What Senior Homeowners Need to Know About Aging in Place

For many seniors, there’s no place like home. But living in a home that isn’t well-suited for senior residents can be difficult and even dangerous. Every day, seniors are injured in preventable accidents including slips, falls, and fires.

With aging-in-place remodeling, seniors are able to retrofit their homes to make them safer, more accessible, and comfortable. Updates like walk-in showers, lower countertops, even home automation make it easy for seniors to stay in their homes and live safely.

Homeowners 55 years old and older often plan to stay in their home indefinitely, with 61 percent saying they plan to age in place. And according to the AARP, 80 percent or more of all retired people consider it important to stay in their own home as they age. This is a good idea, but unfortunately, 78 percent of homeowners aren’t ready to age in place. Most homeowners ages 55 and older haven’t yet completed an aging-in-place home renovation. Experts say baby boomers don’t yet think of themselves as old and often don’t put much thought into the idea of aging.

If you’re a senior adult and plan to stay in your home, aging-in-place remodeling projects should be a serious consideration for you. In this guide, you’ll learn about the benefits of aging in place, why aging-in-place remodeling is a smart idea, some of the most popular aging-in-place remodeling projects, and important tips and considerations you should keep in mind if you plan to remodel for aging in place.

The Benefits of Remodeling for Aging in Place

Remodeling for aging in place is often a smart idea for healthy seniors who prefer to stay at home rather than live in an assisted living facility. These are some of the leading benefits of remodeling for aging in place rather than leaving home.

Seniors can continue to live at home: At the top of the list for many seniors is the fact that with aging in place, they can continue to live in their own homes. this is important for many reasons, often convenient location, security, familiarity, and proximity to family.

Maintaining independence: Seniors overwhelmingly want to keep their independence, maintaining control over their lives and staying active in the community they’re familiar with.

Minimizing change: Seniors who stay at home with aging in place benefit from reducing the amount of change in their lives. They are able to maintain their usual routines rather than making big adjustments in their daily life that can be stressful.

Lower health care bills: With helpful aging-in-place remodeling, seniors can enjoy lower health care bills. In a New Zealand study, seniors had a 33 percent reduction in spending to treat fall injuries after their homes were renovated for aging in place.

Safety in a familiar environment: Seniors tend to be safer in an environment they’re familiar with. After navigating a home successfully for years, seniors have a level of instinctive safety as they remain in the home they are familiar with.

Affordability: If you’ve finished paying off your mortgage or can afford to continue paying your monthly mortgage payment, staying in your home can be a smart financial decision. Moving into a retirement home or assisted living facility can cost $40,000 per year or more. Compared to the cost of insurance, property taxes, maintenance, and aging-in-place updates, most seniors will come out ahead financially if they decide to stay at home and simply renovate to fit their needs.

Keeping treasured belongings: Assisted living facilities typically don’t have a lot of space for personal possessions or storage. That means seniors who move in to a facility may have to part with some of their most valued belongings before they move in. But for seniors who stay at home, this is not a concern.

Welcoming family and friends: A single family home is simply more inviting for family and friends to visit than a senior facility. Some facilities may have rules regarding the hours and frequency of visits from family and friends. Seniors can maintain a pleasant and comfortable home that’s enjoyable for families to stop by.

Reduced risk of illness: Moving to an assisted living facility may mean getting sick more often. With a large number of residents living in a facility, colds, flus, and other illnesses often spread quickly. But seniors who live at home will be less likely to catch these illnesses.

Keeping pets: Many assisted living facilities do not allow residents to keep pets. But living at home, seniors can keep their dog, cat, or other pet. This is especially helpful for seniors, as pets can reduce stress and provide companionship for those who live alone.

Home resale value: Aging-in-place remodeling projects may be a selling point for future buyers. Attractive accessible design is valuable not just for seniors, but for individuals with handicaps and others who simply enjoy having a home that’s easier for everyone to use.

Why You Should Consider Aging-in-Place Remodeling with Every Renovation

Aging in place is often a consideration for seniors when they decide to stay in their homes rather than move into an assisted living facility. But integrating aging-in-place remodeling into your next renovation may be a good idea whether you’re nearing retirement age or not. If you plan to eventually retire in your current home, making updates now can save you money later, and they just might come in handy even before you reach senior status.

Remodeling for aging is place is best done before homeowners need the changes. Living in a construction zone can be difficult and hazardous for seniors, and more importantly, financing remodeling projects on a fixed budget may be hard if not impossible. If you make changes now, you’ll be ready long before your senior years set in.

Another consideration: many families now include not just parents and children, but grandparents as well. Adult children who care for their parents in their own home will benefit from aging-in-place renovations. These updates can make a home more comfortable and accessible for family members of all ages and abilities. Ultimately, aging in place makes a home more comfortable for occupants of all ages and abilities.

If you think you’re far too young to be installing grab bars in your home, don’t shoot down aging-in-place remodeling too soon. While you may be thinking that making these changes will have your home ending up looking institutional, many updates today are part of the latest design trends. Updates like large walk in showers, higher toilets, and natural lighting are appealing to seniors and general home buyers alike.

The Basic Principles of Remodeling for Aging in Place

Remodeling for aging in place means making updates to your home that improve safety and convenience for older adults. Making your home easier to use removes frustration and many of the hazards that come from living independently. These are some of the most important principles that aging-in-place remodeling addresses.

Falling hazards: Slippery floors, small steps, even thresholds can cause seniors to fall and injure themselves. Updating flooring and doors removes this danger.

Wheelchair accessibility: Developing wheelchair accessibility makes it easier for aging homeowners to reach all areas of their home.

Dexterity improvement: As muscles weaken with arthritis and other conditions, seniors may have trouble gripping traditional doorknobs and cabinet handles. Making changes like lever handles can make it easier for seniors to open doors and cabinets.

Visibility improvement: Diminishing eye sight makes daily life, even at home, more difficult. Improving lighting throughout the home can help seniors see better and move around more safely.

Minimal maintenance: Cleaning and maintaining a home can be difficult for able-bodied homeowners and is often an arduous task for seniors. Updates that reduce the need to clean and maintain a home are a good idea for seniors.

Bathroom modification: Wet and slippery bathrooms are one of the most dangerous places in a home for seniors. Bathroom modifications can make bathing a safer and more enjoyable experience.

Emergency medical response systems: Seniors want to know that they can call for help if they need it. Often, seniors will install smart home technology or home security systems that offer medical response features.

Single-floor living: As seniors age, getting up and down the stairs may no longer be a daily task. Often, aging-in-place remodeling includes adding a master bedroom and bath on the first floor if one doesn’t exist already.

Popular Aging-in-Place Remodeling Projects

Aging-in-place remodeling encompasses a variety of home updates. Practically anything that makes your home easier to live in as a senior can be considered aging-in-place remodeling. Many seniors focus on functional rooms, such as bathrooms and kitchens, for major projects, but aging-in-place updates can be made throughout the home. These are some of the most popular projects that homeowners typically complete for aging in place.

Shower and Bath Updates for Aging in Place

The bathroom, and particularly the shower, is one of the most dangerous home areas for seniors. With wet and slippery tile, stepping into and out of showers or baths is often hazardous. These updates make the bathroom a safer place for seniors.


No Threshhold Shower:

Tub and shower combos and some walk-in showers may have a curb or threshold that seniors have to get past to get into the bathing area. This is difficult for anyone using a wheelchair, crutches, or walker, or those who simply have limited mobility. With a curbless shower, seniors are able to walk right in. Many seniors decide to trade out a garden tub for a large shower.

Handheld shower head:

Handheld shower heads make it easy for seniors to stay in one place or even stay seated while showering. Reaching up high to adjust the direction and flow of water is eliminated and seniors can even clean the shower area more easily with a handheld shower head. Handheld shower heads should have a long hose, ideally at least six feet long.

Shower seat:

Seniors can benefit from sitting down to bathe in the shower. Often, shower seats are built into the tile or can be pulled down from the wall.

Grab bars:

Grab bars are necessary for seniors who lack strength and stability in the shower. Often, double duty grab bars that look more like accent pieces can be installed. They can look like toiletry holders, shelves, or towel holders and match other fixtures inside the shower.

Stair lift: A stair lift makes it possible for seniors to sit in a chair and ride up the stairway rather than stepping on each individual step.

front porch railings popular aging in place remodeling projectsFront porch railings: Adding additional railings for easy grabbing and stability can help seniors get up front porch steps easier.

wheelchair ramp popular aging in place remodeling projectsWheelchair ramp: A wheelchair ramp isn’t necessary for every home, as not all seniors will end up in a wheelchair. But even if you’re not in a wheelchair, a gradual ramp can be easier to get up and down than front porch steps.

first floor master bedroom popular aging in place remodeling projectsFirst floor master bedroom and bathroom: For seniors who have trouble going up and down the stairs, a master bedroom and bathroom on the first floor can be a must have. This eliminates the need to go upstairs on a daily basis to sleep or bathe. However, some homeowners find that it can be less expensive to put in an elevator and elevator shaft than it is to add a first floor master bedroom and bathroom.

Lighting for Aging in Place

Seniors may have vision limitations, making it more difficult to see clearly at home. With limited vision, it’s tough to see while you’re completing tasks throughout the home. But with the right lighting, seniors can see better at home. Often, all that’s needed is to add additional light fixtures for better visibility.

side by side sconces popular aging in place remodeling projectsSide by side sconces: Sconces placed on either side of the mirror produce less glare and make it easier to see than overhead lights.

natural light popular aging in place remodeling projectsNatural light: Natural light from windows or sky lights are the best light sources, offering seniors a softer light that produces less glare.

recessed lights popular aging in place remodeling projectsRecessed lights: With recessed lights, seniors are able to add more lights and make the entire room brighter for better visibility.

sensor lighting popular aging in place remodeling projectsSensor lighting: Sensor lighting automatically senses when seniors enter a room or start to descend the stairs. It’s especially useful for seniors with impaired night time vision.

Doorway and Window Updates for Aging in Place

Something as simple as making it through a doorway or opening a window can become complicated if you’re in a wheelchair or have limited dexterity. Widening doorways and updating hardware so it’s easier to handle can make life easier for seniors.

wider doorways popular aging in place remodeling projectsWider doorways: Wider doorways make it easier for seniors to get into the next room, particularly in a wheelchair or with the use of a walker. Doorways should be widened to 36 inches and any raised sills should be removed. For safety, hang the door to open out so that the door won’t be blocked if anyone falls against it.

lever handle door hardware popular aging in place remodeling projects Lever handle door hardware: With a lever handle, seniors don’t have to try to grip a small door knob.

Easy to open window hardware popular aging in place remodeling projectsEasy to operate window hardware: Some window hardware can be difficult for senior hands to grip. But with easy to operate hardware, windows can be opened easily.

Kitchen Renovations for Aging in Place

Like bathrooms, kitchens are a highly used room in the home that can be particularly dangerous for seniors. Tall counter tops, cavernous cabinets, and poor lighting can make it difficult and even hazardous for seniors to prepare food at home. But thoughtful aging-in-place updates can make a kitchen easier and safer to use for all seniors.

Counter top height adjustment:

Multiple counter top heights and even pull out work areas make a kitchen more accessible for seniors. And ideally, cabinets should leave space open below for wheelchair seats if needed.

pull out drawers and shelves popular aging in place remodeling projectsPull out drawers and kitchen cabinets: Digging around in lower kitchen cabinets can be tough for seniors who may have back pain or not be able to bend over and lift items up to counter height. Using drawers or cabinets with pull out shelves make it easier to see and retrieve items. A swing out shelf or lazy Susan is another good idea for kitchen cabinet accessibility.

Under cabinet lighting:

Lighting under cabinets can illuminate counter tops, making a senior’s work space brighter and safer to use.

Lever handle faucet:

Sink faucets should have lever handles to make them easier to grab and operate than knobs. Better yet, go with a motion sensor model that turns on automatically

Accessible appliances:

Side by side refrigerators with double doors are easier to open in a wheelchair. Also consider microwave placement and safe induction cook tops when making kitchen appliance updates.

Flooring Updates for Aging in Place

Hardly anyone thinks of floors as dangerous, but for seniors, they can be. Slippery floors, high-pile carpet, and other flooring can be hazardous for seniors. Updating to nonslip floors and flooring that is easy to roll a wheelchair on can make a big difference for seniors.

Slip resistant flooring:

Water and slick tile can spell trouble for seniors, but slip resistant tile or vinyl can be a life saver. Textured tile like slate is a particularly attractive choice.

low pile carpet popular aging in place remodeling projectLow pile carpet: High pile carpet can increase the risk of tripping and falling. It’s also tough for pushing a walker, using a cane, or rolling on a wheelchair. While hard surfaces are often easier for seniors, low pile carpet can be a smart choice as well.

Wood flooring:

Tile can be difficult to stand on for long periods of time, especially for seniors with hip or back pain. Going with a softer material like wood, cork, or vinyl flooring will take it easier on your back.

Smart home technology makes life at home simpler, automating tasks and allowing seniors to rely more on technology than physical or mental capabilities. With features like smart lighting smart locks, sensors, and voice activated devices, home automation is very helpful for many seniors. In fact, 65 percent of homeowners 55 and older believe smart home technology could help them age in place.

Smart locks:

With a smart lock, you may never have to take your keys out of your pocket to get in and out of your front door. With these Wi-Fi enabled locks, all you have to do is touch the lock while your phone is within range, and it will automatically unlock for you without using a key at all.

Smart lighting:

Smart lighting automates lighting in your home. It allows you to set up timers for daily life, vacation, and more. And you can use smart lighting with sensors or voice activation to turn on when you enter a room, which can help prevent falls, bumps, and accidents.

Voice activation devices:

Using voice activation devices, you can do everything from setting the temperature to turning lights on, even making coffee, all with just the sound of your voice.

Important Considerations for Aging-in-Place Remodeling

So you’re ready to jump in and start aging-in-place remodeling projects. What now? These are a few considerations you should keep in mind when planning what you’ll do to improve your home for senior living.

Find the right contractor: Aging-in-place remodeling is no easy task. You’ll want to carefully choose your contractor, ideally finding one who specializes in aging-in-place remodeling like Exquisite Painting Plus

Prioritize your projects: You might consider updating your bathroom to be the first thing you need to take care of when remodeling for aging in place. But less exciting projects like adding smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, easy to open locks, and fall prevention measures are the basics you should tackle first.

Consider alternatives: Though many seniors consider a first floor bedroom and bathroom to be a must have, the fact is that it may be more expensive than alternatives. Contractors may be able to put in an elevator or change the entrance level to the house for a cheaper price than the cost of a first floor bedroom project.

Weigh the cost of staying in your current home: Most seniors want to stay in their current home indefinetly, avoiding an assisted living or retirement home. But aging-in-place home renovations can be expensive, more expensive than simply downsizing into a different home with senior accessible home features already in place. However, seniors should take into consideration that it can be difficult to uproot their lives into a new home, even if it’s not of the retirement or assisted living variety.

Helpful Resources for Aging-in-Place Remodeling

Want more? Find additional information, support, and more for aging-in-place remodeling from these useful resources.

HomeAdvisor Resources for Aging in Place: Find resources for project costs, popular renovation projects, aging-in-place reports, and more from HomeAdvisor.

National Association of Home Builders Certified Aging in Place Specialist: Learn about hte Certified Aging in Place Specialist designation program from the National Association of Home Builders here. You can even find a directory listing to discover Certified Aging in Place Specialists in your area.

National Association of Home Builders Aging in Place Remodeling Checklist: In this checklist from the National Association of Home Builders, you’ll find important features you should consider for your aging-in-place remodeling project.

National Aging in Place Council: The National Aging in Place Council is a senior support network offering information and services for seniors interested in independent living.




13 Painting Tips Used By Pros 

1-You have to start with a perfectly smooth surface to end up with perfectly painted walls or woodwork.


Sander would be a more fitting job title than painter since we spend so much time pushing sandpaper. Sanding levels outs spackle or joint-compound patches and flattens ridges around nail holes. Sanding also removes burrs and rough spots in your trim. Sand the walls from the baseboard to the ceiling with fine grit sanding paper on a sanding pole. Then sand horizontally along the baseboard and ceiling. Don't put a lot of pressure on the sanding pole or the head can flip over and damage the wall. Sand woodwork with a sanding sponge to get into crevices.


2-Use Tinted Primer

Before the pros paint walls, they fill holes and patch cracks with joint compound. But if you paint directly over it, the compound will suck the moisture out of the paint, giving it a flat, dull look (a problem called "flashing"). Those spots will look noticeably different than the rest of the wall. To avoid that, we prime the walls before painting.

Instead of using white primer, pros usually have it tinted gray or a color that's similar to the finish paint. Tinted primer does a better job of covering the existing paint color than plain primer, so your finish coat will be more vibrant and may require fewer coats. This is especially true with colors like red or orange, which could require three or more coats without a primer.


3-Press Tape With a Putty Knife

Nothing is more discouraging when you've finished painting than to peel tape off the woodwork and discover the paint bled through. To avoid the pain-in-the-neck chore of scraping off the paint, do a thorough job of adhering the tape before you start. "Apply tape over the wood, then run a putty knife over the top to press down the tape for a good seal," a painter with more than 30 years of experience says. "That'll stop any paint bleeds."

Use the blue painter's tape instead of masking tape. Masking tape can leave behind a sticky residue that's hard to clean off. Plus, paint can cause the tape to buckle or get wavy, which lets paint run underneath it. Painter's tape can be left on for days (some up to two weeks) and still peel off cleanly. And it stops paint bleed without buckling.


4-Eliminate Brush and Lap Marks With Paint Extender


The secret to a finish that's free of lap and brush marks is mixing a paint extender (also called a paint conditioner), such as Floetrol, into the paint. This does two things. First, it slows down the paint drying time, giving you a longer window to overlap just-painted areas without getting ugly lap marks that happen when you paint over dried paint and darken the color. Second, paint extender levels out the paint so brush strokes are virtually eliminated (or at least much less obvious). Pros use extenders when painting drywall, woodwork, cabinets and doors. Manufacturer's directions tell you how much extender to add per gallon of paint.


5-Scrape a Ridge in Textured Ceilings

The problem with painting along the edge of textured ceilings is that it's almost impossible to get a straight line along the top of the wall without getting paint on the ceiling bumps. Pros have a simple solution. They run a screwdriver along the perimeter of the ceiling to scrape off the texture. "This lets you cut in without getting paint on the ceiling texture," one of our pros says. "The screwdriver creates a tiny ridge in the ceiling, so the tips of your paint bristles naturally go into it. And you'll never even notice the missing texture."


6-Use Canvas Drop Cloths


Pros don't use bed sheets as drop cloths, and neither should you. Thin sheets won't stop splatters and spills from seeping through to your flooring. And while plastic can contain spills, the paint stays wet for a long time. That wet paint can (and usually does) find the bottom of your shoes and get tracked through the house.

Use what the pros use—canvas drop cloths. They're not slippery and they absorb splatters (but still wipe up large spills or they can bleed through). "Unless you're painting a ceiling, you don't need a jumbo-size cloth that fills the entire room," a pro says. "A canvas cloth that's just a few feet wide and runs the length of the wall is ideal for protecting your floor, and it's easy to move."


7-Finish One Wall Before Starting Another


It might seem easy to do all the corners and trim in a room, then go back to roll the walls, but don't. Pros get a seamless look by cutting in one wall, then immediately rolling it before starting the next. This allows the brushed and the rolled paint to blend together better.

Cover your paint bucket, tray or container with a damp towel when switching between brushing and rolling to keep your paint and tools from drying out when not in use.


8-Scrape (Don't Tape) Windows

Don't bother taping windows when painting sashes—it takes a long time and paint usually ends up on the glass anyway. Go ahead and let paint get on the glass. Once it's dry, simply scrape it off with a razor blade. The paint peels off in seconds. "Just be careful to not break the paint bond between the wood and the glass," a pro cautions. "Otherwise, moisture can get on the wood and cause rot."


9-Box Paint for Consistent Color


The "same" color of paint can vary between cans. "That difference can be glaringly obvious if you pop open a new gallon halfway through a wall." To ensure color consistency from start to finish, pros mix their cans of paint in a 5 gallon bucket (a process called "boxing").

Some pros then paint directly out of the bucket. This eliminates the need to pour paint into a roller tray, though the heavy bucket is harder to move, we prefer to use a paint roller tray to control drips and roller saturation.


10-Wash Roller Covers


Whether you buy cheap or expensive roller covers, washing them before their first use gets rid of the fuzz that inevitably comes off once you start painting. Wash them with water and a little bit of liquid soap, and run your hands up and down the covers to pull off any loose fibers (a practice called "preconditioning covers"). You can start using the roller covers right away—you don't need to let them dry. We like to roll our paint sleeves over tape sticky side, this pulls the loose hairs almost as good as washing.


11-Clean Dirty Walls With Degreaser


Paint won't bond to greasy or filthy surfaces, like kitchen walls above a stove, mudrooms where kids kick off their muddy boots and scuff the walls or the areas around light switches that get swatted at with dirty hands. "I always use a degreaser to clean grimy or greasy surfaces," pros say, "It cuts through almost anything you have on walls for better paint adhesion."

Be sure to read the label and follow directions—this stuff is potent. Rubber gloves and eye protection are required.


12-Start With a Loaded Brush


Pros take a "load and go" approach to painting. They load the bottom 1 1/2 inches of their brushes with paint, tap each side against the inside of their container to knock off the heavy drips, and then start painting. By contrast, homeowners often take a "load and dump" approach of dragging the loaded brush along the sides of their container and wiping off most of the paint. "It doesn't do you any good to dunk your brush in paint, then immediately wipe it all off," 


13-Push Paint to Avoid Runs


When your brush is loaded with paint, it's easy to create runs by applying too much paint in corners or along trim. To avoid that, start brushing about 1/2 inch away from the cut-in area to apply the paint. As the brush unloads, move over and slowly drag the brush along the trim or corner. Let the bristles gently push the paint against the cut-in area where the walls meet. You may have to do this a couple of times to get complete coverage, but it'll avoid excess paint along woodwork and in corners.

TILE 101: INSTALLING LARGE FORMAT TILE

FEBRUARY 14, 2017

Are you considering using large format tiles in a home or commercial property? In this Tile 101 article, we will cover the benefits, the beauty, and highlight the best practices for successful installation.

Large format tiles come in a wide range of colors and designs, making them suitable for a variety of design aesthetics. Large format tile is considered to be square or rectangular tiles larger than 12x12, including popular wood look porcelain planks in sizes like 6x24 and 6x36. They are durable, and because of their size, fewer are needed per space, meaning fewer grout lines making cleanup and maintenance a breeze. For flooring, accent walls, shower and tub surrounds, countertops, backsplashes, and kitchen islands, large format tiles can help visually expand your space, and create a cohesive feel.

While large format tiles are appealing because they are durable, easy to clean, and come in a wide array of colors and designs, it is important to address installation as these tiles require special handling to insure a professional finish.


Large Format Tiles Must Be Supported Properly

Obviously large format tiles are heavier than smaller tiles. However, what many people fail to realize is that even though the overall weight of the floor remains the same, heavier tiles require a stronger substrate. In addition, with smaller tiles installers may be able to disguise floors that are less than level, but with larger format tiles, that becomes a challenge. A high point in the floor can cause the tile to slope, creating a tripping hazard, as well as being visually disruptive. It is recommended that the variation for 10 feet of horizontal and vertical installation not exceed 1/8 of an inch. When installing large format tiles on a vertical surface, it is important to support the tiles as the mortar sets to ensure gravity doesn’t pull them out of place.


Level Floors & Plumb Walls

For proper installation, floors and other horizontal surfaces need to be level and vertical surfaces must be plumb. Height and depth variations will be noticeable. For floors that are not level, consider using a self-leveling underlayment. As mentioned above, it is important to keep the variation less than 1/8 of an inch. For walls that are not plumb, the walls may need adjustment prior to installation.


Planning the Layout

Laying out the tiles prior to installation is important. It helps you to select a pattern that best suits the room. Large format tiles allow for a variety of intriguing patterns including traditional brick patterns, herringbone, straight joint, chevrons, cobblestone, basket weave, and circular rectangular. For plank sized tiles like our Capella Birch Porcelain Tile (above), it is important to use a 1/3 offset pattern, as shown in the illustration below, instead of a standard 1/2 offset pattern often used for smaller tiles. This helps to prevent cracking and lippage, as well as creates a more beautiful end result. 


Choosing Grout

As with all tile floors, the color of the grout needs as much consideration as the tiles themselves. When installing large format tiles and planks, it is vital to adhere to the recommended grout line widths, recommended patterns, and all installation guidelines. For all of MSI's rectangular tiles, a minimum of a 1/3 or more off set with 1/8 grout joint size is recommended for rectified tiles and a 3/16 grout joint for non rectified. If you want a more cohesive flow to the room, it is recommended to use grout that is as close to the color of the tile, as possible. This creates a more seamless appearance, and helps to visually expand the room, allowing the beauty of the tiles to shine.

For a contemporary look, Focus Graphite Porcelain Tile (above) has a matte finish and, when partnered with a lighter colored grout, is perfect for a 1/3 staggered offset pattern. This creates a graphic linear pattern and helps to bring attention to the floor. To produce a more seamless look, select a grout that is closer to the color of the tile, or perhaps one that is even just a shade darker to add subtle dimension.

If you love the look of reclaimed wood, but are hesitant about the durability and upkeep required, Salvage Red Porcelain Tile, available in 6x40 planks, is a great option. Planks in these dimensions are perfect to create a traditional wood-look floor when installed in a 1/3 offset pattern. They can also be installed in a herringbone or chevron pattern for additional visual interest. It is highly recommended that you layout a variety of patterns in the room to determine which design best suits the room.


Safeguarding Against Cracking with Proper Mortar

Due to the weight, and the size of large format tiles, it is imperative to use mortars or thin-sets specifically formulated to support the larger tiles. This is important for all installations whether vertical or horizontal. Polymer modified mortars and medium-bed mortars help tiles adhere to walls better, and shrink less keeping tile from moving and cracking. Medium-bed mortars are often used for flooring to help prevent lippage and slumping into the mortar bed. It is important to note that this type of mortar is more difficult to handle, and it is important not to add additional water as this will adversely affect the mortar’s ability to support the tiles.

As more and more large format tiles come to market, more specially designed mortars are developed to support the weight. Some of the new formulations contain microspheres that help to keep tiles level and plumb. When purchasing tile, discuss the various types of mortars available to ensure a beautiful result that will endure decades of wear. Cracking is also a concern with large format tiles if they are not installed as recommended. Shrinkage of the mortar and uneven surfaces are often the cause. Crack isolation membranes help to prevent this problem and are installed directly to the substrate.

Installation of large format tiles may require special handling but their beauty, durability, and low maintenance make them well worth the additional upfront planning and extra time it takes to install them. Browse through our porcelain collection, which includes our large format tiles, for inspiration on how you can transform floors, backsplashes, showers and tubs, and create stunning accent walls to enhance the beauty of your home.

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Dazzling Nail Polish Color For Your Walls

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 1:05 PM

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OPI is bringing their celebrated nail colors to the walls of your home

Written by Frances Dodds

If you’ve ever had that perfect nail polish color—that shade that just makes you perk up or feel glamorous every time you catch a glimpse of it—then maybe you’ve wished you could have more of that color in your life. Now, thanks to OPI, Clark+Kensington and Ace Hardware, you can. Hugely successful nail lacquer brand OPI is partnering with Clark+Kensington to bring the polish brand’s color palette to your walls. The shades of wall paint+primer in one will share the memorable names that their nail color counterparts are known for, like “I Eat Mainely Lobster,” “Vant to Bite My Neck?” and “Suzi Says Feng Shui.”

The partnering brands hope to emphasize the “fashion-forward” nature of the collaboration, and at a preview celebrating the line’s launch, three life-size vignettes of a sitting room, bedroom and bathroom were assembled to bring the concept to life. The model rooms showed off separate but surprisingly complementary color schemes.


The sitting room

The sitting room was decorated in the palette they described as “The Romantic,” which had a dark, sultry, plush feel to it. The walls were painted the charcoal “Nein! Nein! Okay Fine!” against which a dresser in the classic “OPI Red” shade provided a little pop. Accessory accents aside from the black and white photographs were in the muted pink “My Very First Knockworst,” the bright “Chick Flick Cherry” and their rendition of beige, “My Vampire is Buff.”


The bedroom

The bedroom was styled in “The Artist” palette, which had a light, airy ambiance, despite some of the darker accents. The matte walls were painted OPI’s famous white shade “Don’t Touch My Tutu!” and the dresser was painted red, but the slightly pinker hue, “Miami Beet.” Accent decorations included the coral “I Eat Mainely Lobster” and the refreshing “Gargantuan Green Grape.


The bathroom

The bathroom’s color arrangement, called “Wild Heart,” was a fun and unexpected mix of shades. The walls were painted the bright and yet surprisingly calming blue “Can’t Find My Czechbook,” and the most notable complement to this was the purple “Vant to Bite My Neck?” drapes.

Today, all Ace Hardware stores nationwide that have adopted the new Paint Studio will be carrying the OPI and Clark+Kensington paint palette, so pull out your nail polish collection and start plotting your summer renovation with Exquisite Painting Plus!

The bathroom’s color arrangement, called “Wild Heart,” was a fun and unexpected mix of shades. The walls were painted the bright and yet surprisingly calming blue “Can’t Find My Czechbook,” and the most notable complement to this was the purple “Vant to Bite My Neck?” drapes.

Today, all Ace Hardware stores nationwide that have adopted the new Paint Studio will be carrying the OPI and Clark+Kensington paint palette, so pull out your nail polish collection and start plotting your summer renovation with Exquisite Painting Plus!

Hiring A Handyman for The Elderly

Posted on March 9, 2017 at 5:10 PM

Many elders want to keep their homes. Many are not in undue danger of falling, unless they climb a ladder they shouldn't climb. They can shovel the sidewalk after a light snow shower, but not after a blizzard. And those pesky home tasks - a dead light fixture needs fixing, some boards on the deck need replacing or one fence post needs fixing. It's these items that make many a homeowner want to throw in the towel.

When "the husband" was younger he could take care of these things. But now, even though he's okay for the main part, his back isn't great and his doctor has put a limit on some of his activities. Or a widow who loves her garden wants to keep her house, but she can't do the fix-it jobs. The dilemma is who do you call? Most maintenance or remodeling businesses only want large jobs.

Hire Exquisite Painting Plus For All Of Your Aging Parents Handyman Projects


Whether the need is regular home maintenance or some small remodeling job, in the past it was hard to get many companies to even come to your door. They're after the major remodel, or they clear snow only for entire apartment buildings. They don't want your elder's puny little upkeep jobs. However, It doesn't always hold true, but I do believe that people who start a small business and intend to stay in business, are often put together a bit differently than people who want to develop a large corporation. "I went into the business looking forward to helping others and having personal contact with my clients" says, James Badillo owner of Exquisite Painting Plus.


Background Checks and the Better Business Bureau


If you are hiring a home maintenance business to help your elder, or if they are hiring a business themselves, insist first that they show they are licensed within the state where your elders live and that they carry liability insurance. A check with the Better Business Bureau is a good idea, too.

Make sure they have a physical address! You don't want any fly-by-night operations messing with your loved ones. Ask for references, preferably people who live in the neighborhood near your elderly loved ones.

Find out exactly what they do and don't do. Will they fix a small electrical problem, but know when to stop if something arises they shouldn't handle? Will they check city codes before they put up a fence or extend a deck?


If they don't do something themselves, say trim trees, do they have a network so you or your elders can call them and ask them to get someone reliable for that job?

This is not a deal breaker, but it doesn't hurt to ask if they would come to your elders' aid at an unconventional hour because your folks got flustered when they "smelled something funny" and they didn't know who to call? How "neighborhood" are they? Are they located fairly close by?

The idea for having a reliable home maintenance company on speed dial is that there are a ton of small jobs around any home that can arise and leave an elder feeling helpless. The man, especially, may be tempted to climb a ladder to fix a light-socket just because he doesn't know who to call for help. That can spell disaster should he fall, possibly landing him in the hospital facing surgery for a broken hip. .

A local handyman company could help your folks age in place while you concentrate on your own young family.

Trust the home improvement and handyman service at Exquisite Painting Plus to handle all your Aging In Place modifications and upgrades. James Badillo is the owner of Exquisite Painting Plus and has certification in Aging In Place improvements.

Many elders want to keep their homes. Many are not in undue danger of falling, unless they climb a ladder they shouldn't climb. They can shovel the sidewalk after a light snow shower, but not after a blizzard. And those pesky home tasks - a dead light fixture needs fixing, some boards on the deck need replacing or one fence post needs fixing. It's these items that make many a homeowner want to throw in the towel.

When "the husband" was younger he could take care of these things. But now, even though he's okay for the main part, his back isn't great and his doctor has put a limit on some of his activities. Or a widow who loves her garden wants to keep her house, but she can't do the fix-it jobs. The dilemma is who do you call? Most maintenance or remodeling businesses only want large jobs.

Hire Exquisite Painting Plus For All Of Your Aging Parents Handyman Projects

Whether the need is regular home maintenance or some small remodeling job, in the past it was hard to get many companies to even come to your door. They're after the major remodel, or they clear snow only for entire apartment buildings. They don't want your elder's puny little upkeep jobs. However, It doesn't always hold true, but I do believe that people who start a small business and intend to stay in business, are often put together a bit differently than people who want to develop a large corporation. "I went into the business looking forward to helping others and having personal contact with my clients" says, James Badillo owner of Exquisite Painting Plus.

Background Checks and the Better Business Bureau

If you are hiring a home maintenance business to help your elder, or if they are hiring a business themselves, insist first that they show they are licensed within the state where your elders live and that they carry liability insurance. A check with the Better Business Bureau is a good idea, too.

Make sure they have a physical address! You don't want any fly-by-night operations messing with your loved ones. Ask for references, preferably people who live in the neighborhood near your elderly loved ones.

Find out exactly what they do and don't do. Will they fix a small electrical problem, but know when to stop if something arises they shouldn't handle? Will they check city codes before they put up a fence or extend a deck?

If they don't do something themselves, say trim trees, do they have a network so you or your elders can call them and ask them to get someone reliable for that job?

This is not a deal breaker, but it doesn't hurt to ask if they would come to your elders' aid at an unconventional hour because your folks got flustered when they "smelled something funny" and they didn't know who to call? How "neighborhood" are they? Are they located fairly close by?

The idea for having a reliable home maintenance company on speed dial is that there are a ton of small jobs around any home that can arise and leave an elder feeling helpless. The man, especially, may be tempted to climb a ladder to fix a light-socket just because he doesn't know who to call for help. That can spell disaster should he fall, possibly landing him in the hospital facing surgery for a broken hip. .

A local handyman company could help your folks age in place while you concentrate on your own young family.

Trust the home improvement and handyman service at Exquisite Painting Plus to handle all your Aging In Place modifications and upgrades. James Badillo is the owner of Exquisite Painting Plus and has certification in Aging In Place improvements.

Why Hire Exquisite Painting Plus

Posted on March 8, 2017 at 10:40 AM

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Why Hire Exquisite Painting Plus?

Through a multi-step hiring process involving screening and interviewing, Exquisite Painting Plus hires the most professional, skilled career craftsmen in the industry.


Educate Customers

It is very difficult to be a professional remodeler and painter. It requires a multitude of skills, knowledge of carpentry, plumbing, and electrical expertise as well as paints, materials, substrates, weather, advanced planning capabilities, thoroughness, attention to detail, and lots of hard work as well.


Superior Knowledge and Expertise

Paints and related materials have changed over the years. The choices today are more complex than simply oil based or latex paint. Improper paint/primer combinations can have disastrous affects on the ability of a paint job to last resulting in extremely costly remedies.

At Exquisite Painting Plus, we participate in product research be it in the field of home remodeling or painting in Westchester County to ensure that we are knowledgeable about the latest products and their correct application or uses.


Protection

Proper protection of the property, vegetation, furnishings, and other work areas is a vital part of the process. We employ unique systems and equipment for the critical containment of paint chips, saw dust, and other debris. Work ares are encased to prevent migration of dust and debris to other areas of the structure.

The job site is cleaned up during and at the end of each job. We will leave the job site as clean or in some cases cleaner than when we arrived.


Preparation

The preparation of the surface prior to painting is the most time consuming, expensive, and important in any exquisite, and lasting paint job.

On exterior paint jobs we wash all surfaces to be coated to remove dirt, mildew, algae, pollen, and other contaminants to ensure a lasting bond.

Removal of failed paint to establish a solid foundation for new paint. A combination of scraping by hand, power sanding, and multiple paint stripping methods are integrated.

Patch holes that may lead to water infiltration. Caulk all gaps and open seams per proper application specifications.

Additional patching and smoothing may be performed to enhance the appearance.

Our highly skilled, knowledgeable team leaders with advanced application methods maximize neatness, durability, and appearance. A team leader will ensure the crew maintains the highest standards set forth by Exquisite Painting Plus, making certain the team adhere's to our strict operating procedures.


Commitment And Warranty

We stand behind and support all of our work with a 1 year warranty. In the unlikely event that something needs attention, during this time we will be there to respond to it quickly and effectively.

Some items such as decks require periodic maintenance.

We will be pleased to establish a standard schedule for this. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your painting and home improvement needs.

We use only premium quality materials to ensure a superior appearance, durability, and performance.


Evaluate The Particular Needs, Requirements, And Client Preferences For Each Project

We develop a schedule and project plan around specific logistical challenges such as extreme heights, project sequencing requirements for renovations, and take special consideration for children and pets.


Home Renovation and Your Appraisal

Posted on February 26, 2017 at  10:40 AM

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Home Renovations and Your Appraisal: What You Need to Know

By David S. Bunton


Now that spring is in the air, many homeowners are looking to begin their next home remodeling project. Whether you’re redoing the patio or finally putting in that new pool, you should remember that the value added from renovations differs widely based on a number of factors. The Appraisal Foundation has compiled some important tips to ensure your remodeling projects maximize your appraisal.


1. Cost does not always equal value.

First and foremost, homeowners should remember that appraisers do not simply add the cost of renovations to the value of a home. Instead, appraisers determine how much buyers are willing to pay for specific renovations in a marketplace, which often varies greatly depending on location. Homeowners considering renovations can research “cost vs. value” data by checking sources such as Remodeling Magazine. According to the magazine, some of the most common renovations that return the most on the investment are new front entry doors, mid range kitchen remodels, and bathroom remodels.


2. Remember the principle of substitution.

When evaluating renovations, appraisers rely on the “Principle of Substitution,” which essentially says that buyers would pay no more for a special feature in a home than the cost of renovating a similar property. Imagine that “Home A” and “Home B” are identical, except that “Home A” has had its kitchen remodeled at a cost of $50,000. Let’s assume that a similar kitchen remodel in a similar home can be performed for only $25,000. The Principle of Substitution says that the owner of “Home A” would not be able to recoup the full $50,000 paid for the kitchen remodel. Typical buyers desirous of a home with a remodeled kitchen would simply purchase “Home B” and renovate the kitchen themselves, saving $25,000 in the process. Of course appraisers also consider the value buyers might find in not having to go through the hassle of doing the renovation themselves.


3. Energy conservation features can increase the value of a home.

Appraisers take into account energy-efficient features (high-efficiency windows, solar water heaters, photovoltaic solar systems, etc.) However, the value of these improvements is based on what the market is willing to pay — which differs depending on the community. Homeowners can hire an appraiser beforehand to get a better sense of how much value a particular energy-saving renovation will add to their home.


4. Location is key.

The value added due to renovations depends on geographic region. For instance, a new in-ground pool will most likely add more value to a home in a warm-weather climate, where residents can take advantage of it year-round, rather than a cold-weather climate.


5. Maintenance can be as important as renovations.

An appraiser often takes into account the maintenance of a home including recent heating or air conditioning inspections, septic system servicing, roof inspections, and other types of inspections.


6. Keep your house tidy.

While a home’s tidiness/neatness isn’t officially evaluated in an appraisal, clean houses generally leave people — including appraisers — with a more positive impression. In addition, uncluttered homes make it easier for appraisers to perform a proper inspection, and may suggest that the homeowner performs regular maintenance on the home.


7. Keep your records.

It is important that you keep records of all inspections, additions, conversions, or other structural or significant work performed on your home, so that an appraiser can easily review it.


8. Don’t be afraid to communicate with your appraiser.

While homeowners are not permitted to unduly influence an appraiser, sharing relevant information about renovations to your home is absolutely appropriate. In fact, a competent and ethical appraiser will welcome information that makes his or her job easier, and leads to a more credible opinion of value.


We hope that these tips will help guide you through your next home renovation. Before committing to any project, remember that the value added to your home is based primarily on what the market is willing to pay. Keeping this in mind, along with the other tips we’ve shared, could help you increase your appraisal and ensure that you don’t spend money on renovations that don’t increase the value of your home.


How to be Safe When Renovating Your Home

Posted on February 24, 2017 at 2:10 PM

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Home renovations can be a nightmare when the contractor you’ve hired suddenly realizes that uncovering a wall also uncovered decades of dust and dirt. Or pulling up the carpet revealed more than what you were expecting to see. Contractors know the hazards in major home renovations and know how to work safely. But when you are the one doing the work, you need to know how you can be safe as well. Here are some DIY safety tips for when you are doing the work yourself.


DIY Safety


The basic safety equipment for DIY home projects and repairs involves making sure that what you see, breathe, or handle will not injure you or others.

Head: While it may sound like a no-brainer, wearing some kind of protection on your head will prevent any injury to your head. Hard hats are the best protection from bumping your head, or if something falls during your renovation.


Eyes: Protecting your eyes is essential to any DIY home project or repair. Wood chips, dust, insulation fibers, and even mold can fly into your eyes while working on your home. Your eyes can be easily scratched or injured to the extent that you may wind up losing all or part of your vision. Safety glasses are inexpensive but priceless for what they protect. Find ones that fit well and protect your eyes even from the sides. And, no, your normal glasses won’t do to protect your eyes!


Lungs: One thing that is easily forgotten until it is too late is protecting your lungs from what you may inhale while renovating your home. Using a saw to cut wood creates a lot of wood shavings, and whether you are taking down or putting up drywall, there will be quite a bit of plaster dust in the air.

Dust that is inhaled from asbestos or fiberglass is another matter entirely

In this case, a trip to the hospital is imperative and without delay. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asbestos being inhaled but doctors may prescribe breathing treatments and medication to help with the symptoms.


This is why companies exist where employees have the equipment and training to remove these materials safely. Working with wood and drywall can be dangerous because of the dust these materials can create. Always wear a dust mask to prevent dust inhalation. Extended periods of breathing in the dust will potentially cause lung problems.


While a disposable mask that covers your nose and mouth will protect you from particles of dust and mold, you will want to wear a respirator if you will be working with dangerous chemicals. Even some cleaning agents can be dangerous when combined, such as bleach and an ammonia product.


Ears: Your ears are quite sensitive and continuous loud noise from pneumatic nail guns, saws, or other tools and equipment you may use in your renovations could cause hearing loss. Wearing soft, disposable ear plugs will help to prevent damage to your hearing.


Hands, Fingers, Body: Wearing gloves that are suited to the type of work you are doing is also important for protecting you from cuts, burns, metal shavings, chemicals or solvents. If you are also going to be removing asbestos insulation, flooring, or siding you should also consider protective clothing. Especially if you will be crawling around in an old attic or basement.

DIY home projects and repairs should always include DIY safety.


A review of Exquisite Painting Plus


01/12/2017 – Antonia Hannah

Bathroom looks beautiful! I really enjoyed working with James from start to finish. He is very professional and stands behind his work. He is very talented, and fortunately also very personable. He was careful about mess and cleaning up after himself, and communicated regularly about the schedule. I would definitely recommend James Badillo to anyone needing home repair or remodeling work. He gave me the option of buying the supplies myself, and the labor price was very fair.

Description of work:

James did a bathroom remodeling project for us, which included ripping out and replacing the old floor, vanity and toilet, and installing new porcelain floor tile, new vanity and new toilet. James performed all of the work himself, including plumbing. He also repainted the bathroom.

OverallA

PriceA

QualityA

ResponsivenessA

PunctualityA

ProfessionalismA

Category: Ceramic Tile, Handymen, Plumbing, Painting - Interior

Services Performed: Yes

Work Completed Date: 01/12/2017

Hire Again: Yes

antonia hannah

245 chadeayne road

Ossining, NY 10562

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