RE/MAX What's Trending in Tampa Area Beaches
Courtesy of Dave Lewis

Five tips for creating a stadium-style lawn in your own backyard

 


Many homeowners think a professional-looking lawn requires a stringent water and fertilizer regimen. While both water and fertilizer play their part, neither is the stand-alone key to a perfect lawn. The following five tips offer homeowners simple solutions to achieving a great yard.

* Know your region. Grass seed is not one size fits all. Select the right grass seed or sod based on where you live. It’s also important to consider how you plan to use your lawn. Do you have children and pets that will be playing on it regularly, or will the purpose be primarily curb appeal? To determine the right grass, talk to your local garden center or contact the turf grass specialist at your state agriculture school.

* Only feed as needed. According to Grass Seed, a coalition of grass seed farmers, many homeowners over water their lawns, which does more harm than good. A simple trick to determine whether your lawn needs watering is to stick a screwdriver into the grass. If it enters the dirt easily, your lawn has plenty of water already. If you have trouble getting the screwdriver into the ground, it is time to give the grass a drink. It is also recommended to fertilize your lawn at least once a year. However, putting your lawn on a quarterly schedule will help achieve optimal health.

* Break out the ruler. The maintenance crews for professional sports fields are meticulous about the height of their grass because it ensures a uniform look. Grass Seed recommends maintaining a lawn height of about 2 inches. It’s important not to cut more than one-third of the grass height at a time to minimize damage, so aim to mow when your lawn is about 3 inches in height.

* Arm yourself with the right tools. The proper equipment can take a lawn from looking well-manicured to professional. When selecting a mower, don’t jump straight to those that pick up the grass clippings. Allowing the clippings to decompose in the lawn will add to the overall health of your yard, and when you mow often, the shavings are small and less noticeable. Adding an edger to your arsenal is another great trick for cleaning up the lines and defining your yard.

* Replenish as necessary. Grass is a natural carpet that cleans and repairs itself. It’s equipped to withstand a number of elements yet is impacted over time. If you’ve noticed that your lawn is sparse in areas, or not as full and lush as you’d like, it may be time to add more seed. The best time to plant new seed is in the fall when the temperatures are more temperate. But reseeding may be done throughout the year. The important thing is to avoid drastic temperature changes and water regularly, yet moderately, to give the seed time to absorb moisture and build roots.

Growing and maintaining a lush green lawn doesn’t have to come with a backache. Basic planning and these five quick tips will have you well on your way to a backyard prime for the summer season.

Low-maintenance exterior upgrades that add value and style to your home


Consider these top exterior projects that will increase your home’s value and curb appeal. And, because they’re low-maintenance, you’ll get more time to enjoy the beauty of the season.

Fence, railing or deck upgrades: no painting or staining required

If you’re updating or replacing your fencing, patio or deck railing or an entire deck, you’ll want to select the right wood for the job. If you like pressure-treated lumber, but don’t want to have to paint or stain the wood, then ProWood Dura Color is for you. Each piece is color-infused through and through, and has the natural color characteristics and appearance of cedar or redwood, but won’t fade to silver or gray over time, like untreated lumber.

“People like the natural look of redwood and cedar, but they don’t want the drawbacks that come with them, such as the high price and the fact that they fade to gray,” says Chris Fox, product manager at Universal Forest Products. “ProWood Dura Color products not only look like natural cedar or redwood, their color lasts much longer and they’re backed with a lifetime limited warranty against termites and rot.” What’s more, all ProWood Dura Color lumber boasts a two-year color assurance warranty.

How is ProWood Dura Color different? Colorant is infused deep into the wood’s fibers during the treating process, eliminating the need to paint or stain. You’ll get natural-looking lumber with color that’s guaranteed to last. Visit www.ProWoodLumber.com for more information.

Use ProWood Dura Color for your deck addition. A wood deck addition has great return on investment - 77.3 percent, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report. Plus, you’re sure to enjoy the expanded outdoor living space.

Exterior door updates are functional and fashionable

If you look at your home from the street, do you like its curb appeal? If not, maybe it’s the doors. The doors that mostly affect the style and function of your home’s exterior are the entryway and garage doors. If yours are dated, drafty and always need painting, it’s time for new, modern options, and they may cost less than you think.

The average cost to replace a steel entry door is $1,137, according to the Cost vs. Value Report, and the cost recouped when you sell the house is 85.6 percent. Your new door will look great and help keep your home energy efficient too.

Garage door replacements come with a similar price tag, averaging $1,496, according to the report, but you’ll recoup 75.7 percent when it’s time to sell. A garage door upgrade is functional as well as beautiful - because it takes up so much visual space on your home’s exterior, a new garage door can set the tone for your home’s personality. Plus, most of today’s options are low-maintenance and don’t require annual painting.

Cut energy bills and seasonal drafts with new windows

If you ignore or delay window maintenance, you’re not alone, but doing so could be costing you more money than you think. Windows - particularly old ones - can be a lot of work. Wood windows need annual maintenance to avoid deterioration and rot, single pane windows need to be insulated and sealed during cold seasons, and screens need repair when warm weather approaches.

Take a look at your windows and determine which can be repaired and which need to be replaced. New windows have so many technological advancements that they’re virtually maintenance-free and often come with a lifetime warranty.

New windows with multiple panes, low-emissivity coatings, gas treatments between the panes and other advancements make new windows a worry-free addition. New vinyl windows have a return on investment of 71.2 percent, according to the Cost vs. Value report.

Whether your next home improvement project is big or small, researching low-maintenance options today will help ensure your home looks good for many years to come. Plus, you’ll have more time to enjoy the long sunny days with a refreshing drink in hand rather than a hammer and drill.

What lies beneath your dream home? New homeowners skip sewer line inspections

A sewer line inspection is not included in the standard home inspection and is regularly waived in the purchasing process. Additionally, many buyers do not know that responsibility for the condition of the lateral sewer line leading from the street to the home lies with the homeowner, not a municipality. Buyers should reconsider including this important step before they sign a deal.
If a problem occurs, a sewer line replacement costs at least $4,500, but prices vary widely and costs increase dramatically by region, depending on depth and length of the underground pipes and if street repairs become part of the issue.
Experts at Roto-Rooter, North America’s largest provider of plumbing repair and drain cleaning services, encounter this scenario far too often. Consumers, who just signed the dotted line on their dream home, soon find that they’re trapped in an expensive plumbing nightmare.
"Just a couple of years after purchasing our home, we had a $15,000 sewer line disaster in our lap," says Jennifer Schappacher of Cincinnati. "The sewer line clogs began not long after we moved in, but as they became more frequent we had Roto-Rooter inspect the line with a video camera and only then did we realize the pipe had offset sections and a partial collapse that was causing sewage to back up into our house."
The Schappachers looked at only a few houses before deciding on one in a quiet shady neighborhood. It was charming with large, mature trees that shaded the entire street. But since the house was built in 1959, its concrete and clay underground sewer pipes were vulnerable to heavy root intrusion from the big trees. As those roots entered the pipe joints in search of water, they pushed the pipes apart and allowed surrounding soil to spill into the pipe, narrowing a 6 inch diameter pipe to just 1 inch in some sections.
Generally, a plumber can complete a sewer line camera inspection for $250 to $550, depending on the region. While not cheap, it’s a relatively small price to pay when buying a home, especially if it helps a buyer avoid thousands of dollars in unforeseen repair bills.
To avoid unexpected and costly plumbing problems, the experts at Roto-Rooter recommend having a plumber conduct a video camera sewer line inspection, in addition to a standard home inspection, before buyers purchase a home. The process involves passing a waterproof fiber optic video camera through the pipe. The specialized cameras are equipped with bright LED lights so the inspection will reveal any cracks, breaks, offset or collapsed sections of pipe. The plumber will often provide a DVD copy of the inspection as part of the service.
"Sewer inspection camera equipment is expensive and often is only utilized by well-equipped plumbing companies, but the video inspection service itself is easy to complete and well worth the extra step," says Roto-Rooter master plumber Larry Rothman.
Root growth is the most common cause of sewer line damage and is often responsible for blockages and separated pipe sections. Outdated and eroding pipe materials are also a common culprit in sewer line deterioration. Older pipes are much more susceptible to root intrusion than new plastic pipe.
Inspections are especially important if:
* The home is 20 years or older.
* There are mature trees around the property.
* The home has been vacant for a period of time.
* The concrete surrounding the home is cracked or raised.
* There is considerable visible root growth in the yard.
Many homeowners, especially new homeowners, do not know or think about their home plumbing. For seasonal maintenance tips and general information, visit Roto-Rooter’s plumbing basics section online at www.rotorooter.com/plumbing-basics.

Cost of home fire sprinklers at all-time lows; benefits still high


A new study reveals that the price of residential fire sprinkler systems has dropped significantly, creating an opportunity for safety-minded homeowners to tap the many benefits of sprinklers.

The average per-foot cost of a residential fire sprinkler system was $1.61; the average per-foot cost has plunged to $1.35, according to a report by the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Multipurpose systems that use a home’s cold-water supply, rather than a separate piping system, are even more affordable - just $1.23 per square foot, the report found.

And costs are likely to drop even lower, one expert says.

“More communities are considering, or have already implemented, fire sprinkler requirements for new, single-family homes,” says Eric Skare, a volunteer firefighter and fire safety systems product manager for Uponor North America (www.uponor-usa.com), an Apple Valley, Minn.-based sprinkler system manufacturer. “Growing demand has resulted in increased competition and lower installed costs for these systems. Manufacturers competing for market share continue to develop lower-cost products to ensure the cost-effectiveness of residential fire sprinkler systems.”

The lower cost is good news for anyone interested in protecting their home with a fire sprinkler system, Skare says. The benefits of such systems are many:

* Eighty percent of all fire deaths occur in residential fires. While functioning smoke alarms reduce the risk of home fire fatalities by 50 percent, sprinklers slash the risks by 80 percent, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

* Multipurpose systems - like those provided by Uponor - reduce the amount of piping needed to supply sprinkler systems because they tie into a home’s existing cold-water plumbing system. Instead of two piping systems - plumbing and fire-sprinkler - the builder need install only one, reducing material, labor costs and jobsite-scheduling hassles, saving 35 percent to 65 percent in installation time over standalone, rigid CPVC systems. That, in turn, should result in a lower cost to the home buyer.

* Homeowners insurance companies provide an average premium discount of 7 percent to homes with fire sprinkler systems, according to the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

* Home fire sprinkler systems act quickly to reduce heat, flames and smoke from fire, giving families valuable time to safely get out of a burning home. “Sprinklers extinguish most home fires in seconds, before the fire department arrives and before major damage can occur,” Skare notes. In fact, sprinklers are far less damaging than fire hoses used by firefighting teams. One study in Scottsdale, Ariz., found the average fire damage loss for a home without sprinklers was more than $45,000; with sprinklers, losses shrink to slightly more than $2,100.

* Sprinklers enhance home value. Forty-five percent of homeowners prefer a home with fire sprinklers and nearly 75 percent say the presence of sprinklers increases a home’s value, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition reports.

Perhaps the most compelling argument in favor of sprinklers is the cost-to-value ratio. The average total cost for installing a multipurpose fire sprinkler system is around $6,000, according to the Fire Protection Research Foundation report.

“That investment could buy your family the extra time they need to escape a home fire,” Skare says.

 

Decorating your home with chandelier lighting and other accessories

If you are planning on making some decorative changes around the home this year, there are many lighting accessories that you can choose from. From installing elegant and regal chandeliers to simple table lamps and everything in between, finding the right pieces for the best price is easy once you know where to look and what to look for. There are many sites online that offer an amazing array of products that can light up the mood in any home, but not all are created equal.

Before you are ready to shop, consider how you want your home to look once your design ideas have come to life. The last thing you need is to have a chandelier that does not fit well in the space you intended for it to go. Taking measurements, deciding on style, color and effect are all part of the planning process when it comes to finding the right lighting accessories for your home, but it is especially important to do with chandeliers.

Of course, not every lighting remodeling project is limited to chandeliers, but can include a wide range of other options to consider as well. Table lamps, wall lights and standing floor lamps all work to add their own effect in the space they are going to be used. While light is simply light, how it is reflected in the house depends on anything from the color of the lampshade to the tint of chandelier crystals. You can change one crystal to red, and end up having a red lighting effect on the entire room.

This is just one example of things to consider when deciding how to develop a lighting scheme for the home. It is not just brightness, but effect, mood, comfort and feel as well. Lighting accessories can do wonders when it comes to the way in which light beams throughout the home as well as the mood it creates.

With table lamps, the process isn’t as involved and it is pretty easy to decide what will look good and what will not. Taking a picture of some of the table lamps that interest you can help to pick the right one for your particular layout and the effect you want to create. Consider color and shade as well as the impact it has on the lighting of the entire room.

So, from easy to involved, the type of lighting you choose for your home will determine the amount of planning and visualizing that it will require. While the process is not that complicated or time consuming, skipping the preparation and research phase of any remodeling project can lead to unsatisfactory results. Making the effort now will save a lot of trouble down the line as well as ensure that you are happy with the look that you created for your home.

There are many sources online to find the best lighting accessories for your needs as well as for your budget. A good retailer will not only have a wide range of fixtures and other items available for sale, but they should also include a section for tips, suggestions and product information that will help you to make the best decision. They should also have a solid return policy as well as product guarantee in case you are unsatisfied with your purchase.

That being said, there are limitless options available online for anything from chandeliers to table lamps or red chandelier crystals, and it is easier than ever to order and have them delivered to your house. Keep in mind that you will need to wait a little while for the items to be shipped to your home, but that can be a benefit in and of itself because you can do the work necessary to prepare for installation. Whether you are ordering lighting accessories for the first time, or are a seasoned decorator, you will be amazed at the quality, selection and prices of a wide range of products found at an online chandelier store today.

by: Kathryn Dawson 
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_6896.shtml 

Protect large investments with small home fixes

Today’s consumers are under mounting financial pressure at every turn, and are forced to be much smarter in buying decisions, especially for major investments. One big investment every consumer needs protected is their house and property. This is especially true as warmer weather arrives. From simple preparations like servicing your heating and cooling system units (HVAC), to protecting yourself against unexpected home emergency repairs, many homeowners often overlook simple measures that can end up having costly consequences.
 
"One challenge of home ownership is that the potential for expensive repairs is always out there," says Tom Rusin, CEO of HomeServe USA, a provider of emergency repair service plans. "While unexpected problems can never be completely avoided, there are measures homeowners can take to protect their home now, and avoid costly repairs later."
 
Here are five tips:
 
Service your air conditioner: 
 
Spring is the perfect time to get your air conditioner into shape before the hot summer months. To ensure your system runs as efficiently as possible, replace your air filters at the beginning of the season, and ideally every 90 days. This will keep your air cleaner, reduce energy consumption and extend the overall life of your HVAC system. Another simple step is to clear away any debris from your outdoor AC unit, which will improve airflow around the unit. Also, make sure your vents are open and not blocked by furniture or any other items.
 
Check out your heating system:
 
Spring is the perfect time to make sure your furnace is in full working order before a winter emergency occurs. Consider heating system coverage for emergency repairs not generally covered by home insurance.
Protect%20large%20investments%20with%20small%20home%20fixesCurb unanticipated financial responsibilities with extra protection:
Homeowners insure their homes to protect it from unanticipated home emergencies - such as broken water service lines - as well as for peace of mind. However, homeowners often don’t know where their utility company’s responsibility ends and theirs begins. Many are surprised to find out they are typically responsible for repairs to the pipes and wires in and around their home (as the local utility is usually not responsible for these emergency repairs).
 
Look closely at your home insurance policy and check if your utility offers an emergency service contract. If not, consider signing up for an emergency repair service plan that covers gaps in your home insurance policy, which can range from exterior water and gas lines to plumbing and drainage systems to complete electrical and heating/cooling configurations. HomeServe USA offers affordable emergency repair service plans, starting around $5 a month, to cover plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems not typically covered by homeowner’s insurance, and will dispatch a local, licensed and insured contractor to make the necessary repairs.
 
Ensure your home is properly ventilated:
 
Excess moisture in homes can tarnish expensive fixtures, cause paint to peel and accumulate in wall cavities which can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. To avoid moisture build-up, make sure basements and crawl spaces are free of water infiltration. Check that dehumidifiers or kitchen and bath ventilation fans are working properly to remove excess moisture. If not, a small investment today could not only save you money in the long run, but also provide cleaner indoor living environment for you and your family.
 
Prevent excessive energy bills:
 
Random air infiltration through gaps and cracks is a leading cause of energy loss in homes, accounting for 25 to 40 percent of energy loss in most residential structures, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Air sealing and insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways to get the highest return on investment for the home, since the monthly amount saved on heating and cooling bills often exceeds the cost for these improvements. Home improvement retailers offer a variety of inexpensive (less than $15) insulating foam sealants that homeowners can apply to gaps and cracks around the home to literally “seal” against unwanted airflow to reduce energy bills.
 
As you start slathering on sunscreen this season, think about not only protecting your skin, but protecting your home with simple fixes that can keep it as healthy as can be.

The design element that can add drama and save cash

add%20drama%20and%20save%20cashWhile drama may be unattractive in other aspects of your life, a dash of it can be just what your home’s decor needs to spice things up. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between drama and cents. At least one popular design element can deliver positive impact on your decor and your wallet: skylights.
 
Interior designers, architects, decorators and homeowners have been relying on skylights to add beauty, warmth, natural light and passive ventilation to interior designs for decades. Fortunately, advances in skylight design make them a cost-effective, green design element as well.
 
"Skylights … enliven a house dramatically while cutting down the need for artificial light," notes the website ConsumerEnergyCenter.org. "They brighten up dark corners and let in lots of warmth. They can also provide much-needed ventilation."
Less dependence on artificial light sources or powered ventilation can mean lower electric bills in summer. Plus, warm sun entering the home through a skylight in winter can reduce your heating bills, as well. In fact, EnergyStar.gov says that installing Energy Star-qualified skylights, windows and doors can shrink your home’s energy bill - and carbon footprint - by 7 to 15 percent over non-qualified products.
 
"Skylights convey drama, yet they’re a surprisingly cost-effective home improvement," says Ross Vandermark, national product manager of Velux, manufacturers of the "No-Leak Skylight." "Installing skylights can be less costly than buying new designer furniture or putting in new carpet. Plus, if your interior design cries out for natural light, it’s more practical and cost-effective to place skylights overhead than to add windows to a wall."
 
Aesthetic benefits
 
By opening a room to the sky, skylights add a touch of drama to the interior design. They’re also an appealing solution for rooms where a traditional window might be problematic. 
For example, in a bath, a venting skylight makes it possible to enjoy natural light and fresh air without sacrificing privacy or living with frosted glass. Venting models are also popular in kitchens and laundry rooms to remove cooking odors and excess heat while brightening much-used work spaces. 
add%20drama%20and%20save%20cashIn other areas of the home,  affordable tubular skylights like Velux’s Sun Tunnel products make it possible to introduce natural light to hallways, closets, and other smaller or confined spaces. With the addition of a light kit, 24-hour illumination is available.
Overall, skylights are less limiting to a room’s design than a traditional window - all while admitting much more natural light. Many people completely overlook or under utilize the design potential of a ceiling. Skylights can turn that blank slate into a design statement that is both functional and beautiful. 
 
Practical value
 
Venting skylights can also offer a low-cost way to address indoor air quality by removing humidity, fumes and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from your home through their natural chimney effect. In addition to helping improve indoor air quality, skylights allow you to turn off electric lights and save money on power bills.
Accessorizing with manual or solar-powered, remote-operated blinds that qualify for tax breaks, allows you to further incorporate skylights into a design theme. Plus, the blinds - which are available in a range of colors and patterns - enhance the efficiency of skylights by allowing you to control the amount of light or heat that enters or leaves a room.
 
"Few home improvements marry the dramatic design impact and energy saving boost that you get from adding skylights," says Vandermark. "When it comes to redesigning a room, they’re truly the touch that elevates the look and feel of your decor."
You can learn more about window and skylight energy efficiency at www.energystar.gov, and for independent agency information visit www.nfrc.org or www.efficientwindows.org.
IMAGE CAPTIONS:
—————————————————————-
Caption 1: Energy Star-qualified venting skylights, with decor-enhancing blinds, are cost-effective and attractive home upgrades that provide healthful natural light and passive ventilation.
Caption 2: Tubular Sun Tunnel skylights bring natural light to baths and other rooms as well as to smaller, hard-to-access-from-above areas like hallways and closets.


Courtesy of BPT

Simple designer tricks for creating a stunning master bedroom


“When designing a space in your home, it’s always a good idea to go through the process in a methodical way to achieve the results you want,” says Jill Winninger, Allied ASID, CID, and senior interior designer with Seaside Home in La Jolla, Calif. “Foundation, function and finishing details make the process fun and effective.”

Here is Winninger’s three-step process for creating a grand master retreat:

Step 1: Foundation

Start by choosing the flooring that matches your personal style and the functionality of the space. Nothing beats the comfort of carpet in a master bedroom. Carpet and a high quality pad keep floors warmer and enhance privacy by absorbing noises. Today’s top trend in carpet is super soft and silky fibers that feel luxurious when you step, lie or lounge on them.

Think carpet is out because you have allergies? It’s time to think again, Numerous medical and other studies show that people who suffer from allergies and even asthma do not have to live without the comfort and softness of carpet. That’s because the dust that falls to a carpeted floor has a much stronger tendency to stay on the carpet until it is vacuumed away. Dust on hard floors, however, is stirred with every passing movement or footstep right back up into a room’s breathing space.

Of course, regular maintenance is important. Frequent vacuuming with a high efficiency vacuum like the ones on the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval vacuum list, as well as periodic deep-cleanings are musts. -And, no matter what kind of floor you have, high-traffic areas should be vacuumed daily, with less frequently-used areas vacuumed once or twice a week.

Another important foundation element is the walls. When selecting colors, select hues that work with the rest of your home’s decor so the spaces flow smoothly. You can’t go wrong with basic neutrals. Foundation details like crown molding, wainscoting or wallpaper can add a splash of personality.

When deciding on foundation elements, keep in mind the focal points of the room. Is there a fireplace? A gorgeous wall of windows highlighting an exquisite view? Do you have a bed with a statement headboard that will be prominent? Highlight these focal points within your design decisions.

Step 2: Function

Beauty is just one part of the equation when designing a grand master bedroom. The space needs to function and suit your lifestyle.

Function is particularly important when selecting furniture. Do you need storage for clothes and accessories? Do you want to hide electronics? Do you have a specific bed size? After considering your options, choose wisely and allow enough room between furniture pieces so that you can move freely.

Privacy is also an important consideration. Like carpet, window treatments also help to control noise, plus they offer the added benefit of masking -windows in the evenings and when high levels of privacy are needed. From a decorative perspective, window treatments add softness and style, critical to designing a stunning room.-

Step 3: Finish

Some of the most important elements of master bedroom design are the details. This is where you can add a few personal touches to the space to create a truly individualized sanctuary.

Start by choosing comfortable, inviting bedding, pillows and throws. Create clustered vignettes of photos or personal collections to give the space your unique stamp. Appropriately scaled art and accessories add visual interest.

Remember, accessories are a good way to add splashes of color to your master bedroom. If you like a particular tone - like rich teals, ruby reds or baby blue - select a few accessories that feature that hue and strategically place them throughout the room. Accessories that feature different textures add interest and character as well.

“From carpet and furniture to photos and duvet covers, creating a master retreat you’ll love is simpler than you think,” says Winninger. “Just focus on the foundation, function and finishing touches, and the result is sure to be gorgeous.”

Boomers: Living comfortably at home in style

 

As the years pass, Americans in the baby boomer generation are changing the definition of how they want to live comfortably during their later years.

Boomers are opting to continue living where they’re already secure and happy - right at home. Sometimes with age comes a need for additional safety features in the home - but this generation doesn’t want to sacrifice ambiance or style while incorporating these devices. With small upgrades and remodels, it’s easy to weave safety products into the design of a room - without making it look institutional.

Safety is a top concern in the bathroom. There are many ways to make a master bath or guest bathroom socially sustainable for many enjoyable years. Here are some tips:

* Helpful handles - Grab bars near the toilet and in the bathing area can make older people feel more stable and secure in the bathroom. But too many grab bar styles look like they belong in a hospital - not a private home. TOTO Transitional Collection Series A grab bars in chrome, brushed nickel and polished nickel finishes with concealed hardware are designed to fit in with the beautiful aesthetics of a bathroom, adding safety without detracting from the look. Visit TOTOUSA.com to learn more.

* Slippery surfaces - Falling is a great concern for older individuals, so it’s a good idea to eliminate any tripping hazards or slippery surfaces where possible. For example, remove rugs that could shift and buckle, and install rubber grip flooring inside the shower or bath for better traction.

* An extra bit of height - Taller toilets are easier for baby boomers to use because the height helps with balance. A toilet upgrade incorporating low water usage, easy-to-clean finishes and a soft-close seat will help keep a bathroom in style. The TOTO Legato One-Piece High Efficiency Toilet is universal height and comes with a SanaGloss nano-scale ceramic glaze, which prevents matter and bacteria from sticking to the surfaces, resulting in less needed cleaning.

* Accessible storage - Bending over to dig for a beauty product stored way under the sink can be tricky at any age. Consider installing pull-out drawers in lavatory cabinets, or putting storage items in wall cabinets at a higher level to reduce the need to bend for trapped products.

* Spa-like shower - The shower is a place to relax, and baby boomers are more than ready to enjoy small luxuries such as a spa-like shower during the retirement years. One way to spruce up the shower is with the TOTO Transitional Series A Multi-Spray Showerhead, which rotates sprays between massage, mist, spray/massage and pause combos. Not only does this showerhead provide a wonderful shower experience, it also has a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute - helping to save on water usage and money.

Many baby boomers have plenty of good years left living comfortably in their own homes. With small upgrades using stylish and socially sustainable products, it’s possible to stay independent while sharing your home with individuals of all ages.

Creating a bathroom that maximizes safety without sacrificing style

Creating%20a%20bathroom For today’s generation of aging adults, individuality and independence are values they’ve lived out for decades. As the years go by, lifestyle changes become a necessity, due to limited mobility and health concerns, but it doesn’t necessarily mean giving up personality. 
 
Aging in place, in the comfort of your home, is a priority for countless people. That often means making adjustments to your home, but some alterations can contribute to making your space feel more institutional and less “you.” A balance between style and safety is the key - and finding it is easier than you might think.
 
One of the most hazardous rooms in the home is the bathroom. Its slippery surfaces and tendency to be crowded with products and objects makes it a hazard for slipping, tripping and other mishaps. As you consider making alterations to your home that enhance security and safety, it’s the logical place to start.
 
* Clear away clutter. Bottles and jars and grooming tools frequently crowd counters, closets and the corners of tubs and showers. Make use of hangers, shelves and wall-mounted baskets to keep things neatly tucked away, providing a cleaner environment that’s also better looking and less likely to cause trips or spills.
 
* Bathe in safety. With limited mobility, moving in and out of the tub can be difficult, if not downright dangerous. One renovation solution to that problem is installing a walk-in tub. Premier Care in Bathing, the leader in walk-in bathtubs, offers a variety of tubs that homeowners can simply walk into, close the water-tight door, and fill for a comfortable, relaxing bathing experience. The company’s Walk-in baths and EasyAccess showers configure to your existing space and allow you to maintain the look of your bathroom while enjoying greater ease. 
 
* Choose rugs carefully. Bath mats and rugs are both functional and decorative. They can add a splash of color while also effectively collecting water that might otherwise pool on the floor and lead to slipping. However, rugs that don’t stay in place can present a problem of their own and lead you to trip. Opt for mats and rugs that have non-skid backing, but which still look harmonious with the rest of your bathroom decor. 
 
* Bring things up to the right height. Your bathroom routine can be an active one, which can present problems if your health limits your ability to move or bend easily. Having a commode and a sink at a higher level that prevents you from overexertion during your daily routine will add to the comfort and safety of your bathroom. And with options like Premier Care in Bathing’s easy-access sink, you can integrate these new fixtures into your room while maintaining your existing decorative theme.
 
One of the most important parts of maintaining independence throughout aging is being able to uphold your sense of self. Taking a holistic approach to creating a home environment that meets your needs but still expresses who you are enables you to live life as you choose for a long time to come. For a free brochure including more information about Walk-in bathtubs and other solutions for making living at home more convenient, visit premiercarebathing.com/saferbathing or call  888-378-7953.


Courtesy of BPT

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Treasure Island
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