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

Home Modifications To Accommodate A Family's Changing Living Situation

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, Sep 29, 2023 @ 09:09 AM

When a family's living situation suddenly changes, it may be necessary to make various home modifications to accommodate the new circumstances. This process will in turn create  multigenerational homes. The specific modifications required can vary widely based on the nature of the change, but here are some common considerations:

  1. Additional Bedrooms: If the family is growing or if someone new is moving in, you may need to create additional bedrooms or sleeping areas. This might involve converting a home office, den, or other space.
  2. Bathroom Accessibility: If there are elderly or disabled family members moving in, you may need to modify bathrooms to make them more accessible. This could include installing grab bars, a walk-in shower, or a wheelchair-accessible sink and toilet.
  3. Kitchen Modifications: A larger family might require changes in the kitchen to accommodate more people. This could involve adding extra seating, variable-height working surfaces, roll-under ability at the sink or stovetop, increasing storage space, or even expanding the kitchen.
  4. Safety Features: Depending on the situation, you may need to add safety features like childproofing, adult proofing, slip-proof flooring, or installing security systems.
  5. Storage: If you have more people living in the home, you might need additional storage space for their belongings. This could mean adding closets, shelves, or cabinets.
  6. Accessibility Ramps: For individuals with mobility issues, installing ramps at entrances can be essential.
  7. Separate Living Spaces: If you're accommodating multiple generations under one roof, consider creating separate living spaces with their own entrance, kitchenette, and bathroom to provide privacy and independence.
  8. Heating/Cooling: Ensure your HVAC system can handle the increased load if you are adding square footage to your home.

The design will involve the practice of Aging in Place which has little to do with age and much to do with usability for everyone on a universal basis.  Once you have decided to Age in Place in your existing home with an expanding family, the first thing you can do to make your home more age-friendly and adaptable is to do a self-assessment. Go through your house, identifying known problem areas like potential tripping or slipping hazards and areas that are hard to access and maintain. Who would be better at pointing out problem areas than the person needing the home modifications according to their physical wellbeing? To help with this, several organizations have Aging in Place checklists pointing out potential problems in some regions of the home and suggesting modifications and solutions. Once you have completed your initial Aging in Place checklist, it is time to seek the advice of trained Aging in Place specialist.

Next, contact a builder or remodeler listed as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). CAPS are home remodelers and design-build professionals certified and knowledgeable about Aging in Place home modifications. The CAPS professional can suggest ways to modify or remodel your home to fit your needs and budget. CAPS professionals are generally paid by the hour or receive a flat fee per visit or project.

Universal Design ADA Kitchen in Austin

There are three categories of Aging in Place customers. Those who are simply and wisely planning for their futures to remain in their present homes. The second category concerns those who know they have a chronic medical disorder and need to prepare for accessibility issues resulting from their disease. People with diseases constantly causing increased physical or mental changes to their being are a good representative of this second group. The third group involves those 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.

During a professional home assessment for increasing accessibility, the structural needs of the clients will be noted and documented through sketches, photos, and conversation by a registered CAPS professional. All the surroundings will be considered, from the flooring to the layout of a specific room or location as it pertains to each inhabitant's size or ease of usability. The physical and emotional needs of the occupants will also come into play because of mobility, sensory, or cognitive concerns. Each individual with similar impairments describes his or her limitations differently when undergoing elder construction. The blind don't experience their world the same as a person with deafness. The ultimate 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 bathrooms, the kitchen, and the family room. These areas make up the most occupied spaces of any home and will be connected by a designated accessible route. The basic needs involve access through wider doorways, nonslip floor surfaces, and adequate cabinet and plumbing fixture accessibility. More importantly, we must observe safety for everyone as the baby boomers choose to age in place within their homes. For more information about T-Square Company or Aging in Place services, visit www.tsquareco.com or call 512-444-0097. We are a certified Aging in Place contractor (#1636580).

Knowledgeable construction and design professionals are utilizing their CAPS training across the nation. CAPS stands for Certified Aging In Place Specialist. This designation is taught through the National Association of Home Builders in collaboration with AARP. CAPS connects responsible professionals with homeowners who need these services ever-increasingly. The CAPS designation program is a nationwide initiative, and all active CAPS members can be found at nahb.org/CAPSdirectory.

universal Design or Inclusive Design for all family members

 

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

 

If children are moving into your home, their size and ability are major considerations for the Universal Design. In designing for specific physical conditions for an adult moving into your home, we realize that aging doesn't always bring on disease while the body declines to make certain physical limitations inevitable. Arthritis is the most common chronic condition as it restricts ordinary daily activities. The lack of hand strength and stiff knees are indicative of this illness. This most reported arthritic condition affecting people over 65 is followed by heart disease and vision loss in that order. Innovative aging design and concepts can compensate for frailty, lack of mobility, and blindness in Aging in Place extended families. We are constantly coming up with new methods for home modifications and household products to increase the comfort of our residential environments.

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.  We offer a complete line of aging in place services using our design/build techniques and the principles of Universal Design. Everything we do is done on a customized turnkey basis.

After over a year of writing to fulfill my customers' requests, my new book, "Age in Place At Home," is finally available for purchase from Amazon.  Go to the link below to order my paperback book, which was released in late November, 2022. It provides a great guideline for using the principles of Universal Design in new home construction and/or remodeling for every room in your home. Get your copy today.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/r.html?C=2Z24ENUUAEWUK&K=13Y7YU7PKKYAC&M=urn:rtn:msg:20221010201802eb9acb7b24004a4785cd2ec1d4f0p0na&R=3R6MK9WDXJPH7&T=C&U=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fdp%2FB0BHTV28RV%3Fref_%3Dpe_3052080_276849420&H=7FWEPMGCH0TT8LN6SKPMUOCVJNYA&ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

A home's adaptability is one of the most desired qualities within a person's home during some point in their life as their or their family's personal needs change. Specific needs to enhance a home's accessibility can be short term while recovering from an accident or illness at any age, or  these home alterations may become permanent. The special needs may concern an adult or a child. Universal design principles don't discriminate between any family members regardless of age, size, or ability. Every family member is included. Learn how to adapt your home environment to satisfy your family's needs in David Traut's new book, "Age in Place at Home".

 

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

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Home Modifications For The Elderly and Disabled/What is ADA-Compliant?

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Mon, May 01, 2023 @ 08:05 AM

Let's face it, accessible homes are needed by all of us at some time during our lives. This is true whether it's for ourselves, a family member, or a guest. The need for handicap remodeling is certainly not driven by age but is a result of life's experience. Any family living with disability among any of it's generations within the group can always benefit from additional accessibility.   This will in turn increase safety and independence for all people involved as they go about life. Except under extreme situations, complete ADA-compliance normally isn't required for a remodel used to increase residential accessibility. The ADA rules are a great place to begin a design when dealing with a lack of home accessibility. However, any and all compliant items are a great help for everyone. The ADA specifications deal with explicit measurements, but these stringent rules do not apply to many people. Diverse body sizes and abilities are overlooked, and everyone is dealt with on average. More so, only if modifications involve government backed housing and funding are the ADA guidelines followed to the letter. In other words, the guidelines aren't a consideration when dealing with a single private family residence. So how did the ADA guidelines come about?

During the 1960's, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, protecting the civil rights of those with disabilities. This law was merely a beginning, acknowledging a part of our population was dealing with disabilities. Although this law did not directly address disabilities per se, it served as a foundational piece of civil rights legislation. Disability advocates applied the language used in the Civil Rights Act for later legislation concerning civil rights for those with disabilities. Later on, the Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as ADA, as we know it today began. First implemented in 1990, it was our government’s first step toward addressing the needs of citizens living with disabilities. Yet as technology and our culture evolved, so did the challenges faced by disabled Americans. Accessibility became a hurdle not only in the physical world but also the vast digital realm of today. The law is constantly evolving while changing with the times; thereby making everyday life easier for individuals with unique needs. 

Aging in Place bathroom in Austin

Disability is a complex phenomenon representing an interaction between one's physical impairments, the activities they need to perform, and the architectural barriers within the space in which this situation occurs. The terminology and jargon used for disabilities evolves regularly whereas, "handicapped" is no longer acceptable. It is no longer merely a description of intellectual or physical impairments. Each individual with similar impairments describes his or her limitations differently. The blind don't experience their world the same as a person with deafness and so on. Physically challenged has become the more socially accepted description of a person with an impairment, regardless of age. No matter how old you are, you should periodically evaluate your residence to determine whether it suits you not just for the present but the future. Your personal home assessments will be revised every time your living situation changes. Whether childproofing for a newborn, making a home more accessible following a sickness or unfortunate accident to someone in the family, or making a toilet area safer for an aging residing parent, there will be an immediate evolution to your primary domicile. These same life-span design features become more important if you believe you're past the age of wanting to move and are relishing the thought of aging in your own home, no matter what physical limitations you might later develop. This way of thinking has created a niche residential market known as Aging in Place. Solving Aging in Place issues will soon become the number one challenge concerning the present obsolete housing inventory in our country. Incorporating smart aging design concepts like a roll-in-shower into a home will attract a larger group of buyers when you decide to finally sell your home. Preparing for one of those highly likely events involving someone in your home needing room modifications for even a short time while recovering from surgery is surely a wise move. 

Aging In Place Home Modifications

In our daily lives, we all know what to do if the front door is no longer secure, if the kitchen sink backs up, or if the air conditioning suddenly goes out on a hot day. However, for those suddenly facing a catastrophic illness, life can suddenly be a scary and confusing place in which our existing homes are no longer a sanctuary but become a prison within the nightmare of limited accessibility. With the onset of a life-altering illness or catastrophic injury, knowing who to call to solve problems faced performing our usual daily tasks suddenly becomes very challenging.

Knowledgeable construction and design professionals are utilizing the CAPS training across the nation. CAPS stands for Certified Aging In Place Specialist. This 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. CAPS is a nationwide initiative and all active CAPS members can be found at nahb.org/CAPS. Look for the CAPS designation as a reliable way to identify professionals to modify your home or build a new forever home that is designed for a lifespan. CAPS graduates receive training about the technical/construction aspects and learn about the unique aspects of working with older Americans. They must take formal business training to maintain their credential through continuing education and subscribe to a Code of Ethics.

David L. Traut, CAPS the owner of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas is one of the select group of professionals 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 a full compliment of Aging in Place services including bathroom modifications for elderly clients with special needs. Each design/build project 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

As an answer to his clients requests over the years, David has recently published a book entitled "Age in Place at Home: Adapting the Home Environment for All Generations". The book reflects on thirty years of accessibility improvements and identifies why our traditional homes specifically lack this very basic need. It is available on Amazon and stands as a reference book for increasing home accessibility using the principles of Universal Design in every room of the home.Certified Aging In Place Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

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Renovations For Senior Homes/Interior Design

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Wed, Apr 19, 2023 @ 09:04 AM

It's not for everyone, but as more and more older Americans choose to Age in Place while remaining in their homes, issues related to maintaining mobility, promoting home safety and creating an environment to meet care needs are becoming increasingly important to both caregivers and care recipients. According to the AARP nearly 90% of older adults want to Age in Place and maintain independence; however, 85% have done nothing in preparation for it. Many retirees want to stay living in their own house for as long as possible. But being able to do so will depend on how easy it is to maneuver throughout their home as they get older. A plan for Aging in Place must be put into place as soon as possible to avoid mishaps. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that applying the correct Aging in Place home modifications per individual client need may prevent up to 50% of home accidents among seniors in older homes including falls.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

Once families are suddenly thrust into the responsibility of caring for an aging, ill or injured family member, knowing how to make their home accessible, barrier-free and safe can be challenging. Even families that are savvy and experienced about these issues may have trouble figuring out whom to call for a roll-in-shower, ADA-compatible kitchen, or a door widening. Do not fear, there is knowledgeable and experienced help for this matter locally available. 

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, the President and owner of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas, is a handicap remodeling contractor professionally practicing his craft for nearly thirty years. He 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. He incorporates the principles of Universal Design into all his design/build projects. T-Square Company specializes in home modifications for seniors.

By the way, David has recently published a book entitled "Age in Place at Home: Adapting the Home Environment for All Generations". It is available on Amazon and stands as a reference book for increasing home accessibility using the principles of Universal Design.

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

Home renovations for Aging in Place positively affecting a homes interior design include adding non-slip flooring, widening hallways or installing stair lifts, and widening doors. You should also consider lowering light switches and thermostats and installing easier to use door levers.  Many considerations for an Aging in Place design should be taken into account to provide safety and independence. Always provide a clear barrier-free path or accessible route to the most visited areas of the home as recommended by the ADA. 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. ADA compliant kitchen cabinets and ADA bathroom cabinets will more than likely come into play to complete any accessible home remodeling project.

Furthermore, due to the inaccessibility of existing traditional homes, people interested in Aging in Place services are looking for a level entry into their home along with the maneuverability that a more open floor plan having greater clear unobstructed floor space presents. They desire flat non-skid floors without transitions requiring steps or stairs to move around. If ramps are used to overcome stairs within the design, they have a correct 1:12 slope or less. The ramps can be used to get the homeowner up to the level floor space at the exterior entries or the garage access.

Wheelchair Accessible Kitchen In Austin

Wheelchair accessible kitchen in Austin

Aging In Place Home Modifications

Let's compare the alternative costs associated with Aging in Place when you already own your home verses moving away from familiar surroundings and neighbors. 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 2021, the average cost for assisted living ranged from $4,000 to $5,500 per month. However, if you decide to Age in Place in a high quality one bedroom apartment, the rent will run around $2,500 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. In this case, there is also the positive effects of home equity being available to fund the required home modifications. But what are the costs involved?

An average Aging in Place master bathroom/bedroom suite modification intended to provide total accessibility  will come in around $35,000, given there is a large enough space to remodel at onset. This can vary in many aspects if there is not enough room to change the existing floor plan. Smaller bathrooms can cost $15-20,000 to modify; but generally will not have the barrier-free accessibility compared to the larger modified bathroom. Fully accessible kitchens cost on the average of $50,000 to modify, depending on the size and layout of the existing kitchen. These are both one time costs for sustainability of a given lifestyle and location providing future independence and safety for the homeowner who participates in accessible home remodeling.

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 bathroom design in Austin is to make the bathroom a safer space for everyone who uses the facilities. Aging in Place services use Universal Design to accommodate wheelchair use and can make the bathroom more comfortable for all generations with or without specific needs. If a design allows wheelchair use, it also allows greater accessibility for everyone universally.

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.

 

Tags: barrier free access, aging in place remodeling, aging in place home modifications, ADA remodeling, ADA bathroom cabinets, ADA kitchen cabinets, aging in place designs, accessibility home remodeling in Austin, CAPS professional in Austin, CAPS certification holder in Austin, CAPS remodeling techniques, disability bathroom remodeling in Austin, bathroom modifications for elderly, aging in place specialist, aging in place services, elder construction, certified aging in place specialist, handicap remodeling contractors in Austin, independent living in Austin Texas, senior aging in place services

Home Accessibility Services/Independent Aging and Living

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Mon, Mar 27, 2023 @ 16:03 PM

The concept of successful and independent aging has become increasingly important, while senior citizens dominate the population. An active independent engagement in life through participation in social and productive activities is a very important aspect of successful aging. However, the built environment oftentimes directly interferes with the successful engagements of older adults once their individual needs change. Therefore, it is necessary to provide modified living environments designed to suit the needs of aging adults. This is the essence of the Aging in Place market of today.

What can be done to solve this inevitable housing dilemma facing the growing number of aging Americans? Of all the design theories that attempt to accommodate the aging process, Universal Design is the most desirable option as it provides built environments that benefit everyone, regardless of their age, size, or ability. Universal Design is a promising voluntary philosophy that requires increased attention from designers and builders participating in Aging in Place. Taken as a whole, it is evident that the application of Universal Design to the home environment is a positive step toward successful aging and living for anyone. In fact, the principles of Universal Design segues directly into what is required for Aging in Place.

A Wheelchair Accessible Kitchen Incorporating Universal Design Principles

wheelchair accessible kitchen in Austin

Our existing architecture does not lend itself well to accomplishing any simple Aging in Place home remodels.  In fact, there are more inaccessible homes in all of the US than there are accessible homes and 45% of these existing traditional homes are owned by baby boomers. What is more, the baby boomer group represents the largest and oldest group of homeowners. This particular aging group desires to live in their existing home around familiar surroundings as they Age in Place. But what if, for some reason, a home that was once sufficient for all family members becomes no longer accessible. This involves the need for a certified CAPS professional. 

Unfortunately, in most traditional residential US properties, there are commonly no easy ways to enter the home proceeding into bathrooms or utilizing kitchens without coming into contact with one architectural barrier or another-especially if a wheelchair or walker is being used to help with mobility issues. While an estimated 80% of aging homeowners have a firm plan to Age in Place, every mobility device requires the proper clearance and distance along a customized accessible route within the home to function properly. This comfortable route is identified during wheelchair remodeling projects.

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.  David L. Traut, CAPS the President and 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 complete services concerning disability renovations beginning with their design/build philosophy. Furthermore, David is certified in Universal Design in the United States and Australia. Call them today at 512-444-0097 to set up a professional assessment of your living situation.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

After over a year of writing to fulfill his customers' requests, David's new book, "Age in Place At Home," is available for purchase from Amazon. Go to the link below to order his knowledgeable paperback book, which was released in late November, 2022. It provides a great guideline for using the principles of Universal Design in new home construction and/or remodeling for every room in your home. Get your copy today.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/r.html?C=2Z24ENUUAEWUK&K=13Y7YU7PKKYAC&M=urn:rtn:msg:20221010201802eb9acb7b24004a4785cd2ec1d4f0p0na&R=3R6MK9WDXJPH7&T=C&U=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fdp%2FB0BHTV28RV%3Fref_%3Dpe_3052080_276849420&H=7FWEPMGCH0TT8LN6SKPMUOCVJNYA&ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

 

Tags: wheelchair accessible remodeling, ADA remodeling, ADA compliance, Austin Accessibility Design, Austin accessible home remodeling, senior aging in place services, universal design building for a lifetime, what is universal design, universal principles of design, Austin Senior Home Remodeling, senior home modifications in Austin, Austin disability contractors for special needs, Austin aging in place specialist, veterans home accessibility help in Austin, Texas, what is aging in place, wheelchair accessible homes, Austin home accessibility solutions, ADA Accessibility, home accessibility services, forever home, sustainable living design

Senior Aging In Place Services Offered in Austin, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Thu, Mar 09, 2023 @ 10:03 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, especially when it involves an aging parent.  A professional CAPS-certified remodeler is needed to offer guidance and solutions to the discovered family problems. Aging in Place is 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, along with the building community. 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. T-Square Company is a certified disability access contractor in Austin, Texas, doing accessibility jobs for the VA, HUD, and the private sector for nearly thirty years. T-Square Company offers a complete line of Aging in Place services using their design/build approach. T-Square Company's Aging in Place services incorporate the principles of Universal Design to better accommodate wheelchair users or people with varying disabilities, making the home environment more comfortable for all generations with or without specific needs.

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, the 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. David is certified in Universal Design in the United States and Australia. He has recently published a book entitled "Age In Place At Home: Adapting the Home Environment For All Generations". It is available through Amazon. It acts as a guidepost for accomplishing better accessibility throughout the home. He takes you room by room showing you how you can make your home inclusive to everyone living there and for all visitors.

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 generally  looking for a level entry into their home along with the clear 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 entrance. 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.  Provide a clear barrier-free path or accessible route to the most visited areas of the 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. 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, regardless of age, size, or ability. 

Aging In Place Home Modifications

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.

 

Tags: barrier free access, aging in place remodeling, aging in place home modifications, ADA remodeling, ADA bathroom cabinets, aging in place remodels, ADA kitchen cabinets, aging in place construction, aging in place designs, accessibility home remodeling in Austin, CAPS professional in Austin, CAPS certification holder in Austin, CAPS remodeling techniques, disability bathroom remodeling in Austin, bathroom modifications for elderly, aging in place specialist, aging in place services, aging in place design,, elder construction, certified aging in place specialist, handicap remodeling contractors in Austin, independent living in Austin Texas, aging in place specialist in Austin, senior aging in place services, Austin aging in place specialist, barrier free design, Age in Place at Home, Professional Disability Remodeling Contractor, aging in place services for seniors in Austin

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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Aging In Place Services In Austin, Texas/T-Square Company

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, Oct 14, 2022 @ 14:10 PM

Once you have decided to Age in Place in your existing home, the first thing you can do to make your home more age-friendly is to do a self-assessment. Go through your house, identifying known problem areas like potential tripping or slipping hazards and areas that are hard to access and maintain. Who would be better at pointing out problem areas than the person needing the home modifications according to their physical wellbeing? To help with this, several organizations have Aging in Place checklists pointing out potential problems in some regions of the home and suggesting modifications and solutions. Once you have completed your initial Aging in Place checklist, it is time to seek the advice of trained Aging in Place specialist.

Next, contact a builder or remodeler listed as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). CAPS are home remodelers and design-build professionals certified and knowledgeable about Aging in Place home modifications. The CAPS professional can suggest ways to modify or remodel your home to fit your needs and budget. CAPS professionals are generally paid by the hour or receive a flat fee per visit or project.

There are three categories of Aging in Place customers. Those who are simply and wisely planning for their futures to remain in their present homes.  The second category concerns those who know they have a chronic medical disorder and need to prepare for accessibility issues resulting from their disease. People with diseases constantly causing increased physical or mental changes to their being are a good representative of this second group.  The third group involves those 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.

During a professional home assessment for increasing accessibility, the structural needs of the client will be noted and documented through sketches, photos, and conversation by a registered CAPS professional. 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. Each individual with similar impairments describes his or her limitations differently when undergoing elder construction. The blind don't experience their world the same as a person with deafness. The ultimate 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 areas make up the most occupied spaces of any home and will be connected by a designated accessible route. The basic needs involve access through wider doorways, nonslip floor surfaces, and adequate cabinet and plumbing fixture accessibility. More importantly, we must observe safety for everyone as the baby boomers choose to age in place within their homes. For more information about T-Square Company or Aging in Place services, visit www.tsquareco.com or call 512-444-0097. We are certified Aging in Place contractors.

Knowledgeable construction and design professionals are utilizing their CAPS training across the nation. CAPS stands for Certified Aging In Place Specialist. This designation is taught through the National Association of Home Builders in collaboration with AARP. CAPS connects responsible professionals with homeowners who need these services ever-increasingly. The CAPS designation program is a nationwide initiative, and all active CAPS members can be found at nahb.org/CAPSdirectory.

 

Certified Aging In Place Specialist In Austin

 

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

 

In designing for specific physical conditions, we realize that aging doesn't always bring on disease while the body declines to make certain physical limitations inevitable. Arthritis is the most common chronic condition as it restricts ordinary daily activities. The lack of hand strength and stiff knees are indicative of this illness. This most reported arthritic condition affecting people over 65 is followed by heart disease and vision loss in that order. Innovative aging design and concepts can compensate for frailty, lack of mobility, and blindness in Aging in Place families. We are constantly coming up with new methods for home modifications and household products to increase the comfort of our residential environments.

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.  We offer a complete line of aging in place services using our design/build techniques and the principles of Universal Design. Everything we do is done on a turnkey basis.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

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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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Age in Place At Home/Home Accessibility Help

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Wed, Jan 19, 2022 @ 12:01 PM

AIPSTUD cover4-1

Everyone planning to remain in their home to Age in Place is looking for safety, security, ease of use, and comfort. Homeowners and families must plan for future housing needs. The current housing inventory does not offer the features needed for safety and accessibility in the numbers required to accommodate the growing demand. They have weighed the costs of institutional living compared to their home’s expenses. They also realize the difference in adhering to stringent rules in a facility instead of independently and freely residing in their present home.

Before and after retirement is an excellent time to prepare the house for what comes next in life—before any significant health issues appear. Choosing to Age in Place earlier in life using Universal Design techniques means a family can longer enjoy the home without obstruction. Their relatives, visitors, and children have peace of mind assured the aging loved ones or the chronically ill are safer living at home.

The truth is, with professional help, you can adapt almost any home environment to enable you and everyone else in the family to live within it to the fullest extent safely. The process is not age-related. Disability can strike any family member at any age. The need for greater home accessibilty is the common thread. Universal Design or inclusive design is a design and building pathway that makes homes more accessible to all regardless of their age, mobility, or ability when appropriately used. The design process offers a seamless path for Aging in Place. It addresses the requirements of special needs families or multigenerational situations. Solutions for diverse living conditions are now becoming a possibility.

Regardless of size or ability, people are becoming more familiar with Universal Design and Aging in Place if considering a home remodeling project. Some people use these words interchangeably, but while they are similar, they do differ. Both are specific design techniques used in making a home more comfortable and accessible for individuals of different abilities. Universal Design deals more with customized new dwellings and a proactive remodeling approach for people wanting to Age in Place before any health issues arise. Aging in Place strictly involves remodeling existing homes to accommodate physical needs brought on by sudden health issues in a reactive manner. The costs for both processes represent a beneficial investment in your home for future needs as opposed to merely spending involving aesthetically pleasing remodeling projects.

I came to realize over my building career that including cramped twisting hallways with narrow doorways, bathrooms lacking maneuvering space and usability, kitchens without accessible storage and workspaces, and stepped home entries were repeating home design flaws. The home building industry has always lacked inclusion for all homeowners with their ever-changing needs.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

As a Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) professional (#1636580), I am confident this book, which will hopefully be available toward the end of 2022, will introduce you to a new way of thinking about your home's future. It offers a guide for solving diverse home needs for all people affected by varying physical conditions and aging. I decided to write this book due to many customer requests for a summation of suggestions to improve their home's accessibility, comfort, usefulness, and sustainability and, ideas they could share with others.  I based the information provided on countless past walkthroughs and home assessments. Inside, you can discover room by room the benefits of using the principles of Universal Design and how to incorporate them periodically throughout your living environment at your own pace. I guide you through a home, making suggestions for what will increase your and your family's future accessibility.  You will notice the chapters involving the bathroom and kitchen are pretty extensive. They represent the most important rooms to consider when planning to Age in Place. The most utilized rooms in our homes must accommodate all diverse residents and visitors.

Would you please not allow your home to hold you or your loved ones captive within its walls and enable your home to conform to you and the needs of your family. Please think ahead positively and proactively while preparing for the future. IT JUST MAKES GOOD SENSE.

Home Accessibility Help

#accessiblehomes

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