Peace Of Mind With Home Maintenance Plans


Having a full-time job can be exhausting and the last thing on your mind when you get home is work on the never ending “honey do list”. What you may need is a home maintenance plan to take the stress out of coming home and let the professionally licensed home contractor worry about the ins and outs of your home repairs.

Who typically uses these plans?

Many of the clients that purchase these home maintenance plans fall into several different categories. Often, this is a great option for people who are in their elder years and wish to stay living in their own homes but are at a point in their life that they are willing to have someone else do all the handy work that they may not be physically able to do anymore. These maintenance plans make a great gift for children of aging family to give. They will be able to ensure that their loved one’s home will be properly cared for and the care-giving children won’t have to give up their own personal time on nights or weekends having to take care of an additional house but can spend more quality time with a person instead. Another type of person that can benefit very well from home maintenance plans for many of the same reasons are single parents or surviving spouses. Time, physical skills, and even tools needed to properly maintain a home can be very intimidating for these people. Or perhaps you are physically able and know what type of tasks need to be done but you just simply run out of time when the day is over and would rather do other things to enjoy in life. This too is a excellent reason to allow a professional contractor to do all the dirty work.

What type of tasks are done?

Glen Miller the home doctor offers 2 home maintenance plans that will be sure to fit all your home needs. Depending on a person’s budget and needs there is a basic checkup that any individual could need assistance with or if wanting a service more in depth, a complete physical plan can be chosen to guarantee the utmost home needs are met. Services that can be expected but not limited to be monitored and taken cared of are:

  • Annual inspection
  • Labeling of all valves for gas and water
  • Cleaning furnace
  • Testing circuit breakers
  • Changing filters on furnace and humidifier
  • Checks for water and gas leaks
  • Changing battery in smoke detectors
  • Winterize spigots around the home

What Costs Are Involved?

When deciding to start a home maintenance plan the first step is to have your contractor do a complete safety inspection of the home on the initial visit to give a list of all items that should be of concern and what are the next steps to resolve them. A detailed report will be given with a checklist of what items will be performed and a schedule for frequency of visits. Plans can vary and are designed on a monthly, quarterly, bi- annually or annually time period. Additional fees that can occur during these maintenance visits are typically only for additional materials that will be needed such as caulk, filters, insulation, ect. You can choose to provide the materials or on the next visit they can be picked up and installed by the contractor as well.

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 plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.



Aging on Your Own Terms

Over the course of recent time, more and more elderly are deciding to age in place rather than spending the remainder of their lives in an assisted living facility. The reasonings behind both pathways are vast, and each person sees it differently, but what are some advantages of aging in place? How can you prepare for a loved one to spend the rest of their life at home, on their own terms?

                Aging in place is simply the act of living out your elderly life at home and forgoing the conveniences and relative safety of living at a retirement home or senior care center. By doing so you elect to remove certain peace of mind elements including 24/7 care and making sure you get enough exercise, but different people may find those elements negligible if it means keeping your total autonomy. This of course varies for different people, but it is possible to make your home safer for an elderly person who made need adjustments but still wants the autonomy.

                Keeping your autonomy is a great idea for somebody who still retains a sound mind, but a sound mind does not always mean the body is equally sound. Making sure your bathroom is equipped with the proper tools for safety is a large step in making sure somebody aging in place can do so without finding danger in simple tasks. Having a step-in tub that enables the user to remain stable is a no-brainer, but having a stool installed is a great way for somebody to rest without having to leave the tub or shower itself. Grab bars are also crucial to prevent falling. None of these options will be optimal if the user has to ascend or descend stairs to get to the bathroom, so having the primary bathroom on the main floor is exceedingly important.    

                If the elderly is wheelchair bound, having enough space in the home is something nobody should overlook. A person cannot retain his or her autonomy if they are unable to turn around in a hallway while in a wheelchair. Similarly, not having a proper ramp to get into the home itself defeats the purpose of having any safety measures in the home. Having plenty of pull bars around the house and in bedrooms can help the user transport themselves onto a bed.

                Ultimately, deciding to age in place is not always the decision of the elderly person. With different mental aging issues like Alzheimer’s and its accompanying side effects affecting most mental capabilities, living at a senior care center would be the best and only option for those affected. Having somebody with limited mental capacities aging in place would diminish the effect of any safety-increasing modifications simply because that person cannot take advantage of them properly. It can be frustrating when a person first experiencing these side effects does not agree with the decision to keep them under watch, but until a cure is found the best course of action for these people is a care center. No amount of home modifications can help in every case.

                Aging in place is an admirable and understandable decision but making sure the correct safety protocols are in place is crucial in order to make that autonomy is consistent. If you have a loved one at that stage of life, make sure you properly go over all options and requirements before deciding that aging in place is the correct path to take.

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 plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

Home Remodels for Aging In Place to Avoid Retirement Homes


Let’s be completely honest, no senior in their retirement years are ready to leave the home that they have lived in for most of their lives to move to a nursing home or other assisted living option. Your home no matter your age is the place you put roots down and have many memories that are hard for anyone to let go of just because their physical abilities change over the years. For this reason, aging in place modifications has increased tremendously to allow these elders to do just that. Staying home can come with many obstacles that an experienced licensed contractor can provide plans for a simpler way of living as a person continues to grow older no matter if you’re in your 60s or want to remain in your home till over 100.

Installation of Grab Bars

One of the most dangerous rooms in your home is the bathroom for many reasons. The floor can be slippery at times causing many falls to occur no matter your age. Installation of a grab bar could make the difference of breaking bones from an accident or being able to live happily and safely in your home for the elder years in your life. Grab bars are typically made of stainless steel and prices can range anywhere from $100 to a couple hundred depending on size and location. It is recommended to install these pieces of safety hardware in a place that is accessible before and one inside the shower or tub as well. The bathroom is an ideal area to install a grab bar by your aging in place home remodeler, but there are other areas that would be very beneficial as well in your home. Common uses for these tools can also be utilized where any type of balance is needed such as railing in the garage to help someone get in and out of the house. It would also be a great idea to install grab bars for support going up or down any number of stairs.

Widening Doors and Wheel Chair Ramps

It is common in older homes to have doorways that can be very narrow compared to the newer homes that have a standard size of at least 32 inches in width. This smaller size prohibits handicap accessibility and makes it difficult for those that use wheelchairs or walkers to get from room to room easily. Hiring a licensed contractor to increase the size of the door ways is another great aging in place home renovation. Prices can range depending on the door sizes and how many throughout the house that must be widened but can expect $400 – $800 in cost per door.

Another ease of accessibility for seniors to have installed is a wheel chair ramp. Replace indoor or outdoor steps with a ramp will make transportation much easier for older adults with less risk of falling. Installation of a wheelchair ramp can be on the expensive side depending on factors such as the type of ramp installed. Temporary ramps can range in price from $5,000 to $6,000 or if looking to have a permanent structure attached to the home prices can be more towards $12,000 to $14,000. Before deciding on a ramp, it is always best to decide on each person’s unique needs and also think of what the future may hold whether you may start with just a walker and need to switch to a wheel chair or perhaps the use of a wheelchair may be more temporary so spending your investment on aging in place tools should be thoroughly thought out to maximize your independence through out your house to continue to live a happy and healthy life inside your home.

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 plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.



Home Upgrades for the Baby Boomers

It comes to no surprise that the older generation of people is preferring to stay in their homes longer by doing home remodels than buying new. In fact, a report done by fox news shows that homeowners 55 and overspend more on home remodeling than any other age demographic. There are two main areas in a person’s home that has the most safety hazards that can benefit most from aging in place home remodeling. These areas with many concerns are the kitchen and the bathroom. To read more about these two areas of remodeling interest check out, “These 8 Updates Make It Easier For Baby Boomers To Live At Home”. Glen Miller the home doctor specializes in aging in place modifications and can help with all your home improvement needs big and small.

Allow Your Family To Age In Place At Home

This may come as a surprise to many of you, the senior population is the fastest growing population according to the last government census results.  What does this mean?  For us as children, it means preparing to take care of our parents and possibly even grandparents for longer than generations before us. It means preparing their homes for them to live independently longer and preparing ours for when the time comes that this is no longer possible.

When the aging population is allowed to continue living on their own without the need to move from their homes it tends to increase their mental and physical health.  In order to keep seniors safely in their homes as they age there are a number of home modifications that can be done throughout the home.

As our parents age we will start to slowly see the everyday tasks that we still take for granted become more and more difficult for them.  Mobility starts to decline.  In an effort to address this, simple updates around the home can be put into place such as:

  • Replacing doorknobs with levels
  • Updating standard light fixtures to rocker style switches
  • Automatic lighting throughout the house
  • Shelving that slide in and out

It is pretty common knowledge that falling is the number one accident for senior citizens.  In order to prevent accidental falls, remove all throw rugs.  If flooring updates are an option choose materials that are smooth and soft like cork, rubber, and even linoleum.  Although soft, plush carpet may seem like the best option it is often a hazard to seniors, especially when using mobility assistance like a walker or cane. 

Aging in the Kitchen

If remodeling the kitchen is in the plan take time to meet with an age in place specialty contractor to ensure you get the best layout possible for your parents needs as well as for resale value.  Standing can be an issue for seniors and therefore a space that can be used in a seated position to prepare meals is best. Kitchen islands are often used in age in place remodeling because of their versatility.  If your loved one uses a wheelchair they can easily be accommodated.  It is important that all cabinetry is in reach.  The last thing that you want is an older member of the family using a step stool to reach in high cupboards.  Add drawer’s vs cabinetry when possible.  Many kitchens are incorporating deep drawers for pots, pans, dishes, and even food storage.

Aging in the Bathroom

The bathroom is another area of particular concern for the aging population.  Take the time to install a taller toilet to ease getting up.  Replace standard shower heads with handheld wands.  Remove bathtubs and install stand up showers that doesn’t need to be stepped into.  The bathroom is one space to use special care when making modifications.  Bathing and selfcare is a very private process and is one of the last places seniors want to be requiring assistance.  Make the space as efficient as possible to preserve your loved one’s dignity.

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 plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.



Remodeling Ideas To Live At Home In Your Golden Years

Not all seniors dream of moving to a retirement home to live out their golden years.  For many, the concept of living in their homes is much more desirable than moving anywhere, whether it be in a retirement home, independent living community, or a family members home.  The concept of aging in place is fairly new.  In essence when homeowners decide they want to stay in their homes while they are still fairly independent there are certain updates that can be done to make it easier and safer to live in the space.  This article from Lancaster Online, “Remodeling ideas to help you age in place” offers many suggestions for homeowners looking to start the process of remodeling for a safer tomorrow.  For homeowners who plan on staying in their current homes as they move into their golden years it is ideal to start planning as soon as 45.  Even though you might not need the “extra help” today, it can save you tons of money in the long run not having to renovate the same space more than once.

Home Remodeling for Aging in Place


There is an upward trend occurring where seniors and retirees no longer seek a life of leisure within a retirement community instead opting to age in place. There are many reasons that seniors are looking to stay in their homes longer including the fact that they are in better health and physical condition than past generations. Even though seniors are at the top of their game in 2019 there are still precautions to take in creating safe spaces within their homes.  Even though their health is better, aging still takes a toll and changes the way in which their bodies operate. 

One of the first areas that we like to focus on is the bathroom.  There are a number of hurdles that can make the bathroom the most danger room in the house for aging seniors.  Getting in and out of a tub, standing from the toilet, dim lighting, and inefficient cabinets.  Simple renovations can include:

  • Installation of a comfort-height toilet
  • Putting in place grab bars
  • Replacing standard tubs with step-through tubs or showers without a curb
  • Add sliding shelves under bathroom sinks for easy access to products kept under the sink

Stairs also create a challenge for aging family member inside and outside of the home.  Chair lifts make two story homes doable for seniors that have trouble navigating the stairs.  Exterior ramps can be installed to make entering and exiting the home safer.  Handicap ramps can be installed either permanently or temporarily and can be made from a number of materials from wood to aluminum. 

Another major issue that is present for seniors that choose to stay in their homes as they age is the issue of lighting.  Aging causes changes in vision and make it hard to see when the natural light is not present such as in the evening.  With the installation of light switches that light up at night and motion-activated lights, it is easier for seniors to move about even when it is dark out.

Age in place remodeling, otherwise known as universal design, is making it possible for seniors to stay in their homes longer.   Universal design creates an environment using products that offer safety and comfort to people of all abilities without further need for adaptation.  Glen Miller the Home Doctor has been installing wheelchair accessible ramps, renovating bathrooms, adding additional lighting, and creating safe homes for seniors and those with mobility issues. 

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 plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.



Spring Cleaning Allows Homeowners to Declutter Making It Easier to Age in Place

Spring is my favorite time of year.  It is a time for new beginnings, a time for us to declutter, and a time for us to start thinking about the future.  Although there are many renovations that can be done to a home to make it safer to stay in as we age it is important to start the process somewhere.  Spring cleaning is the perfect time to begin the process and thinking about making your home safer to grow old in.  The warmer weather makes it the perfect time to organize, arrange, and renovate the space for your future.

Accidental falls are the number one injury faced by aging homeowners.   Falls that occur because of environmental factors are easily avoided when proper precautions are taken.  The chores that we can accomplish on our own around our homes safely decreases significantly as our physical and cognitive abilities lessen.  These changes happen naturally as we age.  Even the most independent adults will slowly start to need assistance around the home in order to safely age in place.  Activities such as washing dishes, doing laundry, and self-care are things that older individuals are able to do while living on their own however, more advanced chores will require outside support.

Certain issues plague us as we age.  Not only do we become weaker and have less energy, our vision and memory start to fail.  As these more advanced impairments occur our needs to continue living in our homes will change.  While you are spring cleaning it is crucial to begin to think about the factors that will change and limit you down the road.  This is a perfect time to donate excess furniture and knick-knack items that have been collected.  Increasing open space by removing the excess allows for better mobility and decreases the number of tripping hazards. 

Eliminating items from your home can be difficult.  It is important to keep in mind throughout the process that not everything needs to be gotten rid of immediately.  It is a process that will occur over the course of time while you wish to remain in your home and living independently.  For now, start the process by donating, selling, gifting, or discarding those items you are sure of.  If you no longer have a twin sized bed you no longer have a need for twin sized sheets.  Start simple this spring. 

The time to start thinking about your future starts today.  Most of us wish to stay in our homes as long as we can safely do so.  With that in mind future renovations should be completed in a manner that considers aging.  Age in place contractors specialize in creating spaces that are safe for older homeowners discreetly.  Renovations that consider aging in place are most often hardly recognizable.  Some of which include:

  • Custom closets that add storage and organization without the need to reach above your head
  • Shelving for the kitchen & bath that easily slide in and out
  • Increased lighting fixtures throughout the home – lamps are discouraged as they present a tripping hazard
  • Hardwood flooring, low piled carpet, and slip-resistant flooring – throw rugs should be removed from the home
  • Levered handles for doors, faucets, and cabinetry

It is important to start somewhere when you know that your desire is to live within your own home as you age.  Taking it one step at a time makes the process as a whole easier to handle both emotionally and physically.

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/.

These Are the Most Expensive Fails in DIY Home Improvement

diy-floor-renovation-wrong
Sinenkiy/iStock

Many thrifty homeowners would rather save a few bucks by taking on upgrades themselves (after a few hours binge-watching HGTV and YouTube tutorials, of course) than by calling in the professionals to install new floors or retile the bathroom. Paying the pros is basically throwing money away, right?

If done right, going DIY to fix up a property can lead to some hefty savings. But DIY fails can cost folks big time, according to a recent report from Porch, an online network that connects folks with home improvement professionals.To come up with its results, Porch surveyed nearly 1,200 folks who had completed a home improvement project within the last year.

It turns out the average DIY mistake can cost folks $310 to make right.

“People often take on repairs themselves in an effort to save money, but often can end [up] spending more,” says Porch’s spokesperson, Amanda Woolley. “People are also underestimating the time and emotional toll of these projects.”

So which DIY home improvement flop can set homeowners back the most? Installing flooring wrong costs folks an added $829, bringing the total bill to an average $1,540. That’s got to hurt. Redoing the floors also added an average of 13.8 extra hours of work.

“Jobs like flooring have a high material cost, so errors add [up] very quickly,” says Woolley. Hey, hardwood boards don’t come cheap.

The second most expensive mistake was in exterior paint jobs, which can add $447 to the tab. This was followed by replacing an electrical outlet wrong, an average $445 blunder; installing a ceiling fan incorrectly, at $306; and messing up the electrical wiring, at $255.

Slip-ups can take an emotional toll as well as a financial one. About 45.8% of do-it-yourselfers surveyed who made a mistake fought with their partner during the project, compared with 21.6% of the folks who did everything correctly.

Couples were most likely to fight with one another over electrical wiring or rewiring projects, 43.6% of survey respondents reported. Hanging or patching drywall came in second for sparking domestic strife, at 41.7%; followed by replacing an electrical outlet, at 39.1%; installing a ceiling fan, at 38.2%; and an exterior paint job, at 32.7%.

“These projects can definitely test relationships—whether they are worried about their partner’s safety or arguing about the materials,” says Woolley. “People need to [be] honest about their skill set and do a very close audit of their time versus money tolerance.”

“Is it worth the cost savings for the time and effort you’ll need to put into the job?” she continues. “If not, it might be worth hiring a professional.

Original Source: https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/how-much-diy-home-improvement-fails-cost/

Original Date: Mar 27 2019

Written BY: Clare Trapasso

Making Your Home Accessible With a Wheel Chair Ramp


Making your home more accessible for handicapped aids like wheelchairs is a must for many of people with either disabilities or for the elderly. Typically the first step to make in a lack of mobility situation is to install a wheelchair ramp.  Having a ramp installed on your home will improve a person’s life tremendously by entering and exiting the house freely and independently with little to no help from other members of the family.

There are many options for installing or building a wheelchair ramp that can be quite easy to accomplish and have a few options to consider. One choice you can decide on is to take the route of DIY and have the family join together for a weekend project or option #2 is to hire a professional to install one for you. No matter your choice of individual you decide to complete the job, there are some key elements to building and designing the ideal wheelchair ramp for you.

Choosing a ramp that’s right for you

Each accessibility ramp is unique and choosing one that is the right fit for your needs is most important. There are many factors to consider when finding the perfect wheelchair ramp for your home. First question to ask your self is; what type of mobile aid(s) will the person use? Also, there is a chance that the mobile aid that the person is currently using could evolve and change over time. Maybe they currently use a cane or walker but as the years go on, a person may need to switch to a wheelchair as they continue to age.

The next question to consider is; what entrance of the house is the accessibility ramp going to be installed on? Some homes will have obstacles that need to be taken into consideration such as landscape features that will need to be built around. It is also important to check with any zoning requirements in your area through the township or HOA that may require special requirements. Next, deciding on the material you want to use in the construction of the ramp needs to be chosen. Your budget and preference on whether function is more important than curb appeal will help in these decisions. Also Depending on the material chosen, this may or may not make it harder to move at a later time if the ramp is not intended on being a permanent fixture on the home. Lastly, a question to ask yourself about your unique ramp is; how much time do you want to put into construction? It is sometimes best to consult a professional contractor to complete the ramp installation.

Designing the Ramp

The design and requirements of your ramp will be unique because of the factors such as layout of the home or yard and the height needed for ramp. A short ramp would do perfect for a situation with only a couple steps or less than 3 foot incline but if your home is higher off the ground, a ramp will need to be designed with platforms so the incline is not so steep. Platforms are flat landing areas that help break up a ramp to allow the incline to only reach 30 inches. The Recommendation from ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) that platforms are minimum 60 inches square in order to allow a user enough space to turn in a wheelchair as needed. This also allows a person to stop moving and take a break when needed. Platforms also assist in navigating around obstacles or allow ramps to fit in smaller areas.

The width of the wheel chair ramp is another important aspect to measure for your design. It is recommended by ADA a minimum of 36 inches in between hand rails. This specific measurement should allow even manual wheelchairs the ability to fit comfortably. A reminder to measure in between the closest part of hand rail not at the base otherwise it could cause a person in wheelchair to hit their elbows on the railing if too close.

Guidelines are put into place by ADA to insure that the utmost safety is guaranteed. If working with a contractor, be sure they are building your ramp to be ADA compliant in order to successfully build and design a ramp with safety in mind. If installing a ramp at a business and is not ADA compliant, you can expect it to lead to fines in future as well. Some of these guidelines include: no- skid surfaces, handrails on both sides for any ramp longer than 6 inches, platforms installed if ramp is over 30 feet, and at least a 2 inch flange on bottom sides of ramp to prevent slipping off.

Ramp Materials

Two materials that you can choose from when building your ramp is either wood or metal. Of course with every option, each has their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, no matter the material you choose a ramp should be secured strongly to the ground and anti slip surface added. Taking a closer look at wood ramps, they are typically used in a permanent setting and if built correctly they can last for many years and add true value to your home. The surface of the decking is very important to ensure it is non slip. If ramp is made with a bad type of wood, it will quickly become very slippery in wet weather for everyone using it not only for the disabled. Make sure to do your research on companies who produce ADA-compliant composite materials such as Trex Accents that help increase traction on its surface.

When taking a look at metal for material of choice on your wheel chair ramps aluminum is a top contender. A primary advantage of metal as your material is the ease of installation. Some installs can be done in an hour and also easily removed and transported to a new home if and when needed. If needing a more complex design, metal ramps are great options for this as well and can be custom designed with platforms. The overall appearance of a metal ramp is much pleasing to your curb appeal but there are some that have been designed to look less medical looking.

Prebuilt or Custom Wheelchair Ramps

There are several companies through medical supply or home improvement stores that can assist when choosing a pre-built ramp that is ready to be installed and can be easier route for many compared to building new from scratch. On the other hand, if deciding to build and design your own wheelchair ramp it can be a cost savings on materials but will take more time than installing a pre- built option. Another great advantage of a custom ramp is that is can fit an individuals needs and overcome any special challenges. Hiring a professional contractor to help with your ramp needs will save you time and make this project much less stressful from start to finish.

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/.