This cute home is in the beginning stages of a facelift. It was originally constructed in the early 1940’s. The timber framed porch provides a nice place to rest and relax under cedar tongue and grooved wood. The customer added their own style with unique engraving in the entrance and in the corners of the porch. New siding will be added next. Keep following to see the finished project!
Lifystyle is considered to be the foundation of how you live your daily life. One may choose to live in an urban area if they feel biking to work is beneficial to our environment. On the other hand, a family may choose to live in the country so they can grow their own food. We often find the most important detail to a successful project is to consider the lifestyle of the homeowner and how they will implement that lifestyle into their project. The picture to the left shows the beginning process of remodeling a 1930’s era basement. While we were getting to know the customer, they relayed to us one of their main goals of the project was to keep the existing 1930’s materials. Their value system is such that they want to reuse and celebrate the past. They wished to avoid consumerism as much as they possible while providing a safe and valuable living addition to their home. We were elated to discover this part of their lifestyle that ended up guiding the entire project from start to finish. A suggestion to paint the existing pipes, brick and wood kept to the era of the day, maintained their budget and honored their value system that governs their daily lives.
As Aging in Place experts, (see past blog) we have a keen understanding of how important it is to know how the home will be used and why the homeowner is choosing the type of appliances, flooring or layout. The pictures that follow are of a completed remodel project with a current Aging in Place focus. A project is successful because we, and those with whom we work, strive to use a fine-tuned interpersonal approach to match your personal values with your daily living needs. The pictures that follow show how we updated a hard to use shower to a barrier free shower. These pictures show how the purpose and goals are the foundation of a project. A house can be just a house until you incorporate your lifestyle to make it a home. For more information please call our toll free number at 888 314-6250.
As I talk with people about the focus of Northstar Construction, the question is often asked of me, “What is Aging in Place?”
At it’s most basic level, Aging in Place is a term for independent senior living. The CDC defines Aging in Place as: Living in one’s own home safely, comfortably and independently irrespective of age, ability level or income. The AARP recently released a study showing that 83% of middle-aged Americans wish to live in their homes indefinitely. Additionally, AARP found that currently, 23 million Americans are caring for elderly parents. And this figure is expected to double over the next 20 years.
This means that most Americans wish to stay in their homes as they age, and that more and more elderly adults are living at home, or in the home of their children while being cared for by their children.
Safely and comfortably Aging in Place requires planning and forethought with construction and remodeling. Construction professionals who are trained in this area of specialization can help. Common areas that are addressed are: Installation of grab bars in hallways and bathrooms, improved lighting, replacing door knobs with levers, or push/pull latchsets – Soss has just released a very nice latchset called “Ultralatch.” (Our next post will look at the Ultralatch in more depth)
If a person is constructing a new home, it is wise to include Aging in Place principles in the design of the home. Considerations such as: 36″ wide interior doors, blocking installed in walls for future grab bar placement, sufficient turning radius in bathrooms, and low threshold entries.
With careful remodeling and new construction planning, homeowners can remain in their homes throughout their maturing years. The statistics show that Aging in Place is something we should all consider and prepare our homes for. Please feel free to contact us at Northstar Construction to see how we can help you design and implement your Aging in Place upgrades for your new or existing home. www.northstarconstruct.com
Today we are looking at an easy way to widen doorways. Wider doorways help improve wheelchair access, make it easier to move furniture, and are generally more convenient. Of course, in new construction situations we strive to make doors 36″ wide. However, in many existing homes it is often only the front entry door that is 36″ wide. All the others range from 30″ on up. If a door is less than 36″ wide, it can be difficult to maneuver a wheelchair through the opening.
An easy solution to this is available for many door situations. It is a matter of replacing the existing hinges with wide swinging hinges. These hinges are offset in such a way that can add 2″ to the functional door opening. The old hinges are replaced with the offset hinges, which in turn offset the door slab, thus swinging the door clear of the opening. Standard hinges hold the door inside the opening, which reduces the functional door width by 2″.
Sometimes a situation exists like the picture above. This drawing shows a compact bathroom which is very difficult to access due to the door swinging into the room. An easy solution is the reverse the door swing, assuming that the adjacent hallway is wide enough to accommodate the door. Combined with using offset hinges, the doorway becomes functionally 2″ wider, and allows more clear access into the bathroom.
Changing your door hinges is much easier than a complete remodel of the door opening and might provide a viable, cost effective solution for your project!
A number of plumbing fixture manufactureres have released touchless fixtures into the marketplace. Plumbing fixtures are items such as toilets, faucets, sinks, and shower controls. Within the touchless realm, there are toilets and faucets available. Touchless technology allows you to operate the plumbing fixture without using your hands. Touchless toilets flush by waving your hand over the sensor located on the tank. Touchless faucets turn on and off by waving your hand in front of the faucet.
Kohler offers a touchless toilet. They also offer a retrofit kit, which can be installed in certain models of toilets.
This picture is a Kohler toilet equiped with touchless flush. With ADA compliance, the opportunities for use for Aging In Place and Accessibility are great. You can see that in addition to being more sanitary, the toilet is easier to operate for someone that has limited mobility.
Within the faucet lineup, Moen has released a touchless faucet. By waving your hand in front of the sensing eye, the faucet turns on and off. The temperature is controlled by a lever in the traditional way
These products are worth considering for both ease of use and cleanliness. Many touchless plumbing fixtures are easy to replace and are asthetically pleasing. Faucets are available in a variety of styles and colors. To learn more about these products please feel free to contact us at northstarconstruct.com or (888) 314-6250.
SnapPower manufactures an exciting lighting solution for nightlights and guide lights. It is called the Guidelight. The Guidelight is inexpensive and installs literally in seconds. It is equipped with diffused LED lights which are controlled by a photo cell light sensor to provide illumination in darkness. In other words, when it is dark, the light turns on automatically, then automatically turns off when there is light in the room.
The Guidelight is incorporated into the electrical outlet cover. In fact, it replaces your existing outlet cover with the SnapPower Guidelight. That’s all there is to it! Replace the outlet cover and you have LED nightlighting. The Guidelight is attractive looking and to the unsuspecting eye, looks no different than any other outlet cover. This product works on any electrical outlet in your home. It can be installed in hallways, bathrooms, kitchen counters, and any other area that would be nice to gently illuminate at night. And remember, LED lights use little energy and last for years and years.
This product is convenient because it leaves your outlets open and available for regular use. It is available in both decora and standard styles and the all the regular colors to match up with the other outlet covers already installed in your house.
I am excited to install this product in both new and existing homes. It is a simple and cost effective way to provide convenience and safety in our homes.
Another product which will soon be released from SnapPower is a USB charger which is built on the same platform. As soon as it is released to the market, I will obtain one and post a review. The concept is great, to add a USB charger port to your existing outlets. Both of these products are examples of how we at Northstar Construction, build with an advantage, and how you can too!
These are pictures of what it is, and how it looks.
Welcome to Your Advantage Builder Blog. My name is John Williams and I will be posting many interesting and exciting topics related to construction. I have just returned from the NAHB International Builders Show in Las Vegas, NV. In 2015 I expect to see many new and exciting products released into the construction marketplace. Many of which apply to our specific area of emphasis at Northstar Construction – Aging In Place and Accessibility. My next post will begin to look at those products and we will see why we are Your Advantage Builder.
Welcome to our new blog. We have many new and exciting things to tell you about.