Could your Pittsburgh home use a safety update? After living in your home for years, it’s easy to become blind to hazards. Unfortunately, overlooking potential safety issues can lead to serious falls and injuries. A home remodel can eliminate common hazards and will also allow you to remain in your home as you grow older. Including a few of these projects in your renovation plan is a simple way to avoid disaster.
Install or Secure Railings
Railing-less staircases certainly look dramatic when they’re featured on home makeover websites and shows, but they’re not exactly the safest option. No matter how careful you are, falls can occur easily on staircases. When they do, injuries can be severe because you can’t steady yourself by holding on to the railing. Problems can also occur if existing railings are wobbly. Fortunately, these issues are easy to address during your home renovation.
Replace Carpets with Hardwood or Other Flooring Options
Carpets trap odors and allergens and present tripping hazards if they’re not securely attached. Replacing carpeting with hardwood, tile or laminate flooring will improve the appearance of your home and make it safer. Thanks to technological advancements in flooring production, you can find tile or laminate flooring that closely resembles natural wood. The flooring is a good choice for areas of home that may be a little wet, such as bathrooms, basements and laundry rooms.
Low lighting or insufficient light fixtures can be a factor in falls, particularly as you grow older. In fact, three million older people receive emergency treatment every year for falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your home renovation contractor can install additional lighting fixtures and inconspicuous lights that illuminate the path to the bathroom or kitchen at night. Is your home dark even during the day? Larger windows or skylights will increase natural light and visibility.
Add Features That Make Aging in Place Easier
If you’re like the 71 percent of Americans who want to age in place, it makes sense to modify your home to make your goal possible. Your home remodeling contractor can add these safety features to your Pittsburgh remodel:
- Bathroom Features: Curbless showers eliminate the lip on the floor, allowing you to easily walk or roll into your shower. Other bathroom features to consider include a shower seat, motion-activated faucets, adjustable shower heads, grab bars, taller toilets and non-slip flooring.
- First-Floor Master Suite: If mobility ever becomes an issue, you’ll be glad you added a bedroom and bathroom to the first floor.
- Wider Hallways and Doorways: Widening hallways and doorways provides ample room for a wheelchair.
- A Stair-less Entry: The National Association of Home Builders recommends adding at least one covered, no-step entryway into the home. If your lot is hilly, your Pittsburgh remodeling contractor can create an attractive ramp that doesn’t look out of place.
- Changes to Switches and Handles: Lever-style handles and light switches that can be operated with the slightest amount of pressure will make life easier if your manual dexterity declines.
The Master Remodelers design/build team can help you improve the safety of your home. Contact us to discuss your home remodeling and renovation plans.
CDC: Important Facts About Falls
AARP: Livable Communities Baby Boomer Facts and Figures
NAHB: Aging-In-Place Remodeling Checklist