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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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!

Bathroom Update – Low Flow Toilets

Do you still have an old toilet, pre 1994?  If so, then you are using a lot of drinking water every time you flush your toilet.  Older toilets waste a huge amount of water, they use approximately 3.5 gallons of drinking water every time you flush.  That can add up to an average of 20.1 gallons of water per person, per day, about the equivalent of one bath. These older toilets account for around 30% of indoor water use.  And it takes considerable amounts of emissions-producing energy – to say nothing of chemicals – to treat all this water, both at the water treatment and sewage treatment plants.  By installing a low-flow toilet you can save all that extra drinking water from being flushed down the sewers.

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Congress, in an effort to conserve resources, reduced the amount of water which newly manufactured toilets could flush, to 1.6 gallons per flush.  The first generation of low-flow toilets had some problems with this low water, however low-flow toilets have greatly improved since they were first introduced.  There have been design modifications and outright changes to the method of waste disposal to make low-flow toilets more efficient. There are also dual-flush low-flow toilets available, where you have two options when flushing.  Most dual flush toilets flush 1.6 gallons on the main flush and as low as .08 gallons per flush on the rinse flush.

Something else to consider if you are replacing your toilet is to get a high-rise toilet (also known as comfort-height or chair-height).  They don’t set as low and can really aid aging-in-place.

Whether your motivation is to be more environmentally responsible, or just saving money,  installing a more efficient toilet is an effective and easy way to start to upgrade your bath.

We love re-doing bathrooms, so give us a call and get started with your new bath!