5 Tips For Preparing Your Home For Aging In Place

While most people notice the change in themselves as they age, many neglect to notice the changes that are needed in their home to keep their homes age appropriate. There are many things that you can do to increase safety and make sure that your home fits the ever-increasing needs in your life. Handyman Matters has put together these 5 benefits for aging in your home.

While most people notice the change in themselves as they age, many neglect to notice the changes that are needed in their home to keep it age appropriate. There are many things that you can do to increase safety and make sure that your home fits the ever-increasing needs in your life. Handyman Matters has put together these 5 tips for preparing your home for aging in place.

1. Reduces the Number of Slips and Falls

Slips and falls are the biggest problem that aging adults face in their home. Whether it’s a slippery hallway or poorly lighted rooms, adding handrails can drastically decrease falls in the home, grab bars and re-arranging furniture in the bedroom, bathroom, hallways and kitchen.

2. Navigation is Simplified

Oftentimes our homes aren’t laid out in a manner that’s easy for walking and navigating. There may be pieces of furniture that jut out into the hallway and make it hard to maneuver around. In addition, a slippery rug in a hallway can create a dangerous surface. By modifying the layout of furniture and different rooms, it’s easy to create an environment that’s easier to negotiate – especially if assistance with a cane, walker or wheelchair is necessary.

3. Cooking Becomes Safer and More Accessible

As we age, we become more susceptible to arthritis, and our grip becomes less effective. This can be overcome by switching door and cabinet handles with models that are easier to grasp, as well as replacing utensils, pots and pans with ones that have larger and more ergonomic shaped handles.

4. Drastically Increases Independence

Installing handrails and bars in bathrooms, installing automatic lights and other home modifications can increase a person’s independence for a longer amount of time. These types of modifications help keep seniors safe and independent while giving them the ability to go about their daily activities.

5. Maintains a Current Standard of Living

One of the biggest fears of most people as they age is a fear of having to leave their home. However, this can be delayed if a home is properly set up and modified to make it easier for aging adults to continue to live their lives.

Handyman Matters offers aging in place services to help you remain independent and safe in your home. By implementing universal design elements in bathrooms, kitchens and through the house, we can help you transform your home into a living space that functions efficiently for all ages and conditions. Let us perform our free 50-point assessment on your home to uncover risks you might be facing. Call us today at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above to find a location in your area.


Handyman Matters Awards Grand Prize Bathroom Remodel To Aurora, Colorado Air Force Reservist


In the summer of 2012 Handyman Matters locations all across the county launched The Handyman Matters Great American Home Makeover. Now, the grand prize winner, Samuel Alexander, of Aurora, Colorado is enjoying his new updated bathroom.

The Denver Post went to The Alexander home to check in on them and see how they are enjoying their new bathroom and what they thought of the experience. Full story below or click here.

To read more information about the winners of this contest click here to see full post.

Stay tuned for more information regarding The Handyman Matters Great American Home Makeover coming summer of 2013!


















































Meet the Winners of Handyman Matters Great American Home Makeover

Last summer, Handyman Matters sponsored a national contest The Handyman Matters Great American Home Makeover. Now, the two winners, Samuel Alexander, of Aurora, Colorado and Amanda Doan, of Austin, Texas are enjoying their new updated bathrooms.

“We created this to reward valuable customers with the opportunity to complete their home renovations,” stated Andy Bell, Founder of Handyman Matters Franchise Corp.

Grand Prize Winner, Samuel Alexander, lives outside of Denver with his wife Tanya. Alexander had some home exterior siding repaired by his local Handyman Matters (Central Denver and Aurora location, franchisees Steve and Jan Attebery) in early 2012. Months later, he received a phone call informing him that he had won the Handyman Matters Great American Home Makeover Grand Prize, $10,000 bathroom remodel.

“My wife and I were ecstatic,” expressed Alexander, “We have wanted to remodel our bathroom for a while now.”

Working as a medical technician for HealthOne while also an Air Force Reservist assigned to a flying squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, finding the time to remodel his bathroom was difficult. The couple had discussed remodeling their bathroom in stages, doing little projects here and there. That discussion is now over, thanks to Handyman Matters.

Steve and Jan Attebery, owners of the Handyman Matters Central Denver & Aurora store, and their certified handymen executed the remodel.

Central Denver Handymen, Brian Attebery and Jon Boyer demolish the Alexander’s old bathroom on March 11 to begin the remodel transformation. Photo by John Murphy.

Most of the remodel materials were donated. The Alexander’s new master bathroom has a modern and natural ambiance thanks to a fresh coat of paint donated by Behr Paint; new marble sink and counter top donated by Benray Designer Marble; energy efficient faucets and fixtures donated by Moen; and a redesigned vanity area, donated by Creative Specialties and Elias Woodwork. M S International provided the tub to ceiling glass tile along with new flooring; and WEDI donated the waterproof shower backing.

Corporate team member, Ram Randolph, stops by to lend a helping hand in constructing new cabinets for the vanity area. Photo by John Murphy.

The finished bathroom was revealed to the homeowners on March 20.

Corporate team member, Ram Randolph, stops by to lend a helping hand in constructing new cabinets for the vanity area. Photo by John Murphy.

Samuel and Tanya Alexander in their newly remodeled bathroom. Photo by John Murphy.

Second Prize Winner, Amanda Doan, of Austin, TX, received a Handyman for a day, which was provided by Handyman Matters of Austin & Williamson County.

Handyman Matters of Austin & Williamson County sent out Aaron Kuntschik, one of their skilled craftsmen, to help Doan with the second phase of her bathroom remodel. Doan had already started on her remodel by tearing out the existing shower tiles.

In a span of only 8 hours, Kuntschik was able to remove the existing shower enclosure, perform the needed plumbing repairs, and install the backing to prep the shower area for the final phase of the remodeling project: the installation of the tile work.

Plumbing repairs are performed after the original shower enclosure is removed. Photos courtesy Handyman Matters franchisee, TJ Bass.
Backing is installed to prepare the shower area for tiling. Photos courtesy Handyman Matters franchisee, TJ Bass.

Doan later contacted Handyman Matters of Austin & Williamson County to thank them for their help and to let them know about her successful completion of the shower tiling project. Because of the superior service provided, Doan has requested their services again to help her with more of her planned kitchen and bath remodeling projects.

Customers who completed at least one, four-hour job with any participating franchise location between July 1 and September 30, 2012 were automatically entered for a chance to win one of the prizes.

More good news for these lucky homeowners, “The resale value of their home has increased,” says Colleen Teitelbaum of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

How To Refinish Your Bathtub

There are a lot of things you can do to make your bathroom look new and refreshed without spending a ton of money. Still, no matter how many cosmetic changes you make, if you have an old, stained bathtub, your bathroom just will not feel as great as it could. This is where tub refinishing comes in.

For significantly less than the price of a new tub, you can make your old one look brand new. NOTE: Refinishing your bathtub is not for the faint of heart. It requires the use of toxic chemicals that give out strong fumes, and without extreme caution, it will not look good or last long. Unless you are extremely confident in your DIY skills, we recommend hiring a skilled handyman to do the work for you. It’s still cheaper than buying a new tub, but the results will be much better. If you’re brave, and you have the necessary protective gear, read on:

First, you need to prep. Before touching a single paintbrush, use a scraper to remove the caulk around your tub, and unscrew and remove any hardware inside your bathtub (like the drain plug circle and overflow cover). Then use plastic and painter’s tape to cover anything near the tub that you don’t want painted.

Second, you need to thoroughly clean out your tub. Use an abrasive cleaner, followed by something like Lime-A-Way to remove any traces of soap scum, rust, mineral buildups, and anything else that might cause paint to stick poorly.

Next, use some wet-sand sandpaper to thoroughly scour the surface of the tub. This will both help in getting rid of any remaining dirt, oils, and minerals, as well as providing a more even surface. The additional roughness will also help the bathtub glaze to stick better and will lead to a more durable finish. Wash the wet-sand away as you’re sanding.

Then, put on your safety glasses, thick gloves, and respirator, and mix your finishing epoxy to the manufacturer’s specifications and start painting. You can use a brush and roller, making sure to feather the edges so that you don’t have obvious lines forming between strokes. A better bet, though, is to use a spray gun. You will get more even coverage and a much more professional finish.  After applying one thin coat, let it sit and dry. Then apply your second coat.  Make sure you paint in one direction, and don’t worry about bubbles; they will settle as the epoxy dries.

Finally, re-attach the fixtures and run a smooth bead of caulk or silicone along the edge. Smooth it down with a wet finger to get a really professional touch!

If all of this seems like more than you are willing to undertake, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above to find the phone number and location to an office nearest you.

New Year, New Bathroom: 4 Pros to Renovating Your Home’s Bathroom

Bathroom renovation is something that most homeowners do at some point while owning a home. Many times, it’s one of the first things on the list to be remodeled after purchasing an older home.

Given that it’s such a popular starting place, we decided we’d pinpoint the top 4 benefits to renovating your bathroom:

    1. Increase the resale value of your home.

      Renovating a bathroom – or really any part of your home – increases its resale value. New appliances, new shower-heads, updated tile – these are all cosmetic details that can improve the look and value of your home, which is an increasingly important thing to remember in a down real estate market.

    2. Improve the water efficiency of your home.

      The majority of the water we use each day is centered around the bathroom. From taking showers and baths to flushing the toilet to brushing our teeth, we use gallons of water each day. Replacing the toilet with a low-flush model or switching out a regular shower-head for a low-flow model can drastically decrease a family’s water usage, costing less money and helping the environment.

    3. Make better use of space.

      Bathrooms are often designed poorly – shoving a sink, toilet and bathtub into a tight space as easily as possible without trying to intelligently make the best use of space for the room. By remodeling, you can add more free space and cultivate a better bathroom layout – especially when you get to choose which pieces of furniture and appliances will be used.

    4. Have full creative control.

      One of the biggest benefits to remodeling your bathroom, aside from the increase in resale value, is the ability to make your bathroom uniquely your own. You get to choose the cabinets and countertops. You can pick out the perfect tub or shower, and you can handpick the tile and any other design elements so that they match your home and your personality perfectly.

Remodeling a bathroom can be a fun and exciting process for many homeowners. However daunting the task of designing and installing your new hardware, Handyman Matters can help you pick out the right materials for you and your home.

Call us today at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME set up a phone consultation to get started or enter your zip code above to find a Handyman Matters in your area!

Aging in Place with Style and Grace

Aging in place – updating one’s home to accommodate changing needs and abilities as one ages – doesn’t have to mean sacrificing a home’s style and decor. From attractive lighting designed to work well for aging eyes to barrier-free shower stalls that compete in beauty and practicality with what you might find in a luxury community for those 55 and older, plenty of home modifications now make it possible to age in place gracefully and stylishly.

It’s no longer necessary to give up your home’s good looks for a more institutional-looking appearance just to achieve a safer, more usable house; you can age in place and retain the style that makes living in your home comfortable and safe, and maintain your independence at the same time. With more than 78 million baby boomers growing older in the United States, aging in place – and how to do it well – is a hot topic for many homeowners. If you’re planning ahead or thinking it’s now time to update your home to accommodate changing needs, Handyman Matters has a few things for you to keep in mind:

Kitchens and baths are commonly the most challenging rooms in the house for people, like many seniors, with mobility issues. Updating these rooms can go a long way toward helping you stay in and enjoy your own home for as long as possible. Bathrooms, in particular, pose safety issues because falls are one of the leading reasons seniors must go into nursing homes.

When renovating your bathroom, focus on the important elements, including low-level entryways, accessible grab bars, easy grip faucets and showers with safety screens. Other elements include safer, slip-resistant flooring; brighter, more flexible lighting; and safe access to the shower or bathtub. Handyman Matters professional craftsmen can prepare your home for the changing needs of the future.

Stepping in and out of a tub or shower is one of the riskiest times for people with mobility challenges. Appropriately placed grab bars – now available in designer colors and textures – can help improve safety in these high-risk areas. Another option that’s high on safety and style is to replace a current shower or tub with a walk-in shower. The walk-in showers are a good option for wheelchair users or in rooms where a full-size tub is not practical. Have these items installed properly by the professionals at Handyman Matters.

That tile floor that you adored in your 40s can be a slip hazard when you reach your 70s. In fact, any hard bathroom floor surface such as linoleum, vinyl or tile can put you at increased risk of slipping and falling. Carpeting might be a better option, one that is slip resistant and warmer and softer on the feet. Many manufacturers now offer materials that are attractive and able to repel moisture. If installing carpeting isn’t practical for you, use area rugs with sticky backing to help ensure safe footing in high traffic areas, like in front of the commode, sink and bathtub.

Aging eyes not only need more light to see, they need better quality light, especially at night. Avoid dim lighting; older eyes need several times more light than younger eyes to see well. Increase the amount of light in your bathroom and consider using naturally brighter bulbs like compact fluorescent bulbs, which are also energy-efficient.

Be aware of glare, as well. Bright lights bouncing off all-white bathroom surfaces can create glare that makes it difficult to see and navigate for older people, especially at night when they may not be fully awake. If your bath is all white, Handyman Matters can paint the walls a light color in a finish that will help reduce glare. Use area rugs on white floors to help break up the expanse of white and reduce glare.

Boomers aging in place will find more options than ever before to do so with style, but safety should be your first concern – that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy good style and beautiful design as well. Take it from the professionals and let Handyman Matters prepare your home for you to age in gracefully and with good style.


Preventing Bathroom Hazards

We’ve all heard tragic stories of the elderly being injured in the bathroom. That might leave you to wonder, how safe is the bathroom in your home? A small area with frequent water use makes it a prime location for injuries from falls. And for older people, the bathroom can be a real hazard.

Bathrooms are one of the most dangerous areas in a house and to make sure your home is up to safety standards for the seniors in your life Handyman Matters has come up with some ideas for you.

“Falls are the leading cause of death from injuries among older persons and the death rate from falls continues to climb. Each year, one in three Americans age 65 and older fall and almost a third of them need medical treatment as a result,” according to the AARP.

Research shows that 75 percent of household accidents happen in the bathroom, making it crucial, especially for older individuals, to create a bathroom that is both accessible and safe.

For most elderly, remaining in their home to live an independent lifestyle is extremely important. And a safe home environment can be possible if the bathroom is assessed and if need be, renovated to fit their needs. Installing the following items are not only good for seniors that want to stay in their homes, but for families that are having their parents move back in with them. There are many ways that you can avoid injuries in your home and Handyman Matters is here to help!

  • Installing grab bars
  • Non-slip rugs
  • Bright lights
  • Bathtub

By adding these items into all of your bathrooms you are making your home a safer place for all to enjoy. The professional craftsmen specialize in small jobs around your home. Safety is also one of our priorities, if you would like to make your home safer call today!

Whether you and your spouse are aging and you want to remain independent in your home, or you have parents and you’d like to help them live more comfortably, consider making the bath a safe and secure place that will remain free from accident and injury. Call Handyman Matters today, don’t delay in the safety of your family.


Bathroom Remodeling Guidelines

Throughout the your bathroom remodeling course, remember to think and look of the remodeling project from all angles such as functionality, overall design, aesthetic appeal, comfort, materials and colors.

Here are basic questions that you should ask yourself to help you design your bathroom:

– What do you want to accomplish?

– Which do you prefer more, sink or counter space?

– Do you need one more shower compartment?

– Would you like to put in a whirlpool or spa setting?

– Do you need lots of cabinets or just open shelves for storage space?

Establishing A Realistic Budget For Your Major Bathroom Remodeling

Remember, it is less expensive when you don’t relocate your bathroom’s plumbing fixtures, like sinks or toilets.  Unless there’s ample room in your budget for these kinds of changes, incorporating your present bathroom plan into your new bathroom design is simpler, more economical, and oftentimes just as serviceable.

Furthermore, the cost of your bathroom remodeling project will greatly depend on your choice of fixtures and quality of bathroom appliances you would like to have. Some bathtubs, fixtures and even tiles could be expensive because of their brand names.

Today’s bathroom is no longer just a place for taking a bath, brushing your teeth, etc. It now can a place where you can relax in the tub, light a candle and read a book and just take pleasure in its calming ambience. If these goals are part of your remodel objectives, it may be well worth the added financial investment to achieve and enjoy this level of comfort.

Enjoy the excitement and fun of your bathroom remodeling project and take pleasure in the many years of contentment and gratification the end result will provide.


Bathroom Accessories

The bathroom is a place to relax away from the tensions of our hectic lives. It is necessary for that corner of our homes to be soothing and tip top. Modern bath accessories are the perfect way to add panache to the bathroom.  Contemporary accessories enhance the style and beauty of the bathroom and are designed to provide the user with techno savvy things. The fashionable accessories for the bathroom would give you vanity tops, sinks, cabinets and mirrors in the great styles and designs.

Sinks are the logical center of attraction in the bathroom. The different materials and designs used in the modern sinks make them give the bathroom a fabulous look. Faucets can be fixed in the counter top or the wall. Vanity tops are also available in different—and durable—materials.  Marble, granite, ceramic tiles are are scratch and water resistant.

 Showers also increase the magnificence and comfort of a bathroom.  Keep in mind your specific needs and budget when selecting a shower.  Single shower heads and hand showers are available for more economic prices, but perhaps you have your heart set on a multiple yet shower.  Have your choices uppermost in your mind before you go looking.  

 Designer mirrors, also available in a wide range of styles and budgets, can also add style to the bathroom.

For the best results, make sure you’ve done your due diligence before starting the renovation project.  Know the types and availability of accessories inside and out—some online research or a few conversations with a knowledgeable clerk at your local hardware or home improvement store will reap great benefits.  You’ll go into the process informed and prepared for some of the eventualities that may crop up during the bathroom makeover.

 In this era of going green, don’t neglect checking out the organic choices available to you—not only do these provide some additional options, but you are making environmentally sound choices at the same time.

 Bottom line?  Make sure that all the information regarding accessories is collected by you for the best renovation. Go in for the accessories that fit well in your budget and bathroom.


Do-It-Yourself Tips to Tile a Bathroom

When it comes to fitting bathroom wall tiles, the average DIYer can obtain a professional looking finish with the right tools, clear instructions and a bit of patience. Even if you have absolutely no experience, you should be able to complete a small- to medium-sized bathroom in a weekend, and it can add a fantastic finish to the room. There are a few essential tools required in order to successfully mount wall tiles, including a tile cutter or tile saw (electric cutters are slightly more expensive but are excellent value), an adhesive spreader, a grout spreader, tile spacers and a spirit level.

Before affixing the tiles, ensure that your walls are clean, dry and as flat as possible. The shape and size of your bathroom will ultimately determine how much tile cutting is involved, but if you have a good tile cutter and a few spare wall tiles, then even tricky cutting is pretty straightforward. Start with the lowest row of wall tiles first and work up the wall from bottom to top.  However, if your tiling includes openings such as a window, use this as the starting point to ensure that the wall tiles are equal around it. When tiling round a window, always ensure that the cut wall tiles are placed at the back of the reveal.
If the area is to come into contact with water (highly likely in a bathroom), ensure that you use a waterproof adhesive. Most come ready-mixed nowadays although mixing it with water is an easy procedure. For ease, work on small sections to ensure that the adhesive doesn’t dry before you are able to apply the tiles. Fix your first tile to the adhesive and then use spacers to separate the rest of the wall tiles as you mount them. Use a damp sponge to wipe away excess adhesive from the surface of the wall tiles.

When cutting wall tiles, use a felt-tip pen to mark the cut.  This can then be wiped off so that no marks are left on the surface. If using a manual tile cutter, score the tile and then snap it; if using an electric cutter, simply line up the marked line with the blade. Once cut, smooth any sharp edges with a tile sander.

It is vital that you use a waterproof grout if the wall tiles are to be used as a covering around a bath or in a shower. Allow the tile to set for 24 hours on the wall before applying grout; this will ensure that the adhesive has fully set. Apply the grout and make sure that all joints are adequately filled. Wipe away excess and use a grout finisher to smooth the joints. Do not rely on grout to provide a completely waterproof seal on its own.  You will need to use a waterproof sealant to seal the gap between the bottom tiles and the bath or shower unit.