Home Remodeling for Aging in Place


There is an upward trend occurring where seniors and retirees no longer seek a life of leisure within a retirement community instead opting to age in place. There are many reasons that seniors are looking to stay in their homes longer including the fact that they are in better health and physical condition than past generations. Even though seniors are at the top of their game in 2019 there are still precautions to take in creating safe spaces within their homes.  Even though their health is better, aging still takes a toll and changes the way in which their bodies operate. 

One of the first areas that we like to focus on is the bathroom.  There are a number of hurdles that can make the bathroom the most danger room in the house for aging seniors.  Getting in and out of a tub, standing from the toilet, dim lighting, and inefficient cabinets.  Simple renovations can include:

  • Installation of a comfort-height toilet
  • Putting in place grab bars
  • Replacing standard tubs with step-through tubs or showers without a curb
  • Add sliding shelves under bathroom sinks for easy access to products kept under the sink

Stairs also create a challenge for aging family member inside and outside of the home.  Chair lifts make two story homes doable for seniors that have trouble navigating the stairs.  Exterior ramps can be installed to make entering and exiting the home safer.  Handicap ramps can be installed either permanently or temporarily and can be made from a number of materials from wood to aluminum. 

Another major issue that is present for seniors that choose to stay in their homes as they age is the issue of lighting.  Aging causes changes in vision and make it hard to see when the natural light is not present such as in the evening.  With the installation of light switches that light up at night and motion-activated lights, it is easier for seniors to move about even when it is dark out.

Age in place remodeling, otherwise known as universal design, is making it possible for seniors to stay in their homes longer.   Universal design creates an environment using products that offer safety and comfort to people of all abilities without further need for adaptation.  Glen Miller the Home Doctor has been installing wheelchair accessible ramps, renovating bathrooms, adding additional lighting, and creating safe homes for seniors and those with mobility issues. 

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.



Kitchen Organization When Remodeling Is Not An Option Provides Optimum Flow

As we are cleaning our homes this spring many of us will be looking for ways to increase functionality in our spaces, especially in our kitchens.  If a kitchen remodel isn’t in your future, organizing the existing space to optimize the flow is your next best bet for enhancing the purpose of the space.  Optimal flow comes from creating usable space.  It can be a little overwhelming at first, but the results will create a kitchen that is flows at peak capacity.

Don’t think you need to empty out your entire kitchen and start from scratch.  All that will do is make the process seem impossible.  Small changes overtime will create a kitchen space that is optimal for day to day life and family gatherings.

Tips to Improve the Flow of Your Kitchen 

  • Incorporate Baskets and Wire Holders

Any type of basket or holder that keeps things in one space make a space more organized.  Labeled baskets for fruits and vegetables that don’t have to live in the refrigerator are practical and stylish.  Kitchens are often the central gathering location for kids and homework.  Having a basket labeled for each of your children stored under a kitchen island are not only aesthetically pleasing they are practical for keeping homework centrally located.  Baskets are fun and functional.

  • Charging Stations

Creating a single spot where electronics can be charged prevents counter clutter.  Charging stations can be installed inside a drawer with the installation of a smart drawer.  Ports are now sold specifically for this purpose however a simple power strip with USB ports can be used as well.  Using a drill, you will want to put a hole in the back of the drawer.  Thread the electrical end of the power strip out the back and plug it into your electrical outlet.  Using Velcro attach the back of the power strip to the back of the drawer.  It’s really that simple to remove the clutter of charging electronics from your counter. 

  • Spice Rack

It is no longer optimal to use valuable counter space to house a bulky spice rack.  Organizing spices can be done in a number of ways.  If you have unlimited kitchen drawers, creating a spice drawer using tightly sealed spice containers creates easy access to spices.  Another popular option is to install a hanging wire racks attached to an upper cabinet door to neatly store spices.  Adding magnets to the back of spice containers allows for simple storage of spices on the side of a refrigerator.  There are a number of ways that homeowners can replace those bulky spice racks for smaller space savers. 

  • Baking Cabinet

For bakers having a space dedicated to baking supplies is super helpful to increasing the function of your space.  These items are used frequently and thus should be organized and accessible. Turning a cabinet into a space that houses everything you needs is made easy with the installation of key hooks.  These hooks store measuring cups and spoons without taking up valuable “floor” space in the cabinet.  Mixing accessories can also be hung on hooks to keep them up off the base of the counter.  Stack mixing bowls so that smaller bowls nestle into larger ones.  Standing mixers can be accommodated by moving the shelf upward.  This space will be a favorite for the bakers in your house.

  • Pantry

Pantry shelves are often cluttered and there is not a lot of organization going on, but it doesn’t have to be.  With the addition of a few lazy susans, labeled wicker baskets, wire baskets, and clear containers, your pantry can be transformed.  Salad toppings, snacks, and more can all be grouped together and placed in a labeled wicker basket.  If you are preparing a salad you can simply remove the basket with salad toppings.  If the kids are looking for a snack instead of rummaging through granola boxes the snacks are all in one spot.  Wire baskets allow for easy can storage and allow you to see what is in each basket.  Lazy susans allow you to make use of the corner space in a pantry where you can organize oils, syrup, peanut butter, and items that need to stand. 

Small appliances can also easily be stored in the pantry now because you have space now that the clutter is eliminated.  Don’t forget the floor also has purpose.  Using plastic show mats is a great way to protect your floor.  By putting small felt pads on the bottom mats can easily be moved about as well. 

  • Under the Sink Organization

Small plastic baskets, hooks, and a tension rod can transform the space under your sink.  If you are like so many of us, finding the spray you need is like wading through a trench.  The spray you need is always in the back and is only able to be accessed by removing everything else.  Installing a tension rod allows you to hang sprays for easy access.  Kitchen brushes can be hung by installing small hooks and baskets can be used to separate and organize extra sponges, plastic gloves, and additional cleaning supplies.  Baskets are easy to remove so there is never a need to remove everything to get the one chemical you need.

Even without remodeling your kitchen you can create a flow that is practical and improves the functionality of the space.  Simple changes to the way we use the space can completely transform any kitchen.

JFC Remodeling is a full-service licensed contractor out of Howell, Michigan.  Specializing in kitchen and bathroom renovations, flooring upgrades, and home remodeling services.  More information can be found online at https://jfcremodeling.com/.

Spring Cleaning Allows Homeowners to Declutter Making It Easier to Age in Place

Spring is my favorite time of year.  It is a time for new beginnings, a time for us to declutter, and a time for us to start thinking about the future.  Although there are many renovations that can be done to a home to make it safer to stay in as we age it is important to start the process somewhere.  Spring cleaning is the perfect time to begin the process and thinking about making your home safer to grow old in.  The warmer weather makes it the perfect time to organize, arrange, and renovate the space for your future.

Accidental falls are the number one injury faced by aging homeowners.   Falls that occur because of environmental factors are easily avoided when proper precautions are taken.  The chores that we can accomplish on our own around our homes safely decreases significantly as our physical and cognitive abilities lessen.  These changes happen naturally as we age.  Even the most independent adults will slowly start to need assistance around the home in order to safely age in place.  Activities such as washing dishes, doing laundry, and self-care are things that older individuals are able to do while living on their own however, more advanced chores will require outside support.

Certain issues plague us as we age.  Not only do we become weaker and have less energy, our vision and memory start to fail.  As these more advanced impairments occur our needs to continue living in our homes will change.  While you are spring cleaning it is crucial to begin to think about the factors that will change and limit you down the road.  This is a perfect time to donate excess furniture and knick-knack items that have been collected.  Increasing open space by removing the excess allows for better mobility and decreases the number of tripping hazards. 

Eliminating items from your home can be difficult.  It is important to keep in mind throughout the process that not everything needs to be gotten rid of immediately.  It is a process that will occur over the course of time while you wish to remain in your home and living independently.  For now, start the process by donating, selling, gifting, or discarding those items you are sure of.  If you no longer have a twin sized bed you no longer have a need for twin sized sheets.  Start simple this spring. 

The time to start thinking about your future starts today.  Most of us wish to stay in our homes as long as we can safely do so.  With that in mind future renovations should be completed in a manner that considers aging.  Age in place contractors specialize in creating spaces that are safe for older homeowners discreetly.  Renovations that consider aging in place are most often hardly recognizable.  Some of which include:

  • Custom closets that add storage and organization without the need to reach above your head
  • Shelving for the kitchen & bath that easily slide in and out
  • Increased lighting fixtures throughout the home – lamps are discouraged as they present a tripping hazard
  • Hardwood flooring, low piled carpet, and slip-resistant flooring – throw rugs should be removed from the home
  • Levered handles for doors, faucets, and cabinetry

It is important to start somewhere when you know that your desire is to live within your own home as you age.  Taking it one step at a time makes the process as a whole easier to handle both emotionally and physically.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

Making Your Home Accessible With a Wheel Chair Ramp

Making your home more accessible for handicapped aids like wheelchairs is a must for many of people with either disabilities or for the elderly. Typically the first step to make in a lack of mobility situation is to install a wheelchair ramp.  Having a ramp installed on your home will improve a person’s life tremendously by entering and exiting the house freely and independently with little to no help from other members of the family.

There are many options for installing or building a wheelchair ramp that can be quite easy to accomplish and have a few options to consider. One choice you can decide on is to take the route of DIY and have the family join together for a weekend project or option #2 is to hire a professional to install one for you. No matter your choice of individual you decide to complete the job, there are some key elements to building and designing the ideal wheelchair ramp for you.

Choosing a ramp that’s right for you

Each accessibility ramp is unique and choosing one that is the right fit for your needs is most important. There are many factors to consider when finding the perfect wheelchair ramp for your home. First question to ask your self is; what type of mobile aid(s) will the person use? Also, there is a chance that the mobile aid that the person is currently using could evolve and change over time. Maybe they currently use a cane or walker but as the years go on, a person may need to switch to a wheelchair as they continue to age.

The next question to consider is; what entrance of the house is the accessibility ramp going to be installed on? Some homes will have obstacles that need to be taken into consideration such as landscape features that will need to be built around. It is also important to check with any zoning requirements in your area through the township or HOA that may require special requirements. Next, deciding on the material you want to use in the construction of the ramp needs to be chosen. Your budget and preference on whether function is more important than curb appeal will help in these decisions. Also Depending on the material chosen, this may or may not make it harder to move at a later time if the ramp is not intended on being a permanent fixture on the home. Lastly, a question to ask yourself about your unique ramp is; how much time do you want to put into construction? It is sometimes best to consult a professional contractor to complete the ramp installation.

Designing the Ramp

The design and requirements of your ramp will be unique because of the factors such as layout of the home or yard and the height needed for ramp. A short ramp would do perfect for a situation with only a couple steps or less than 3 foot incline but if your home is higher off the ground, a ramp will need to be designed with platforms so the incline is not so steep. Platforms are flat landing areas that help break up a ramp to allow the incline to only reach 30 inches. The Recommendation from ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) that platforms are minimum 60 inches square in order to allow a user enough space to turn in a wheelchair as needed. This also allows a person to stop moving and take a break when needed. Platforms also assist in navigating around obstacles or allow ramps to fit in smaller areas.

The width of the wheel chair ramp is another important aspect to measure for your design. It is recommended by ADA a minimum of 36 inches in between hand rails. This specific measurement should allow even manual wheelchairs the ability to fit comfortably. A reminder to measure in between the closest part of hand rail not at the base otherwise it could cause a person in wheelchair to hit their elbows on the railing if too close.

Guidelines are put into place by ADA to insure that the utmost safety is guaranteed. If working with a contractor, be sure they are building your ramp to be ADA compliant in order to successfully build and design a ramp with safety in mind. If installing a ramp at a business and is not ADA compliant, you can expect it to lead to fines in future as well. Some of these guidelines include: no- skid surfaces, handrails on both sides for any ramp longer than 6 inches, platforms installed if ramp is over 30 feet, and at least a 2 inch flange on bottom sides of ramp to prevent slipping off.

Ramp Materials

Two materials that you can choose from when building your ramp is either wood or metal. Of course with every option, each has their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, no matter the material you choose a ramp should be secured strongly to the ground and anti slip surface added. Taking a closer look at wood ramps, they are typically used in a permanent setting and if built correctly they can last for many years and add true value to your home. The surface of the decking is very important to ensure it is non slip. If ramp is made with a bad type of wood, it will quickly become very slippery in wet weather for everyone using it not only for the disabled. Make sure to do your research on companies who produce ADA-compliant composite materials such as Trex Accents that help increase traction on its surface.

When taking a look at metal for material of choice on your wheel chair ramps aluminum is a top contender. A primary advantage of metal as your material is the ease of installation. Some installs can be done in an hour and also easily removed and transported to a new home if and when needed. If needing a more complex design, metal ramps are great options for this as well and can be custom designed with platforms. The overall appearance of a metal ramp is much pleasing to your curb appeal but there are some that have been designed to look less medical looking.

Prebuilt or Custom Wheelchair Ramps

There are several companies through medical supply or home improvement stores that can assist when choosing a pre-built ramp that is ready to be installed and can be easier route for many compared to building new from scratch. On the other hand, if deciding to build and design your own wheelchair ramp it can be a cost savings on materials but will take more time than installing a pre- built option. Another great advantage of a custom ramp is that is can fit an individuals needs and overcome any special challenges. Hiring a professional contractor to help with your ramp needs will save you time and make this project much less stressful from start to finish.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

Planning Your Home For Aging In Place Renovations

In general, society tends to shy away from talking about and planning for the steps necessary as we age.  The hard-cold truth though is that we are all going to get older.  We will start to lose the ability to do as we once did and eventually will need aides in place to assist us with everyday tasks.  Age in place remodeling allows us to be in charge in the changes happening in our homes.  Beginning this process sooner rather than later allows for better planning and helps to create a safer, more usable space that is easy for homeowners of all ages to live in. 

Below is a list of age in place renovation ideas to help get you inspired during your next remodeling project.  It is important to take control of your quality of life while you are still fully in charge to ensure your own personal comfort in your home throughout the aging process.

Age in Place Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Kitchens are a key space in renovating for aging as much of our time is spent in the space.  Elements to consider include:

  • Sinks:  If possible, install a motorized sink that can raise and lower. These are a perfect addition for individuals who are unable to stand for long periods of time or are wheelchair bound.  Increasing the height of a sink can be beneficial as well as it offers support to lean upon for those using the sink in an upright position.  Consider installing a shallow sink with a hands-free faucet element with a pull-out sprayer are beneficial as well. 
  • Cabinets:  Install cabinet hardware that can easily be opened and closed, most often “D” shape pulls work the best.  Cabinets with shelving that is easily pushed in and pulled out is the best suited option for both top and bottom cabinets when remodeling a kitchen for aging in place.
  • Appliances: The installation of universally designed appliances is a major advantage when renovating your kitchen for ease of use for aging homeowners.  To save money, invest in energy saving appliances that are specifically made for easy use of individuals that are aging. 

Age in Place Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Bathrooms are another space within the home that are used daily.  Elements to consider in age in place bathroom renovations include:

  • Space: The less clutter and the more open floor space the better.  If aides such as a wheelchair or cane are needed it is crucial that there is space within the room to move about.
  • Toilets:  A seat extender can be used on a standard toilet height however a taller toilet is the best option.  Install a toilet that can accommodate aging users with limited mobility.  It gets harder to stand up off a toilet the lower the basin is.  Consider adding a budget for improved hygiene.  Toilet paper holders should be installed within easy sitting reach. 
  • Grab Bars: Anytime you can add on support it increases the safety of a room and task ten-fold.  Consider adding grab bars around the toilet and shower.  Grab bars should support upwards of 300 pounds.  Textured grab bars are better than non textured.
  • Bathtubs/Showers: Standard bathtubs are not ideal for aging individuals.  If possible, replace standard tubs with walk-in tubs or a no threshold shower.  It is crucial to offer seating either permanent or temporary, adjustable shower heads with a hand-held option, and a non-slip floor.

Each room in your home from the laundry room to the garage should all be included in planned age in place renovations.  It is important that spaces are uncluttered, free of throw rugs, and made to be as easy to use as possible.  If there is a simpler way to complete everyday tasks make sure it is in place to bring as much ease of living as possible to your home and loved ones.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

What Should I Know About Universal Design and Remodeling My Bathroom?

The first thing you should know is that when accessible bathroom design is done well, it will be a perfect blend between function, form, and aesthetics.  Thanks to all of the advancements in universal bathroom design, contractors are able to transform and everyday space into and accessible sanctuary that is safe for everyone to use. Contractors combine products designed for patient safety with interior design ideas in order to create a bathroom that is functional regardless of age or ability. 

Take a look at how the licensed and insured Universal Design contractors at Glen Miller the Home Doctor can create a bathroom space that keeps you safe as you age in place without compromising on aesthetics.

Cupboards Hung On the Wall

Wall hung cabinets are best as they can be hung at any height needed while minimizing obstruction of objects on the floor.  Cabinets made from natural and easy to maintain materials are perfect for use in age in place bathroom remodeling. Wall hung cabinets give a contemporary feel with a minimalist approach that is perfect for use in Universal Design.

Walk-In Tubs and Showers

Two very unique concepts but both providing function, safety, and beauty: walk-in tubs and threshold free showers are popular options in bathroom remodeling.  Age in place showers have come a long way since the days of installing grab bars around an old ceramic tub.  Accessible showers are now created using slip-resistant tiles, built in seating, built in grab bars, and removable shower heads.  Thus, creating a luxury spa like shower that can be enjoyed without the worry of falls while getting clean.  Accessible tubs make bathing possible without the dangers associated with limited mobility.

Toilet Accessibility

Another important element in Universal Bathroom design is the accessibility to the toilet without the need for assistance. To accommodate aging bodies or ones with disabilities it is crucial to have a toilet that is easy to access.  This means the height of the toilet is adjusted to be higher and grab bar support to help ease the up and down are in place. This also means installing toilet paper roles at a height and location that is accessible without any real reaching.  Don’t skimp and install a raised toilet chair if you are redesigning a bathroom for Universal Design.  Spend the little bit extra to install a secure, higher height toilet.  It is usable for individuals of all abilities with very little noticeable difference to standard toilets.

The whole concept of Universal Design is to create a space that blends functionality with home design; creating a space that is safe to use for individuals of all ages and abilities.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

The Correct Use of Lighting in Your Home Improvements

In order to bring your remodeling projects to a whole new level consider the lighting in the space. In order to truly understand how the lighting in a room can spice up any renovation it is important to know what types of lighting is available and the best ratio of light to use within the space. To help we have created a list of different lighting options available to choose from.

Options in Lighting

Lighting can be used in a number of ways.  More often than not layered lighting is the best option to really boost your rooms appeal. When renovating the space consider how the three options below work together to not only provide functionality but also style, and beauty. Ambient Lighting: General lighting is considered ambient lighting and is used to create overall illumination within your renovation. Ambient lighting is the lighting is the usable lighting in the space.  It provides the brightness that is needed in the room to proceed with the tasks that are done within the space.More often than not your renovations will include ambient lighting.  This includes lighting that comes from the ceiling from ceiling mounted lights, recessed lighting, track lights, and chandeliers. Task Lighting: As the name applies, task lighting is in place to make every day tasks easier.  Task lighting provides a small beam of targeted light for activities like working, cooking, reading, getting ready and more.  Some examples of task lighting are floor lamps, reading lamps, under-cabinet lighting, stove lighting and more.  Task lighting take away the imperfections such as glare and shadow. Accent Lighting: Much like you add a hat and scarf to your coat or earring to an outfit, accent lighting is used to add flair to your room. It adds a focal point within your room. Most accent lighting fixtures provide at least three more times the light then ambient light does.  If you have incredibly high ceilings and you want to accentuate the height add an accent light to the ceiling.  If you have a picture on the wall that you want to be the main focus of the room, try adding in sconces that project lighting on to the pieces.

Plan for Lighting in Your Renovation

As you are planning for your remodel clarify your goals for the space and how the lighting needs to be utilized in the space.  What will you be doing in the space?  If you are renovating a kitchen are you looking to do more than cook and eat? Often times extra lighting is needed above an island area to illuminate the space for working or studying. Consider adjustable lighting as well in areas like a dining room so that the mood of the room can be changed depending on the situation. Your lighting should also take into consideration the style of your renovation.  Modern lighting options don’t fit in aesthetically with country chic.  When choosing lighting consider the different aspects of the room remodel you want to coordinate with. Next it is important to consider how much lighting you actually want and need.  What is the right amount of lighting to make your renovation usable as it is intended too?  Having too little lighting in a space may make the remodel useless which is the last thing you want for your new space.  Consider the size of the space.  A good calculation to make is that 40 lumens are needs per foot of room space.  A 600 square foot room would need 24,000 lumens, 600 square foot x 40. Build a plan for your room remodeling lighting elements that begins with a central source of ambient lighting.  You can build onto the lighting in the space from there.  Task lighting is usually the next element that contractors consider. Do you need some glare free work space above the counters to allow you to easily measure ingredients?  Do you need additional lighting over a kitchen island where you will be prepping meals or bake goods?  Lastly, choose one interesting feature in the renovation that you want to bring attention to.  Add in an accent feature to highlight the feature.  If you have had an amazing arched entry add you may want to include wall sconces that shine light upward on each side of the entry to highlight the arch. It is also important to choose the right type of light bulb for each type of lighting feature.  Will you be using all incandescent lights?  Do you prefer LED bulbs?  Are you okay with a combination of both?  Most ambient lighting will use incandescent light bulbs as they provide a warm glow.  LED lights are best used in task lighting where the brightness of the bulb helps to see what you are working on better. Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/

The Importance of Fire Blocking Techniques and Products In Construction

The last thing that homeowners want or deserve from their contractor is short cuts taken in their home improvement project.  When doing any renovation around the home from installing a new door between your garage and your home, as in the picture above, or adding a new room onto an existing structure, the homeowner’s safety, now and in the future, is of utmost importance.

The need for for stopping or blocking

One safety issue we have found in many house’s that we have worked on is the lack of fire stopping or fire blocking with in the walls and door jams of homes.  Even though building codes and regulations state that fire blocking materials are included in construction, it is an all too often short cut that less than professional contractors take.  Talk with any firefighter and they will agree that this is a huge mistake.  Proper installation of fire blocks and fire blocking materials within walls and doorways is a property and life saver.

People have been seriously injured or lost their lives because of the lack of simple fire stopping blocks.  Fire stopping blocks are a simple component used in framing homes that when done correctly can help decrease the speed at which fire ravages your home, giving your family more time to escape.  This building technique is not as common in older homes, thus leading to a total loss of many older homes.

Modern day home construction

In modern day construction horizontal double 2×4’s can be seen on top of vertical studs to create a wall blocking system.  This helps to seal in the cavity and separate it from the one next to it which in turn works to prevent the rapid spread of fire throughout your home.

Without properly installed fire stop, the framing in your home can act like many mini chimneys throughout the home.  In older homes it was common to be able to drop an item from the homes attic only to have it shoot out on the basement floor moments later.  With out a barrier between the floors, flames are sucked up through the walls, acting very much like a chimney.

It may be hard to believe but the use of a single solid piece of wood at the top and bottom of the wall in between the studs can significantly reduce how fast fire spreads throughout the home.  If a fire does occur within the wall, the top block will help stop the fire from shooting upwards and into the home’s attic. Fire blocking at the intersections of joists and walls as well as sideways between floor and ceiling joists can literally save your family.

Materials used for fire blocking

Another material that can be used in construction and during renovations is known as Fireblock foam insulation and fire barrier caulk. When a hole is created within the home it is important that it is filled.  Not only will it help to prevent drafts, it also helps to stall fires from sneaking between the walls. Fireblock products should always be used when contractors are installing door jams or have created holes.  Plumbers, electricians, heating contractors, and even general contractors should all be well versed in the use of Fireblock products.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

Trends in Kitchen Remodeling That Are Here to Stay

Just like avocado colored appliances the popularity of stainless steel will fade.  It’s true, most kitchen and bathroom remodeling trends eventually fade out of existence as quickly as they found their way in. There are however a few trends that will withstand the test of time in your kitchen and bath.

 

Kitchen Cleanliness

 

When it comes to cleanliness in the kitchen we are not talking about germs but instead the design of the space.  Kitchen design trends that stand the test of time work with clean lines.  Open shelving, cabinetry with glass doors or flat fronts, and overall simplicity is what keeps a kitchen from looking cluttered.  Kitchen designs should offer enough storage for unsightly, infrequently used appliances.  Counters should be clear of as much “stuff” as possible to promote this trend.

 

Neutral Color

 

Neutral kitchen spaces are something that never gets old.  What gets old is brightly painted cabinetry and colored appliances.  To create a kitchen that doesn’t show its age it is important to keep the colors simple.  White and black appliances are always in style and are easy to enhance as trends cycle in and out.

 

Dark Cabinetry

 

If you have ever had white cabinets or any light-colored cabinetry you will understand that it is difficult to keep them clean.  Unless you have hours on end to spend cleaning your kitchen it is best to stick with the ever-stylish look of dark cabinetry.  The use of exotic dark woods is another option that we find never seem to become outdated.

 

Appliances That Blend

 

It is important, especially in open kitchens that the appliances used blend into the entire space.  A home that flows from room to room never ages.  The more “hidden” appliances are, the more likely they will blend right in as another piece of furniture within the space.  No longer are large scaled ranges and huge steel refrigerators necessary.  Instead opt for long lasting pieces that conceal themselves within the design.

 

Ageless Designs

 

Once upon a time there was this fascination with moving from one home to another.  People didn’t want to live in the same home for more than five to seven years.   Today however, homeowners are looking into ways to keep their homes ageless.  They want to live in the same space forever, more commonly known as ageless design, universal design, or age in place renovations.   This means making sure your kitchen design is universal.  Layered lighting, counters of multiple heights, drawers that pull out, and kitchen cabinets hardware that is easily opened are all design options that will withstand the test of time.

 

JFC Remodeling is a full-service licensed contractor out of Howell, Michigan.  Specializing in kitchen and bathroom renovations, flooring upgrades, and home remodeling services.  More information can be found online at https://jfcremodeling.com/.

5 Questions You Want to Ask Your Kitchen Contractor Before Your Kitchen Renovation

When it comes to renovations the kitchen is a complex home improvement projects you can get involved in.  As a homeowner you must make all decisions throughout the renovation project.  The kitchen has changed from a place of simple food preparation to an open area, multi-functional space that is the soul of your home.

No matter what size, the kitchen is a big part of every modern household.  Kitchen design contractors consider several elements including the size of the space, the desired style, trends, and the best use of space when preparing for each unique kitchen renovation.  This installment will help offer you suggestions on the working with your contractor on planning for your new kitchen.  Your contractor will go over elements such as appliances, cabinetry, surfaces, and finishes as well as material to use and extras that you desire.

Soon your dream kitchen visions will become a reality.  Before you sign on the dotted line and hire a contractor there are a few questions to ask that will help you make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.  These questions will help ensure you stay within your given budget, your home is secured while contractors are working on the home and that you get your kitchen put back together in a timely manner.

  1. How will you itemize your bid breakdown?

Tell the contractor to itemize the bid by breaking down the bid into stages, this will give you a better understanding of what you are been charged. Some contractors will supply you with an overall quote, but that’s not the best way to go if you want to make sure your contractor isn’t overcharging.

  1. What are the extra costs outside the original quote?

Before your final deal signed with the contractor, make sure he or she isn’t going to add on extra fees without asking you first. This you make clear to him/her during the process of deal negotiations, that you will not bear or accommodate addition fees which are outside the real deal. Some contractors charge for things such as demolition, junk removal, painting, and other tasks. In some cases, you may be able to handle these things yourself to avoid extra charges.

  1. Who are the members of your team that will be working on the renovation?

Security of your home matters, and it is foremost in a situation like this. Depending on the size of the contracting company, there might be few or many workers deployed to your home on daily basis during the period of the renovation, if you have children, pets or other valuable, it’s important that you get to know your contracting team before allowing them to enter your home. Once hired, you want to secure a plan with the team to make sure they’re properly locking doors, securing pets and keeping materials out of harm’s way.

  1. What is the time frame on our kitchen remodeling?

Naturally, the duration of the project should be well spelled out; this will enable you to have proper time planning during the project execution having known the start and end date. It’s only natural to want a detailed timeline of your cabinet installation. Time contractors take in your home is time spent away from your kitchen, and it can be hard to spend several weeks eating out. You may even consider setting parameters for your contractor and asking for discounts and other incentives if work isn’t completed in the time frame you’ve agreed upon, and this will also propel the contractor to work hard to enable him to meet the time frame.

  1. Can you provide references? Do you offer a warranty on your work?

You might meet contractors that will play down on you with the pretense of giving you the best of renovation job, as such you need more assurance that you are dealing with the right contractor, and you do this by looking for contractors that will guarantee their work with written warranties. If they don’t offer one at the outset, make sure you request one to protect your kitchen from sub-par workmanship or low-quality materials.

Also, if the potential contractor wasn’t recommended to you by someone you trust, or even if they were, it’s perfectly acceptable to do a little reference work yourself. If your contractor is happy to supply references, give past clients a call and gauge their overall feelings on the completed work he has done for them before now.

JFC Remodeling is a full-service licensed contractor out of Howell, Michigan.  Specializing in kitchen and bathroom renovations, flooring upgrades, and home remodeling services.  More information can be found online at https://jfcremodeling.com/.