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Moen Garbage Disposal Winners!

Congratulations to our three giveaway winners! Each winner received a Moen GXL1000c Garbage Disposal and Mountain Plumbing Air Switch. Thank you for participating in our event – we’re glad we could help you get your kitchen ready for the Holidays!

Toilet Buying Guide

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Tired of your old, leaky, water guzzling toilet? If you’re in the market for a new one, there are a lot of options to consider.

Bowl Height:
The distance from the floor to the top of the toilet bowl rim makes a big difference. The trend is to buy taller 16-18” ADA compliant or “comfort height” toilets. Other options include the standard 14-15” height and a low 10-14” child height.

One or Two-Pieces:
Two-piece toilets have a separate tank pieces and bowl pieces. Although they are most common and less expensive, they are more difficult to clean. One-Piece toilets are smooth and easy to clean, but come with a higher price and are quite heavy. While we’re talking about easy-to-clean toilets, think about purchasing a “skirted” one which has an easy-to-clean smooth base instead of the usual visible squiggly pipe which can collect dust and grime. Below is an image of a one-piece skirted toilet.

Color:
We suggest sticking to a white or off-white toilet so you can find replacement parts easily, and your toilet will stay in style for years to come.

Flush Handle:
Most toilets place the flush-handle on the left side of the tank. If your toilet will be up against a wall, make sure there is enough room to reach the flush handle. If this could be an issue, purchase a toilet with the handle on the opposite side or on the top of the tank.

Rough-In:
Make sure to measure the distance from the wall to the flange bolts on the base. Commonly, toilets are twelve inches, but they can vary. If you purchase a toilet with a larger rough-in distance than your previous toilet, you will have problems.

Bowl Shape:
Elongated bowls are replacing round bowls in most homes. They are much more comfortable and hygienic for adult use. Yet, elongated bowls can be problematic in small bathrooms. The extra length can get in the way of cabinet drawers and doors. If you are considering replacing your round toilet, make sure you have at least two inches of extra room at the front of the bowl to spare.

Toilet Seat:
Most toilets do not come with a toilet seat because there are too many options available! The most important feature to focus on is whether you need an elongated or round seat depending on the bowl shape. After that, the options are endless. Choose a traditional seat, slow close, night lighted, heated, potty seat, or washlet! Each option comes with benefits depending on your preferences.

Efficiency:
Most new toilets come with an energy-efficient rating. Your old toilet you are replacing can flush up to 5 gallons with each use. Modern, efficient toilets use as little as 1.6 gallons, saving you hundreds of gallons of water and saving on your water bill each year.

While you’re at the store…
You will also need a few items for installation. A new wax seal, new water supply line, and some tools to put it together – an open-ended wrench, screwdriver, rag, gloves, and garbage bag.

Bringing Technology Into The Bathroom

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In a world of smart homes and smart cars, it’s time to introduce the smart shower! The U by Moen fully integrates the power of technology with the experience of a rejuvenating shower.

Customization

Instead of controlling your shower temperature and spray pattern with handles or knobs, a small digital control panel is placed in your shower that can be set to a specific temperature, time limit, and pre-set. For example, if you prefer a hot shower in the morning and a cooler one after a workout, you can set it so.

Cleaning

The absence of levers and knobs makes shower cleaning a breeze and leaves your shower looking less cluttered.

Cost Efficient

The water-saving abilities are abundant with the U shower. Too often users turn on the shower, get distracted, and forget the shower is running while gallons of clean fresh water pour down the drain.  The pause function not only saves water for the environment, but also saves you money on your water bill. You may also save water by programming the timer function. Reduce your water usage by setting a 5-minute shower limit. For each 5-minutes the shower is running, approximately 12 gallons go down the drain.  By limiting, or simply being conscious of your time spent in the shower, you can drastically reduce your water bill.

Connectivity

By connecting your smartphone to the U by Moen, you can start the shower from anywhere in your home. When the water temperature meets the programmed setting, it will pause the water and let you know that your shower is ready to go!

With all of the technological advances in kitchens and bathrooms, the U by Moen will be welcomed along with touch and motion faucets, electric mirrors, washlet toilet seats, and more! Find and experience all of these items in Handy Man’s showroom!

 

As seen on Keloland.com

 

Bathroom Modifications: Following ADA Guidelines

More and more people are building their homes and remodeling existing homes following guidelines from the American Disabilities Act (ADA). While you might not have someone in your family with a disability, you might consider future uses of your space, or that of an elder who might need some basic modifications to help keep them in their home.

The bathroom is the room in the house that can present some of the biggest challenges. From washlet bidet toilet seats to safety handrails, there are many options to make a bathroom more accessible. Here are some things to consider whether you’re building a new home or modifying an existing one. You might also be looking to help a parent who wishes to stay in their own home, but needs some basic modifications for safety and convenience.

Consider comfort height toilets to avoid having to bend knees too far. A grab bar and toilet paper holder-in-one can provide great convenience. It can be mounted at any height you’d like. You can also install a safety hand bar that comes down on either side of the toilet for support. It’s simply mounted on the wall behind the toilet, providing stability and support while on the toilet.

When it comes to the shower, consider installing a bench or seat for stability. Also look at the curb of the shower. There are many options available. You might consider a low profile curb to avoid a tripping hazard, making it much easier to get in and out of the shower safely.

If you prefer a bathtub, but have difficulty climbing in and out, consider a walk-in bathtub with a door for access. This option makes it much easier to get in and out of the bath. These tub systems come with a special valve to allow for a faster fill-up time and a larger drain allowing the water to drain quickly when you are finished.

Whether you’re looking to add modifications for your own convenience, or someone else, be sure to consult with an expert to find out what options will work best and follow ADA guidelines. From simple fixes to complete remodels, there are many modifications that can make all the difference when it comes to safety for your loved ones in one of the most used spaces of your home.

 

As seen in The Hood Magazine October 2017

Bathroom Hacks for Germaphobes

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Germaphobes unite! The bathroom tends to be a breeding place for germs – but it doesn’t have to be. We have compiled a handful of helpful bathroom hacks to keep you and your bathroom clean and bacteria-free.

 

First, let’s focus on the dirtiest place – the toilet. In recent years there have been a ton of advances in technology, and the toilet was not left out. These changes have made toilets cleaner.  Consider purchasing a one-piece skirted toilet which has a smooth base instead of the visible curvy trapway seen on traditional toilets. They are much easier to clean and do not gather as much grime. If you prefer a two-piece toilet, make sure the toilet you buy has a sanitary bar which prevents liquids from accumulating under the tank. Take the toilet one step further and get a wall-mounted toilet. Cleaning the floor is a breeze since you don’t need to worry about cleaning around and behind the porcelain throne. If the flusher grosses you out, install a touchless flush. These easy-to-install mechanisms are fairly universal and work on most toilets. Once installed, all you need to do is wave your hand over a spot above the tank to flush. Bidets (personal cleansing systems) are slowly making their way to the United States – and for a good reason. They are incredibly hygienic and although full systems can cost up to $1,000, simple washlet seats can be found for under $100.

 

 

The most visible grime can be found on the vanity and sink. Like the toilet, consider installing a wall-mounted vanity. The floor is much easier to clean when there aren’t corners to sweep around. You can also purchase a wall-mounted faucet as well. The perfect combination is a wall-mounted vanity, wall-mounted faucet, and a single-piece Onyx vanity top. Instead of a countertop with a separate sink, it is one seamless piece. This makes cleaning a breeze. When the faucet is mounted, you can simply wipe down the whole countertop and sink in one smooth move. If you don’t like the look of a wall-mounted faucet, another germ-free option is to install a Delta Touch faucet. You can simply tap the faucet with your forearm to turn on the water and not have to touch the handles.

 

 

The most difficult-to-clean object in the bathroom is the shower. Grout lines between tiles are quick to collect mold and mildew. Remove them completely with a grout-free Onyx shower. The single piece base and walls are easy to wipe down without scrubbing. If you still are using a shower curtain, consider replacing it with glass doors. Curtains collect mildew and shower scum while doors are easy to wipe down after each shower. Even better, design a doorless shower. These are cleverly located showers with the showerhead facing away from the entrance so you don’t even need a door.

 

 

Imagine the time you will save with an easy-to-clean bathroom! Consider making a few of these changes to your home. At Handy Man, we’ll walk you through it!

 

The Colorful Benefits of Chromatherapy

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For thousands of years, people have used colors to heal. Stained glass is rumored to have been invented in churches to heal the sick. In recent years, hundreds of studies have been performed on the affect of color on moods and temperaments. For instance, restaurants are most often associated with the color red (it makes people feel hungry); and blue is common in office buildings (it is the most loved color, therefore calming a majority of people).

Many bath products we carry have an option to include Chromatherapy. Chromatherapy is a lighting system that uses the powers of color and light to let your mind and body become relaxed or energized during a warm bath or shower. Many of our tubs and shower heads now come with colorful LED lights in them. There are generally 6 or more color options that can be chosen by a remote or control panel.

There’s a color cure to every feeling that is distressing you!

  • Red light can energize you. Use this color in the morning when you are getting ready for a big game or important presentation at work.
  • Purple is a sleep-inducing color – great for the kids’ nighttime baths.
  • Blue light has been known to be calming and reduce stress.
  • Green light is associated with growth and balance. Select green when you are in need of a little “me time” to regroup and set goals.
  • Orange is a warm and optimistic color. It increases energy and rejuvenates the body and soul.
  • Our final color is refreshing white. A bright white light is great for cleansing the body. The clean color will leave you feeling fresh and new.

If you are interested in bringing chromotherapy to your bathroom, stop by Handy Man to find a wide array of products to suit your every need. We’ll walk you through it!

Designing a Home for All Ages

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When it comes to building or remodeling your home, did you know there are ways to make your home accommodating for all ages? Universal design provides an accessible space regardless of abilities or disabilities and it will suit your family and guests for many years to come.

 

In the Bathroom:

  • Consider a low threshold shower. Easy access into the shower will work well for a child and an adult, or even a visiting grandparent using a walker or cane.
  • Comfort-height toilets are becoming common in bathroom designs. The extra inch or two make them accommodating for all ages and abilities.
  • Grab bars are a basic safety tool for kids and adults. There are many options to choose from to match your bathroom décor. They’ll provide years of safety at the entrance of tubs, showers and near the toilet.

 

In the Kitchen:

  • Touchless faucets are becoming the latest trend in kitchen design. They’re ideal for those with strength and hand control issues. They also work well when it comes to eliminating germs with little ones.
  • Apron sinks aren’t just stylish, but they considerably reduce back pain while washing dishes. Removing the few inches of countertop between your body and the sink makes it more ergonomic for both young and old users.
  • Accessing those lower cabinet shelves can also be a challenge. Consider adding sliding shelves on the bottom and middle of cabinets to gain better access.

 

In the Entryway:

  • Look at your door handles. Did you know lever door handles are better for people with hand strength issues? They also work great when your hands are full and you need to open the door.
  • Just like your shower, you might consider looking at no threshold entries. These types of entryways are great to accommodate elderly guests or even young families with strollers.

 

Is your Home Smart?

  • Lights with motion sensors not only save energy, they also operate without the need to turn them on. Gone will be the days of tripping over objects in the dark searching for a switch!
  • There are also many home automation devices coming on the market, making it easy to heat and cool your home and even enjoy different technologies all through voice command, or through your phone.

 

As technology advances, think of ways you can incorporate new ideas into your home design that will be enjoyed by family members and guests for decades to come.

 

Handy Man is the Kitchen and Bath Expert for Sioux Falls’s ‘Hood Magazine. Check out our article in the “Home” section of every issue of Hood Magazine.

Congratulations 2017 Ugly Bath Winners!

We want to thank everyone who participated in our 2nd Annual Ugly Bathroom Contest this year! We had three excellent winners – Doug, Alyssa, and Kenette, who entered, gathered votes, and came away as winners! We love having the opportunity to help others create a safer and more functional bathroom for their family!


Our $2,000 grand prize winner, Doug, submitted this entry into our contest:

We have a family of 5 using this tiny bathroom.  We removed the tile from the wall but the glue is so thick we cannot easily cover it.  It would be great to redo the walls and add a bathtub for my children.  At this time we only have a shower.  The vanity is small and out of date and blocks the door from opening all the way. There are three medicine cabinets probably because there is no storage in the bathroom. There is an outdated electric heater, that doesn’t work, built into the wall. Finally there is an odd feature above the sink which looks like a pot-filling faucet for a kitchen.

We’d love to win this contest to do the necessary work to make this small space functional for our family!

 

 

 


The 2nd place winner, Alyssa, received $500 to help her update her bathroom.

Linoleum walls, leaking shower, ancient cracked toilet, obscenely tiny sink, and a space barely big enough to sit down in. This bathroom needs some major help! I’ve been saving up to redo this bathroom since I moved into my house 2 years ago but have been hit with a lot of unforeseen costs (surgery for me, surgery for my dog, broken sewer main, etc) that have taken away the bulk of my savings for this project. Being on a single income as a first time homeowner of an older home, it’s been difficult making all the necessary repairs and fixing up this bathroom would be an incredible blessing. In its current state it’s barely usable and you can’t even sit down without hitting your legs on either the sink or the linoleum wall. Not to mention (and not visible in the picture) the outside is covered by cheap plastic paneling with the plumbing pipes sticking out of all the walls. The shower is stained and leaks from the bottom, the toilet is huge and the tank is cracked, and the sink is so tiny it’s nearly impossible to even wash your hands. The concrete floor is stained and the linoleum ceiling is falling down and yellow with cigarette smoke. This bathroom needs help, and any help I can get in making it usable would be so much appreciated!


Kenette took home our 3rd place prize of $250!

This bathroom is original to the house. The previous owner installed laminate flooring which has rotted due to old toilet overflowing. Some of the flooring has been ripped out due to stink and rotting mold. The tiles on the wall are plastic and falling off. The wall around the tub is rotted as well. I would really like a shower/tub in place of old tub. I have replaced toilet but had to. It was so embarrassing to have guests hold plunger after going. The toilet would do 1 of 3 things. 1. Flush as normal.  2. Flush but not go down & had to plunger it down. 3. Overflow to where you had to plunge.

Sink water has been shut off due to major leaks. Pipes underneath need replaced. I have had shutoff installed shortly after moving in. There was none & found out the hard way when toilet would not stop running.

I would really like to win this. I have lived with a not so functioning bathroom for almost 10 yrs. 3 of those yrs you could not use the toilet. Had to go to the basement toilet. Forget showers, only baths.

 

 

 

Buying the Right Medicine Cabinet

Medicine Cabinets

Remember those old-fashioned white medicine cabinets you likely grew up seeing in your grandparent’s home? Believe it, or not, medicine cabinets are still a thing. In fact, they have improved significantly over the years to meet many different needs.

Here are some things to consider before updating or installing a new medicine cabinet.

  1. The type of medicine cabinet and shape you choose will depend on how you plan to install it. If you have a recessed cabinet and want to replace it, then installing another one that fits in the old cabinet’s cutout is simple. If you want a larger size, you’ll have to change your plan a bit. The most important thing to do is plan and measure carefully before you buy.
  2. You’ll also want to consider the finish of the cabinet. You’ll want to make sure it meets your functional needs and that it matches the rest of your décor. Make this decision based on how you’ll use your cabinet and who will use it. For example, if you have children, you might opt for a finish that doesn’t show fingerprints as easily.
  3. What style of door do you prefer on your cabinet? Do you want it to match the rest of the cupboards in your bathroom? If so, you’ll need to take that into consideration before placing it. If you want the medicine cabinet to go over the sink, you’ll most likely choose a mirrored option. If it’s off to the side on its own, make sure the cabinet matches the rest of your décor.
  4. You’ll also want to consider the doors on the cabinet. Swing doors are very common, however the larger you go, the more room you need to allow for the door to wing. If you have a small bathroom, you might want to consider one with two smaller doors rather than one large one. Some designs also have mirrors on the inside of the cabinet door, so you can still use the mirror while the door is open.

No matter which medicine cabinet you choose, make sure you don’t rush your decision. You’ll want to decide on something you know is going to last and will serve your needs for many years to come.

As seen on the Hood Magazine June/July 2017

Farm Sinks: More Than Just Style

If you are updating your kitchen and looking for a statement piece, consider adding an farmhouse sink (also known as an apron sink). In the last few years, farm sinks have become popular in kitchen remodels. Not only are they extremely functional, but they also serve as a focus piece. Coming in multiple colors, there’s an option for every kitchen.

 

In the 1800s and 1900s, farmhouse sinks were found in many rural homes where women spent their days cooking and cleaning for their large families. These sinks were incredibly fitting for their needs. The design of the deep basin made it easy to wash large pots and pans and perform other duties on the farm. In the mid-1900s people moved to the smaller and divided kitchen sinks. Now, the apron front sink is making a come-back in modern kitchens.
Ergonomically, the farmhouse sink is superior to traditional drop-in sinks. By bringing your body closer to the basin, you don’t have to bend over as much to reach the dishes. This design prevents aching backs and is noticeably more comfortable for all who use it.

 

One of the greatest benefits to an apron front sink is the ease of washing large pans. Most people have a dishwasher in their kitchen, so they do not have many dishes to do on a daily basis. The single large basin works well for them because the only things they hand-wash are large pots and pans. These pans fit extremely well in the large sink and will be clean in no time!

 

Along with the benefits of easy cleaning, back relief and style, the apron sink will last you a lifetime! Consider the elements of a timeless design in your kitchen remodel and pick up the perfect piece for your home at Handy Man!
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