Check out my building blog to learn more about construction for your home or office in Austin! David L. Traut, President, CAPS Certified (512)444-0097

How To Remodel An Austin Kitchen

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 @ 11:12 AM

     Kitchen remodeling in Austin, Texas like most other cities include many of the same aspects. So what should you consider? Have you decided you need more room? More storage? Are you looking for a complete kitchen makeover? Will you add on to your home?  How will you determine what's needed without some soul searching and research? All are great questions when considering such a costly investment in your home. At least we know that remodeling of both the kitchen and bath reap the most benefits and ROI when it comes time to sell your home. Try and fill in the answers to the questions below for your home using the following steps which will aid you in defining your new kitchen remodel.

Austin Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Remodeling

     Determine what is needed by first identifying your priorities. Kitchen remodeling ideas are endless.  Consider how you use your kitchen as it pertains to your personal family lifestyle. Consult with everyone you know who has endured a kitchen remodel and pick up on the pointers they recognized in hind sight. Collect a series of favorite photographs and ideas from any and all media collections to construct a scrapbook of sorts.  Your collection will need to be narrowed in scope to fit your situation before the final design is agreed upon for your Austin kitchen remodel.

Principles Of Universal Design

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     Start deciding on your budget and determine what the scope of work will be for your kitchen remodel. These variables can only be solved with accurate planning. It is far easier and least costly to perform this step on paper rather than with change orders issued throughout the construction phase. Determine what you would like to see in your new kitchen but most importantly what you can reasonably afford.

     Know that a kitchen remodel is not a DIY situation and that you will need to consult with a residential remodeling professional at some point. Be sure to choose a local qualified kitchen remodeling contractor whose personality and qualifications are agreeable with you personally.  Check out the reviews on the company to find out how clients have responded to their experiences. You are about to undertake a very important short term relationship in your life with someone you may know by reputation only.  The relationship needs to be comfortable and free flowing thus enabling the contractor's creativity level to be at it's highest during your remodeling project. Look at it as a partnership between your needs and the remodeling contractor's abilities.  The use of many finishes must be accommodated for.  His professional remodeling experience will include the capacity to identify many construction limitations and hazards.  These variables underlie the major pitfalls that can be possibly avoided while enabling a remodeling design to come to reality.  Don't forget that you get what you pay for and it certainly isn't about the lowest bid but the remodeling company's integrity and knowledge.  Some CAPS certified remodeling companies have the experience and education to assist you in accomplishing remodeling upgrades that include accessibility or disability issues.  It is important that the job flows between the various trades involved to produce a better final outcome.  This too is a reflection on his remodeling experience for which there is no substitute.

     Concentrate on the kitchen's layout and space planning rather than the way everything will look at the end. Use any means you can think of to mimic the new layout on the floor so you can be sure of the new footprint. Decide on which appliances and fixtures you want to use then figure out where they will be installed. Address any special storage needs that are needed.  Designers and architects can be very helpful at this phase of the design if you cannot visualize the end result. Working with an experienced contractor might also save you on soft costs for the project and enable you to put your money toward the hard construction costs of the project while relying on his experience.

     It's time to determine your finishes and what will stand out most at the end of the project. Make a decision on the type and style of cabinetry you desire and the materials you want for your counter top work surface along with the adjoining back splash material. Settle on a specific sink and fixture that accomplishes your work habits. Don't forget about the island and the function of it's sink. Decide on any specific lighting along with it's location and the appliances you've made a decision on through your research. Pick out your flooring and any special hardware you desire.

     Execute the construction documents needed for obtaining a city construction permit. These will include floor plans, engineering drawings if required, any electrical, mechanical, or plumbing changes, and all research concerning your home's listing with the city.

     Be on board with your professional remodeling company of choice at this time and determine the costs of any subcontractor aspects to finalize the expenditures for your project. Be sure everything is within or below your budget. Remember that kitchen remodeling in Austin, Texas isn't new construction progressing fairly seamlessly from A to Z and there will more than likely be additional charges you hadn't planned for in the beginning.

     Once the construction is ready to begin, finalize all contracts and logistical considerations. If you are going to try and live in the home during construction then you need to plan for everything to be disrupted. Clean out your cabinets and discard the things you haven't used in years.  Decide what needs to be put in storage.  What is the concern for dust protection or a family member's allergies? Setting up a temporary kitchen somewhere else in the home will help during your usual daily grind and don't forget to relocate the refrigerator and coffee pot. If you are fortunate enough to move out then do so to cause less strain on your family and the workers. If you're moving out is there adequate daily access to your home for the workers? What about security?

     As the construction comes to an end begin compiling a punch list for the contractor to address once the project is significantly finished. Things will happen like scratches and scrapes but everything is fixable at the right time.  Do not interrupt the daily work schedule for everyone trying to finish your project unless the matter is critical to the project. Weekly meetings with your residential remodeling contractor should avoid any such problems keeping you up to speed with your project. Everyone involved in your project is a professional working for the remodeling company you chose and can very well take care of any minor touch ups after the main scope of work is complete.

Fine Cabinetry

Kitchen Remodel Austin

 

Kitchen Remodeling Austin

ADA Kitchen Cabinetry

   Whatever your situation please rely on the experiences of a local building professional.  Check out their credentials and references over merely price checks against other bidders.  Don't make the mistake of letting a cabinet making subcontractor play the part of a general contractor because his knowledge will be limited to that of the cabinets and not much else.  You get what you pay for with proper planning.  Call T-Square Company today at 512-444-0097 today for a complete design/build experience for the new kitchen you've longed for.

 

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Universal Design Ideas In Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 @ 15:12 PM

     With our population living longer, our society is experiencing an age related housing problem. Aging in place issues have become the norm given our aging baby boomer population. Aging in place specialists holding a CAPS certificate, their services, and aging in place design is taking over the remodeling industry day by day. A revolution in building design standards is long overdue.  Our current building design standards do not address the needs of more than one third of our existing population.  Many more people can greatly benefit from accessible design versus conventional design.  Our rapidly aging population is experiencing the limitations of our personal living environments.  Any evolution in building practically always begins in the common areas of the commercial building sector.  The American Disabilities Act of 1990 increased the attention needed for those people having the right to equally access their work place and any recreational or leisure facilities.  These rules at least offer minimal solutions for those needing the most help with any building access.  In Austin, we now must  provide access to one bathroom on the first floor in new homes as deemed by our newly adopted building regulations.  This basic right to an accessible bathroom is finally being enforced by the city's building officials.  What a tremendously needed and basic design improvement to our homes!

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

Universal Design/Build Ideas In Austin

This adequately sized universal design shower above has wood blocking in the walls for a future folding seat and grab bars to be installed at the appropriate time. The low threshold shower entrance accommodates all users. The shower controls are within a 48 inch height off the finished floors and graspable by all.  The dual shower heads are definitely user specific.  The shower entrance door has a 32 inch clearance when fully open.  There is adequate spacial lighting for showering.  The floors both in the shower and connecting bath floor have an adequate nonskid surface rating.

     The Universal Design (UD) concept is also age driven like the aging in place design issue but addresses the design of all homes both new and existing. Universal design/build addresses not only the problems all of today's homeowners face but the professional skills involved in design, building, remodeling, and all social and health services. This new evolving concept in home remodeling is catching on nation wide and has been for several years as a sign of the times.  Universal design techniques used in building makes a home more accessible to all regardless of their mobility or adaptive abilities and plans for future elder living solutions. The multi-generational appeal of UD is appealing to any homeowner, their children, or their parents. An evolution of new products used for disability home modifications is making those homes more accessible and has finally come about in the remodeling industry.  These new advances in accessible home remodeling in Austin not only keep the living environments safer but will not compromise the home's aesthetics. 

Principles Of Universal Design

     Universal design ideas do not strictly deal with accessibility or aging in place design and does not implement precise ADA standards but it does offer flexibility to add accessories now and later to those planning ahead or to the end user. It also provides for a wide range of human performance characteristics for the way people use spaces within their homes including well integrated usability features. These adaptations have a broad market appeal to everyone for achieving ease of use, safety, and convenience accommodating a certain reality. That reality is that all people exist along a continuum of human performance as per their personal traits and characteristics regardless of their age. A universal approach to design takes into account that everyone has varying degrees of ability and disability rather than someone is either fully-functional or disabled. A universal design is appealing to all users.

     There are seven criteria which must be met to be considered a universal design no matter which area of the home you are referring to. Any design must be equally useful to everyone, have flexibility in it's usefulness, be simple and intuitive, be perceived by everyone, have a tolerance for error, require little physical effort, and it must maintain an adequate area for approach and use. Any complexity or discriminating attribute to a design will doom it in terms of  being considered universal in nature.

     Universal Design does not equate to accessibility design even though they both are concerned with ergonomics and human function issues. The ADA guidelines for accessibility were created as a means to help those people with extreme disabilities within our society who are a narrow and specific cross section of the masses. A UD approach broadly takes into account moderate impairments or disabilities, temporary health conditions, and the varying abilities of anyone within a home regardless of their age or size. In other words, an ADA accessible home would be designed for the one person with the disability whereas a UD home is designed for everyone and should be used with any custom tub shower conversion.

 Bathroom Remodeling Austin

     Let's face it, an accessible home is needed by all of us at some time in our lives.  This is true whether it's for ourselves, a family member, or a guest.  The need is certainly not driven by age but is a result of life's experience.  Any family living with a disability among any of the generations within it's group can always benefit from additional accessibility.   This will in turn increase safety and independence for all involved as they go through life. 

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

Aging in place home modifications are available through T-Square Company in Austin. Each universal design/build situation will be customized to fit your personal needs. Call 512-444-0097 today to begin to prepare for the accessible second chapter of your life while remaining safe and secure in your existing home.

CAPS 1636580

 

 

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Universal Design/Build Ideas In Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, Dec 08, 2017 @ 15:12 PM

     With our population living longer, our society is experiencing an age related housing problem. Aging in place issues have become the norm given our aging baby boomer population. Aging in place specialists holding a CAPS certificate, their services, and aging in place design is taking over the remodeling industry day by day. A revolution in building design standards is long overdue.  Our current building design standards do not address the needs of more than one third of our existing population.  Many more people can greatly benefit from accessible design versus conventional design.  Our rapidly aging population is experiencing the limitations of our personal living environments.  Any evolution in building practically always begins in the common areas of the commercial building sector.  The American Disabilities Act of 1990 increased the attention needed for those people having the right to equally access their work place and any recreational or leisure facilities.  These rules at least offer minimal solutions for those needing the most help with any building access.  In Austin, we now must  provide access to one bathroom on the first floor in new homes as deemed by our newly adopted building regulations.  This basic right to an accessible bathroom is finally being enforced by the city's building officials.  What a tremendous needed and basic design improvement!

Principles Of Universal Design

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

Universal Design/Build Ideas In Austin

This adequately sized universal design shower in this bathroom transformation above has wood blocking in the walls for a future folding seat and grab bars to be installed at the appropriate time. The low threshold shower entrance accommodates all users. The shower controls are within a 48 inch height off the finished floors and graspable by all.  The dual shower heads are definitely user specific.  The shower entrance door has a 32 inch clearance when fully open.  There is adequate spacial lighting for showering.  The floors both in the shower and connecting bath floor have an adequate nonskid surface rating.

     The Universal Design (UD) concept is also age driven like the aging in place issue but addresses the design of all homes both new and existing. Universal design/build addresses not only the problems all of today's homeowners face but the professional skills involved in design, building, remodeling, and all social and health services. This new evolving concept in home remodeling is catching on nation wide and has been for several years as a sign of the times.  Universal design techniques used in building makes a home more accessible to all regardless of their mobility or adaptive abilities. The multi-generational appeal of UD is appealing to any homeowner, their children, or their parents. An evolution of new products used for disability home modifications is making those homes more accessible and has finally come about in the remodeling industry.  These new advances in accessible home remodeling in Austin not only keep the living environments safer but will not compromise the home's aesthetics. 

     UD does not strictly deal with accessibility and does not implement precise ADA standards but it does offer flexibility to add accessories now and later to those planning ahead or to the end user. It also provides for a wide range of human performance characteristics for the way people use spaces within their homes including well integrated usability features. These adaptations have a broad market appeal to everyone for achieving ease of use, safety, and convenience accommodating a certain reality. That reality is that all people exist along a continuum of human performance as per their personal traits and characteristics regardless of their age. A universal approach to design takes into account that everyone has varying degrees of ability and disability rather than someone is either fully-functional or disabled. A universal design is appealing to all users.

     There are seven criteria which must be met to be considered a universal design no matter which area of the home you are referring to. Any design must be equally useful to everyone, have flexibility in it's usefulness, be simple and intuitive, be perceived by everyone, have a tolerance for error, require little physical effort, and it must maintain an adequate area for approach and use. Any complexity or discriminating attribute to a design will doom it in terms of  being considered universal in nature.

     Universal Design does not equate to aging in place and accessibility design even though they both are concerned with ergonomics and human function issues. The ADA guidelines for accessibility were created as a means to help those people with extreme disabilities within our society who are a narrow and specific cross section of the masses. A UD approach broadly takes into account moderate impairments or disabilities, temporary health conditions, and the varying abilities of anyone within a home regardless of their age or size. In other words, an ADA accessible home would be designed for the one person with the disability whereas a UD home is designed for everyone.

 Bathroom Remodeling Austin

     Let's face it, an accessible home is needed by all of us at some time in our lives.  This is true whether it's for ourselves, a family member, or a guest.  The need is certainly not driven by age but is a result of life's experience.  Any family living with a disability among any of the generations within it's group can always benefit from additional accessibility.   This will in turn increase safety and independence for all involved as they go through life. 

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

Aging in place home modifications are available through T-Square Company in Austin. Each universal design/build situation will be customized to fit your personal needs. Call 512-444-0097 today to begin to prepare for the accessible second chapter of your life while remaining safe and secure in your existing home.

CAPS 1636580

 

 

Tags: aging in place remodeling, bathroom remodeling, bathroom remodels, bathroom makeovers, CAPS certified remodeling in Austin, accessible home remodeling, Universal Design,, Austin bath remodeling, Austin bath remodel,, Austin bathroom remodeling, Austin bathroom remodel, aging in place specialist, aging in place services, aging in place design,, bathroom remodeling contractor Austin Texas, bathroom remodeling Austin Texas, bathroom upgrades Austin, accessibility remodelers in Austin, universal design/build, universal design ideas, universal design/build ideas