Is Your Two Story Home a Good Candidate for Accessibility Upgrades?

The choice between selling and renovating the home is a decision that stops many homeowners in their tracks. An injury, disability, or progressive mobility-related condition can change the way you view you view your two story property – the once tolerable flight of stairs can stand in the way when all factors are considered.

Whether your mobility concerns are simple or complex, this guide will cover a few of the most popular accessibility modifications and their ideal applications so you can gauge the complexity of your own renovation goals. It’s always nice to know (in general terms) how well your home is suited to the necessary adaptations.

Adaptations to Address the Stairs

A two story home might be ideal if it were not for the staircase. There are definitely a few workable options available for homeowners who are looking to cut down on necessary trips up and down the stairs and homeowners who want to eliminate the need to use the stairs altogether.

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Stair lifts, for example, are a common stairway accessory that can transport one person up the stairs at a time. Cost does increase as the complexity of the staircase increases, but perch-style lifts might work for situations where tight spaces are limiting.

Stair lifts are not the ideal choice for people who use wheelchairs but those who don’t mind frequent transfers can make this option work as well. Otherwise, a platform style lift might suit your needs a little better. Platform lifts do take up a lot of space, and if the staircase is particularly complex you might even be able to save money by going with a vertical model instead.

Vertical lifts have a much smaller footprint but do require a strong and dependable structure for installation. The price is reasonable and the ease of use is incredible. The problem is that standing riders will need to upgrade to a full residential elevator and the same goes for people who use wheelchairs and want to ride with a caregiver.

Dealing With the Question of Cargo

Cargo is a whole different matter. Carrying heavy loads of laundry and supplies upstairs is not safe for anybody, regardless of age or physical ability. Stair lifts often come with optional cargo attachments, but the weight limits can be prohibitive.

We suggest installing a dumbwaiter as the ultimate catch-all solution – if your home is arranged in such a way that can accommodate a longer shaft, you can even connect it from the garage up through the main level and then to the second floor. Look for easy to install dumbwaiters to cut down on setup costs.

Is your two-level home worth the modifications that will make it accessible? For those who love where they live, and have built strong memories there, the sentimental loss would be insurmountable. In some cases, the modifications are worth all of the effort in the world. Is your home accessibility makeover material? Consult with a local contractor to see the bottom line and work your way up from there, you might be surprised at the affordability of modern accessibility aids.

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Top Tips To Keep Burglars Away

Your home is your fortress. Make sure no one can break into your house while you’re at work or on vacation. Don’t take your home security for granted. When you buy a new house or an apartment don’t forget about security check. This information will help you in eliminating your weaknesses, thus increasing your home security level. Over time, many people forget to re-evaluate their homes for security flaws. Some people forget to fix their window locks and replace the broken bulb. These little things can compromise your safety when you least expect it.

Re-examine your home security with the following steps:

Secure your entrances

Replace your entrance door with a durable solid core metal or wooden door. Avoid having a front door with a large window, otherwise burglars would break it  in order to get inside. Prefer installing thick bolt locks on all your entrances. Many burglars kick front doors to enter houses. That’s why you need to have a reliable lock to defend your home against any burglar.

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Don’t forget to change the locks when you move to a new apartment. You never know who has a set of spare keys to your new home. This minor investment would help you avoid any major loss.

Windows and glass doors

Deadbolt locks would secure all your windows and sliding glass doors. Sliding doors provide an easy access to burglars; don’t forget to lock them every night and before you leave the house. Burglars love broken window locks. Examine all your windows and change loose or broken locks.

Spare key

Hiding your front door key under the doormat is a cliché. Every burglar would search for the key under the doormat, flower pot or on top of your door frame. These most common hiding spots caused a lot of troubles in the past.

Give your spare key to a trustworthy neighbor or a close friend who would help you when you lock yourself out and water your flowers when you’re away. Even if you think your key is hidden in a secure place, a creative burglar would always find it.

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Take care of your garden

Trim the bushes in front of your windows. Burglars can hide behind overgrown trees and bushes; make sure that your garden plants are not blocking your windows. Avoid planting a tree in close proximity to your house. A burglar can climb the tree and enter your house through unlocked sliding door on the upper floor.

If you have a big garden, consider installing motion detectors around your house. Burglars don’t like well-lit places; they prefer hiding in the dark.

Home insurance plan

Home insurance policy would add an extra layer of security for you. Homeowners should get several homeowners insurance quotes before choosing the best option. Comparing the rates and quotes would help you evaluate your options and understand what’s best for you and your family. Keeping aware of security plans makes sense. If you have a home insurance plan you would feel more comfortable leaving your house for several weeks when you travel.

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The Most Useful Additions to Your Outdoor Space

Your outdoor space should be somewhere you and your family can spend time and have fun as a family unit. It should have useful features that make your life better and easier. That’s not too much to ask. So, if you’re wondering which changes you should make to your garden next, let the useful ideas below guide you and give you the inspiration you need.

A Decking Area

Without a great decking area on which to put your table and chairs, your home will lack the space for you to gather with friends and family when the weather is good. You won’t have anywhere to eat and entertain outdoors. In the summer especially, that’s a real shame. So, you should definitely think about having a decking area put in place in your garden if you haven’t done so already. When the weather is good, you will get plenty of usage out of it, so it will be worthwhile investment to make.

Herb Plants

Herb plants are great for adding a little something to your cooking, and growing them in your garden is a good way to save yourself some cash. There is no need to pay high prices to get your hands on a small amount of dried herbs when you can grow your own and then use them from fresh. If you’re into cooking and love making meals for your family, this is one great addition to your outdoor space. You’ll get plenty of use out of it, and it’s very simple to do as well.

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Secure Fencing

Having the right fencing in place in your home can make a big difference. In terms of its use, it’s all about making your garden a safe and enclosed area. If you have a dog or even young children, you don’t want them to be able to get out and get near the road and all the dangers that lurk there. That’s why you need safe and secure fencing that clearly demarcates the area of your garden. Long Fence Chain Link Fencing offers security with a nice design. Browse all the options and see which is for you.

A Shed or Greenhouse

The great thing about having a shed or a greenhouse in your garden is that it gives you an indoor space in your outdoor space. If you enjoy growing fruit and vegetables and things like that, you should certainly opt for a greenhouse. This will allow you to grow strawberries and tomatoes in the summer. A shed is more for the handyman or woman. It gives you the space to carry out minor fixes and DIY jobs away from the main house. You will be free to get messy without having to worry about spilling oil on the carpet.

If your outdoor space has been starting to look and feel a little limp, these additions will do a lot for it. There is nothing better than having a garden with usable and useful features, so start putting them in place.

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The Ups & Downs Of Home Ownership

For the majority of people, home ownership is the goal in life. There is something so very secure about the feeling of being a homeowner, of knowing that you have your own place in the world that is just yours. You don’t have to worry about what your landlord will think if you decide to put up artwork and you can make decisions regarding your own decor like never before. It’s no wonder ownership is the goal for so many people.

Of course… then there’s the downside.

The truth is that home ownership is not a cure-all, a guarantee that life from this point onwards will be simple. There are moments when a homeowner will desperately wish for the freedom of renting again; perhaps even to the point they wish they were back living with their parents.

So if you’re contemplating your first purchase – or have already bought, and just want to know others go through the same range of emotions as you do – then it’s worth taking the time to examine the ups and the downs.

UP: Your Status Is Improved

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There is something about the mere idea of being a homeowner that makes people take you a little bit more seriously. You have proven that you are able to convince a bank to lend you money, so you must be a serious, reliable person. You have undertaken a huge responsibility, and there’s no doubt about it: you will be treated differently – better – because of it.

You’ll find it easier to secure finance in the future, be it for a car or poor credit homeowner loans to spend on household renovations. You will also be offered preferable rates by insurance companies. So yes, there’s definitely a status boost to being a homeowner.

DOWN: You’re Responsible If Something Goes Wrong

If you have a problem with an aspect of a house while renting, it’s not really your problem. If the boiler breaks down or a window needs replacing, your entire involvement is based around calling the landlord and then waiting for them to do the work.

If you’re a homeowner, you have to rectify these – often expensive – problems yourself. It’s not an enjoyable experience. You have to learn to have an emergency fund on hand for those sudden, unavoidable household repairs, as well as the knowledge that you can’t just move out if the problems become intolerable.

UP: The Sense Of Permanence

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Even if you live in a rented home for a long period of time, it is rarely with a feeling of permanence. You are always subject to the whims of the landlord. They might decide to sell, to raise your rent, or just to evict you to use the house for their own purposes.

As a homeowner, providing you pay your mortgage, the only person whose whims you are subject to is you. You can truly put down roots, become a part of the community, become friendly with your neighbors. You know you’re going to be there for awhile, which can be reassuring and help to provide a sense of safety

DOWN: You Can’t Move Quickly

When you rent, the only thing holding you back is the notice period you have to give – other than that, you’re free to move as you please. If you get a job offer that requires a cross-country move, you can take it without a second thought.

As a homeowner, you don’t have that luxury. That same permanence that is such a benefit in some ways, suddenly becomes cloying and restrictive. While there’s always a chance you will be lucky and be able to rush through a quick sale of your home, the reality is that house sales take around six weeks if you’re lucky, as well as the possible delays with the legal side of things. If things don’t progress as quickly as you would hope, there’s a chance you will have to turn down a lucrative job offer solely because your house won’t sell – and that’s no fun at all.

Overall, home-ownership is the goal because of the safety and security it provides – but to pretend it’s all smooth sailing is to misrepresent the reality somewhat. So enjoy the ups and try to survive the downs as best as you can. Keep a small emergency fund for all of those repairs, and ensure you keep the house in good order and condition in case you one day need a quick sale. With these steps, you should be able to ensure you have far more ups than downs.

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