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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Wheelchair Ramp Installation

Installation can be a lengthy process, so you’ll want to make sure that you consider all areas of your home. You don’t want to be calling the technician out multiple times to fit various inclines in different areas of your home!

Here are some of the most common areas:

– The steps leading up to your porch, front door or back door
– The steps taking you from your garage into your home
– Any doors within your home that have raised thresholds
– Exterior doors that feature lips
– The raised threshold between the bathroom floor and your shower
– Your vehicle’s threshold, especially if it’s a larger vehicle like a van or SUV

How Long Should the Incline Be?

Higher entrances require longer ramps. Once you get steeper than a 9.5-degree slope, the incline is no longer safe for an occupied scooter or wheelchair. Ramp installation experts suggest a 4.8-degree slope for maximum safety.

To reach a 4.8-degree slope, the height of your staircase in inches is directly related to the length of your ramp in feet. For instance, if you have two 5-inch stairs – a total of 10 inches – you can expect to have a slope that is 10 feet long.

As you can imagine, higher staircases necessitate longer runways. You may find that your slope needs to wrap around the house or go in a zigzag pattern rather than a straight line. What if you have a small front yard and four 5-inch stairs leading to your front door? Somehow, 20 feet of runway needs to make it up to your home.

Within your home, you may need very small inclines to get over thresholds or into your shower. These can easily be installed or you may consider a portable option. It all depends on how many of your doors have raised thresholds.

How Wide Is Your Wheelchair Ramp?

Installation experts suggest that the width of your incline be slightly wider than the wheelbase of your chair or scooter. Obviously, the device needs to fit onto the slope, but you should also have a safety margin on either side. That way if you weave a little from one side to the other, you won’t go flying off!

Protect Home for Freezing Weather

Make sure that all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside and kept clear.

Have snow shovels, salt and sand handy to help with snow removal and vehicle traction.

Have adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm, both in your home and your vehicle.

Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather.

Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

Ensure that all outdoor hoses are disconnected from the spigot.

Locate your main water shut off valve and learn how to turn it off in the event that you encounter a frozen pipe that bursts.

If you encounter any frozen pipes or home damage, make sure you contact your insurance agent right away and get help setting up a claim. If you can, do your best to protect your home from continuing damage but make sure you protect yourself and your family first.

If worst comes to worst, most home insurance policies have coverage for additional living expenses that will help pay for you to stay somewhere else if your home is damaged from a claim and you cannot stay there. Hopefully, repairs would be minor and not take a considerable amount of time, but most home insurance policies provide money for 1-3 years (depending on the company) of additional living expenses. As always, you should review your coverage and protection once every 12-24 months to make sure you’re covered the way you should be (and the way you think you are) just in case you need to file a claim.

Grout Ceramic Tile

The cement in grouting material is what makes it hard and takes a reasonable time to totally harden. If grout dries to fast the hardness can be reduced. To improve the resulting grout dampen (not soak) the joints between the tiles and hour or so before applying the grout. This can be done with a damp rag, brush, sponge, spray bottle etc.

Mixing the Grout:

When mixing dry powder grouts with water or a liquid grout additive, very little mixing is required to evenly blend the grout. Over mixing can entrap air bubbles which may increase shrinkage, allow moisture to dissipate easier and can affect the overall uniformity of colour. To reduce air bubbles add the liquid to the powder instead of the other way around. DO NOT MAKE THE MIX RUNNY! Mix to about the consistency of peanut butter. Let sit for about five minutes then lightly remix. The use of latex additive when mixing grout substantially improves the color and surface hardness.

Applying the Grout:

1. Apply the grout into the joints with a rubber-faced grouting trowel or float. To prevent internal voids pack the grout into the joints. After the joints are full, use the float to squeegee the excess grout off the surface of the tile and to level off the grout joints.

2. Let grout dry for about 15 minutes. Using a spray bottle spray a misting of water on the entire surface. Immediately use the float trowel and repeat the squeegee process to further remove surface grout and smooth out grout joints.

3. Let the grout sit about 30 minutes, then use a damp (not wet) sponge and lightly wipe surface of the tile. Do not use a circular motion with the sponge, use diagonal strokes so as to not disturb the grout lines.

4. Fine dust residue can easily be removed with a clean dry cloth the following day when the grout is hard and not subject to damage. Allow a minimum 12 hours to harden before further washing or in the case of the floors walking them.

5. All cement based grouts should be sealed to retain their appearance and reduce cleaning problems. Grout must be allowed to cure for a minimum of one week before applying a sealer.

Kitchen Cabinets Style

If you want a cozy, warm feeling to your kitchen, you probably want to consider wood options. They are available in a wide variety of wood types such as oak, pine, walnut, cherry and more. You can also choose to stain the wood for added luster and beauty. A painted style can look traditional or contemporary, depending on other features in the design.

Where to buy?
You have a wide variety of options when purchasing kitchen cabinets. Many home improvement stores have cabinets on display to give you an idea of how they might look like in your home. Some selections may be in stock and ready for you to take home. Other styles may need to be ordered but are readily available to be shipped to the store or your home. Most of these stores will install your cabinets for a small fee.

There are businesses that specialize in building kitchen cabinets. If you have special needs or want personalized attention, this may be your best bet. Look for a company that has experience, and talk to past customers if you can. The professional staff at these businesses should be able to come to your home and talk with you about options and costs.

Putting it all together
Envision what items you will use and how often you will need them. For example, your family will likely use drinking glasses everyday. You don’t want them in a place that is hard to reach or far away from the refrigerator. If you have fine dishes or anything special you want to show, consider putting those items in a cabinet with glass panes. If you have spices, cans or other non-perishable goods to store, one with a turntable may come in handy so you can fit more inside a single space.