that when it wears out. There are many sources to get one, and a professional squeegee usually runs around $10 and up.

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Secondly, do your windows on a cool, or cloudy day.  If you HAVE to do it in the sun, do it in the morning. What you want to avoid here is heat. Heat works against you.

Now to get cleaning. Get a bucket of lukewarm water (not hot), and add 2-3 tablespoons of plain ammonia. Use a sponge that has a white scrubber on the other side (don’t use the green ones, they are too course). Wet your window with the sponge side, then flip to the white scrub pad side, and scrub the window. You’ll be able to “feel” when it’s clean. You’ll feel rough patches, etc when it’s still not clean. This is a step most people fail at, if the window simply isn’t clean, it’s going to look cloudy when done. Scrub well.

You’ll also need lots of clean, white cotton rags or lint free towels/cleaning cloths. Diapers work great here. Dry by hand a 1 inch strip at the top of the window. The trick for no streaks with the squeegee, is placing the dry rubber blade on a dry window. Take the squeegee now and place it at the top of the window in that 1 inch dry strip. Pull down smoothly. Dry your squeegee blade with between each sweep.

To finish the window, if need be, do one last sweep left to right at the bottom of the window.

Finally, take a dry, clean cloth and run with your finger down each window side and across the bottom to clean and dry the edges. They should look perfect! And you’ll feel great having clean windows.

Think you need to replace those windows? Well give Adams Design Construction a call at 608-241-9009, we’re here to help!

 

7 Signs You Need a Toilet Replacement

When your toilet stops working, the most obvious conclusion is that you need toilet replacement. But, it is not necessarily the only solution.

Knowing whether or not it is time to buy a new toilet can be difficult. There are many factors involved such as the age of the toilet, the location of the toilet, as well as the condition of the floor surrounding the toilet.

Whatever the case is for you, knowing when to replace your toilet is important and should be done as quickly as possible. So keep reading to find out if it is time for an upgrade.

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1. Constant Clogging

No one wants to have to deal with a clogged toilet. Unfortunately, they’re pretty common. This is especially true for low flush toilets that use less water than the standard.

Although the occasional clog is normal for a toilet, if you have more clogs than usual, it could be a sign that you need toilet replacement. Luckily, with new

2. Cracks

If you begin to notice puddles of water forming around your toilet, you should look for cracks in the porcelain. Even if the toilet itself is working fine, small leaks can cause it to waste a lot of water.

That water, when exposed to your floor, can lead to severe damage and rot. It can also cause mold and mildew to grow which is unhealthy for your family.

3. Too Many Repairs

There is no reason that a toilet should need regular repair. If you find yourself calling the plumber often, then you should consider toilet replacement.

4. Age

There are plenty of old toilets out there that still work just fine. But older toilet models were much less efficient than the ones made today.

You may find that through toilet replacement, you can save both money and water. That means you’ll be helping your pocketbook at the same time as helping the

5. Wobbling

A wobbling toilet could be just a simple fix. A lot of times the only thing wrong is that the screws are loose that hold the bowl to the floor. If that is the case, then a plumber would be able to easily tighten the bolts on your toilet, ensuring it stays in place. They can also perform pipe maintenance while they are there.

But wobbling may signify a more serious issue. It could be that the floor beneath your toilet is becoming water damaged and starting to rot away. If that is the case you will need toilet replacement. You will also need to replace the floor around the toilet if it is damaged.

6. Surface Damages

Toilets are ugly enough when they are new, but if you have scratches on the surface of your toilet, it is even worse. These scratches aren’t just the cosmetic issue they seem.

Scratches in the porcelain of your toilet can make it difficult for you to keep it clean. They make a great place for bacteria to grow.

7. Built-Up Mineral Deposits

If you live in an area that has hard water, such as Dane County and the lime bed, the minerals in it can collect in the inlet holes and siphon tube of your toilet. This buildup can cause the water in your toilet to flow inefficiently.

In some cases, you can remove the buildup by chipping away at the mineral deposits with a pick and a hammer, but this doesn’t always work. If the buildup in your toilet is really bad, you may be in need of a toilet replacement.

To Replace or not replace:

By considering the state of your current toilet, you will know whether you are ready to purchase a new one. Look for surface damages, mineral deposits, wobbling, leaks, and age to signify it is time for a replacement.

If you do decide to replace your toilet, you should consider a dual flush, or low flush model to be environmentally friendly.

Need more than a toilet upgrade, then give Adams Design Construction, Ltd a call at 608-241-9009, we love to help!

Move-It-On-Up, The Laundry Room

I remember as a child going to visit my Aunt.  She had an old wringer-washer in the basement and every Thursday was laundry day.

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From: GoldOldDays/Pinterest

I helped, and was fascinated, by the old washer. And then came the time to hang everything outside on a clothes line to dry, which had to be propped up with a long pole.  The possibility of the washing machine overflowing happened a lot, which is probably why the laundry was originally located in the basement by a main floor drain.

Nowdays, the need for laundry to be near the main floor drain is almost non-existent with the state-of-the-art washing machines and dryers we now have. Over the years, laundry rooms have gone through several transitions. First, they moved out of the basement and onto the main floor. Still, they were often neglected and placed in the mud room or garage. More recently, they have been making a move to the second floor, or close to the bedrooms. Oftentimes, laundry rooms will be located nearest the master bedroom, or even part of the master closet. The biggest advantage in having the laundry room near the bedrooms, or as part of the closet, is because it is near where most of the dirty clothes, sheets, blankets, and other items are generated.

Upstairs laundry room

Photo from Connie Fitzgerald, RE/Max Closers, Pinterest

So, why then, do we still have our bedrooms on the second floor of our homes along with our clothes closets and laundry still being done in the basement?  Why not Move-It-On-Up near to where your clothes are stored?  Makes sense to me, especially as I get older and stairs can sometimes be a challenge.

While kitchens and bathrooms are still the most popular home renovation projects, the laundry room is beginning to become a sought after renovation area. We have been moving laundry rooms UP more and more.  Good bye to the days of having the laundry room hidden from the rest of the home! We can help you integrate a new laundry room into your home design, instead of being thrown into the floor plan as an afterthought.  Dreaming of that new laundry space, then give Adams Design Construction, Ltd a call 608-241-9009, we’d love to help your dreams come true!

Repeat…Should you Shovel your Deck?

I’ve been asked several times about shoveling decks this year..so I thought we would revisit this article from last December…

Should you shovel your deck?

Snow is back and it’s turned cold here this December in Wisconsin.  You’ve kept your driveway and sidewalks clear of the snow, but do you need to shovel the snow off your deck?  Actually, the answer is simple:  NO.

If you are worried about your deck collapsing from the weight of snow, don’t.  Building codes require that decks support more weight than your roof.   Basic rule of thumb: Don’t worry until the snow is above your rails.  Most deck rails are 36″ high and weight of snow should not cause a problem unless it is over three feet deep.  The best thing you can do with your deck is just leave it alone while the snow sits there, slowly melting and clearing itself.  The deck will still be there come April, no need to mess with it in the mean time.

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An exception to not shoveling would be if your deck is the second-emergency entrance into your home, or an entrance you use regularly.  Then you may choose to shovel it, but be careful.  Here are some basic rules to follow:

  • Before snow falls, make certain no nails are sticking out of the deck boards .
  • Try using a broom or leaf blower first. If too much snow, then get out the shovel.
  • Use a plastic shovel, not a metal one – so not to scratch the decking material.
  • Shovel in the direction/parallel to the boards, not across the boards.
  • Never chop ice off your deck, it’s too easy to damage deck boards. If you must get rid of ice, then use environmentally safe chemicals.

So, if you need to (or desire to) get that snow off your deck, just be careful not to scratch or damage the deck boards.  And be careful walking on your deck afterwards, ice has a way of creeping back for revenge.

What, you don’t have a deck? Are you considering having one built down the road? Well, give us a call for a free consultation…608-241-9009.  We’ll be happy to take a look — once all this snow melts that is …  Happy Winter!