You can’t be too careful when it comes to staying safe and preventing costly mistakes in your home. Two of our remodeling consultants, Steve Magill and Dan Halpern, are eager to share some of their most helpful, frequently encountered home safety tips.
To ensure that both you and your home stay safe, keep these valuable tips in mind:
We often encounter basement steps that don’t have handrails or lighting, and can be very dangerous. When we’re walking around a basement, we sometimes notice things such as carpeting being bunched up or loose. This should be remedied by fastening loose carpeting to the ground with carpet strips or double-sided tape.
Check to make sure your steps and handrails aren’t loose or wobbly. If your stairs are slippery or lead to a room with a lot of water, such as the laundry room, consider installing strips that look like sandpaper and can be taped to stair edges acting as non-slip flooring.
It’s important to ensure that your attic can be accessed easily and safely. The best approach is to have pull-down stairs. Homeowners sometimes worry that they don’t have enough room in the hallway for a pull-down stair, but there are actually plenty of small pull-down ladder units that can fit in even the smallest space, including those tiny DC apartments. Fred can easily install them for you.
We always recommend having a professional do a roof inspection to ensure that it is completed properly. We know precisely how to position and support the ladder and don’t recommend homeowners do their own inspections. Additionally, professionals are easily able to recognize if a roof needs repairs.
Skid-proof tubs are more common now, but some are still not entirely skid-proof. Add grab bars to baths and showers to make sure someone doesn’t slip and crash through a glass shower wall. There are actually bars today that are much more fashionable and can be combined like a grip bar with a towel or toilet paper holder.
Having a pressure balance control for faucets is very useful because you can mix hot and cold water, unlike old, dual control faucets. This is also helpful if you have kids since they can turn on very hot water by accident and potentially injure themselves.
Improve the water runoff from downspouts and make sure they don’t release water near sidewalks. Automated light sensors that turn on exterior lights when someone approaches your front door or when you step outside to take out the trash are beneficial. It’s important to have sufficient lighting for exterior stairs, especially in inclement weather.
Porches, Decks and Patios
We’ve noticed a lot of wobbly decks that weren’t built properly, and that can pose serious problems. Check for proper attachment to the house and support beams. A deck that is attached to the primary home’s floor framing system will be far safer than a freestanding one. Need help?
Fred can reattach decks, fix porches and patios, as well as do free inspections and repair estimates for these areas.
You should have both locksets and deadbolts on all entry doors. If your entry door has glass all the way down to the bottom, it should have a double-cylinder deadbolt so someone can’t shatter the glass and break in. Also, any glass 18 inches above the floor needs to be tempered or safety glass. And nowadays, people tend to not install keyed deadbolts – the type that needs a key inside and outside – because in emergencies, firefighters will have to break the door down to get inside.