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Interior Remodeling

Small Bathroom Improvements for Aging in Place

Remodeling your bathroom is a great way to update your home. And when you are remodeling your bathroom, you should plan for the future, especially when it comes to small bathroom improvements for aging in place.


Small Bathroom Improvements for Aging in Place

Custom shower bench seats are fantastic. They, as well as grab bars, are often the two most frequent requests that our company gets from the majority of our clients. That is usually because they are getting rid of old jet tubs and installing more extensive showers.

No matter what your age is, everybody can use a shower seat bench to relax on. It is also great to have a seat bench installed in your shower anytime you have an injury or may need immediate surgery because not everyone is comfortable or secure on the plastic medical seats, which you can purchase at Walgreens. 

While bench seats work great, they can sometimes be a little rickety or temporary. And while the constant movement isn’t a safety issue, they can add to the discomfort of you or a loved one. So try a built-in one instead. Some built-in seat benches are made to fold down as needed and take up less space. And they are made from durable plastic, while others can get pretty fancy with being made from teak wood. Some companies offer a molded bench that you can fit into the shower space as well. It is easy to tile around them, and the seats come in different heights since everyone is built differently. 

Since we are talking about comfort and since ceramic and porcelain shower seats can get kind of cold. Another great option is doing a heated seat. By installing a heater in your shower, it will make the bench seat a lot warmer when you sit down on it. 

How to Design a Bathroom for Aging in Place

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Grab or safety bars. When it comes to grab bars, people often think that only older people need them. And that when grab bars are installed in your bathroom that you are aging. But what they don’t realize is that security inside the shower is a must for any generation. Grab bars are only necessary to help you get a solid hold and prevent you from losing your footing around the slippery areas. 

They are convenient to have and can make getting up off of things a lot easier. Especially if you have a bad hip or knee, grab bars can also be used due to age, a medical situation, or from too much relaxing in the shower. While they don’t bring up visions of style, there are a lot of options to choose from and prove that safety and style can go hand-in-hand. They can go from your standard grab bars to a more fancy and classy style. The fancy/chic style is made of chrome, brushed nickel, or burnished bronze so that it can match the rest of your bathroom fixtures. 

No matter what your age, adding grab bars to your shower is a great idea. And you won’t have to worry about sacrificing your style over substance because we can all use something to hold onto at times in the shower.

Aging in Place Bathroom Renovation

Small bathroom improvements for aging in place also include shower wands. Shower wands come in handy because most bench seats are further back in the shower. And the shower want is a great companion for it. That way, you can sit down on the bench and have the wand reach across the shower so that you can still use it. Since adjusting the main showerhead isn’t always an option for some people, then having a hand-held shower wand comes in handy. 

While some showerheads come with an additional wand attached, often, the hose isn’t long enough across the shower. You need to make sure that you install one that has a hose long enough to reach the back of the shower. Especially since the point of a bench seat is so that you can sit down while showering. When you have a shower wand that has a long enough hose, you won’t have to worry about standing up and possibly slipping in the soapy mess on the floor of the shower.

Lotz of Logic

When it comes to planning your bathroom remodel, make sure you take some extra time to add in some of the above ideas. Especially if you are a senior and you want to make some small bathroom improvements for aging in place. And even if you and your family don’t need them, you will find yourself using them quite often without realizing it. Because life can be crazy and you don’t know what it will throw at you. So you will want to be prepared. Taking the extra time and labor to add in the extra convenience to your master or other bathrooms will prove to be a great benefit to you and your family. 

Grab/safety bars, bench seats, and shower wands are all significant improvements to have installed in your shower. Make sure that you check out your local home improvement store for these items. There will be many options in stock, as well as an array of options for special orders. Although these add-ons can add to the cost of the remodel, the convenience of it all will make every penny worth it. Not only are they useful if you plan to stay in your home for a while. They can also increase the value of your home if you want to sell it. And it is easy to donate items you no longer need to places like Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on small bathroom renovations, give me a call. My team and I have been serving South Barrington, Barrington, North Barrington, Inverness, Lake Zurich, Schaumburg, Elgin, Long Grove, South Elgin, Palatine, Wayne, Deerfield, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Choosing a New Toilet – Comfort or Standard Height

Could there be a difference when sitting down on your comfort height toilet? How can one-two inches of distance on your toilet make it so much better? Today we are talking about choosing a new toilet – comfort or standard height.


Choosing a New Toilet – Comfort or Standard Height

You are out shopping for items to replace in your home, and a toilet pops up on your mind. And you wonder if you need to add some height to the toilet. Thanks to today’s technology, there is a variety of toilets to choose from that all come at an affordable price. But that’s not all there is. Because we now have the opportunity to select a new toilet that is based on comfort or standard height.

But why is that? Well, if you think about it for a moment. Toilets can sometimes be a pain to get on and off if you are taller than you might have a difficulty where your knees are hitting the opposite wall. Or if you have a problem standing, then a higher toilet might be the ticket.

So what is the difference between a standard and a raised toilet? The difference is the height. A standard toilet, which is commonly found in many residential homes, runs around 15 inches while a custom height or raised toilet comes a couple of inches taller and stands between 16 to 18 inches. While this might seem like a lot, there is a difference when you are sitting on a toilet with an increase in height and the wonders it can do even if it’s only an inch or two.

What’s a Comfort Height Toilet

When it comes to comfort height toilets, there are several benefits and add-ons that you should

Consider when going to update your bathrooms with new toilets. Let’s start with the fact that comfort height toilets are about two inches taller than your standard toilet. And as you go up in age, it is a whole lot easier to get off the toilet to stand up. It is a lifesaver. Especially if you have bad knees. 

At the time of installation, consider getting a soft-close toilet seat. You will love the fact that it is silent and won’t make any noise, especially in the middle of the night. There are also lighted toilet seats and built-in air fresheners. The built-in seat could be the perfect “night light” for safety as you are getting up in age or for any younger children who get up in the middle of the night. It is also essential to install a new supply hose when you install your new toilet in the bathroom. 

Choosing a New Toilet

When you go to pick out a toilet, whether it is a comfort or standard height toilet, it can be super easy to do. Especially if you live in an area that has several large home improvement stores. Because there is such a wide variety of toilets to choose from, you have your pick on whether you buy either raised or bolt-in toilets. But that typically comes down to a matter of appearance and style. 

Of course, the best way to figure out what type of toilet is best for you and your family is to try one out. Visit the local big box store that is in your area and sit on the variety of models and heights that they offer there. Make sure that as many people as possible from your household come so that you can all try out and decide on a toilet together. Since you will be using this toilet for many years, the people who live there must be comfortable with it as well. Because people are different, it is best to go with a toilet that will satisfy the most significant amount of people in the house. If the toilet is too tall for children or short adults, an easy solution to fix this problem is to provide a small footstool for them to use.  

When it comes to pricing, you may find that a custom height toilet will vary in price depending on where you go shopping for one. But your local home improvement stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot or Menards, the prices are a bit more reasonable for these toilets. Between $100.00 and $250.00 are fairly typical costs that you would find for a standard toilet. And you shouldn’t be paying much more if any then that for a custom toilet for your bathroom. 

Lotz of Logic

Always remember to check for any defects and cracks before purchasing a toilet. This is because the toilets are often sitting in the local box store for a while in between shipping and purchasing. Because we spend so much time on the toilet, we want to make sure that it is the best and works for you and your family.

When it comes to picking out a new toilet for my own home, I would not have considered this myself personally until eventually, I put in a new comfort height toilet (occasionally identified as a raised toilet) at my own home. After utilizing this specifically built toilet and then using the typical bathroom in an additional restroom in my house, that absence of two inches made me feel like I was sliding to the ground. Comfort height is best! This is no joke. 

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on choosing a new toilet – comfort or standard height, give me a call. My team and I have been serving Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Lombard, Carol Stream, Westmont, Willowbrook, Woodridge, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Repairing Water Damaged Wood

Because of window treatment options and blinds, water damage to window treatments is often out of sight, out of mind. When water damage is noticed, how do you fix it? Today we are talking about repairing water damaged wood and how to find it and fix it.


Repairing Water Damaged Wood

Understand how to repair water damaged wood in your bathroom and kitchen is important. It is also a question that commonly gets asked. Humidity, leaking windows, excess water, and poor ventilation are more often than not the cause of the damage to wood. And when the water damage is noticed it is often too late to do anything with it. So it is important to check all of the trim on your windows regularly for water damage so that you can get it fixed earlier rather than later.

To help you remember to check your windows place a reminder on your calendar twice a year to check on all of your windows in your home. But specifically, check the windows in the bathroom and kitchen. If you do happen to notice excess water or wood beginning to either appear darker or more worn down than it typically is. Then you definitely have some issues happening. When you find the problem, then you can address what is causing it and fix it. And it really is just a matter of repairing water damaged wood trim. If you repair the wood trim fast enough, then it will not be an issue. In the event you wait too long, you could have to repair the wood pieces all together.

How To Fix Water Damaged Wood

When it comes to repairing water damaged wood, there are several easy steps to follow. The first step is checking for loose paint or stain. This is because loose or flaking paint or stain is the first sign of water damage on window treatments. But it is one of the simplest problems to fix. To determine if paint or stain is flaking or loose check the window to see if there is a leak that lets in water when it rains or freezes. If there isn’t a leak, then the loose paint is caused by humidity from the inside.

Water stains and mold are two more items that are caused by water damage to the wood. When working with removing mold, it needs to be appropriately treated to remove it. With water damage, it looks like a dark stain on the wood. To remove it, start by sanding the trim down and then use a good wood bleach to lighten the woods. Doing this often does the trick. But if the damage is severe, then using bleach won’t work, and the wood will have to be replaced.  

Treating Damaged Wood And Humidity

If the bleach treatment does work, then once the wood is dry and clean from the treatment, you should put a good stain, sealer, and a top coat on it. It is best to treat the parts of the window trim that really need it. Doing this before applying the stain, sealer and top coat helps give it a more even and consistent look. This also adds ten more years of life to your windows.

Monitoring the humidity in your home is important. Especially if you have experienced a problem with it in the past. During the winter, make sure you keep an eye on how much the water is condensing on the glass in the window. If there seems to be a lot of water on the glass, then you will need to turn down the humidity. During colder temperatures, if your home is not well insulated, then it is important to keep the window trim in mind. This is because the condensation might be freezing around the window, especially in the corners if the temperatures get below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lots Of Logic

If you or someone that you know has this happening to the windows in the kitchen or bathroom. Then it would be worthwhile to take a look at the damage and determine what the damage is and then follow these techniques to take care of it. It will also help to prevent it from happening again in the future. Because if you catch it quick enough then it will be fine and if it goes too long, then the wood trim will need to be replaced completely. The same goes for having a wood fence in your backyard.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on repairing water damaged wood, give me a call. My team and I have been serving St. Charles, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Geneva, Batavia, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Built-In Bench Seat For Your Shower

Are you looking to add seating to your shower? Are you overwhelmed by all of the different options?  Today we are talking about adding a built-in bench seat for your shower.


Built-In Bench Seat For Your Shower

Bathroom design has become very popular in the last decade and moving away from soaker and whirlpool tubs. Which were very popular in the ‘90s. Since then, people have found that they are using their stand-up showers more and tubs infrequently. Because of this, homeowners want large, luxurious walk-in showers installed. They want large showers to be connected with side shower jets, large rain heads, and steam. These are just a few of the available and possible amenities that can be added. Seating areas are becoming more popular as people begin to spend more time in their showers. Bench seating is also a great idea in master baths.

The seating options that people have a place in their showers are:

Portable Seating

This category has many options available, and they range from wood benches to lightweight molded plastic models. Because they are all portable, these seating options can be moved in and out of your shower as needed. Portable seating is an excellent option for people who have a smaller shower and don’t have space for a permanent feature. More abundant seating options can be stored in a linen closet and moved into the shower as needed, and a folding option can be stored in the corner of the shower. Their portability also has the added benefit of requiring no installation, which is essential to any DIYer or the budget-conscious, who are looking to save on bathroom remodeling costs.

Fold-Away Seating

This is a great option and is a step up from necessary, portable seating for your shower. Because it allows you to have full access to the entire shower footprint. Fold-away models are mounted to the wall and can be folded out of the way when they aren’t in use. While they are a permanent fixture, they only use space when in use.

Your style doesn’t have to be sacrificed either. While there are inexpensive plastic models for fold-away seating, there are many stylish designs, as well. Wood and metal options are available as well in many styles. While you will undoubtedly find a seat that fits your technique, it is also essential to pay attention to the weight rating of the model you chose. Many places are rated to hold only one person and only up to a given weight. Before installing, make sure that you talk to your contractor about installing a bench that is rated to carry the weight load that your family will most likely need.

Corner Niches

Generally placed in the corner of your shower, corner niches come in ledges of varying sizes. Unlike the last option, they don’t fold away but are still unobstructed, owing to their small size and placement. If you don’t have a lot of space for permanent seating, aren’t looking to be sit down frequently, or have a different use in mind, corner niches make a great option.

The smallest corner niches, often referred to as “foot niches,” aren’t intended to be sat on. Instead, they are designed to elevate the user’s foot, offering stability and making it easier to clean different parts of your leg or while shaving. While they can be sat on, they aren’t comfortable. Larger corner niches can also work as foot support and seating. While they aren’t comfortable either, they work if you want a permanent solution that won’t impinge severely on your available shower space.

Built-In Bench Seating

Bench seating is the most significant option available to consumers. Built-in benches, as permanent structures, offer the most space for sitting in your shower. Generally, they fit the entire depth or length of your shower. Therefore they can accommodate the most weight and can often seat more than one person. A large permanent built-in bench is the best option if you are planning to spend a significant amount of time in your shower. Especially if it is a steam shower.

Larger benches can also double as storage space. Mainly if they are out of the reach of jets and showerheads, decorative items, washcloths, folded towels, and other toiletries can be placed on the bench while still giving you room to sit down. This option is also the easiest to clean. Corner niches are easy to clean, as well. Since they are tiled to match the shower or are covered with granite or marble, they don’t have any difficult corners or edges to clean.

Naturally, benches require a decent amount of room. If you are planning on building a large shower, you will likely have the necessary space. Smaller showers can accommodate bench seating, but you will need to be prepared to sacrifice space. As well as possible direct access to any other shower amenities. And if you enjoy a steam feature in your shower, then a bench works great because it is similar to sitting in a sauna.

Lotz of Logic

It is essential to consider future needs if you are planning on staying in your home long term. Important considerations to remember are the placement of safety grab bars to compliment the seating area of your shower or wheelchair access. The last thing that anyone wants to do is build their dream shower and then have to change it later on down the road because of changing life circumstances. Future-proofing your shower design at the beginning of the remodeling is a smart move if changes happen to you then in life. When looking to install and remodel your shower to add built-in bench seating, it would be a good idea to look at painting tips and insights for your bathroom. So that you can either touch up the paint or completely repaint your bathroom at the same time.

Make sure that you speak with your contractor about your options in each of the categories. The contractors can help you choose the best seating option to fit in your available space, likely uses for it as well as design sensibilities.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on built-in bench seating for your shower, give me a call.   My team and I would love to be of service to the Northwest Indiana communities such as St John, Long Beach, Beverly Shores, Lake of the Four Seasons, Schererville, Kreitzburg, Michigan City, Grand Beach, and New Buffalo, and all of Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Bathroom Remodeling Costs

When remodeling any part of your home, there are usually anticipated and unexpected bathroom remodeling costs. Because remodeling can be such a complicated process, it is easy to overlook these costs unless you remodel parts of your home regularly. Today we are going through the expenses you should consider in advance of remodeling your bathroom.


Bathroom Remodeling Costs

When remodeling your bathroom or any other room in your home, it is important to be prepared to know what these common hidden bathroom remodeling costs there are.

Waste Removal, Permits, and Drawing

When remodeling people don’t think about waste removal until the last minute. While it won’t break the bank or your renovation budget having a dumpster or a bagster is a good idea. Especially since remodeling involves a lot of debris throughout the demolition process. The dumpster companies will help you select the right one for your project and budget. No matter which one you choose, dumpster or a bagster, make sure that it is included in your renovation budget.

While you may not need a project, it doesn’t hurt to check with your municipality to see what their codes are. Especially if you are planning on moving electric, walls, or water. It is a good idea to not skimp on this because problems may come up later on down the road if you plan on selling your home. If you live in an unincorporated area, you will have to get city permits as well as local permits. And ending up working with two municipalities.

If you are planning on moving walls during the remodeling process, it is important that you have engineering or architectural drawings done. This is to make sure that you can be structurally sound and do the project. The majority of kitchen or bath cabinet designers will do the drawings for you on simple projects. For complicated remodels an architect should be involved.  Having the drawings done will help with resale down the road.

Vent Pipes, and Water Valves

When remodeling your bathroom be prepared to move vent pipes for the exhaust fan especially if you are upgrading it. The goes for the kitchen as well if you are upgrading the exhaust fan system. It is important to budget for this because it is often overlooked.

Over time old stops and valves can get corroded, and you may have to replace them. When replacing the tub in a bathroom the plumbing will need to be redone since you will be going from two water supplies down to one water supply valve. Especially if you are removing a large whirlpool tub and going to a large walk-in shower, with no tub, the water supply will need to be changed.

Bad Electric, and Water Damage

Often when the home was initially built there were different codes in place. Creating an extra job to be done with updating bad electric behind the wall so that they are up to code and you can live there safely. When remodeling it is common to see the wiring done wrong when opening up walls. This is because some people hire contractors that don’t follow code and cut corners so that the cost can be cut down. Because of that, the electrical wires need to be taken care of then and there.

Water damage often happens behind cabinets by a sink in the kitchen or behind dishwashers. The damage creates wood rot or mold issues in the floorboards. You will need to have the damaged areas fixed and removed immediately so that you can place down the new flooring and it won’t be placed over wet, rotten wood. In bathrooms, water damage can happen below tile because of poorly drained sinks or showers. You need to be prepared because this comes up often. While it isn’t a large increase in the budget, it can happen.

Changing Up Original Drawings

Making changes to the original drawings should be something that you avoid, if possible. Once selections have been made, and contracts have been signed with the installers. Changing the original plans, once they are in place, because it will delay your project, run up costs, and you may have to deal with local municipalities. And the remodeling contractor won’t be happy with the delays.

Lotz of Logic

Don’t be afraid to remodel your bathroom or kitchen. When planning your remodel to make sure that you plan your work, and work your plan. By planning out your bathroom or kitchen remodel ahead of time, you can consider any additional costs ahead of time. This is so that you can have little to no hiccups when starting to remodel your bathroom. Make sure that you have accounted for as much as possible, including money for anything that you can’t account for. Doing this will help you make sure that your budget will be as “crush-proof” as possible. And now is a great time to look into adding things to your shower.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on bathroom renovations, give me a call. My team and I have been serving Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Lombard, Carol Stream, Westmont, Willowbrook, Woodridge, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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