Millions of Americans are living longer and have more active lives. While this group is embracing newly found and changing lifestyles, a need to revitalize their home environments has come about. Identifying this major opportunity while developing the skills to interact with those needful homeowners has created a new type of elder remodeling. A certified aging-in-place specialist or CAPS home remodeler has completed the coursework and training in how to help keep existing homeowners in their homes longer. They will be listed in a national directory compiled by the NAHB in Washington. The CAPS certificate holders act as ADA Contractors utilizing the ADA published rules. Their final accessible designs involve the ADA handbook as a guide but are not strictly held to all the ADA standards and regulations because they are funded with private monies. However, accessible CAPS designs are customized around the client's abilities.
The National Association of Home Builders, in partnership with the AARP and Home Innovation Research Labs, created the CAPS program, which includes training and education on the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential to compete in the fastest-growing segment of the residential remodeling industry--home modifications for aging in place and ADA accessibility in Austin, Texas. David L. Traut, CAPS the owner of T-Square Company in Austin, Texas is one of the select group of professionals nationwide to earn the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation, identifying him as a home remodeler and builder with the skills and knowledge necessary to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled owners, or their visitors. T-Square Company is an ADA contractor in Austin, Texas abiding by the published ADA rules for their extremely disabled clients.
There are three categories of aging-in-place customers. Those who are simply and wisely planning ahead for their futures to remain in their present homes. The second category concerns those people who know they have a chronic medical disorder and need to prepare in advance for accessibility issues that will come as a result of their disease. People with diseases that are constantly causing increased physical or mental changes to their being are a good representative of this second group. The third group involves those people who either have had a chronic problem that has progressed severely altering their mobility or those who have sustained a life-altering tragedy such as being involved in an accident. All of these groups will drive the future metamorphosis of existing inaccessible dwellings requiring bathrooms with disability access. The goal of an Austin ADA compliant remodel or an accessible bathroom design is to make the bathroom a safe space for everyone who uses the facilities. Aging in place services use design techniques to accommodate wheelchair users and can make the bathroom more comfortable for all generations with or without specific needs. It is important to carefully outline the scope of work during the remodeling of an accessible bathroom by first taking inventory of the user's capabilities, needs, and preferences. All disability home remodeling or disability bath remodels in Austin must be done considering all the data provided by the client, his or her family, and any caretakers involved. CAPS certified remodeling and aging in place design must be carried out by aging in place specialists and residential remodeling professionals.
Many people find themselves needing accessible homes for themselves or family members. There are approximately 30 million Americans using wheelchairs and the number of people who need accessible homes will continue to increase as disabled and aging people are finding more ways to remain living in their homes. One important way to increase independent living is making a home accessible to any individual personal needs. Home modifications can increase safety, accessibility, and independence for people who want to live independently.
The three main rooms involved in aging in place home modifications are the bathroom, the kitchen, and the family room in that order. These areas make up the most occupied spaces of any home and will be connected by a designated accessible route. Here we will need access through wider doorways, non-slip floor surfaces, and adequate cabinet and plumbing fixture accessibility. What is more important is that we must observe safety for everyone as the baby boomers choose to age in place within their homes. Just remember one thing and dispel any myth that aging in place construction and remodeling must appear institutional or out of the ordinary. When the work is done with style and taste it will only compliment the home.
An accessible bathroom should try to maintain a five-foot turning radius for wheelchair use if at all possible. Have your plumbing facilities brought into compliance to enable freedom and safety. The use of grab bars within the tub or shower and around the toilet can be very helpful in ensuring your safety for maneuverability. These should be installed at 34 inches above the finished floor to safeguard your use of them. Having roll under capability for the new 34" high vanity can be very helpful while you are in the wheelchair. Exact clearances of 27" high and 32" in width should be complied with underneath the vanity. The proper safety equipment should be installed on the plumbing pipes that don't allow scalding of your legs. The toilet may need to be replaced providing a comfort level height that is around 18" in height for easier access. The tub or shower may need to be altered to become only a shower with roll-in or possibly transfer capabilities. All of these changes must be done along with the ADA guidelines for your safety.
The door width requirement of 32" or more will be true for any room in the house if you are to enter them barrier-free. The kitchen, your bedroom, and any other rooms you require accessibility to enter could be affected. Even the closet door within your bedroom will need to be wide enough so that you can manage to get your clothes to dress. Any other bedrooms that you may need to enter with your wheelchair will also need alterations.
The accessible kitchen is another story altogether. You will need the roll-under capability as mentioned above at the kitchen sink, cooktop, or food prep area. Upper kitchen cabinet heights become an issue and require pull-down mechanisms for better access. Multiple height worksurfaces between 28 and 34 inches offer flexibility to all users. No matter what you end up doing, make sure to hire an experienced building professional who understands the ADA guidelines for your well-being. Contact T-Square Company at 512-444-0097 today for all your newly discovered accessibility needs.