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How To Make The Most Of Your Crowded Family Bathroom

toilet safety and kids

By choosing pieces that add extra storage and also using some mind tricks, you can transform a small family bathroom into a functional space for the whole family.

  • When you choose bathroom furniture with extra storage spaces, you can clear off the vanity top and make your bathroom less cluttered. Consider adding a large medicine cabinet instead of a mirror. Toothbrushes, medicines, and lotions can all be tucked inside and out of sight. Hanging an over-the-john cabinet is a great way to utilize a big empty space and get even more bathroom items out of the way.
  • Remove your large vanity cabinet and install a compact pedestal sink with storage. Pedestal sinks generally do not extend as far from the wall, leaving more room for people to pass through.
  • If you can’t bear to give up a larger vanity, consider installing a wall-mounted one instead. The extra floor space can be filled with baskets and makes cleaning the floor a breeze.
  • Replacing your dull light fixtures with brighter ones can make your space feel much larger. Bright lights can fill dark corners with light and make you realize how much space you have available. Mirrors reflect the light, so a large mirror will make your bathroom feel more spacious as well.
  • Shower curtains make bathrooms feel smaller and darker than they actually are. By adding a frameless shower door you can trick the eye into feeling like the space is more open. An added bonus of adding a shower door is the ability to mount towel bars directly on the door. This clears up the walls and instead allows towels to dry in a space that wasn’t utilized before.
  • Wall color can make or break a small bathroom. Choosing lighter paint colors opens up the space and makes it feel much larger.

 

As seen in The Hood Magazine September 2018.

The Benefits of Steam Showers

Steam Shower

After a long workout, the best thing you can do for yourself is to wash it off in a relaxing shower. Some modifications to your existing shower can make a world of difference.

1.      The easiest improvement is to install a 2-in-1 hand shower. These hand showers function as both showerheads and hand-held shower wands. Best of all, these affordable add-ons can be installed in just a few minutes and can be used to massage sore muscles, as well as rinse children and wash pets.

2.      If you are looking for a more permanent muscle-massaging solution, installing body-jets is a life-changer. You will need a multi-function shower to achieve this, but you can also add a rain head, standard showerhead, and body-jets for a complete shower experience.

3.      Another great addition to a multi-function shower is the U by Moen smart shower. You are able to set different temperatures and functions for multiple users or times of day. For example, you can set your morning shower to be 104• with the standard showerhead and set your post-workout shower to be 98• with body jets. This way, you get a perfect shower every time.

4.      For the ultimate upgrade, consider creating a luxurious steam shower in your home. Many studies have been done to prove the benefits of steam showers after workouts. Steam showers are great for circulation, stress, skin care, and overall exercise recovery. The steam opens pores and improves circulation by widening your blood vessels, making it the ultimate recovery tool.

 

As seen in The Hood Magazine 5/2018

Quick and Convenient: Why Consider a Touch-Free Faucet

Handy 20Man 20touchless 20faucet

We are all busy, running from one place to another. We’re also trying to think of ways to simplify our lives. One of the most hectic places in the home is the kitchen. You know the morning routine, the hustle and bustle as everyone tries to get out the door. Imagine having a touch-free faucet in your kitchen. If your child forgets to turn off the water, or simply can’t reach, you don’t have to worry.

Here are some reasons why you might consider adding a touch-free faucet to your home!

1: Consistency: The handle on the side offers familiar manual operation, allowing you to adjust the water temperature and flow.

2: Availability: Touch-free faucets are always ready. A ready-sensor makes it easy to wash your hands, or fill a cup.

3: Easy cleaning: Because the faucet is touch free, it means less cleaning and will also help prevent the spread of germs in your home.

4: It’s responsive: Simply wave your hand over, or under the faucet for it to turn on.

5: Clean up is a breeze: The faucet will often come with a pull out sprayer, making cleaning up tasks easy in your sink!

Touch-free faucets come in variety of stylish designs and color schemes. Be sure to do your research to find out which one will fit your needs and your space the best.

As seen in ‘Hood Magazine January 2018

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.

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

Little Tot Training Seats

Handy Man NextStep

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.

10 Things to Know About Your Kitchen Sink

Black Kitchen Sink

Have you ever looked closely at your kitchen sink and wondered if it was the right sink for you? Is it too deep? Is it not deep enough? Does it function the way you’d like? Believe it, or not, there is no perfect kitchen sink, but there is a sink for every person depending on your lifestyle.

Here are some things to consider before making an upgrade.

  1. Check the flat surface area on the bottom of the sink. Sinks with more flat space can be more expensive, but they are a much better product because of the design. You’ll be able to set more dishes on a level surface without them tipping over, such as glass ware.
  2. Drain location. The drain should be near the back of the sink. When it’s near the back, the disposal and trap are also positioned back in the cabinet below, leaving you much more room under the sink for a garbage receptacle or storage space.
  3. Is your sink noisy? Less expensive sinks have less sound proofing. When you run your garbage disposal, it will be very loud. Note the thickness of the steel. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the steel. Heavier steel won’t dent as easily and will be much quieter.
  4. Under mount vs. drop in sinks. Under mount sinks are easier to sweep crumbs from your countertop into the sink and will give you more depth.
  5. Stainless steel sink finishes. Better quality steel sinks are given hand polished highlights at the factory using a buffing wheel. Look for a sink with a nice shine. It will have more eye appeal and it’s easier to clean.
  6. Sink material. Some sinks are made of a stone-like material often called ‘quartz’ and are very durable. They’re made to be the most sanitary, hard to scratch and come in several color options.
  7. One bowl vs. two bowls. One bowl sinks are becoming more popular, however, two bowls are standard. It depends on which you prefer and the types of things you’re washing.
  8. Low divide vs. high divide. A lower divide works best for soaking frying pans, but you can still fill the entire sink up with water if you need to.
  9. Sink size. 33×22 inch sinks are the standard size. Most of the sinks in your home could be replaced by another standard size that will fill the same space, but will give you a new look.
  10. Apron front farm sinks. These sinks are becoming more and more popular. You don’t have to lean over and reach as much, putting much less stress on your back.

No matter what you decide for your kitchen sink, make sure it’s a sink that works for you and your family. What works well for one person might not work for another. Be sure to look at sinks in person if possible, stand in front of them, reach your hands inside as if you were doing the dishes and see how it feels.

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.

5 Tips to Avoid Trouble When Operating Your Garbage Disposal

Many think a garbage disposal works like a blender, with spinning blades chopping and breaking down the waste. In reality, there are NO blades involved. Instead, impellers (or lugs) mounted on a spinning plate continuously force food waste particles against a stationary grind ring. The grind ring breaks down the food waste into very fine particles – virtually liquefying them. After they are ground, the running water flushes the particles through the grind ring and out of the disposer and into your wastewater pipe.

Operating Your Disposal

  1. Run your disposal along with a moderate flow of cold water. Continue to run cold water for a few seconds after grinding is complete.
  2. Avoid using hot water when grinding food waste because hot water will melt grease particles and then as the water travels down the pipes in your home it will cool and cause a blockage far from the sink. It is OK to drain hot water into the disposer between grinding periods.
  3. Never pour grease or fat into your disposal or drain.
  4. Use a disposal cleaner to relieve odors caused by build-up, or grind citrus fruit peels to freshen up the drain area.
  5. Disposals may also be cleaned with Disposer Care®. This product is available in major home centers, hardware and grocery stores.

Food waste disposals can be an environmentally responsible alternative to transporting food waste to landfills and they can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At capable waste-water treatment plants, food waste can be recycled to produce methane that can be used as a renewable source of power for the plant.

It’s also important to check what brand of disposal you have and do your research to understand what capacity your disposal can handle. Some disposals are not built to handle fibrous materials such as celery and corn husks. Some disposals are also not equipped to handle hard materials like bones and fruit pits.Garbage Disposal Guide

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.

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