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

Aging In Place Services for Seniors in Austin, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, Oct 21, 2022 @ 11:10 AM

When families are suddenly thrust into caring for an ill or injured family member, knowing how to make their homes accessible, barrier-free and safe can be challenging.  Here is where a professional CAPS-certified remodeler is needed.  It's not for everyone, but as increasingly older Americans choose to Age in Place and remain in their homes, issues related to maintaining mobility, promoting home safety, and creating an environment to meet care needs are becoming increasingly crucial to caregivers and care recipients. Even savvy and experienced families may have trouble figuring out whom to call for a roll-in shower or door widening. According to the AARP, nearly 90% of older adults want to Age in Place and maintain independence however, 85% have done nothing about it. Many retirees want to stay in their own houses for as long as possible. But being able to do so will depend on how easy it is to maneuver your home as you age.  Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Aging in Place home modifications may prevent up to 50% of home accidents among seniors in older homes, including falls.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

The National Association of Home Builders, in partnership with the AARP and Home Innovation Research Labs, created the CAPS program, which includes training and education on the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential to compete in the fastest-growing segment of the residential remodeling industry--home modifications for Aging in Place.  David L. Traut, CAPS owner of T-Square Company in SW Austin, Texas as a handicap remodeling contractor, is one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills, training, and knowledge necessary to design and remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors. T-Square Company offers a complete line of Aging in Place services using their design/build approach.

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

ADA-Compliant Kitchens

ADA-Compliant  Kitchen in Austin, Texas

People interested in Aging in Place services and Aging in Place home improvements are now looking for a level entry into their home along with the maneuverability that a more open floor plan with more extraordinary clear unobstructed floor space presents.  They desire flat floors without transitions requiring steps or stairs to move around.  Ramps having a correct 1:12 slope or less can be used to get them up to the level floor space at the exterior entries or the garage access.  ADA-compliant kitchen cabinets and ADA bathroom cabinets will more than likely come into play to complete any accessible home remodeling project. Aging in Place services and home modifications should include adding non-slip flooring, widening hallways or installing stair lifts, and widening doors.  You might consider lowering light switches and thermostats and installing easier-to-use lever door hardware.  To provide safety and independence, many considerations for an Aging in Place design should be considered.  You should try to provide a clear barrier-free path or accessible route to the most visited areas of your home, as the ADA recommends.  The three areas needing improvement for a person wanting to age in place include the bathroom, the kitchen, and the family area in order of importance.

All disability home remodeling or disability bath remodels in Austin must be done considering all the data provided by the client, his or her family, and any caretakers involved. Aging in Place design must be carried out by an Aging in Place specialist who is also a reputable residential remodeling professional. The goal of an accessible design in Austin is to make the areas in the home a safe space for everyone who uses the facilities. T-Square Company's Aging in Place services use Universal Design to accommodate wheelchair users and can make the home environment more comfortable for all generations with or without specific needs.

Aging In Place Home Modifications

Let's compare the alternative costs associated with aging in place versus when you already own your home.  The more institutional alternative of assisted living accompanied by more medical expertise and staff training plus the access to emergency medical facilities is available as opposed to renting an apartment.  These are two of the main alternative choices for seniors who decide not to remain in their own homes.   According to a national study done in 2019, the average cost for assisted living ranged from $8,000 to $9,500 per month.  However, if you decide to Age in Place in a high-quality one-bedroom apartment, the rent will run around $1,700 per month.  Living in your own home or with loved ones represents a preference by most seniors and property taxes must be taken in account.

For additional information about the CAPS program, visit nahb.org/CAPS.  For more information about T-Square Company, visit www.tsquareco.com or call 512-444-0097 to schedule a home assessment by a CAPS professional.

 

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Universal Design and Accessibility/T-Square Company in Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, Oct 07, 2022 @ 10:10 AM


Human problems must be solved using correct designs. The principles of Universal Design solve accessibility issues for the most significant number of people. Special needs children, people who have become seriously injured, people living with a debilitating disease, people with sensory limitations or intellectual limitations, and last but not least, the people who are planning to stay in their homes for as long as possible while Aging in Place all need accessible homes. The need to deal with disabilities during elder construction or modifications for special needs children empowers us to create environments wherein people can function effectively.  As our society evolves away from institutionalized care, making a home more comfortable for children, older adults, and their visitors can immediately benefit the comfort and lifestyle of the entire family. How are you planning for your future when it concerns your home?

Let's start by defining what is meant by an accessible home.  Accessible homes of Austin or anywhere else provide homeowners with a means to stay healthy, independent, and safe. They, in turn, experience a better quality of life. In these accessible homes, as a Universal Design contractor, any architectural barriers have either been removed during remodeling or were never a part of the design for increasing accessibility. The accessible home stands as the defined course for the Universal Designed home. People with disabilities can live comfortably and safely as well as fully functional individuals.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist 

  Tweet and understand this fact of life!  Accessible homes will be needed by everyone at some uncertain time, whether for ourselves, our family members, or our guests.  This defines the Aging in Place concept and its associated CAPS accreditation, a nationally registered credential offered through the NAHB.  Its function is to keep people in their homes longer and provide safety and independence to all homeowners. What is more, Universal Design segues seamlessly into Aging in Place.

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design


ADA_kitchen_5
 
 
As in the kitchen in the above photograph, the accessible kitchen is comfortably sized for a clear five-foot turning radius to avoid backing up for an approach. Clear 30x48-inch approach areas for all work areas and appliances are a significant part of the more-open design. The final kitchen design must be tailored to the homeowner's abilities, needs, and interests.  Pull-out shelves expand workspaces at activity centers, while roll-under access is given underneath the stove, prep, and sink work areas. A higher and deeper base cabinet kick space area of 6x9 inches provides better forward wheel clearance for the wheelchair, enabling the user to get closer to the cabinet workspace.  A raised dishwasher offers more accessible access to dishes, and lowered microwaves and other appliances like ovens solve other reach distance problems making it easier to live with a disability. Open storage areas without doors to interfere with access is a better solution. Having multiple countertop heights allows everyone access to a work surface. A successfully designed kitchen isn't about cabinet style or the composition of the countertop. It is more about the ways the design can support the user's personal needs and functionality.
ADA Kitchen Cabinetry

Because everyone ages differently and has different needs and wants, a universal solution acting as a design for all is needed. The factors that constitute the Aging in Place market for all individuals are based on their genetic makeup and lifestyle, including their choices while living and their environment.  These factors have brought about the need for Universal Design. This is the design of products, services, and environments usable by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability, or situation without needing adaptation or specialized alterations. It provides the most significant safety and access for home guests or occupants and is undetectable when done well.  Since so few homes share the accessibility offered by Universal Design, to satisfy the needs of a particular household member brought about by an accident, an illness, or simply the aging process, there will always be a need for customized accessibility features.  A CAPS-accredited remodeling professional will accomplish this by producing a truly functional design. This same competent design/build home remodeling company that understands and practices Aging in Place home modifications in Austin should accomplish the work to fit the Universal Design and ensure your safety and accessibility.  Certified Aging in Place specialists is listed in Washington on the NAHB CAPS listing.

Home Accessibility Help

The concept of the accessible home has evolved beyond the basic grab bars and ramps to one in which accessibility is built into the basic design.  Universal Design makes living in a home easier for people of all ages and abilities.  Accessible design can be beautiful and functional and never needs to have any institutional appearance.  As our aging baby boomer population ages, the need for accessibility in the home is becoming ever more critical.  Our new way of viewing the basic home in our society and our antiquated architecture is giving way to a revolution in home design.  Ordinary homeowners with extraordinary challenges can partner up with CAPS design professionals, architects, and their own families to create homes to restore capabilities, independence, and grace to daily living.

 
Aging in Place home modifications incorporating Universal Design principles is available through T-Square Company in the Austin area. We have an A plus rating with the local BBB and have over 30 years of remodeling experience. We are additionally an accredited Aging in Place specialist offering complete aging in place services.  Each design/build situation will be customized to fit your personal needs increasing your accessibility through Universal Design. Call 512-444-0097 today to begin the accessible second chapter of your life while remaining safe and secure in your existing home. 
 
David L. Traut, CAPS (#1636580)
 
Accessible Homes Of Austin
     

    




 

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Universal Design For Disabilities/T-Square Company

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, Sep 30, 2022 @ 10:09 AM

Our homes have always been exempt from any of the federal accessibility regulations put in place in 1990. Unfortunately, no restricted codes or regulations concerning residential bathrooms or disability access baths exist. An evolving concept called Universal Design satisfies most people's personal needs. Universal Design techniques in the building make a home more accessible to all regardless of size, mobility or adaptive abilities. Children and aging adults benefit in the home from its existence. The evolution of new products used for disability home modifications makes those homes more accessible and has finally come about in the remodeling industry. Specialized handicap remodeling contractors for home remodeling incorporating the principles of Universal Design are catching on nationwide and have been a sign of the times for several years. Our present-day obsolete homes, now inhabited by the baby boomer generation, will slowly and increasingly raise their obsolete ugly heads and expose their true lack of accessibility to those inhabiting them.  

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

When mobility becomes an issue for any homeowner, regardless of age, the question arises concerning physically moving to a different home that is more accessible. Universal Design prepares your home for one of those highly likely events involving someone needing room modifications for even a short time while recovering from surgery or the chronically ill.  Solving Aging in Place issues will soon become the number one challenge concerning our country's obsolete housing inventory. The situation will only expand with an increasingly aging population due to medical advances. When these homes were previously purchased, they represented a complete castle in the world of their owners in which to prepare for a day, and they also acted as a retreat from life's challenging interactions. They housed our families, our memories, and our stuff.  They represented a place where we could be ourselves. 

There are many benefits to using Universal Design techniques, including potential use by aging family members or special-needs children, added resale value, and the fact that you'll be creating a space that can be used by anyone who visits your home, regardless of their range of abilities. Simple universal design updates for Aging in Place home modifications and handicap bathroom accessibility can include adding grab bars or handrails throughout the home, adding a seat within the roll in shower, lowering upper cabinets and countertops, adding non-slip flooring, widening hallways, or installing stair lifts, and widening doors. You might also consider lowering light switches and thermostats and installing easier-to-use door levers. Try to provide a clear barrier-free path or accessible route to the most visited areas of your home. These new advances in accessible home remodeling make living environments safer and will not compromise the home's aesthetics.   

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

Many people find themselves needing accessible homes for themselves or family members. There are approximately 30 million Americans using wheelchairs, and the number of people who need accessible homes will continue to increase as disabled and aging people find more ways to remain in their homes. Furthermore, children with special needs make up a significant part of the population. One crucial way to increase independent living is by making a home accessible to an individual's personal needs. Home modifications can increase safety, accessibility, and independence for people who want to live independently.

Conquer A Tub To Shower Conversion

Universal Design runs parallel with wheelchair access. Many of the published guidelines for wheelchair-accessible remodeling, particularly requirements for corridor and door widths, safety bars, and proper access to different rooms, can go a long way in extending the amount of time an elderly or physically impaired individual can live independently. The absolute truth about the design process is that if it allows access by a seated person, it gives everyone access.  More comfort is built into a room while avoiding a cramped and cluttered living environment because there is adequate room to move about freely.

  

Roll In Showers

Aging In Place Home Modifications

An Aging in Place (CAPS) specialist must design an Aging in Place project. Always consider the end user's preferences and capabilities. For instance, roll-in showers without curbs are advised for everyone on a universal basis for an accessible bath.  A 5'x5' clear shower floor turning space is an optimum size when a caretaker is involved. Using a 32-36"  wide barrier-free entrance in a shower partition with an out-swinging door is advised for everyone to increase safety. Remember, wider is better in all respects. Upon exiting the shower, a clear floor space of 30"x48" for an approach to the shower should be present. This area can overlap with the designated five feet turning radius area within the room. The shower should contain a hand-held shower wand on a sliding bar or mast mounted 48" above the floor and is available for varying heights of use. The hand shower is complimented by a fixed height shower head located at approximately seven feet above the shower floor. These diverse shower heads are both regulated using a diverting controller valve.You can opt for the fixed shower head if you desire a full body wash or the hand-held is used for rinsing and shower cleaning. This configuration allows adaptability within the design. Hence, the user has a choice. Always use a shower valve that is thermostatically controlled and pressure-balanced to prevent scalds. 

Installing fixtures with a scald guard or lowering the temperature at the water heater is a must to prevent burns. Fold-down seats attached to the shower wall are useful if caretakers are involved. Recessed shampoo niches help eliminate clutter on the shower floor.  Secure grab bars installed on wood grounds buried within the wall around the entire shower perimeter at 34-36" above the finished shower floor increases the safety factor and helps to prevent falls.  A recessed can light fixture should be installed above the shower area for proper lighting. To prevent slipping on a guaranteed wet floor, all bathroom floor surfaces must be the nonskid type. The ultimate goal in accessible design is to make the bathroom space safe for everyone who uses the bathroom. Universal Design better accommodates wheelchair users and makes the bathroom more comfortable for all users. This modification can be done without sacrificing style.

Home Accessibility Help

The National Association of Home Builders, in partnership with the AARP and Home Innovation Research Labs, created the CAPS program, which includes training and education on the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential to compete in the fastest-growing segment of the residential remodeling industry--home modifications for Aging in Place using Universal Design.   David L. Traut, CAPS, the owner of T-Square Company in SW Austin, Texas, is one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills and knowledge necessary to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors.

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Disability Contractors For Special Needs in Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Thu, Sep 22, 2022 @ 10:09 AM

Perhaps you have or have taken in a special-needs child as a grandparent. Or an aging parent who endured a life-changing accident or illness has come to live with your family. Or perhaps you have a family member who suffers from a progressive condition like MS or ALS needing home alterations to ease the effects of the disability. In all these situations, the help offered by a CAPS-certified Aging in Place home remodeling contractor comes into play.  This is the only way to ensure safety and mobility for the homeowner or family member requiring the home modifications.  Furthermore, modifications of existing homes are important because people aged 50 and older want to remain in their current homes for as long as possible.  Aging in Place home modifications in Austin should only be done by a nationally listed CAPS-certified remodeling company.  This is the only way you can be assured that the home modifications are the right choices to satisfy your needs.  There is no need to waste money only to discover that an inexperienced and unqualified remodeling company did the wrong alterations.

T-Square Company in SW Austin, Texas, is an accomplished accessibility construction company and disability contractor for any whole house special needs revisions or a handicap accessible bathroom remodel.  Accessible wheelchair designs in Austin are available through T-Square Company. T-Square Company has over three decades of home accessibility experience. David L. Traut, the owner and president of T-Square Company, is an experienced accessibility specialist and has successfully worked with people of all ages with a disability. Each design/build project is customized specifically to the customer's needs. Call 512-444-0097 today to begin the accessible second chapter in your or your family's life while remaining safe and secure in your existing home (CAPS 1636580).  All registered CAPS program graduates and their remodeling companies will be listed in a national registry in Washington.  The information can be found by simply visiting nahb.org/CAPS.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

Disability is a complex phenomenon representing an interaction between one's physical impairments, the activities one needs to perform, and the architectural barriers within the space in which this situation occurs. Each individual demonstrates the complexity with similar impairments describing his or her limitations differently. The blind don't experience their world the same as a person with deafness. Some of our societal statistics that weigh into Aging in Place situations include reports stating that 19% of the population between the ages of 16 and 64 and 42% of those of us 65 and over have a physical disability affecting the activities of their daily lives. 

Making your home accessible for a special-needs child will give your entire family a feeling of security and freedom. Your child with the disability will become more comfortable and be able to maneuver through and use the home more safely. They will be able to develop the life skills they need in their daily environment rather than just focusing on treatment. Sometimes, the living environment must be changed to impact the child's life significantly.

Home Accessibility Help

Physical limitations affect many more people than the daily users of walkers and wheelchairs.  Many members of our life experienced or elder society has significant problems dealing with their home environment. Exceptional circumstances have brought about special needs in the home for many young and old people. Today's conventional building standards conflict with most people's accessibility when considering our created architectural barriers concerning cabinetry and door opening widths, individual strength, range of motion, movement, manual dexterity, balance, and coordination. Once the demands of our built environment exceed their capacities, we become excluded from a room or even the entire home, bringing forth the need for elder construction and remodeling.  The situation holds true for children with special needs. The building world must work in unison to be sure the entire living environment meets basic needs in addition to affordability and structural integrity for the consumer and homeowner.  This includes the home and the components within the home being accessible to all inhabitants.  Privacy, a sense of belonging, a sense of control, and the sense of safety and security make up the quality of life for any home and should be considered for any design.  

The concept of the accessible home has evolved beyond the basic grab bars and ramps to one in which accessibility is built into the basic design.  Everyone ages differently and has different needs and wants. These factors have brought about the need for Universal Design. This is the design of products, services, and environments usable by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability, or situation without needing adaptation or specialized alterations.  It provides the most significant safety and access for home guests or occupants and is undetectable when done well. The principles of Universal Design enable living in a home with more comfort and adaptability for people of all ages and abilities.  Accessible home remodeling for the disabled can be beautiful and functional and never needs to have any institutional appearance.  As our aging baby boomer population ages, the need for accessibility remodeling in the home is becoming ever more important.  Our new way of viewing the basic home in our society and our antiquated architecture is giving way to a revolution in home design.  Ordinary homeowners with extraordinary challenges can partner up with CAPS design professionals, architects, and their own families to create homes to restore capabilities, independence, and grace to daily living. Fortunately, there is home accessibility help in Austin, Texas, offered by T-Square Company. T-Square Company specializes in home disability access for any age resident with special needs. They offer a complete assortment of disability services to help cushion and adapt to any disability. Wider entries and hallways, accessible bathrooms and showers, accessible kitchens, ramped entrances, vertical platform lifts, stair lifts, elevators, and accessible rooms of any type are just a few of the services we offer. Every design is based on your specific needs and abilities.

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

 

ADA Kitchen With Wheelchair Access

Increase Your Accessibility

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CAPS-Certified Home Assessments and Modifications/Dripping Springs, TX

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Thu, Sep 01, 2022 @ 16:09 PM

What does CAPS stand for?

First of all, CAPS stands for Certified Aging in Place Specialist. The aging societal changes and inventory of inaccessible existing houses created the need for a CAPS certification program. This designation program, offered through the National Association of Home Builders, NAHB, in collaboration with The American Association of Retired Persons AARP, incorporates components of assessment, technical knowledge, and management skills related to disability home modifications used to help people stay at home safely and independently for a longer time. The program was developed in 2001.

How do I receive a senior home assessment? 

Simply contact T-Square Company at www.tsquareco.com or call 512-444-0097 to schedule an appointment and find out what is involved. David L. Traut, CAPS (#1636580), the owner of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas, is one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills and knowledge necessary to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors. T-Square Company offers turn-key design/build projects to help with senior living solutions in Dripping Springs.

Accessible kitchen in Dripping Springs, TX

What can I gain from a certified home assessment?

During a home assessment for increasing accessibility, the structural needs of the client will be noted and documented through sketches, photos, and conversation. All the surroundings will be considered, from the flooring to the layout of a specific room or location as it pertains to the inhabitant's ease of usability. The physical and emotional needs of the occupant will also come into play because of mobility, sensory, or cognitive concerns. The goal is to modify the home in a custom manner to provide for the occupant's maximum health, independence, and safety. Often the input from any caretakers, like a physical or occupational therapist, during the assessment phase can prove invaluable. The three main rooms involved in Aging in Place home modifications are the bathroom, the kitchen, and the family room.  These three areas comprise the most occupied spaces of any home and will be connected by a designated accessible route.

What are the five best home modifications for seniors Aging in Place?  

Seniors' five basic needs involve installing ramps, access through wider doorways, bathroom renovations, kitchen alterations, and non-slip floor surfaces. Freedom to move about the home without encountering architectural barriers and increased usability is the goal of the process.

What Are The Benefits of Aging in Place? 

Reasons for choosing to Age in Place include staying in your existing home surrounded by your neighbors and family and avoiding the prohibitive cost of senior living communities or assisted living. While it may be overwhelming to consider aging in your own home and the costs of the modifications required, many temporary and permanent options can help you stay in your home well past retirement. We all must observe safety for everyone as the baby boomers choose to Age in Place within their homes.  

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

 

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CAPS-Certified Senior Home Assessments/Disability Home Modifications

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, Aug 26, 2022 @ 13:08 PM

What does CAPS stand for?

First of all, CAPS stands for Certified Aging in Place Specialist. The aging societal changes and inventory of inaccessible existing houses created the need for a CAPS certification program. This designation program, offered through the National Association of Home Builders, NAHB, in collaboration with The American Association of Retired Persons AARP, incorporates components of assessment, technical knowledge, and management skills related to disability home modifications used to help people stay at home safely and independently for a longer time. The program was developed in 2001.

How do I receive a senior home assessment? 

Simply contact T-Square Company at www.tsquareco.com or call 512-444-0097 to schedule an appointment and find out what is involved. David L. Traut, CAPS (#1636580), the owner of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas, is one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills and knowledge necessary to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors. T-Square Company offers turn-key design/build projects to help with senior living solutions in Austin.

Accessible kitchen in Austin

What can I gain from a certified home assessment?

During a home assessment for increasing accessibility, the structural needs of the client will be noted and documented through sketches, photos, and conversation. All the surroundings will be considered, from the flooring to the layout of a specific room or location as it pertains to the inhabitant's ease of usability. The physical and emotional needs of the occupant will also come into play because of mobility, sensory, or cognitive concerns. The goal is to modify the home in a custom manner to provide for the occupant's maximum health, independence, and safety. Often the input from any caretakers like a physical or occupational therapist during the assessment phase can prove invaluable. The three main rooms involved in Aging in Place home modifications are the bathroom, the kitchen, and the family room.  These three areas comprise the most occupied spaces of any home and will be connected by a designated accessible route.

What are the five best home modifications for seniors Aging in Place?  

Seniors' five basic needs involve installing ramps, access through wider doorways, bathroom renovations, kitchen alterations, and non-slip floor surfaces. Freedom to move about the home without encountering architectural barriers and increased usability is the goal of the process.

What Are The Benefits of Aging in Place? 

Reasons for choosing to Age in Place include staying in your existing home surrounded by your neighbors and family and avoiding the prohibitive cost of senior living communities or assisted living. While it may be overwhelming to consider aging in your own home and the costs of the modifications required, many temporary and permanent options can help you stay in your home well past retirement. We all must observe safety for everyone as the baby boomers choose to Age in Place within their homes.  

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

 

Tags: barrier free access, aging in place home modifications, CAPS certified remodeling in Austin, aging in place construction, accessibility home remodeling in Austin, CAPS professional in Austin, CAPS certification holder in Austin, CAPS remodeling techniques, Universal Design,, aging in place services, accessibility designs Austin Texas, Austin senior living solutions, age in place home design, Austin disability contractors for special needs, accessible homes, Austin home accessibility solutions, Austin home modification services, Age in Place at Home, Professional Disability Remodeling Contractor

ADA Contractor/Austin, Texas/T-Square Company

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Mon, Mar 07, 2022 @ 11:03 AM

Millions of Americans are living longer and have more active lives.  While this group is embracing newly found and changing lifestyles, a need to revitalize their home environments has come about.  Identifying this major opportunity while developing the skills to interact with those needful homeowners has created a new type of elder remodeling.  A certified aging-in-place specialist or CAPS home remodeler has completed the coursework and training in how to help keep existing homeowners in their homes longer. They will be listed in a national directory compiled by the NAHB in Washington. The CAPS certificate holders act as ADA Contractors utilizing the ADA published rules. Their final accessible designs involve the ADA handbook as a guide but are not strictly held to all the ADA standards and regulations because they are funded with private monies. However, accessible CAPS designs are customized around the client's abilities. 

The National Association of Home Builders, in partnership with the AARP and Home Innovation Research Labs, created the CAPS program, which includes training and education on the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential to compete in the fastest-growing segment of the residential remodeling industry--home modifications for aging in place and ADA accessibility in Austin, Texas.  David L. Traut, CAPS the owner of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas is one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills and knowledge necessary to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors. T-Square Company is an ADA contractor in Austin, Texas abiding by the published ADA rules for their extremely disabled clients.

There are three categories of aging-in-place customers. Those who are simply and wisely planning ahead for their futures to remain in their present homes. The second category concerns those people who know they have a chronic medical disorder and need to prepare in advance for accessibility issues that will come as a result of their disease. People with diseases that are constantly causing increased physical or mental changes to their being are a good representative of this second group. The third group involves those people who either have had a chronic problem that has progressed severely altering their mobility or those who have sustained a life-altering tragedy such as being involved in an accident.  All of these groups will drive the future metamorphosis of existing inaccessible dwellings requiring bathrooms with disability access. The goal of an Austin ADA compliant remodel or an accessible bathroom design is to make the bathroom a safe space for everyone who uses the facilities. Aging in place services use design techniques to accommodate wheelchair users and can make the bathroom more comfortable for all generations with or without specific needs. It is important to carefully outline the scope of work during the remodeling of an accessible bathroom by first taking inventory of the user's capabilities, needs, and preferences.  All disability home remodeling or disability bath remodels in Austin must be done considering all the data provided by the client, his or her family, and any caretakers involved. CAPS certified remodeling and aging in place design must be carried out by aging in place specialists and residential remodeling professionals.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

 

Wheelchair Accessible Kitchen in Austin

 

Home Accessibility Help

Many people find themselves needing accessible homes for themselves or family members. There are approximately 30 million Americans using wheelchairs and the number of people who need accessible homes will continue to increase as disabled and aging people are finding more ways to remain living in their homes. One important way to increase independent living is making a home accessible to any individual personal needs. Home modifications can increase safety, accessibility, and independence for people who want to live independently.

The three main rooms involved in aging in place home modifications are the bathroom, the kitchen, and the family room in that order.  These areas make up the most occupied spaces of any home and will be connected by a designated accessible route.  Here we will need access through wider doorways, non-slip floor surfaces, and adequate cabinet and plumbing fixture accessibility.  What is more important is that we must observe safety for everyone as the baby boomers choose to age in place within their homes.  Just remember one thing and dispel any myth that aging in place construction and remodeling must appear institutional or out of the ordinary. When the work is done with style and taste it will only compliment the home.

An accessible bathroom should try to maintain a five-foot turning radius for wheelchair use if at all possible. Have your plumbing facilities brought into compliance to enable freedom and safety.  The use of grab bars within the tub or shower and around the toilet can be very helpful in ensuring your safety for maneuverability.  These should be installed at 34 inches above the finished floor to safeguard your use of them.  Having roll under capability for the new 34" high vanity can be very helpful while you are in the wheelchair.  Exact clearances of 27" high and 32" in width should be complied with underneath the vanity.  The proper safety equipment should be installed on the plumbing pipes that don't allow scalding of your legs. The toilet may need to be replaced providing a comfort level height that is around 18" in height for easier access.  The tub or shower may need to be altered to become only a shower with roll-in or possibly transfer capabilities.  All of these changes must be done along with the  ADA guidelines for your safety.

The door width requirement of 32" or more will be true for any room in the house if you are to enter them barrier-free.  The kitchen, your bedroom, and any other rooms you require accessibility to enter could be affected.  Even the closet door within your bedroom will need to be wide enough so that you can manage to get your clothes to dress.  Any other bedrooms that you may need to enter with your wheelchair will also need alterations.

The accessible kitchen is another story altogether.  You will need the roll-under capability as mentioned above at the kitchen sink, cooktop, or food prep area. Upper kitchen cabinet heights become an issue and require pull-down mechanisms for better access. Multiple height worksurfaces between 28 and 34 inches offer flexibility to all users. No matter what you end up doing, make sure to hire an experienced building professional who understands the ADA guidelines for your well-being. Contact T-Square Company at 512-444-0097 today for all your newly discovered accessibility needs.

Improve Handicap Accessibility

 

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Accessible Home Builder In Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Thu, Oct 24, 2019 @ 13:10 PM

     An accessible home refers to the construction or modification of housing to enable independent living for disabled people. Usability or accessibility is accomplished through universal design techniques and proper planning around the homeowner's personal abilities. There is no "one size fits all" for an accessible home design when considering the many types of disabilities.  Furthermore, no one disability is experienced the same by everyone. Once inside the home, accessibility can be further enhanced by using adaptable and universal products, components, and finishes. The slightest change found in an accessible design can make the greatest difference for a homeowner living with a disability.

     T- Square Company located at 14141 Highway 290 West, Suite 800 in Austin, Texas is an industry leading accessible, universal, certified Aging in Place and VA approved Specially Adapted Housing accessible home builder and remodeler. We offer design/build projects for both totally accessible homes from the ground up and complete handicap modifications for existing homes to age in place. Traditional home builders and remodelers do not consider or understand the needs of the disabled or elderly. They deal mainly with the two thirds of our society without disabilities. They do not have the knowledge or experience required to think out of the box when creating a special needs home. It requires an educated accessible home builder and contractor to realize special needs for special people. T-Square Company will design and build you an adapted living environment which is completely customized toward your abilities. Whether your project concerns home modifications, an accessible addition or wing, or new construction using handicap accessible floor plans generated around the client so we can help you increase your accessibility. We are CAPS certified (1636580) and have over three decades of building and remodeling experience practicing as a disability contractor for special needs. We want to help our clients be as self sufficient and independent as possible. Let us show you how to increase the safety and accessibility within your personal living environment.

Disability Contractors For Special Needs

home accessibility help in Austin, Texas

 

Home Accessibility Help

 

    Handicap accessible floor plans or designs can include level no step entries, single level designs, smart home features, wider hallways and doorways, adequate maneuvering space for a wheelchair turning radius throughout the home, non-slip flooring, ramps to overcome level changes, residential elevators, clear unobstructed walkways, special area lighting, accessible closets and storage, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grab door hardware and electric door openers, automatic and graspable faucets, full extension drawers, accessible switches and outlets, automated controls, roll in showers, ADA roll under vanities, counter tops, and work spaces, accessible kitchen designs, accessible appliances, and many other specialty features designed around the homeowner's abilities and needs. Basically the rooms in an accessible home are more spacious while the amount of architectural barriers within the home is decreased. Accessibility is very important in the bathroom, kitchen, and the most visited living areas of the home.

     Architects and designers with the help of CAPS professionals have been revising design basics in the recent past, creating design principles and strategies that accommodate the full range of human capability. This field of flexible or inclusive design is called Universal Design and its goal is to create easily accessible living and working spaces. Instead of appearing as a hospital extension, the designs are appealing and stylish and comfortable for everyone, not just the severely disabled among us. The world of boundaries and barricades is beginning to lessen and catch on nationwide one home at a time. This is a testament to the disabled population demanding equal access as the ADA rules which came about in 1990. Unfortunately the ADA rules do not apply to the residential market and disabled homeowners need to depend on the knowledgeable CAPS certified private sector of builders and remodelers.  Every home should be accessible to all inhabitants and their visitors regardless of their age, size, or physical abilities.  Caring for someone with special needs is a unique and sometimes lifelong challenge. Whether it’s a child born with a disability, someone who has suffered an unfortunate accident or medical event causing them to lose abilities they once had, or an older family member in declining health needing assistance with daily life, the work of a special needs contractor can help make things easier for both the affected individual and their caregivers.

 

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

 

     Today's conventional building standards conflict with most people's accessibility when you consider our created architectural barriers concerning cabinetry and door opening widths, individual strength, range of motion, movement,  manual dexterity, balance, and coordination. Once the demands of our built environment exceed their capacities we become excluded from a room or even the entire home.  The building world must work in unison to be sure the entire living environment meets basic needs in addition to affordability and structural integrity for the consumer and home owner.  This includes both the home and the components within the home being accessible to all inhabitants.  Privacy, sense of belonging, sense of control, and the sense of safety and security make up the quality of life for any home and should be considered for any design increasing home accessibility.  Contact T-Square Company for a personal assessment at 512-444-0097.  We pride ourselves on helping our customers stay healthy, independent, and safe.

 

Elder Construction

 

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Handicap Bathroom Contractor in Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Mon, Sep 30, 2019 @ 11:09 AM

 

    Life happens and your present way of going about it includes newly discovered physical barriers which were never an issue before.  You've lost your mobility and are now forced to rely on a wheelchair for assistance at least for the present time.  The maneuvering of familiar areas within your home you'd always taken for granted are now presenting barriers that are limiting your new means of mobility.  Clear openings of 32" or greater, elevation changes steeper than 1:12, and being able to have access to all your home's facilities have been affected springing forth handicap remodeling.  The removal of these home grown barriers that now disrupt your accessible route for handicap bathrooms in Austin, Texas needs to be done by a qualified building professional holding a CAPS certificate.  Any ADA remodeling should comply with both ADA and local building code standards along with the TDLR guidelines.

handicap bathroom in Austin

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     Problems encountered while accessing your home when you are wheelchair bound generally begin before or at the front door.  Given that you can reach the front porch approach without obstruction is a great start.  The stairs leading onto the front porch are yet another matter all together.  A correctly designed ramp having the correct slope can adequately solve this problem.  The use of grab bars and any railings will be dictated by the ramp's design and the regulations involved.   Once your safely upon the porch, your home's front door width can become an issue.  Any entry door less than three feet in width will cause a problem in maintaining a required 32 inch clear entry way that starts the new accessible route within your home.  Once inside the structure a new set of problems concerning your accessibility will be discovered.

Home Accessibility Help

     An accessible bathroom for your convenience becomes the first issue.  The disability access bathroom will be located within the accessible route.  Any barriers encountered while approaching the bathroom entrance will need to be removed.  The minimum clear widths have to be observed.  This will include the bathroom door itself.  Twenty four to twenty eight inch wide doors are commonly used during the construction of American homes for accessing the bathroom and must be widened during a bathroom transformation.  Anything below three feet does not meet the clear 32 inch requirement mentioned above and will need to be altered for clearance of your wheelchair. This work may involve moving light switches.  These alterations should be done by a licensed electrician assuring your safety.

     Once inside the accessible bathroom you should try to maintain a five foot turning radius for your wheelchair if at all possible. You will need to have your plumbing facilities brought into compliance to enable your freedom and safety.  Bathroom modifications for the disabled involve the use of grab bars within the tub or shower and around the toilet which can be very helpful insuring your safety for maneuverability.  These should be installed at 34 inches above the finished floor to safeguard your use of them.  Having roll under capability for the new 34" high ADA compliant vanity can be very helpful while you are in the wheelchair.  Exact clearances should be complied with underneath the vanity.  The proper safety equipment should be installed on the plumbing pipes that don't allow scalding of your legs. The toilet may need to be replaced providing a comfort level height for easier access.  The handicap bath or roll in shower may need to be altered to become only a shower with roll in or possibly transfer capabilities. Roll in showers are always easier to deal with than handicap baths having walk in ability. However, these tubs are not for everyone especially those with dementia so do your homework before buying such an expensive addition to your bathroom.   All of these changes must be done along the  ADA guidelines for your safety.

The Top Five Items To Include When Considering An Accessible Bathroom Design

1. Vanity Sink Accessibility

Wheelchair Accessible bathrooms today contain stylish ADA vanities set at a universal height of 34 inches with clear knee spaces.  Plan on 27 inches of vertical clearance for a wheelchair. The sink faucets must be easily controlled by either wrist handles or levers. The faucets can be fitted on the side of the sink to make them easier to reach. Or install infra-red faucets that detect motion. Hang the mirror low enough for a seated person to see themselves, and tip the top of the mirror out. Bathroom vanities with universal height cabinet tops and open knee spaces are taking over the marketplace.  These new residential vanities do not need to look institutional.  They can be designed like any other piece of fine furniture. Scalding must be guarded against by using either insulating pipe wrap or a removable panel for the plumbing.

2. Toilet Accessibility

Toilets are available in comfort heights eliminating the deep knee bend needed for seating.  Grab bars should be installed on at least both sides of the toilet. Ideally, the toilet should be positioned between two support bars 36 inches apart. A toilet seat 17 inches off the floor is a more comfortable height for everyone. Creating a toilet within an open area and not a closet is much more accessible. Elevated or special toilet seats are available with a heat feature and some have the ability to self close or have a night light. A more expensive bidet/toilet is available but an add on bidet attachment to a regular toilet can be handy.

3. Bathing Facilities

Curbless roll in showers that are 5 feet wide and 3 feet deep having a 36" clear entrance are advised for everyone.  The shower should contain at least a shower wand on a sliding bar for varying heights of use along with a regular shower head and control if desired.  Installing fixtures with a scald guard or lowering the temperature at the water heater is a must to prevent burns. Folding seats in the shower are useful if caretakers are ever involved and they are much safer than a free standing shower seat which can fall over. Grab bars around the bath and especially in the shower should be used while non slip floor covering should always be considered. Walk in tubs are also a consideration but some people get chilled while the tub is draining. Install the slider bar for the hand held shower hose and head 4 feet off the floor so that the head can slide up to 6 feet high. Always use a shower valve that is thermostatically controlled and pressure-balanced to prevent scalds. If you desire a full body wash, you can include a regular shower head as well.

4. Safety and Accessibility

Always choose fixtures and fittings that are easy to control with a single hand motion or a closed fist. Motion controlled sensor fixtures are also a possibility when specifying finishes. Provide easily accessible storage compartments with pull out shelving eliminating architectural barriers by not using doors on the cabinetry. Always consider the individual needs of the occupant and find the best placement of any reachable items within their reach distance of 24". Fully consider where the best access is for all accessories such as robe hooks, towel bars, paper dispensers, soap dishes, toothbrush holders, shower shelves. The distances and clearances required will be dictated by the user and not by an accepted general outline. With falls in the wet area of the bathroom being such a great concern, a non slip tile floor should be installed without placing loose rugs in the general area. All doors should have levers instead of door knobs. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires a 5-foot turning radius for a wheelchair. But if space is tight, remodelers may be able to make do with less. "(The 5-foor turning radius) may not always be needed, especially with an electric chair, which will easily turn in a tighter space.

5. Lighting

Natural lighting is always better for anyone using the bath. Adequate task lighting in the shower, dressing area, and vanity vicinity should be installed. Lowered switches at around 48" above the floor in reaching distance should control all the lighting. You can install switches with a push button or large toggle that doesn't require a pinching motion to turn on and off. Outlets that are ground protected should be installed at 18" above the floor.

Improve Handicap Accessibility

     The referenced door situation above will be true for any room in the house if you are to enter them barrier free.  The kitchen, your bedroom, and any other rooms you require accessibility to enter could be affected.  Even the closet door within your bedroom will need to be wide enough so that you can manage getting your clothes to dress.  Any other bedrooms that you may need to enter with your wheelchair will need alterations.

     The accessible kitchen is another story altogether.  You will at least need the roll under capability as mentioned above at the sink.  Upper kitchen cabinet heights may become an issue if you still plan to do meal preparations.  No matter what you end up doing, make sure to hire an experienced building professional who understand the ADA guidelines for your well being.

     Aging in place home modifications are available through T-Square Company in the Austin area. We have an A plus rating with the local BBB and have over 30 years of remodeling experience. We are additionally a certified aging in place specialist offering complete aging in place services.  We offer complete handicap floor plans generated with you, the client, in mind. Each design/build situation will be customized to fit your personal needs increasing your accessibility. Call 512-444-0097 today to begin the accessible second chapter of your life while remaining safe and secure in your existing home. CAPS #1636580

 

Wheel Accessible Remodeling In Austin, Texas

    Elder Construction

      

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Modifying Your Home For A Disabled Child

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Sep 17, 2019 @ 13:09 PM

     Making your home accessible for a child with special needs can be costly; but,  it will also give your entire family a feeling of security and freedom if done correctly. It is estimated that 5.4 percent of children five to seven years old are disabled representing a considerably large portion of the population.  For those children, having a home they can feel comfortable in is very important as they mature. Modifying your home for a child with a disability can be accomplished using Universal Design techniques. This concept will also benefit everyone within the family. When your child has a disability, whether from birth or following an accident, you must evolve quickly from being only a parent into a caretaker.  It suddenly becomes your job not only to nurture your child but to identify his or her basic abilities and needs so your child can flourish in their world. Sometimes this is nearly impossible to do within a traditional home design. Since each type of disability is different; then each disability will require it's own special modifications to the house.  Note that no one single type of disability is experienced the same by everyone because everybody is unique and has special needs.  Specific modifications for wheelchair accessibility, visual impairments, sensory concerns, autism, or the use of special medical equipment along with any other of the child's special needs must be considered if the overall design is to be effective for the child. Generally, if a design works well for the disabled, it works equally well for everyone. With Universal Design thoughtful aesthetics and usability are harmonious. 

     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. 

Improve Handicap Accessibility

     Neither the Universal Design or Inclusive Design concept is age driven nor is the aging in place issue. Universal Design addresses the design of all homes both new and existing while Aging In Place deals mostly with the built environment. 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, age, or adaptive abilities. The multi-generational appeal of Universal Design 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.

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom 

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom In Austin

     Universal Design doesn't 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 of a dwelling. 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.  It is very important to consider the safety of each room, as well as the exterior of the house and common spaces. Consider your child’s unique needs and how you can make your house safer for them. Whether your child recently acquired a disability or you have moved into a house that needs modifications for increased accessibility, your home must be assessed by a qualified CAPS design/build remodeler. They will be able to correlate the changes to the home environment with the needs of your disabled child.

     Fortunately, to answer the demand for Universal Design, manufacturers continue to develop products for the home that help make the user’s experience safer and more comfortable. To answer the increasing demand for universal design, home appliance and plumbing manufacturers continue to develop products for the home that help make the user’s experience safer and more comfortable without sacrificing beauty.

      The main focus of any home modifications done for a disabled child must make them feel more comfortable and be able to maneuver through and use the home more safely.  It must present a safe place where he or she will be able to develop the life skills they need in their daily environment rather than just focusing on treatment regimens. Sometimes the living environment must be changed to make a significant impact on the child's life so they are able to feel safe and free to be themselves. Whatever is needed in the way of home modifications to create a safe and comfortable environment for your child is available through the registered and certified CAPS program practitioners. CAPS stands for Certified Aging In Place Specialist. This national designation is taught through the National Association of Home Builders in collaboration with AARP. CAPS connects responsible professionals with home owners who need these services on an ever increasing basis and is not age related. CAPS is a nationwide initiative and all active CAPS members can be found at nahb.org/CAPSdirectory

Home Accessibility Help

 

Certified Aging In Place Specialist In Austin

    

     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 represent a narrow but specific sample of the masses. It provides a great cross section with average guidelines for people and their surroundings.  A Universal Design 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 Universal Design home is designed for everyone.  Each situation should be assessed separately and the designer must take into account the parameters of the space, budget, and client priorities. If all of these needs are met, the result can be beautiful, efficient spaces that improve the independence, safety, and convenience of all household members with particular attention toward the needs of the disabled child.

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Certified Aging In Place Specialist

David L. Traut, CAPS owner of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas as a handicap remodeling contractor is one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills, training, and knowledge necessary to design and remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners or children, or their visitors. For more information about T-Square Company, visit www.tsquareco.com or call 512-444-0097.

Wheelchair accessible remodeling is available through T-Square Company.

We offer complete Aging In Place Services and designs and we are just a phone call away!

 

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