With evolving lifestyles, sometimes we need plan A – then – plan B in order to stay comfortably, safe and independent in our own homes. Here’s an outline of what you might consider for certain problem areas. The plan A category offers a simpler, broader approach and takes into consideration that these solutions might be temporary fixes. Then, plan B offers bigger – and yes – more expensive options. At this point it’s so important to discuss these expenses with real numbers. Very often, families don’t know how to obtain this critical information, and might even consider moving out of the home they love because they’re not aware of all their options. What we strive to do, is offer a cost with each solution so that real, thought-out decisions can be made.
Steps – the enemy of independence and safety – and how to address the problem;
Plan “A” – when some simple solutions can make a big difference
- Handrails can be installed along the wall wherever there are steps. Stronger, cast iron or cast aluminum, free-standing handrails can be mounted into the steps themselves and provide assistance also. This is usually done for steps that are outside, but have no railing.
- If you’re struggling with one or two steps – for example; at the garage door – sometimes a small grab bar right at the door jamb can be a big help.
- Step blocking; Very often, in a garage entrance for example, we can build blocking that mounts to each step and cuts the height of each step by half. We just have to make sure that there’s room for one more step at the base of the existing stairs.
Budget for plan A step solutions; $300-$1000
Plan “B” – when traversing the steps becomes daunting and unsafe
- Indoor stairlifts can be installed for those situations where the bedroom or laundry is on another floor. This is a big step in staying at home safely. A stairlift allows you to continue to have access to those important areas and to remain independent. Budget; $2600-$3600.
- Outdoor stairlifts can be installed in those situations where the entrance to your home has too many steps. This is a solution that is sometimes overlooked. Budget; $5000-$10000.
- Ramps can be installed over steps and require more space, but are very cost effective. You can review your own personal situation and assess the cost of a ramp at your own home by reviewing our pricing guide.
Bathrooms – the slipperiest, most unsafe room in the home and what to do about it;
Plan “A” – simple solutions for bathroom safety
- Grab bars; If at all possible, our favorite way to hang a grab bar, is to simply see where your hand naturally touches. We try to put the grab bar where you’re the most comfortable. Also, manufacturers are finding more and more demand for grab bars that don’t look like grab bars, so we’re finding more and more beautiful options available. A couple grab bars for getting in and out of the tub/shower are indispensable.
- Shower benches; Sometimes a shower bench can really help with the fatigue of standing for a long period of time. Much like the grab bars, these don’t have to look institutional. We do a lot of teakwood benches that are quite beautiful. This should be done in conjunction with grab bars – since you’ll be getting up and down.
- Personal shower wand; This is a very simple and inexpensive item that just makes showering easier. They can be mounted on a sliding bar for adjustable location or can mount on your existing shower head and be removed and replaced when finished.
Budget for plan A bathroom solutions; $300-$1000
Plan “B” – home modifications for bathroom safety solutions
- Make your bathtub a walk-in shower; this is what we do more than any other project. Removing the high step over the tub wall, is helping to remove the high possibility of an injury. It’s simply the single most important modification for safety that can be made to your home. The options available for this improvement are mainly broken into the following three areas;
- Tub to shower conversions with a low-profile pan. This option allows the most minimal “step” of around 1”. We also offer an optional ramp which is manufactured with the same Onyx material as the shower base and allows the shower to be “roll-in”.
- Tub to shower conversion with a zero-barrier pan. By cutting into the sub-floor and floor joist, a low-profile shower pan can be dropped into the floor deep enough to be completely flush with your existing flooring.
- Zero barrier throughout the bathroom. Through the use of a rubber membrane, we can create a wet-room effect in your bathroom which creates a sloping floor that leads to a drain, two or more drains, or a French drain.
Promise HomeWorks has the experts and the expertise to work with you to create your plans A and B. This is why we’re here and we’re happy to help.
To schedule an appointment please call our President, Norm Bennett at 314.200.3855 or email him at Norm@PromiseHomeWorks.com