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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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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!
Congratulations to Ron and Marcella on winning our Blanco Kitchen set! They met with Handy Man President, Joe Swenson, and took home a matching sink and faucet worth over $900! Congratulations again and thanks for entering our giveaway!
As you are finishing the floors and adding cabinetry to give your laundry room a makeover, you may be wondering if you should install a laundry sink. Gone are the days of the flimsy plastic tub with wobbly legs – now you can have a clean, bright laundry sink to put the finishing touch on your laundry room. Here are our top 6 reasons we love our laundry sinks.
Mud. Some people choose to put a utility sink in the mudroom, so when someone walks in the house with muddy boots or flip flops covered in sand, they can be rinsed right as they walk in the door. Houseplants also need a place to be showered with a good watering and have the dust brushed off the leaves. The laundry sink is the perfect place to wash and drain the mess away.
Pet Bathing. Pets do messy things, and when they need a bath, do you want to bring that mess into your bathroom tub? The large basin of a laundry sink makes it the perfect place to get your pets cleaned up before they track a mess around the house.
Holidays. The extra large was basin provides a place to wash large pots and pans during the holidays. Even if your kitchen sink is large enough to wash your large roasting pan, share the workload with someone and get the chores done in half the time! Enjoy the time spent with family instead of spending your holiday doing the dishes.
Cleaning. Dumping your messy mop water anywhere but the laundry sink turns into a huge mess. The large basin of a laundry sink helps contain any splashes, and you don’t need to worry about contaminating the bathtub, the toilet, the kitchen sink, or anywhere else.
Paints and Dyes. Designating a place to wash paint brushes, dye hair, and do other messy crafts can spare you a lot of frustration in the future. Avoid the paint splattering around the kitchen by using your laundry sink instead! Laundry sinks are made for messy projects like these. Look for a sink where the front panel has a scrubbing section on the inside which helps ring out the last bit of paint in your brushes.
Laundry. Laundry sinks are incredibly useful when it comes to taking care of delicate clothes or pre-soaking tough stains. Instead of hauling dirty laundry around the house, from the hamper in the bedroom – to the kitchen sink – to the laundry room, you can simply treat everything right next to the washing machine and toss it in.
For those with space concerns, custom lids can be made for when it’s not in use, or simply place a small piece of particle board over the basin and use the extra space for folding laundry. If you don’t have a laundry sink, consider installing one – they could change your life!
The month of May is flooded with Graduation parties. If you are hosting one at your home this spring, make sure your kitchen and bathroom are ready for guests! We have listed 5 easy updates that can be done in just a few hours.
- Replace drippy kitchen and bathroom faucets – we have dozens in stock and on display!
- Update your wobbly toilet paper and towel holders with new, sturdy ones.
- Hang a statement mirror above your guest bathroom vanity for added style.
- Replace your old toilet seat with a slow-close seat to avoid pinched fingers.
- Install a new shower head so overnight guests have an enjoyable stay.
So get going and pick up your new fixtures at Handy Man — we have all of these items in stock for you to take home today!
As you grow older, you may notice that your bathroom does not grow with you. Simple tasks such as showering can become daunting. At Handy Man, we have the tools you need to update your bathroom to a functional space again. These changes can make a genuine difference.
Start by installing grab bars throughout the bathroom for added stability. Each year 3,500 people suffer from a fall in the bathroom. Grab bars are an inexpensive way to prevent falls. Place grab bars throughout the bathroom – vertically near the shower or tub; horizontally on shower walls, near the toilet, and even consider replacing your towel bar with a grab bar.
Consider installing a taller toilet seat. Your current toilet is probably between 14 and 16 inches tall. ADA compliance sets standards for toilet seats to be raised between 17 and 19 inches. These “comfort height” seats make it much easier and safer to transition between sitting and standing.
An Onyx shower can be totally customizable to your needs. Low clearance shower bases are only a fraction of an inch tall, which means you can walk in, or roll a wheelchair in with ease. Installing a bench in the shower means you can sit while showering, decreasing the chances of slipping and falling, while handheld shower sprayers allow you to control the water.
Walk-in tubs offer a great alternative for those who prefer baths to showers. Their sealed doors ensure that water does not leak, and they can come with quick-fill and quick-drain capabilities to get you in and out quickly.
No matter what your needs are, we have the tools to help you find exactly what fits your lifestyle. Our showroom has a variety of ADA compliant tubs, showers, and toilets on display so you can visualize them in your home. We look forward to bringing you the freedom to live in your home for years to come!
Congratulations to Mark, our Delta Faucet Giveaway winner! Mark’s family met Handy Man President Joe Swenson at our Sioux Falls store to claim their prize.
You could be our next winner! Visit your local Handy Man to get the latest information on product giveaways and contests!
Thanks to everyone who participated!
If you’re a parent who has ever had to go through potty training your child, you know how challenging it can be. Here are some tips to help make the process a little easier and maybe even effortless!
First of all, you’ll want to determine which type of training seat you want to use. There are many different options on the market made specifically for boys or girls.
You’ll also want to determine how portable you need your seat to be. If your child is the only one using the toilet, you might consider a semi-permanent training seat like the Bemis NextStep Potty Seat.
The Bemis seat comes with design features that allow the seat to be easily removed for cleaning, or to remove the smaller seat when it’s no longer needed. It’s a two-in-one toilet seat and it accommodates adult and child users equally.
When not in use, the potty seat automatically secures by magnet into the molded seat cover, meaning adults won’t have to manually lift the child seat. When it’s time for little ones to use it, toddlers can easily pull it down by themselves. This will help with their independence and reinforce their “I can do it myself” sense of confidence.
If you’re a parent who wants to keep your bathroom clean and clutter-free, this is the toilet seat for your family. No matter which seat you choose for your child, just remember to be patient. Potty training can take time, however with the right tools, you’ll be set up for success.
As seen on Hood Magazine.