Injuries, physical disabilities, surgeries and bone density issues can make it difficult to be mobile. They can also make it challenging to get in and out of a home, including the home of a relative or friend. With a few changes, your home can present less of a challenge for people with unique physical needs. Ensure that banisters outside and inside your home are secure. When you pull on banisters or place weight on them, make sure that they don’t pull away from the ground or wall. This could keep people with physical disabilities safe. It could also help to keep children safe. Although banisters are often used by people who are injured, aging or disabled, ensuring that your banisters are sturdy isn't the only step that you can take to create a home that supports people with unique physical needs. Additional ways that you could create a home environment that supports people with physical disabilities include: Wide walkways – Walkways that are at least 36 inches wide offer added accessibility to your home. Exterior coverings should be high enough to prevent tall people from having to bend over to enter your house without bumping their head or shoulders. Sidewalks should be free of debris, boxes and items that children and adults would have to climb over or maneuver around. Wheelchair ramp – A wheelchair ramp needs to be sturdy and wide enough to support several hundred pounds. During inclement weather, including hard rains and icy conditions, the ramp should be cleared and kept dry. Bathroom support rails – People with conditions like sickle cell anemia, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s may need to hold onto a railing to get in and out of the tub or shower. So too might someone who suffered an injury or who is recovering from surgery. Hardware stores sell steel bathroom support rails, but, they must be properly installed. You could hire a professional to install support rails. Adequate lighting – Motion detector lights outside your home serve multiple purposes, including deterring burglars and preventing falls. The lights can be installed near front and back walkways and along roof corners. Nonslip surfaces – Keep sidewalks shoveled and salted in the winter. You could also place rubber mats on porches and inside doorways year round to prevent slips and falls after a rain or whenever people get their feet or shoes wet. Open floor plan – An open floor plan is great at making it easy for parents to keep an eye on young children. An open floor plan also reduces the numbers of doors that people have to push through to go from room to room. Keyless door entry – Similar to benefits derived from an open floor plan, keyless door entry can take the strain out of fumbling with keys. You can also opt for door handles that operate with levers rather than knobs to reduce the numbers of times people with arthritis and other tissue and muscle issues have to work to open doors. Level flooring – Uneven flooring can cause people to stumble, trip and fall. Whether floors are carpeted, tiled or hardwood, ensure that they are even or level. Replace areas that have started to curl or bubble. Security alarms – Install security alarms that not only alert first responders to burglaries but that also alert first responders to falls and accidents on your property. Cabinets – If needed, lower cabinets so that shorter adults can reach plates, cups and glasses. However, avoid placing frequently used items in bottom cabinets that require adults to bend to the floor, potentially making it hard for aging adults or people recovering from injuries to reach the items. The National Directory of Home Modification Resources and state agencies list organizations that provide tools that you can add to your home to make it easier for aging parents, injured people and children and adults with physical disabilities to visit or live in your home. Who knows? Modifications that you make today could allow you to remain in your home years from now.
Whether you telecommute as a full-time employee, operate your own business from home or engage in creative hobbies like web design, writing or painting at home, make sure that you build out your home office the right way. After all, you could easily spend 20 to 40 or more hours a week in your home office. Lack one key component and you could find yourself struggling to focus on your work. Lighten up your day Choose a room in your house that has at least one large window for your home office. Install quality fluorescent or LED lights. Hang light weight blinds at the window, instead of heavy drapes, to allow plenty of natural light to stream into your office. You’ll see better and feel better too. Home office ergonomics Go for an adjustable chair and a desk with a pull-out keyboard tray. While you’re shopping for home office furniture, check to see that the chair you plan on buying is comfortable and aligns well with the desk that you want. Proper desk and chair heights could help you to avoid back and neck discomfort, especially on days when you log lots of hours. Backup computer resources You won’t have to worry about this if your employer gives you an office computer or laptop. But, if you’re an independent contractor or entrepreneur who works from home, you’ll want access to a backup computer should your regular PC go on the blink. A tablet with office software applications, an extra laptop or a low cost desktop can do the trick. Easy filing space There may be times when you need to keep printed documents. For example, you might need to keep printed receipts for tax purposes and printed copies of signed client contracts. Expandable file folders save space. Metal six foot tall filing cabinets can be placed behind your home office door. Another option is to store paper documents in plastic storage bins. The best option depends on how long you need to keep the documents and the volume of printed materials you’ll keep. Great Wi-Fi You’ll get more done faster if you have great Wi-Fi. Internet and computer download speeds should be fast enough to not cause you to have to wait several seconds or a minute or longer before a web page pops up or a Word document opens. As a tip, you can speed up download times by deleting unnecessary files, removing unused and unneeded applications off your computer, turning off pop-up ads, installing good Internet security and anti-virus software and keeping your computer battery in good condition. Spice up your home office Place a few plants in your home office to spruce up the space. Family pictures, posters with motivational quotes on them and artistic gadgets and knick knacks also work well. Eliminate distractions to stay engaged in your work. Avoid checking email throughout the day, answering your cell phone and watching television. Try it and see if your production doesn’t improve.
Do you have a bathtub faucet the will not run hot enough water for a hot soak in the tub, or have you ever scalded yourself when you accidentally bumped into the control lever with an elbow while showering? Both of these are common household problems you can fix by adjusting the maximum temperature of the faucet. It only takes a few minutes of your time and basic home tools. In most cases, after a bit of testing and adjustment, you will have your showerhead or bathroom faucet working exactly the way you want it to. How Bathroom Fixture Levers Work Modern single lever shower faucets are typically designed with up to 270 degrees of rotation. When the lever is rotated approximately 45 degrees from the “off” position, the cold water flow is fully engaged. However the hot water remains off. When you continue to rotate the handle, the hot water begins to flow. At approximately 135 degrees of rotation, both the hot and cold water flow are fully engaged. As you continue to rotate the lever, the hot water flow stays on while the cold flow is restricted. At about 270 degrees, the hot water is fully on and the cold-water flow is totally off. A Simple Adjustment Single-lever faucets are designed to be adjustable and the amount of rotation limited. Keep in mind; it is only at the full 270 degrees of rotation that you obtain only hot water. At a less than 270-degree rotation, cold water continues to blend with the hot water flow. If find that the faucet lever will not rotate a full 270 degrees, cold water is continually mixing with the hot flow: the shorter the rotation, the colder water added and the cooler the maximum temperature. Most single shower faucets are set at the factory to prevent total rotation to prevent scalding water causing a bathroom accident with children or the elderly. A simple adjustment will allow you to raise the water temperature to your comfort level while still preventing a total hot flow, which could result in injury. Look Under The Faucet Handle Take a look at the faucet handle to locate the piece of metal or plastic that covers the screw that holds the faucet in place. You can quickly “pop” out the metal or plastic screw cover to loosen the screw and remove the handle. Some older model faucets may have a hole hidden on the underside, requiring a tiny screwdriver or Allen wrench to remove. Once you have removed the handle, you will be able to locate a collar with a small plastic tab sticking out. If the handle were in place, that little plastic tab would stop the rotation before the “maximum hot” position. To visualize how this works look inside the handle or try sliding it back in place and turn the faucet on and off. Some faucet designs have collars with two tabs. On the back collar, the nub is always set straight up, at the 12 o’clock position. The other nub can be pulled out and rotated to the desired setting and reinserted. Remember that the farther away the nub is set from 12 o’clock, the more restricted the lever’s rotation and the cooler the maximum temperature. Other older designs of the single level faucet may present hot and cold adjustment screws. To adjust, always turn the hot water screw counterclockwise, while the cold-water screw turns clockwise.
Before you even start the home search, research is key. There are a few areas that you should look closely at in every home that you’re touring in order to make an informed decision about each property and your future in it.
When you’re walking around the home, note creaky floors, cracks in the walls, and water drainage issues. Maybe you won’t even be able to see if the foundation has any cracks in it or not with your own two eyes. A certified home inspector will, however, be able to tell you what is happening on the property. Cracks in the foundation or major foundational damage can be incredibly costly to you as a homeowner. You’re going to want to know about these issues ahead of time.
Taking a walk around your desired neighborhood can give you a lot of valuable information. You may be able to talk to neighbors who will give you a bit of information about a property. Even wandering around the neighborhood or attending yard sales can help you to see what’s going on, if you can see yourself living there, and if there are any major issues that you should be aware of.
Sellers prefer to sell a home to a buyer who they like. if you see that you have something in common with the seller like the fact that you’re both veterans, you should send a letter along with your offer to let the seller know your connection. It’s also helpful to send an offer letter that lets the seller know how much you love the house and that you can see yourself living in the home. It never hurts to add a personal touch to a home offer.
Just because a home doesn’t consist of the modern decor you picture yourself living in, doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. If a home happens to be older with less present-day decor in it, be sure to keep an open mind as to the potential that the home has for you.
We know that prices that end in 9 are a bit more attractive to the psyche than prices that end in a flat zero. If the asking price for a home is $310,000, you may be tempted to offer $320,000 to shell out the competition, but you may be better off offering an odd number like $312,000. Sometimes a small difference makes a big impact in the eyes of the buyer. Work with your realtor to see if a home you’re interested in has any other offers. Your agent can help you to find a good price point for your offer as well.