5 Simple Steps To A Safer Bathroom

For many people, the bathroom is a haven where you can relax and unwind in a hot bubble bath and a good book. But with 200,000 bathroom accidents a year, the bathroom can be a very dangerous place indeed. The very young and the elderly are especially at risk of slips, falls and scalding’s.

Here are some simple steps to ensure your bathroom is safe and comfortable to use for all the family.

1.    Eliminate Slippery Surfaces

Bathrooms are by nature, notoriously slippery. It’s all too easy to injure yourself by slipping and falling. A bath mat by the side of the bath and an anti-slip rubber mat inside the bath can decrease the likelihood of falling. Make sure that all spillages are thoroughly mopped up, this is particularly important for children and the infirm. Baths with grip handles and grip bars near the toilet can provide extra stability. Invest in shower repairs if need be. You should ensure that the shower head is secured properly so it couldn’t fall off and hit someone and that it doesn’t leak because any stray water on the floor could cause someone to slip over and injure themselves.

2.    Invest In A Walk In Bath

A Walk in Bath is exactly that, a bath you can walk inside to. Instead of having to climb into the bath, the bath comes complete with a door either on the side or the front of the bath. The bath door is built with a special seal so that once the door is closed the water cannot flow out of its sides.  They are very easy to use, simple to install and can give independence to elderly and disabled people who are usually unable to bath themselves and will prevent falls.  They come in a range of sizes and types to suit all bathrooms and all requirements.

3.    Locks

While most of us have a lock on our bathroom door, there are times when locks can be particularly hazardous especially in the case of an accident. Depending on who you want to safety proof the bathroom for, a traditional bolt lock should be placed higher up in the case of children so they cannot lock themselves in. For the elderly, an easy to operate door latch that can be easily gripped with arthritic fingers that can be opened from the outside in case of an emergency is ideal.

4.    Raise The Alarm

A toilet alarm system with a ceiling pull that someone can in distress can use to alert others to an emergency, injury or illness that has occurred in the bathroom. Generally used by disabled people, they are easily installed, simple to use, just one pull of the cord activates an alarm and a light outside of the bathroom.

5.    Make Room

To allow easy access for wheelchairs and other mobility aids, the doorway may need to be widened. Pocket doors slide into the wall, either to one side or split between two sides preferably ones with large U-shaped door pulls. Special offset hinges can add a few extra inches to the doorway. The door should be rehung so that it opens outward; this ensures people can get in from the outside should anybody fall over or collapse across the door inside.

This article was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Hometech, UPVC repairs and shower repairs experts.

Photo: Martin Cathrae

What Fantasy Football Can Teach Us About Home Remodeling

Lessons from the hit show, The League

Football has started, and between watching The League and remodeling my home, I’ve realized there are a few things fantasy football can teach us about home remodeling. The League follows a group of old friends in a fantasy football league who take every opportunity to make each other’s lives miserable. This comedy is great even if you don’t like fantasy football, or even football for that matter. And, the show happens to teach us some good, if not obvious, lessons about home remodeling.

Prepare

In order to know who you should play in a certain week, you need to know what’s going on – who is injured, who has been playing poorly, etc. Taco is notorious for not doing his research. In fact, his lineup is usually decided by Kevin or Jenny, who simply want to keep him in the league.

Preparation is also important when choosing to remodel your home. Researching a home remodeling company is a good place to start. It’s always a good idea to read reviews about the company you’re considering using. Being prepared financially is also important. Look at the different financing options that are available to you.

Listen to your wife.

Jenny, Kevin’s wife, was the only reason he did well in the beginning because she told him what moves to make and which players to start. Without her, Kevin is doomed.  When she joins the league, he realizes just how bad he is at fantasy football.

Just like Jenny knows more about football than Kevin does, women tend to be better at making design decisions than men. The lesson here is: if your wife thinks something looks good and you don’t, she’s probably right.

Be Flexible 

Sometimes, fantasy football requires some fast thinking. For instance, you may need to trade a player. Well, convincing your opponent may be tough, unless you’re willing to be flexible and help them out.  In Season 2, everyone in the league agrees on an 8-way trade where each team owner makes a trade that will help them out, as well as everyone else.

Just like in fantasy football, sometimes the plans you have for your home remodel don’t always go as planned. For instance, you plan on putting in new granite tops, but instead, you have to fix a leak in your roof.  Keep the big picture in mind and don’t let little setbacks get in the way of your original home remodel project.

Don’t judge a book (or house) by its cover

Andre, who despite his success as a plastic surgeon, has continued to be the black sheep of the group since their high school days. This mainly has to do with his eccentric taste in fashion and his strange personality. Everyone in the group writes Andre off as a loser, but he somehow becomes the league’s reigning champion in Season 1.

Just as the group shouldn’t have judged Andre because of the way he looks (and acts), you shouldn’t judge a house by its exterior. Some of the strangest/oldest looking houses can be incredibly good looking on the inside. So, if you’re thinking of demolishing the whole house and starting over, remember: if the foundation is good, the rest can be fixed.

It’s not always a good idea to involve family:

Rafi, who is Ruxin’s brother-in-law, is a weird, creepy, dirty guy who everyone wants out of the league. It proved difficult since he is, after all, family. But, they were able to successfully rid the league of the “The Bro-Lo El Cuñado.”

When it comes to home remodeling projects, involving your family can do more harm than good. In my experience, it’s best to hire the experts and let them handle the project. Unless your brother-in-law is a contractor, designer, or decorator, it may be best to leave him out of it.

I hope the lessons I’ve learned from The League will help you in your home remodeling project. If you think of any more, please share. Oh, and if you haven’t yet, go watch The League. Even if you hate football, it will have you laughing out loud!

Getting Rid of that Awful Gurgling Toilet Sound

Have you been doing many repairs to your home lately? Maybe one day you woke up and suddenly you have noticed that your toilet is making this awful gurgling sound. After all the hard work and money that has gone into your home, you’re probably very frustrated but the good news is, this is a common problem and something that we can help you get to the bottom of. This problem isn’t going to be something you are going to have to live with for a long period of time. Let’s get you on the fast track to getting your quiet bathroom back!

Why You Should Fix This Problem Right Away

Oftentimes, the gurgling sound you are experiencing will happen when you are doing something else inside your home such as using your washing machine or when draining the second bathtub in your home. This is because water isn’t able to move through a drain properly unless the correct amount of air is able to replace it. Maybe you’ve noticed that when you hear the gurgling sound, all the water is draining out of your toilet bowl? This is not only going to waste money each month on water but if the bathroom is near your bedroom, it could keep you up at night.

Your Plumbing Vents are Most Likely Blocked                     

You know those small pipes that stick out of your roof near your bathroom? Well, not only are they there to keep those nasty sewage smells out of your home but they also help to equalize air pressure in your pipes so every time you flush your toilet, for example, the water flows quickly and effectively out of your home. Another way to know that there is a blockage is to look for other signs of a backup inside your home such as a bathtub that drains very slowly.

What You Can Do to Fix the Problem

If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, then all you are going to need is a snake and you can most likely come to a solution on your own. All you need to do is run your snake through your roof and into the venting system in order to retrieve whatever it is that’s blocking your system.

Keep in mind, fixing the problem does not necessarily mean that it is not going to happen again so you must figure out what caused the problem in the first place to avoid needing to snake time and time again. Most commonly the issue is caused by animals or weather conditions such as ice or snow and below we will discuss ways you can go about keeping your system clear no matter the problem you are facing.

Don’t Hesitate to Call For Help

If it comes down to it, it is never a bad idea to call a plumber. They will definitely be able to figure out the root of the problem and help you come up with ideas to stop this problem from occurring time and time again. Whether you need to block off the pipe on your roof so debris cannot fall into it, or heat the pipe because ice was the problem; there is going to be a simple solution that can keep your home running smoothly once again.

Jen has been working with Katy Plumbing Company and loves writing about home improvement and also has many DIY articles to his credit.