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

Why Undergo A Home Edit?/Contact T-Square Company In Austin, Texas

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Sep 05, 2023 @ 08:09 AM


Human problems must be solved using correct design changes. The principles of Universal Design solve accessibility issues for the most significant number of people. Special needs children, people who have become seriously injured, people living with a debilitating disease, people with sensory limitations or intellectual limitations, and last but not least, the people who are planning to stay in their homes for as long as possible while Aging in Place all benefit from accessible homes. The need to provide for disabilities during elder construction or home modifications for special needs children empowers us to create environments wherein people can function effectively. As our society evolves away from institutionalized care, editing and making a home more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing for children, older adults, and their visitors benefits the comfort and lifestyle of the entire family. By the way, how are you planning for your future when it concerns editing your existing home which may no longer fit your family's evolving needs?

Increase Your Accessibility

Let's start by defining what is meant by a home edit intended to accentuate an accessible home. First of all, it's main purpose is to increase organizational skills and to reduce clutter which promotes home safety and lifestyle trends. It produces a home that is more visually appealing, efficient, and functional. Going further, the identification and removal of a home's architectural barriers using Universal Design home modifications completes the need for safety and independence promoting a healthy living environment. Forward-thinking homeowners, in turn, experience a better quality of life from the benefits of a home edit. Finally the accessible home stands as the defined course for a Universal Designed home. In these edited accessible homes, performing as a Universal Design contractor, T-Square Company in Austin, Texas identifies a home's architectural barriers and removes them during a design/build remodel to increase safety and independence.  Accessible homes of Austin, or anywhere else for that matter, provide homeowners with a means to stay healthy, independent, and safe. People exhibiting any form of disability can live comfortably as well as fully functional individuals.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist 

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

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design


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

Because everyone ages differently and has different needs and wants over time, a universal solution providing a design for all is needed. The factors that constitute the Aging in Place market for individuals is based on their genetic makeup and lifestyle, including their choices chosen while living and their living environment. These factors have brought about the need for Universal Design. This process is the design of products, services, and environments usable by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability, or situation avoiding future adaptation or specialized alterations. It provides the most significant safety and access for home guests or occupants and is undetectable when done well. Since so few homes share the accessibility offered by Universal Design, to satisfy the needs of a particular household member brought about by an accident, an illness, or simply the aging process, there will always be a need for customized and prudent accessibility features.  A seasoned CAPS-accredited remodeling professional has the ability to accomplish this desire by producing a truly safe and functional design. This same competent design/build home remodeling company that understands and practices Aging in Place home modifications should accomplish the work according to the principles of Universal Design ensuring your family's safety and accessibility. Certified Aging in Place specialists are listed in Washington on the NAHB CAPS website.

Home Accessibility Help

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

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

    




 

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Universal Design and Accessibility/T-Square Company in Austin

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


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

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

Certified Aging In Place Specialist 

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

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design


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

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

Home Accessibility Help

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

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

    




 

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Universal Design For Disabilities/T-Square Company

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

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

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

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

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

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

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

Conquer A Tub To Shower Conversion

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

  

Roll In Showers

Aging In Place Home Modifications

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

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

Home Accessibility Help

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

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Disability Contractors For Special Needs in Austin

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

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

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

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

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

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

Home Accessibility Help

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

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

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

 

ADA Kitchen With Wheelchair Access

Increase Your Accessibility

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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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Universal Bathroom Design

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Wed, Dec 02, 2020 @ 11:12 AM

Including Universal Design ideas when periodically remodeling anywhere within the home and especially in the bathroom means the design personally fits a family for a longer period of time. Universal Design contains the natural ability to adapt with people. Many times, an existing bathroom’s layout is changed regarding fixture arrangement and orientation to increase efficiency. Remodeling an existing bathroom using Universal Design possibly involves changing the wall configuration for a more open feeling. Additional space is needed in the bathroom once caretakers providing assistance are required for aging adults or young children.

wheelchair bathroom design in Austin

Modifying the bathroom following practiced wheelchair accessibility guidelines is a great place to start a Universal Design remodel in any home. The expanded clearances involved create a more comfortable and roomy environment for every family member. Universal Design principles provide access for the users of wheelchairs or walkers including everyone else including children. A functional, well organized, and attractive layout placing the items used in close proximity and within reach of the users meets the needs of most homeowners including children and aging adults. This includes people with limited mobility or impaired reach due to physical or medical conditions. The diversity of all people is accounted for. Therefore, it represents a perfect design concept for multi-generational households. Regarding the current multi-generational living environments there are varying participants of many ages with multiple sizes and abilities within the family group indicating the need for Universal Design’s use throughout the home. A major difference in these special family units is a better probability function and dexterity is negatively affected by a group member. 

Planning for the future involving Universal Design principles is so important with any remodel for both now and in the future. Using Universal Design to remodel a bathroom space increases aesthetics, sustainability, usefulness, and safety while lending itself to privacy in a functional surrounding. Universal Design bathroom accessibility includes opening up the area with a clear five foot diameter in case a wheelchair is needed, adding grab bars or handrails throughout the home (or at least blocking for them for a later time when needed), adding a seat within a roll in shower, lowering upper cabinets and counter tops, providing an accessible comfort height toilet, offering at least one vanity sink with roll under capability, adding non-slip flooring, widening hallways, and widening doors. Privacy, sense of belonging, sense of control, and the feelings of safety and security make up the quality of life for any home and are considered for any successful Universal Design project. The reasons for embracing these ideas go beyond aging and disability. They include being an asset for children, is inviting to visitors, it promotes long term health and wellness, works well for seniors, all this paired with the fact it is smart and invisible. 

Bathroom Remodels

Designing task oriented bathroom fixture locations takes into account their use, placement, or how they make up the bathroom environment. This defines the current way of thinking universally. A clear floor space of 30 by 48 inches is provided for approaching all bathroom fixtures. These areas can overlap one another and the five foot turning radius within the design. Always choose quality plumbing fixtures and fittings easily controlled using a single hand motion or a closed fist. Motion controlled sensor fixtures offering hands free operation are a possibility when specifying fixtures and finishes. Sometimes, the master bath today is one of the busiest rooms in the home. It has the potential of becoming the family bathroom. If young children are a part of the family, bath time transforms the bathroom into a very busy and crowded area. If aging parents are visiting, they also need their time in the bathroom because it is a larger and safer space.  

Wheelchair Accessible Remodeling        

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Accessible Home Builder In Austin

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

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

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

Disability Contractors For Special Needs

home accessibility help in Austin, Texas

 

Home Accessibility Help

 

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

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

 

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

 

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

 

Elder Construction

 

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Handicap Bathroom Vanity In Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Thu, Sep 12, 2019 @ 15:09 PM

     Problems encountered while accessing your home when you are wheelchair bound generally begin before or at the front door.  If you can reach the front porch approach without obstruction then you have a great start since the stairs leading onto the front porch can be another matter all together.  A correctly designed ramp having a 1:12 slope can adequately solve this problem.  The use of grab bars and any railings will be dictated by the ramp's design and the regulations and physical limitations involved.   Once your safely upon the porch, your home's front door width can become an issue.  Any entry door less than three feet in width will cause a problem in maintaining a required 32 inch clear entry way which starts the new accessible route within your home.  Rolling over any vertical threshold height greater than 1/2" is also difficult to maneuver.  Once inside the structure a new set of problems concerning your accessibility will be discovered.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

     A traditional home builder has never truly considered the special needs of the disabled or aging within any home design. Unfortunately the design emphasis is always put on aesthetics and takes for granted everyone's mobility.  There certainly are no guarantees or clauses within any home's sales contract that will prevent our future personal life experiences from  introducing us to at least a temporary disability.  Accidents will always happen and you could find yourself having to utilize a wheelchair or walker to facilitate your independence for mobility.  Limitations in our mobility or constantly changing needs experienced by both the disabled and the elderly have sprung a new dimension in construction known as ADA remodeling to accomplish increased accessibility.  Our homes have always been exempt from any and all of the accessibility regulations that have been put in place since 1968 when our Viet Nam veterans were returning home. The new evolving concept known as Universal Design for home remodeling is catching on nation wide and has been for several years as a sign of the times.  Universal design techniques used in building makes a home more accessible to all regardless of their mobility or adaptive abilities. The realization that handicap bathrooms are needed by everyone regardless of age. An evolution of new products used for disability home modifications is making those homes more accessible and has finally come about in the remodeling industry.  These new advances in accessible home remodeling in Austin not only keep the living environments safer but will not compromise the home's aesthetics. 

Home Accessibility Help

     An accessible bathroom for the user's convenience and safety becomes the first issue for anyone using a wheelchair or walker for either a short time while recovering or for the rest of their life.  The disability access bathroom will be located within the home's accessible route.  Any architectural barriers encountered while approaching the bathroom entrance will need to be removed.  The minimum clear widths have to be observed.  This will include the bathroom door itself.  Twenty four to twenty eight inch wide doors are commonly used during the construction of American homes for accessing the bathroom.  However, anything below three feet does not meet the 32 inch required clear width needed for clearance of a wheelchair. This work may involve framing alterations and moving light switches.  The electrical changes should be done by a licensed electrician assuring your safety.

     A completely serviceable special needs bathroom must contain at least one ADA vanity and the accessible route must be defined.   The vanity must be one with a clear underneath scald protected area having an unobstructed roll under capability for wheelchairs.  These new residential vanities do not need to look institutional.  They can be designed like any other piece of fine furniture.  A five foot turning radius allowing the wheelchair to maneuver into any approach must also be associated with the ADA vanity.  A 36x48" clear approach area to the vanity must be observed and this can overlap the five foot turning radius.  The area of travel will then be enhanced by an unobstructed clear accessible barrier free route dedicated to reaching the vanity. 

Handicap bathroom vanity in Austin

     Bathroom cabinets in Austin vary by style and usability.  There are basically two styles of ADA bathroom vanities that comply with an unobstructed 27" tall roll under area below the sink.  ADA sinks with a rear drain location provide for better plumbing drain hook ups.  This modification has everything to do with both the water supply lines and the waste line connecting the sink.  There must be provisions made to protect the user from being scalded when coming into contact with any one of the plumbing pipes serving the sink.  These connecting pipes may become heated merely by the water passing through them creating the problem.  The open type model should always receive both waste and supply insulating jackets applied directly to the pipes providing protection for the wheelchair user.  The closed model concealing the pipes will be equipped with a removable face or face board covering the pipes.  This pipe concealing panel must be installed at the correct wheelchair user clearance angle.  This allows for the needed unobstructed legroom required for the  user.  The vanity can extend beyond the sink but the area containing the sink is required to have this roll under capability.  This section of the vanity top must not be any taller than 34 inches above the finished floor with sufficient lower leg clearance.  Clear unobstructed reach distances around the counter top area must be observed.  Any motion controlled sensors integrated into the various dispensing devices and/or plumbing fixtures throughout the restroom present a true hands free benefit to all the restroom users.  If these aren't in the budget then at least wrist handles used for controlling the faucet can be incorporated into the design of the vanity.  Furthermore, automatic flush valves should be used on all toilets and urinals that provide for hands free use.

Fine Cabinetry

ADA Bathroom Cabinets

     Finding a contractor familiar with the guidelines of accessibility can be quite difficult. Be sure to check out the credentials of any potential bidders you contact.  Be sure they understand that the alterations you are seeking are for wheel chair accessible home remodeling and modifications.  Furthermore be sure this person knows and practices both the federal and most importantly your state's requirements before entering into any contract.

     Aging in place home modifications are available through T-Square Company. We are a certified aging in place specialist.  Each design/build situation will be customized to fit your personal needs. 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

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

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Austin, Texas Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Thu, Sep 12, 2019 @ 14:09 PM

    Designing for specific physical conditions during a handicap retrofit will lessen the impact of say arthritis, restricted mobility, or loss of vision by using combinations of products, concepts, and techniques available today. Working as a team, a trained CAPS specialist along with any family caretakers or therapists is able to identify the day to day problems weighing on those with health limitations. If you are considering an aging in place remodel for your home don't just contact any local remodeler in your area and expect a satisfactory accessible home modification.  A professional design/build accessibility project can only be created for your specific needs by a qualified home remodeler having a nationally accepted CAPS (Certified Aging In Place Specialist) certification.  This credential is backed by the NAHB.  Only a CAPS  home remodeler possesses the specific knowledge that will insure a successful outcome for your accessibility or aging in place project and what's more, keep you in your home longer.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

 

handicap bathroom design in Austin

 Conquer A Tub To Shower Conversion

    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.

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

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

    The threshold is the most dangerous component for any ADA compatible shower. Not only is it impossible to overcome in a wheelchair but it isn't safe for those who are vision impaired or those with mobility issues. Curbless roll in showers that are 5 feet wide and 3 feet deep having a 36" clear entrance are advised for everyone.  Low threshold shower bases with add on ramps can solve the shower entry problem when the floor cannot be lowered to form a true contoured roll in slope. The accessible shower should contain at least a shower wand on a sliding bar for varying heights of use along with a regular shower head and control if desired.  Installing fixtures with a scald guard or lowering the temperature at the water heater is a must to prevent burns.  Install the slider bar for the hand held shower hose and head 4 feet off the floor so that the head can slide up to 6 feet high. Always use a shower valve installed below or at 48" from the finished floor that is thermostatically controlled and pressure-balanced to prevent scalds. If you desire a full body wash, you can include a regular shower head as well. Always choose fixtures and fittings that are easy to control with a single hand motion or a closed fist. Motion controlled sensor fixtures are also a possibility when specifying fixtures and finishes. Built-in shower seats provide comfort and safety but can sometimes get in the way of accessibility. Folding seats are an option in the shower and are useful if caretakers are ever involved or a shower chair is ever required. These seats are much safer than a free standing shower seat which can collapse and cause a fall. Recessed shampoo niches located 48" above the floor help keep shower floors or seats free of trip hazards. Grab bars around the bath and especially on each wall in the shower installed at 34-36" above the floor should be used. All grab bars must be secured into either adequate wood blocking or existing wall studs so they can hold at least 250 pounds of downward force. Non slip floor covering should always be considered with a 0.5 friction coefficient rating. Enclosures can vary by the accessibility needed by all and can be everything from an out-swinging frame-less door to just a simple glass splash panel or even a curtain on a curved rod.  Walk in tubs are also a consideration but some people get chilled while the tub is draining.

Improve Handicap Accessibility

     Austin handicap remodeling,  aging in place home modifications, and ADA Accessible kitchens are available through T-Square Company. Each design/build handicap accessibility situation will be customized to fit your personal needs. 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

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What Is Universal Design?

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Tue, Aug 27, 2019 @ 14:08 PM

    Universal design refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities and people with disabilities. Universal Design adaptations have a broad market appeal to everyone for achieving ease of use, safety, and convenience accommodating a certain reality. The reality is that all people exist along a continuum of human performance as per their personal traits and characteristics regardless of their age. A universal approach to design takes into account that everyone has varying degrees of ability and disability rather than someone is either fully-functional or disabled. A universal design approach is appealing to all users no matter their age, size, or physical well being. Universal Design is important because our current design standards for housing do not address the design needs of more than one third of our population.  Too often the designers of homes allow the built environment to define the capabilities of the resident.  Universal Design allows for our antiquated architecture to be defined by both our changing human needs and abilities.

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

     There are seven criteria or principles which must be met to be considered a universal design no matter which area of the home you are referring to. Any design must be equally useful to everyone, have flexibility in it's usefulness, be simple and intuitive, be perceived by everyone, have a tolerance for error, require little physical effort, and it must maintain an adequate area for approach and use. Any complexity or discriminating attribute to a design will doom it in terms of  being considered universal in nature. However what better way can you improve on a home's total visitability by everyone? Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

 

Bathroom Using Universal Design Techniques

     Whether you refer to this revolution in housing today as accessible design, inclusive design, or universal design it is all about making a home safe, attractive, and easy to use for all of the inhabitants. It has nothing to do with the age, agility, or status of life for anyone living within the home. The main intent of this way of thinking is to be sure the inhabitants are able to enjoy their home throughout their entire lifetime utilizing the universal design principles which have been designed into their home when it was built. This way aging in place can be accomplished without the expense and hassle of having to make periodic changes to the home to meet a person's ever changing physical needs. You can plan for all stages of your life cycle with some fore thought which, once discovered, you find is just common sense. Even if you are in perfect health you can be disrupted by a minor mishap. A more serious injury can change things forever when you no longer have all your abilities.

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

     Home 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 and safety of another generation's independence. As we age, our society is beginning to realize that our homes need to accommodate future life changes. The aging in place phenomena deals with home modifications to existing homes while a universal design home would hardly ever need to address these abrupt issues even though we cannot solve all the future issues for everyone. Everyone ages differently and has their own list of specific needs.

Universal Design Techniques

     A sensible checklist for a home concerning Universal Design would include but is not limited to:

1. Limiting stairs while avoiding sunken rooms or multi-story floor plans with raised entrances

2. Automating lighting while controlling groups of lighting throughout the home

3. Including natural lighting through doors, windows, and skylights

4. Using multiple shower heads in the shower with rain, conventional and hand held units

5. Incorporate curbless showers into the design of your bathroom for ease of entering no matter if a wheelchair is ever involved

6. When deciding on your faucets, door handles, or cabinet pulls always pass the closed fist test for operation

7. Use nonslip flooring especially in wet areas using cork or smaller floor tiles which in turn increase the grout lines

8. Create a correct kitchen work area with the shortest distance between the stove, sink, and refrigerator as possible

9. Provide accessible lower storage in base cabinets storing the most used items on pull out shelving or in drawers

10. Lower your upper cabinets to 15" above your 34" universal cabinet top

11. Leave at least 42" between your cabinets when 48" is much better

12. Have multiple height cabinet tops to double as work surfaces for those who are seated or other little helpers in the kitchen

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

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

CAPS 1636580

Certified Aging In Place Specialist

 

 

 

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