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

Custom Walk In Shower In Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, May 08, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

     If you have been considering a fine bathroom makeover or remodeling project in Austin there are a few things you should take into consideration.  Bathroom makeovers in Austin, Texas can take on many looks and facets.  The scope of work you choose to accomplish this feat should effectively solve your problems and most importantly, your needs as the home owner.  The identification of these specific needs belongs to you the home owner and is extremely important.  The way your home is structurally altered to accomplish these needs is the job of the professional remodeling contractor.  Universal design and accessibility should be a concern no matter what your age.  If your concerns are not for you,  barring any life changing accident, they could concern the accessibility of another generation's independence is using the restroom.  CAPS professionals in the remodeling industry can help with solutions in solving these Aging In Place issues to increase home access.

custom walk in shwer in Austin

     Just look at the different types of housing represented throughout Austin and the surrounding areas.  Smaller homes, cottages, sprawling historical town homes surrounded by architecturally pleasing fences, rustic ranch homes, "Macmansions", and sleek high rise condominiums are just a few examples of the structures that define Austin's diverse housing landscape. Economic situations along with personal preference formulates where we choose to live in a town with such diversity.  Most people remember how the old style bathtub/shower combination was a standard part of any bathroom design.  Some residential showering areas were enclosed using the multicolored vinyl shower curtain option while others had by-passing or sliding shower doors on silver tracks.  The doors were framed with either chrome or gold colored aluminum matching the sliding tracks.  Modern bathroom designs have become much more sophisticated because the many available bathroom products are easier to be discovered by the homeowner.  There are millions of pictures representing fine bathroom upgrades or bathroom remodeling all across the internet.

Principles Of Universal Design

     Living with a dysfunctional bathroom layout reduces the total feeling of relaxation your master bath is capable of providing.   During those much deserved private moments you long for your bathroom's surroundings to provide both luxury and function.  There isn't adequate lighting for the many daily personal duties like applying makeup.   There needs to be adequate ventilation so you don't always feel as though you are housed in a "sweat box" while getting dressed. The outdated plate mirror extending from your vanity top's splash upward toward the drywall furrdown above has never been a design you thank the world of. You have always disliked that box above housing the poorly illuminating fluorescent tube lamps that are concealed by the yellowing plastic fluorescent light panel.  You are sick and tired of the poor storage facilities inherited when you purchased your home.  The height of the vanity is out of line according to your needs and it is also inadequate for your storage needs.  The existing cabinet layout contains unusable drawers beginning to come off their tracks and the cabinet doors have their own particular issues.  Your cabinets are either too deep to access what they contain or their storage capabilities have been limited by their total improper design.  What were those guys thinking?  What's more the out of fashion ceramic tiles are either partly missing or they are totally the wrong color for the day along with the colors within the rest of the room.  Having improperly working plumbing fixtures that are now also antiquated with their own set of problems is yet another quandary within itself.  The fixtures themselves can also be finished in a color that is long out of style.  So what do you do?

Bathroom Remodeling Austin

     If deleting the tub during a custom tub shower conversion to create a custom walk in shower design is your choice then you have a few options to consider.  Do you wall in two thirds of the width of the old tub placing the new door away from the shower head?   This new wall can be tiled in to match the shower.   Using natural stone or glass tiles will certainly be an upgrade for any Austin bathroom remodel. Do you desire a more expensive frameless door set beside a glass panel?  The enclosed shower can incorporate a couple of shampoo niches for convenience and clutter removal. The designs are limited only by your imagination and how you want the final product to turn out.  Be sure that all your research is justified and don't try to cram too much into your new bathroom remodel.  A good design is one that can come into being with the least time spent on alterations and additional costs.

     If you have the luxury of combining the tub and nearby shower areas into one large custom walk in or accessible handicap shower design your problem will be taking full advantage of the larger spatial situation.  A huge shower area is just that if it isn't efficient at using the new enlarged space. Remember that multiple heads like rain and body sprays require more water volume and this can only be accomplished by re-plumbing the water supply lines increasing their diameters from the 1/2" pipes commonly supplying baths.  Seats can also be incorporated into the design process and must be no taller than eighteen inches high.  Tiled niches recessed into the existing wall studs are a great place for shampoos and body washes.  Corner shelves are a good idea if they are out of the way.  Hooks and hangers for towels and wash cloths must be installed for efficiency and not be in the way of traffic or in a place to harm yourself once your eyes are closed fighting soap invasion.  Glass block designs can be used as a means of obtaining natural light through shower demising walls with individual installations or as a complete splash wall dividing the wet area from the rest of the bathroom.  This type of wall can be either straight or curved according to your preference.

     Redoing or enlarging your existing shower can also give you a feeling of comfort.  You can incorporate any entrance situation from walk in to roll in thresholds and you are only limited by space.  You will still have the feeling of a satisfactory bathroom remodel once everything is clean and new even if your new shower is the same size you started with.  Austin bathroom remodeling should involve multiple shower head combinations in multiple locations within the shower to fit anyone's desires. Rain heads coming out of the ceiling, body sprays coming out of the walls in many locations, or hand held units attached to the shower walls can be very practical.  These combinations of heads and locations can be used to create rain effects, provide relief for muscle aches through body massages, or simply provide pin point convenience with hand held variable heads.  The possibilities are endless as you utilize your bathing environment. 

Tub To Shower Conversions

     Keep in mind that moving plumbing, especially drains, is one of the more expensive aspects of a fine bathroom makeover. It always involves floor demolition.   Changing water supply line placement for new faucet locations is not as difficult as moving drains which rely on gravity flow for function.

Custom Walk In Showers in Austin

     Proper lighting is always an important aspect to be installed during a bathroom remodel.  It can be broken down by task.  Recessed cylindrical can lighting is used today to provide the overall luminescence for the room.  Trims with lenses can be installed above baths and showers by code to brighten darker areas.  Light strips or single wall fixtures can be designed around the new framed beveled mirror that you have chosen.  The choice of bulbs utilized is yours for now at least.  Try using dimmers to control your new lighting creating mood. 

     Ventilation is so important when planning a bathroom upgrade because of the humidity involved.  Too many times a single exhaust fan is installed above the toilet, or what is much worse, in the center of the room.   Heat and humidity naturally rise and will overtake the entire room if given a chance. Today's quiet bathroom exhaust fans should be sized according to the room's air volume.  They should be located above any bathing or showering facility and above the toilet.  Conditioned air along with adequately sized duct work supplied by your central unit will further accentuate a pleasant feeling within the bath.

     Bathroom plumbing fixture choices are numerous to say the least.  Select reputable companies offering the best warranties especially when considering finishes used on control valve trims and the fixtures installed in the project.   Larger walk in shower designs should have seamless fiberglass liners to avoid leaks if the house ever shifts.  Using natural stone or glass tiles while additionally designing in glass blocks will certainly be an upgrade.  As for the new walk in shower design, you can design the space to not need a door for splash protection or you can take the route of a clean looking frameless glass shower enclosure.   This will surely set you back at least $900.  The end result will be a sophisticated  clean look of beauty enclosing your new shower.  Whether the door sits upon a curb or you have a specific need for a curbless wheelchair accessible situation you will be satisfied with your choice.

     Who do you choose to help you with your dream?  It is true that a professional remodeling contractor with years of experience will cost you more than a handyman illegally playing among the trades at your peril but then again there are those professional guarantees to  consider.  The professional verses the handyman is more likely to seek your overall satisfaction that will follow him into his next job.  A true building professional can also orchestrate the job's smooth flow limiting the down time of a most useful room.  Subcontractors will not be covered up and each skilled  trade is brought onto the sight as needed in an orderly fashion.  Professional builders normally have insurance to cover on the job accidents to protect the homeowners from having legal action brought against them personally.  Be sure you ask for a certificate of insurance from your chosen professional contractor so that you aren't held personally liable for medical experiences covering a worker's accident while on your property.

     I tell my customers all the time that one of their main ways of choosing a reputable contractor with a good track record and BBB experience rating is the ability for them to do work with the particular residential building contractor they are interviewing.  Can they communicate easily relying on the contractor's experience and reputation and can they get along throughout the sometimes long and detailed construction process?  Are they compatible as human beings because the only energy that should be spent during the project should be directed toward it's completion.

Glass Block Designs

     After choosing your residential construction contractor you should never pay for everything up front.  Payments should be associated with aspects of the job and you should always get something for your money.  Soft costs like designs, permits, or fees can be paid in advance to get the project rolling plus any custom made entities or materials ordered and stocked on the job sight.  Never let the contractor draw ahead of what is actually happening no matter how much you are caught up in the building process.  Paying for a little overhead to a legitimate construction professional will generally cost more but usually saves you a lot in the long run.  It's not always about the cheapest bid because you'll always get what you pay for. Get every aspect of the job in writing and both you and the chosen residential construction contractor must sign the document for it to be a binding contract.

  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 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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Aging In Place Home Remodeling in Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

    The aging in place maket in the US today is constantly being influenced by the increasing size of the aging population, the market desire to remain in one's home, a constantly increasing cultural diversity, and our aging housing stock associated with it's reduced affordability.  Our aging population is really made up of two prominant age groups formed by the age 65 and over population and the baby boomers who were born between 1946 and 1965.  Together these two groups own over 48% of all the US home inventory today. Aging in place design and the desire to remain in one's home is driven by social attachments via a network of neighbors, friends, and family bring about a new wave of elder construction solutions.  Our cultural diversity assures that the same aging in place tactics for elder living solutions cannot work across the board for all individuals just as an individual's ability to live independently varies from person to person.  With constantly aging housing, costs can be a major barrier in home modification for many residents.  A catch 22 situation can arise when you consider the reduced affordability of another home versus the one that is presently occupied.  In this case the homeowner  must use the equity that has accrued in their home's value in order to make the modifications required.  You will find out in the long run that it's cheaper to remodel your existing home using your accrued assets than it is to buy a new home in today's market and move.

Principles Of Universal Design

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     Aging in place home remodeling in Austin will be completely driven by the homeowner's desire to remain in their home for as long as it is physically possible.  When disability strikes,  that same home you have endeared for at least part of your lifetime can become a prison that presents barriers, frustrations, and perils at every turn.  The lack of any preparation or access upgrades possibly is driven by our youth oriented culture that wants to believe we are all young, bullet proof, and fit and will continue to be so.  Perhaps we believe as a society that accessible bathroom upgrades will decrease our home's property values.  The contrary is the reality.  Just try looking for a barrier free accessible home.  Actually,  don't even bother.  There are none.  Oh yes,  there are retirement communities for the older "active" seniors but the key word here is active having nothing to do with accessibility.  Elder living solutions utilizing universal design provides access to everyone and all generations.

Download Our Free Aging In Place Remodeling Considerations Checklist

     Aging in place services and CAPS certified remodeling in Austin are no different from those in any other city or state within the US.  They are surely needed in virtually every home that I've visited in over 30 years of operating my remodeling business.  Sadly, our archaic methods of architecture have no room for accessibility within the existing aging home inventory. Aging in place remodeling in Austin, Texas must be done by a certified aging in place specialist to benefit from and capture the most accessibility from the remodeler's education and experience.  A successfully trained aging in place remodeler will have several capabilities like the vision and purpose to manage your project, he will have an expertise in construction, he will be skilled in effective communication, he uses time management alongwith his organized skills, and furthermore he will be capable of maintaining a balance and perspective for problem solving throughout your project. 

     There are really 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 which 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 severly 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.

      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.

     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 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.

     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.

Aging In Place Home Modifications

 

Aging in place home modifications in Austin, Texas

 

 

    

    

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Custom Walk In Shower In Austin, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 @ 16:07 PM

     Remodeling your existing master bath to obtain an often dreamed of larger shower doesn't always mean adding square footage to your existing bathroom.  Whether your doing a tub to shower conversion, utilizing the existing uncomfortable tub and shower spaces together, or merely enlarging your existing shower you can reach a more comfortable feeling by changing your existing layout and utilizing your existing bathroom's square footage.  Fine bathroom upgrades usually involve an efficiency of space usage plus getting rid of any unused or abused space like inefficient closets or wasted storage areas.  This situation can be addressed in the  design of your future fine cabinetry.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     A tub to shower conversion for a custom walk in shower can provide easier access helping with mobility issues.   There's no stepping over the side of the tub.  The custom walk in shower in Austin, Texas access can be made into a raised threshold type used in a wheelchair roll in situation that solves accessible ADA issues or it can involve a small 4-6 inch step over a newly formed curb.  Either way the access is located at the greatest distance from the wet wall and within the wall that is perpendicular to the wet wall.  A hand held shower that is clip mounted on an adjustable vertical rod will be sufficient for almost all situations.  A seat may be able to be installed within the perpendicular wall nearest the wet wall if at least a twelve inch offset is available.

Bathroom Upgrades

     If you have the luxury of combining the tub and nearby shower areas into one large custom walk in shower design your problem will be taking full advantage of the larger spatial situation.  A huge shower area is just that if it isn't efficient at using the new enlarged space. Remember that multiple heads like rain and body sprays require more water volume and this can only be accomplished by replumbing the water supply lines increasing their diameters from the 1/2" pipes commonly supplying baths.  Seats can also be incorporated into the design process and must be no taller than eighteen inches high.  Tiled niches recessed into the existing wall studs are a great place for shampoos and body washes.  Corner shelves are a good idea if they are out of the way.  Hooks and hangers for towels and wash cloths must be installed for efficiency and not be in the way of traffic or in a place to harm yourself once your eyes are closed fighting soap invasion.  Glass block designs can be used as a means of obtaining natural light through shower demising walls with individual installations or as a complete splash wall dividing the wet area from the rest of the bathroom.  This type of wall can be either straight or curved according to your preference.

     Redoing or enlarging your existing shower can also give you a feeling of comfort.  You can incorporate any entance situation from walk in to roll in thresholds and you are only limited by space.  You will still have the feeling of a satisfactory bathroom remodel once everything is clean and new even if your new shower is the same size you started with.

     Shower pans are a concern with fiberglass being superior to that of vinyl fabric.  Fiberglass pans usually never fail and must be used in all second story bathroom upgrades.  The fiberglass normally will stay together even if the house settles or the floors buckle.  Any type of metal pan is obsolete and will almost always fail at the corners. 

     A reputable cement impregnated tile backer board is preferable to any green or moisture resistant drywall products.  Lighting issues should be addressed if the use of a solid shower demising wall makes it too dark within the new shower.  This situation can be solved by installing a covered shower can light within the ceiling immediately above the bathing area.  One other concern is humidity and this can be solved by installing a large enough vented outside ceiling exhaust fan just outside and above the shower entrance within the ceiling.  Using glass enclosures is a choice with any design and installing an additional wet trap floor drain within the bathroom just beyond the shower entrance is always an option.

Fine bathroom upgrades and remodeling in Austin, Texas.

Bathroom Upgrades

Glass block shower designs in Austin, Texas

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Custom Shower Designs Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 @ 16:11 PM

 

    The focal point of the master bath suite has shifted in recent years from the whirlpool bath to the totally tricked out custom walk in shower.  Bubble tubs have gotten a bad reputation for the lack of sterilization associated with them.   There is also a concern with the associated link concerning long term lower back and kidney damage. Custom shower designs Austin is slowly doing away with the problem.

    Some people confuse Austin handicap remodeling and aging in place with universal design.  Both are a method to increase accessibility within the home but aging in place strictly deals with an existing home. Aging in place also implies modifying any home for it's older occupants to insure that the inhabitants can safely remain there as long as they possibly can.  This time will expire once they need assisting medically trained help for safeguarding their personal safety in a nursing home or an assisted living environment.  Universal design is just that; offering choices to all of a home's residents no matter their age or physical capabilities.  It begins with a design and then the construction begins.  The number one safety hazard for elderly people is negotiating level changes within the home--steps at the entry, stairs between floors, and curbs to step over when entering the bath or shower.  Eliminating level changes is very difficult in existing homes and almost impossible to do aesthetically and without major compromises, unless there is a major renovation.  The result is that most homeowners decide to sell the house rather than make the modifications.  When universal design is incorporated into their custom walk in shower design, homes can accommodate the needs of their owners as those needs evolve over time.  Custom tub shower conversions make the home safer and more accessible.

Principles Of Universal Design

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 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.

       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

     All new construction for roll in showers or any bathroom upgrade to provide wheelchair accessibility should involve multiple shower head combinations in multiple locations to fit anyone's desires. Rain heads coming out of the ceiling, body heads coming out of the walls in many locations, or hand held units attached to the shower walls can make things very interesting.  These combinations of heads and locations can be used to create rain effects, provide relief for muscle aches through body massages, or simply provide pin point convenience with hand held variable heads.  The possibilities are endless as you dial in your bathing environment.  Steam generators are also being considered as an investment in today's fine bathrooom designs.  The steam  heads can make the difference after a tough day when you're looking for that more therapeutic spa experience. This has certainly led the way to the thermostatic shower valve with plumbed-in hand held shower that is being used specifically in homes today where the owner is planning to retire.

Home Accessibility Help

Roll In Showers

ADA compatible showers

     Dry saunas should also be a consideration to be incorporated into any custom bath suite. The cleansing environment accented with eucalyptus cuttings helps to dry out the sinuses and also adds it's part to the body's total muscle relaxation.  There is probably no better way to completely warm up after coming in from a cold wet winter day.  Always remember to install a floor drain for the days when the sauna must be scrubbed.

A Completely Natural Dry Sauna

dry saunnas in fine bathrooms in austin, texas

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