Remodeling Your Bathroom For Accessibility

Unless you have an unlimited supply of cash, or you figure you won’t be staying in your current home much past retirement, you will want to approach a bathroom remodel or upgrade with an eye towards what is both attractive now and functional as you grow older.

The image of an accessible bathroom as something clinical- or sterile-looking is outdated. It’s not only possible to have an appealing and charming powder room that incorporates accessibility features, it’s become easier than ever, thanks largely to the aging Baby Boomer population that has begun requesting such things.

Grab bars, head rests and other assistive technology are far less blatant and cold in appearance than they once were. And if homeowners aren’t ready to incorporate all of these elements into a current bathroom scheme, remodels can still be designed to add these elements with a minimum of fuss and disruption later.

Walk-in tubs and showers have crossed over from being viewed as “old people’s” things to being trendy and convenient for everyone. And the technology of lighting design has advanced to such an extent that bathroom illumination can be flexible, so as to allow for adjustment from recessed to bold and all degrees between, depending on individual need at the time.

There’s a potential financial bonus to bathroom design, as well. Bathroom upgrades ensure greater resale value. And if a member of your household has any type of physical challenge, and if the remodel is focused on making the space compliant with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations, there is a possibility that Medicare of Medicaid will cover some of the cost if the remodel includes things like environment accessibility adaptions or assistive technology. Don’t assume these are covered, however, without checking with your doctor or local Medicare policies.

Don’t reject the idea of accessible bathroom design out of hand without first exploring the new technologies and products available to add both style and increased quality of life to one of the most important rooms in your home. For additional advice or assistance in any of your home upgrade or repair projects, call 1(800)FIX-MY-HOME or go to www.handymanmatters.com to enter your zip code and find the Handyman Matters office nearest you.

Remodeling A Basement? Ask Yourself These Questions

The average cost to remodel a basement now comes in at around $17,000. That means you’ll want to take your time and consider all of your options carefully before undertaking a project of this size and scope.

You will want to ask, and answer, a handful of questions before you start remodeling.

Think about why you will be remodeling your basement:

  • Are you wanting to add a rec room?
  • An additional bedroom?
  • Will the kids be spending more time downstairs? Adults? Both?
  • Is the intent to have more space to entertain guests?

Your answers to these questions will inform the types of changes you want to make.

Basements are by their very nature, dark and cold places, so the challenge in most remodels is to make your space seem warm, open and inviting.

You can go “cozy” by utilizing dark wood in paneling and furniture and by incorporating recessed or subtle lighting, an arrangement that works well if you desire an area for entertaining a few friends or watching movies on a big screen television.

You may want to go in the opposite direction, opting for bright colors, direct lighting and a minimal approach to furnishings if you anticipate the primary function of the room to be for hosting larger get-togethers or creating a kid-friendly zone.

In recent years, there’s been a marked trend towards consolidated families, with aging parents moving into their adult children’s home, but with all parties wanting to maintain distinctly separate living spaces.  Basements can serve this need admirably.  In most instances, it’s relatively easy to install a modest kitchen at one end of a designated living area, with a bedroom and bathroom at the opposite end.

Other questions to think about:

  • Does your basement have its own entrance? Would you like to have one?
  • Does the remodeling plan need to incorporate laundry or storage facilities?
  • Is it possible to include a fireplace in the re-do?
  • Is additional insulation necessary to make year-round occupancy comfortable?
  • Is your current power source (electrical, gas, solar) sufficient to handle the new use of the space, or is an upgrade necessary?

None of these questions are designed to discourage or intimidate would-be remodelers, only to inform.  Once you have a clear idea of the scope of the changes you’d like to make, and how you would like to use your finished space, it’s much easier to proceed.

You’ll have a much more specific idea of the budget required and the length of time the remodel is going to take. Be sure to take a look at our post on the hidden costs of basement remodels to make sure you consider everything.

A basement remodel can be a big job, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one.  Capable and friendly craftsmen, like the ones at Handyman Matters can provide helpful information, guidance and expertise in giving your home improvement project the best possible outcome.  Call 1(866)FIX-MY-HOME to speak with a Handyman Matters location near you.