Melissa Barth's Blog
Fall River, MA 02721
Home improvement to accommodate residents of all ages and physical abilities not only add convenience and safety to the home, but also make good economic sense. "Aging in place" guidelines have been formulated to assure that housing of the future is designed to meet changing needs. Open floor plans are not only trending, but offer better options for tailoring homes to individual needs.
Sustainability, energy efficiency and accessibility issues have become part of mainstream consciousness. The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act brought sweeping changes in the realm of accessibility to public facilities and commercial buildings. It is now recognized that similar guidelines can, and should, be applied to residential development. Primary concerns focus on mobility issues, vision or hearing impairments, physical limitations and limited abilities.
Designers and builders acknowledge that homes can better serve the needs of all residents with relatively minor alterations. The current trend toward multi-generational households has driven the point home. Although toddlers and senior citizen have different requirement, minimal changes in home design will make life better for all.
Here are some basics to consider:
Minimize steps and level changes. While thresholds are necessary at exterior doors, it's important that at least one entry door is accessible to someone with difficulty walking or climbing stairs, for anyone using a walker or wheelchair, or for a resident with a vision problem. If there are interior stairs, consider an electric stair lift.
Maneuverability and Safety
Be aware of traffic patterns. Provide ample space to move about, even with a walker or wheelchair, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms. Eliminate interior halls if possible. Hallways and stairwells should ideally be at least 42 inches wide; 36-inch wide door openings are recommended. Fewer doorways mean fewer barriers in the home. Be aware of the hazards created by flooring changes.
Motion-controlled and voice-activated lighting is recommended both for home exteriors and for interior spaces. Pay special attention to safety lighting on stairs, in bathrooms, and in bedrooms. Also, note that placing electrical receptacles higher on the wall and lowering light switches is of benefit for young children and older adults alike.
Safety and Convenience
Rely on technology to create a safe home. Install security devices, smoke detectors and CO2 monitors, room-to-room communication, programmable thermostats, remote controls for blinds and window coverings, and temperature controls on faucets. Automate home systems as much as possible.
Sometimes, it's the little things that matter. Blade handles on faucets, door levers rather than round knobs, appropriate cabinets knobs and handles, comfort-height bathroom fixtures, multi-height kitchen counters, and numerous other modern home features can make for better living for all.
When building new, including universal design features typically adds great value but little or no cost to a project. Remodeling with an eye toward aging-in-place is also cost-effective and offers high ROI.
There are many state-of-the-art smart home devices at your disposal. At the same time, there is no shortage of vendors that sell smart home devices in cities and towns nationwide.
Ultimately, it is a good idea to shop around for a smart home device. If you evaluate a variety of smart home device vendors, you can boost the likelihood of finding gadgets that fall in line with your budget. Plus, you could lay the foundation for a partnership with a vendor that can fulfill your smart home device needs for years to come.
When it comes to choosing a smart home device vendor, challenges may arise. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to differentiate an exceptional smart house gadget vendor from an average one, such as:
1. Check Out Customer Reviews
Googling a vendor enables you to learn all about this business and its brand reputation. Perhaps best of all, it may allow you to assess customer reviews to help you understand what it is like to buy smart home devices from a particular vendor.
You should try to avoid developing your opinion of a vendor based on a single customer review. Instead, read multiple customer reviews, and you could gain the insights you need to determine if a vendor can help you acquire the best smart home gadgets at the lowest prices.
2. Browse a Vendor's Inventory Closely
New smart home devices are becoming available every day. Meanwhile, a vendor that fails to update its smart house gadget inventory accordingly may struggle to satisfy customer requests for the latest and greatest devices.
As you conduct a search for smart light bulbs, smart robot vacuums or other smart home devices, assess a vendor's inventory. This allows you to see if a vendor offers best-in-class smart home devices, basic models or a combination of the two. Furthermore, once you review a vendor's smart home device selection, you can find out if this business offers the right gadgets based on your individual needs.
3. Test a Vendor's Expertise
Let's face it – shopping for smart home devices may prove to be a long, arduous process. Differentiating one smart house gadget from another may be difficult. Also, if you fail to weigh the pros and cons of myriad smart house devices, you risk making a poor smart house gadget selection.
Generally, it helps to work with a vendor that employs smart home device experts. If you visit a vendor's brick-and-mortar location or shop online, you should be able to reach out to smart house device experts at your convenience.
If you find a vendor fails to offer sufficient client support, you may want to look elsewhere for smart home devices. Or, if a vendor employs first-rate smart house device experts, you may want to purchase a broad array of smart house gadgets from this business.
Conduct an in-depth search for smart home gadgets. That way, you can shop with a vendor that can help you acquire terrific smart home devices that may serve you well both now and in the future.
Whether you live in a huge mansion or a modest cottage, your home is your castle, and you're entitled to be safe and secure at all times!
Unfortunately, there is a criminal element in society which can pose a potential threat to homeowners (and renters) who fail to take precautions.
While each individual has to decide for themselves what security measures are necessary for their own safety and that of their family, everyone can benefit from developing a sense of heightened awareness. This is not a difficult thing to do; it simply requires you to focus extra attention on the need to keep your home and family secure. As an old song lyric by Kenny Rogers reminds us, "Trust in God, but lock your door."
By nature, we are all "creatures of habit." It's easy to lose sight of the big picture and allow ourselves to be lulled into a sense of false security. No matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, you're inviting trouble if you habitually leave your doors unlocked. In the same way you may be conscientious about turning off the stove when you're finished using it, getting in the habit of locking your doors (and windows) before you leave the house or go to bed is also a good safety practice. Just that simple thing done on a consistent basis can drastically reduce your chances of becoming a crime statistic.
Shedding light on the subject
Another easy and inexpensive way to fortify home security is with lighting. Your house and property should never be pitch black at night because it makes your home look more vulnerable and unprotected. Creating the impression that someone is home -- whether they are or not -- can be as simple as turning on a couple lights before you leave the house, connecting your lights to a timer that will automatically turn on and off at designated times, or installing a system that enables you to control your home's security remotely. Motion-activated outdoor spotlights can also be an effective deterrent.
One of the many advantages of having a high-tech home control system is that you never have to worry about forgetting to lock your doors, turn on the lights, or adjust your thermostat; you can do it from virtually any location. If you're not technically inclined, you can have a system installed and monitored by a home security company (Make sure to compare prices, services offered, and customer reviews first, though.)
Some homeowners even opt for a video surveillance system, which is one of the most effective ways to keep tabs on your property. Implementing that sort of security system doesn't fit everyone's comfort zone or household budget, but home automation, in general, is an option worth considering and learning more about.
Whether you decide to stick with old-fashioned techniques or try the latest high-tech methods of keeping your home secure, your most important resources are awareness, alertness, and a good set of locks on your doors and windows.