The Importance of Fire Blocking Techniques and Products In Construction

The last thing that homeowners want or deserve from their contractor is short cuts taken in their home improvement project.  When doing any renovation around the home from installing a new door between your garage and your home, as in the picture above, or adding a new room onto an existing structure, the homeowner’s safety, now and in the future, is of utmost importance.

The need for for stopping or blocking

One safety issue we have found in many house’s that we have worked on is the lack of fire stopping or fire blocking with in the walls and door jams of homes.  Even though building codes and regulations state that fire blocking materials are included in construction, it is an all too often short cut that less than professional contractors take.  Talk with any firefighter and they will agree that this is a huge mistake.  Proper installation of fire blocks and fire blocking materials within walls and doorways is a property and life saver.

People have been seriously injured or lost their lives because of the lack of simple fire stopping blocks.  Fire stopping blocks are a simple component used in framing homes that when done correctly can help decrease the speed at which fire ravages your home, giving your family more time to escape.  This building technique is not as common in older homes, thus leading to a total loss of many older homes.

Modern day home construction

In modern day construction horizontal double 2×4’s can be seen on top of vertical studs to create a wall blocking system.  This helps to seal in the cavity and separate it from the one next to it which in turn works to prevent the rapid spread of fire throughout your home.

Without properly installed fire stop, the framing in your home can act like many mini chimneys throughout the home.  In older homes it was common to be able to drop an item from the homes attic only to have it shoot out on the basement floor moments later.  With out a barrier between the floors, flames are sucked up through the walls, acting very much like a chimney.

It may be hard to believe but the use of a single solid piece of wood at the top and bottom of the wall in between the studs can significantly reduce how fast fire spreads throughout the home.  If a fire does occur within the wall, the top block will help stop the fire from shooting upwards and into the home’s attic. Fire blocking at the intersections of joists and walls as well as sideways between floor and ceiling joists can literally save your family.

Materials used for fire blocking

Another material that can be used in construction and during renovations is known as Fireblock foam insulation and fire barrier caulk. When a hole is created within the home it is important that it is filled.  Not only will it help to prevent drafts, it also helps to stall fires from sneaking between the walls. Fireblock products should always be used when contractors are installing door jams or have created holes.  Plumbers, electricians, heating contractors, and even general contractors should all be well versed in the use of Fireblock products.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

Remodeling for a More Accessible Home For Seniors

As people age, there always seems to be more and more limitation that makes it difficult for them to be able to do the simple things that they once took for granted. Whether it not being able to climb the stairs like you used to, to be able to stand for long periods of time or even reach items in the kitchen like you used to. All of these things could happen over time or change due to a medical issue that makes it difficult to do the things that you use to do with relative ease.

 

These days more and more families are taking in their senior parents rather than see them have to live out their senior years in a home. While some medical reasons may make that necessary, most people would rather make it where their parents can either stay in their own home longer or simply move into their home.

 

To be able to do this there are often things that can be done to remodel their home or your home in order to make life a bit better for them. Some things are quite easy and other things will require a bit of remodeling and that usually means hiring a contractor and could cost a pretty penny. Below is a short list of some of the things that we came up with. Remember, not all of these will apply to your unique situation.

 

10 Things to consider when remodeling for a senior person

 

Pay attention to the specific needs of your senior parent or loved one – Always remember that you are doing this for your loved one and you need to include them in any changes to be sure they fit with them. One size remodeling truly does not fit all.

 

Be sure you have a complete plan of what you want to do – Be sure to formulate a plan and put it in writing so that you have something to follow when you go to put your plan into action.

 

If you have any doubts bring in a professional to evaluate the home – While you may be able to come up with some good ideas, you may want to have a professional come in and evaluate the home and make some recommendation.

 

Remove any obstruction in all access points – A very simple change that virtually anyone can make is to remove any and all obstructions at points of entry in a room. When you have difficulty walking even a bump in the carpeting can cause an obstruction.

 

Talk to all of the professional caregivers of your parents to get ideas – Another great resource for you to consider is to talk to all of the people who provide care for them to get some ideas on how to make their home life better.

 

Get a professional contractor – When the time comes that you need to do any type of structural changes to your home you should bring in a professional contractor for advice and help.

 

No-step entry is the first best step – Like the obstructions at all access points into/out of a room, a no-step entry point into and out of the home is a must. This will more than likely require you to hire a professional.

 

Consider pocket doors versus swinging doors – Turning door knobs and twisting handles on doors can be difficult for seniors, if it is possible you should consider replacing all of them in the home.

 

Electric stair lifts – Having a two-story home climbing stairs for many seniors is not only a chore but at times it can be potentially extremely dangerous. If you can afford it look into the electric stair lifts, it will give all of you peace of mind.

 

Reconfiguring the home – If climbing stairs are completely out of the question then you should immediately look into reconfiguring the lower level to have everything on one that level for them.

 

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

 

Custom Handicap and Age in Place Remodeling Solutions

The benefits of age in place remodeling are insurmountable.  There are countless remodeling solutions that enable those who want to retire and live in their own homes with freedom, dignity, and pride. Age in place remodeling solutions are designed using handicap construction techniques in mind.  This helps to remove unnecessary hazardous clutter and to allow easy mobility especially when a wheelchair or walker accessibility is required.

Bathroom and Kitchen Accessibility

The most important rooms for any age in place remodeling and handicap construction are the bathroom and the kitchen. The idea is to use principles of universal design.  This is essentially all about making a space useful to people with diverse abilities with appropriate size and space provided for approach, adequate reach and use regardless of individual body size, posture, or mobility.

For example, an outdoor ramp, often referred to as a handicap ramp, with a comfortable incline integrated into the exterior of a home is one essential age in place remodeling solution that will allow easy and safe accessibility for a person in a wheelchair, a cane or a walker. One full bathroom, kitchen, and common room areas should be located on the main level of the home. Planning ahead to accommodate assistive devices is a good idea in order to make it easy for someone in a wheelchair to make their way around the toilet, bathtub, or shower, as well as easy-to-reach cabinets and drawers.

Options For Age In Place Remodels

Two of the most common options for achieving the comfort and safety of an age in place commode is to install a seat extender or replace the old toilet with one that is the proper and recommended height. The toilet paper holder should also be designed for one-handed changing and must be in a position where it is not only easy to reach from a sitting position but is also sturdy enough to hold an individual’s weight.

Textured grab bars along the bathroom, around tubs, hallways, bedroom, and in areas where assisted seating and standing are required can make all the difference they also must be strong enough to support about 300 plus pounds.

When it comes to the age in place kitchen solutions, having the height of the dishwasher raised can reduce the strain of loading and unloading. Motorized, adjustable height counters, pullout or pull-down cabinets, roller sinks makes the whole kitchen more accessible by someone who is wheelchair bound or handicap. Bookcases on hallways, wiring on the floor, floor rugs are examples of things that pose various trip hazards and must be removed in both a handicap and aged in place remodeling solutions.

Here are additional age in place remodeling solutions:

  • Widen doorway and halls to a width of between twenty five and twenty seven inches wide to accommodate various assistive devices.
  • Install consistent lighting that is easy to locate. Use shades to prevent unnecessary glare.
  • Eliminate transitions between flooring materials of various heights. Remove scatter rugs from all locations within the home.

 

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

Benefits of Age in Place Remodeling

Age in place remodeling is something everyone should consider. The term has many misconceptions about growing old. However, a good age in place contractor will help to create a space that you will always feel comfortable in. Rather than a home looking old, it continues to show your personality and offers the style you desire.

Here’s a look at the four benefits of age in place remodeling:

Your Home Becomes Your Forever Home

It’s common to look at a home as a stop-gap for the time being. Eventually you want to upsize to grow your family or you want something different in terms of living space, kitchen, or bathroom. You may even need to look at installing handicap ramps into your home.

Age in place remodeling makes it so your home is your forever home. It is designed for all your needs now and into the future. A good age in place contractor will help you consider the possibilities in the future of needing ramps and support while considering your current needs, ensuring that your space will always offer exactly what you need.

You Are Ready If Something Happens

You just don’t know exactly what the future holds. While you may feel in full physical health now, an accident can happen tomorrow or you may have an underlying health problem with no symptoms. This time next year, you may find you need to completely remodel your home just to be able to live comfortably.

Thinking about age in place remodeling will give you the chance to plan ahead. You look at the chances of an accident and look at the parts of your home that could become inaccessible. If something does happen, you can quickly add in the new needed items, rather than wait weeks to get a contractor in and then months for the total remodel to take place. You have peace of mind and security.

Make Your Home Comfortable

Harsh lighting can cause headaches, while a cluttered kitchen can make it difficult to work around. When you opt for age in place remodeling, you have the ability to create a comfortable home. Each room will have the specific purpose you need and you can choose lighting specifically to soften and create relaxing areas.

The bathroom gets the tub and suite that you’ve always dreamed of having, while the hallways can be lined with the right shelving to make storage easier. Getting rid of the clutter and creating a space you’re happy with will make you happier when you are at home.

Your Home Requires Less Maintenance

While you may enjoy a little gardening, you don’t necessarily want the whole garden and lawn to be covered in grass. An age in place contractor will look at the garden and help create one that requires less maintenance. You don’t have to worry about watering or mowing the lawn every week or so. There’s no need to worry about that will do it when you’re physically unable to.

That doesn’t mean all your flower beds will be removed. The contracts will consider ways to make it easier to get to your plants. You may have raised flower beds installed or handicap ramps around your lawn to make sure you can still get across the grass to your plants should something happen.

Consider age in place remodeling for your home. Thinking about it now will help you have peace of mind for the future so you can get your forever home.

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

New Looks for an Old Home

There are many ways which can be used in order to improve the old looks of homes. With the help of remodeling and home renovations any type of home can get a new look. Many things are located inside a home. These can be changed to get a new look. Placement of things in a home can be changed in order to have a new look. Repairs in homes can be done to remove the defects and get new feelings.

  • If you have a home with paint on walls then you can use tiles on walls in order to have new looks.
  • There are many types of tiles in the market which can be used for homes.
  • You can have tiles of different colors for different rooms.
  • There are special tiles which are made for bathrooms and different tiles are to be used for other rooms.
  • You can have curtains in your home with new styles.

Many types of curtains are available in the market which can be installed in homes for getting new looks. You can have curtains of different designs in different rooms to have unique looks. Furniture is another main thing which can be used for changing styles and looks of homes. You can change furniture in your home or change the arrangement of furniture in your rooms.

This will give a new feeling in your home and your decoration will be changed. Many people are using remodeling and home renovations in order to get new feelings from time to time. You can change the covers of your beds and seats to have a new look. You can buy some new things to be used in your home and sell out some old things. You can make a budget to make sure that you are spending in limits while remodeling.

  • Many people like to introduce some changes after some time in their homes to have new feelings.
  • It is good to use some changes in old homes or getting new looks.
  • Homes have many things which can be changed after some time in order to have new looks.
  • If you are willing to have some new feeling and decoration then you can change the arrangement of things in your home.

This will require some efforts on your part but you are not needed to invest money in this process. You are just needed to change the location of things in your home and you are done. You can change the location of tables and chairs from one room to another and change the location of your bed and cupboard in rooms to have a new look. These and many other options are available in changing the styles and looks of things in homes. If you want to introduce some new things then you have to invest some money.

You can but new chairs and tables for your home and install them in required rooms to have new feelings and looks. With some remodeling and home renovations you are able to change the looks and feels of your home and have good results in a short time period.

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

 

The Best Solution When Needing Help Around The Home

When it comes to hiring a professional contractor or handyman it is always the best idea to know which one is right for the job that you need done.  If you end up hiring the wrong contractor or handyman you could end up putting the project at risk and you may end up paying more than necessary.

No matter what size job that needs to be done, big or small, you need to concentrate on finding an extremely skilled, reliable, and experienced in exactly what you need done.  A handyman should offer you great customer care and professional service.  They should be able to work around your personal schedule to help get the project completed on time and as you desire.

Handymen can often provide a wide range of both residential and commercial projects including property maintenance, home repairs, and home improvements including small and large scaled indoor and outdoor projects. Most handymen offer a one call solution to providing the solutions that clients need.  Many not only offer to do one time repairs but also emergency repairs and monthly maintenance routines that are needed around the home.

Handymen often do most everything a homeowner can think of. If you have stuff that needs to be replaced, fixed, or even maintained, most handymen are capable of handling it for you.  Projects ranging from basic carpentry needs to bigger or more complex projects for both residential and commercial needs from painting, furniture assemble, railing installation, gutters cleaned, sheetrock repaired, doors adjusted, light fixtures replaced, and so much more.

Handymen understand how important it is to you to get your repairs done.  Depending on their schedule handymen are usually able to handle and arrange their schedules to get to emergency repairs as soon as possible but when it comes to bigger projects it is best not to wait to contact the handyman you are hoping to hire to complete your project.

Many handymen schedule their appointments in blocks of time from ¼ day blocks to full day blocks.  They will work to schedule your project around a time that is convenient and works best for you.  When the appointment is schedule homeowners can expect the professional handyman to show up with all the basic supplies and tools to complete your job.

Handymen often charge a deposit upfront and a final payment when the job is completed.  It is important for homeowners to note that if they add to the original scope of the project the project will cost them additional funds.  It is also important to note that sometimes they have only allotted a certain amount of time for your project so they might not have time to get to the additional requests of the homeowner.

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

 

Benefits That Come From Hiring a Handyman

If you are a homeowner you know that there is always something that needs to get done around the house.  There is never a reprieve from the chaos when you own a home or is there?  Maybe you think that you can do it all by yourself but do you have enough time, skill, materials, & such?  Even the handiest homeowners can have a hard time accomplishing everything they need to.  No matter what you’re lacking, be it time or skill hiring a handyman can alleviate a month of weekends wasted on home improvement projects.

With a little bit of research homeowners can find an affordable handyman that is willing to do most any job around the house for you.  Hiring a local handyman saves you time and the headache of learning a new skill by experimentation your own home.  When you hire a handyman they come prepared with knowledge, time, tools & materials to get your job done on the first try without you having to lift a finger.

Think about what a waste it would be to have to buy all the tools you would need for projects such as tiling.  Not only would you need a jig saw but also a tile saw, level, drill, scoring tools, and more.  This alone covers the cost plus some associated with hiring a handyman to do the job.

Hiring a handyman is often times more economical than hiring a construction company.  The overhead of your local handyman is much less and since most jobs around the house are not month long projects it will be far more inexpensive to negotiate with an independent handyman even when it comes to things such as the installation of a new stove.

Save yourself not only time, money & trouble but also stress and anxiety by hiring a local handyman.  When you find the right one you often will find they are willing to work in conjunction with you saving you money, time, and headaches.  While assisting a handyman you are learning valuable skills while helping preserve time.

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

Hiring a Licensed Contractor for Home Renovations

When it comes to renovations around your home it is important to hire a licensed contractor to perform the work that is needed.  The benefits of working with a professional that is not only licensed, but also insured and qualified are plentiful.  Your home is the biggest investment that you will ever make in your lifetime.  It is important that you are careful when hiring someone as you want to be sure you are careful not to employ an individual who will cut corners.

Everyone likes to save money, especially when it comes to services performed around their homes.  When it comes to renovations and home remodeling you will get what you pay for.  Many times it is not worth haggling with a contractor as they set their prices based on the number of hours they believe the project will take and the materials used.  Haggling may lead to lower quality materials being used.  This is not what you want when it comes to saving a few bucks here and there on your homes renovation project.

Depending on where you live the rules for obtaining a builders license differ slightly.  This is done for the benefit of the consumer.  Some states, such as California, have frequent earthquakes thus building codes are updated to include extra elements of safety when building a home.

In order to get a license, a building contractor must prove that they are qualified to perform the work and may also be asked to undergo testing, fingerprinting, background checks and bonding requirements.  Some states only require specialty contractors such as plumbers and electricians to be licensed however if you are looking for quality craftsmanship in your home improvement projects it is best to look into hiring a licensed contractor even if it is not required by your state.  Working with a licensed builder often gives homeowners extra peace of mind.

Below are just a few of the many benefits you can expect when working with a licensed general contractor for renovation projects around the home.

  • A licensed general contractor will control, synchronize, and oversee a complete renovation. This involves scheduling with multiple subcontractors within different trades to work together on your remodeling project.  This is especially important for home remodeling that involves moving electrical outlets or plumbing.
  • A contractor saves both time and money. Many homeowners mention that at the end of a renovation they have spent just as much on materials alone than they would have spent on hiring a contractor to perform the work in the first place.
  • Contractors have connections and often have a great pull for the urgency of your renovation. It is much easier to get one of their own to help them with a deadline because next time they might be the one needing the favor.
  • A licensed contractor will pull all of the necessary permits and call on inspections when needed. This keeps the project moving along.
  • When working with a licensed contractor, financing becomes a bit easier to obtain from lending institutions. There is an aura of completion when individuals hire a professional.
  • Not only is it important that the contractor that you work with on projects within your home is licensed it is crucial that they are also insured. This holds their company liable for any damage that is done to your home while they are performing repairs, as well as the liability if someone gets injured while working on your home.

For most homeowners hiring an experienced, licensed and insured general contractor will help to ensure a headache free renovation on their home.

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

Hiring a Home Remodeling Specialist

One of the best parts of home ownership is the ability to create an environment that is uniquely your own.  The tricky part is that not many of us are talented enough to make these renovation changes without hiring a professional remodeling specialist.  Renovations are not always easy and often can take more time then homeowners have.  Instead of trying to handle a complete room renovation on your own consider the benefits that come from hiring a contractor.

In this installment on renovating your home we will look more in-depth at the reasons to hire a remodeling specialist to take on your home improvements.

  • Better Quality of Construction

When they are remodeling your home, you can be sure that whether they are using wood for the reconstruction of the furniture or whether they are using some other material, it would always be consisting of quality material. Due to this very reason, you can be sure that the quality which you would get from the remodeling would be much better. Even if you try to choose the materials by yourself, you would not be able to directly judge the quality of the materials. On the other hand, the remodeling experts would be able to exactly judge the quality of the materials and therefore would be able to provide you with the best quality of materials.

  • On Time Work

When you’re hiring a remodeling expert, you can easily give them a strict a deadline. When you’re thinking about doing it yourself you would be procrastinating and there would be a lot of obstacles which you would be suffering from.

On the other hand, when you’re hiring the remodeling expert, you can be sure that the work would be done by the deadline which you have given to that remodeling expert. When the work is done by the deadline which you have given to the remodeling expert, automatically it would become easier for you to get the home ready in time.

  • Written Contract

Instead of just having a verbal commitment, when you’re hiring the home remodeling specialist, you can be sure that you would be getting a written contract about the things which are included and the things which are not included. This would ensure that you are able to get the entire work done on time and you are able to also know which work would be completed.

Instead of tackling home improvements on your own take these three reasons to hire a contractor to reiterate the reasons you should not tackle it on your own.

Learn more about Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

Things to Keep in Mind When Finding a Contractor

A Home Improvement Contractor is defined as any person who possesses or runs a contracting business who, through himself or others, undertakes, reasons to have the capacity to undertake, offers to undertake, or submits a bid for residential contracting work to a homeowner.

A Home Improvement Contracting Registration is governed by M.G.L c. 142A. Contractors who engage in residential contracting agreements with homeowners for work on their primary residence of 4 units or less, are required to register with OCABR. Residential contracting is defined under the law as “the reconstruction, alteration, renovation, repair, modernization, conversion, improvement, removal or demolition or the construction of an addition to any pre-existing, owner-occupied, building containing at least one but not more than four dwelling units.

But before you start flipping through the Yellow Pages and calling every contractor in the book, let’s get your expectations on the right planet. You should expect that in this day and age, skilled contractors are in high demand, good contractors are very, very busy.

This means when you do start buzzing contractors, don’t be amazed that they don’t instantly answer their phones – they are possibly standing on a ladder somewhere with their hands full when you call. Don’t take it personally or shoulder they are not interested in talking to you, but contractors won’t answer their cell phones every time it rings. Continuous disturbances slow down a jobsite. For this reason alone, most contractors wait until they are away from the jobsite before they return your calls.

Whether you work with a common contractor for house remodeling or act as one on your own project, getting a sight into the mind of a contractor can give you a new angle into renovation projects around your home. But what are the things you have to do before you start remodeling your house?

Here are a few things:

  • Interview candidate contractors:

When looking for contractors for house remodeling it is very important to get into the mind of contractors so that you know that they are able to do what you want and that they understand what you exactly want.

  • Do not delay your decisions:

If you want that your remodel goes well never delay decisions. Make sure that everything has already been planned out by you so that there is no hustle at the time you start your work and by that nothing will be left behind.

  • Don’t change your mind again and again:

Not everyone changes mind again and again but if you are one of those people who does then remember that every time you will change your mind a new order will have to be executed. Although to you the changes might seem minor but there are always added and hidden expenses which will show on later. So always be very sure about what you want to do at the first place. Do all the research and then execute.

  • Don’t work without a design:

The most important thing to remember when home remodeling is that never work without a design. Believe me it will result in devastation of all the resources and stuff. Make sure you have a pretty and a good sorted out design and all the design considerations.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.