Accessible Bathroom Remodeling

The 3 Building Blocks to an Accessible Bathroom

None of us plans to become handicapped and unable to use bathroom facilities comfortably. However, aging, accidents and illnesses occur to you or a loved one. At that point, it makes sense to remodel your bathroom to accommodate the needs of any individual living in your home.

Planning for Success

Planning for remodeling is the key to avoiding unnecessary expenditure of money and effort that could sink the project. Everyone knows that, to make a bathroom accessible, we’re going to have to typically replace a door and install grab bars. In some cases, we must expand space in an existing bathroom or add a new space for an accessible bathroom. However, must include the planning of adjusting existing utilities to coincide with the modification. Planning for the placement of fixtures, electrical outlets, switches, plumbing supplies, waste drains, heating, ventilation and air conditioning are to the comfort and ease of the individuals using an accessible bathroom. Planning the materials and fixtures available for remodeling as well as the most up-to-date building codes will reduce costly mistakes.

Block #1 is HVAC

Begin by a thorough examination of your existing heating, ventilation, air conditioning system. Changes may be needed for proper requirement for the addition or remodeling to meet the right size furnace and air conditioning. Proper ventilation by means of an efficient exhaust fan is necessary even if there is a window in the bathroom. It will eliminate condensation that can make the floors slippery and prevent mold. Some excellent exhaust fan/radiant heat combinations will not only reduce condensation but also provide extra temporary heat for comfort. A licensed heat and cooling contractor will be able to do the calculation for the correct size and location for heating, ventilation and air conditioning for your project.

Block #2 Electrical

Your electrical distribution panel must be inspected to see if there are open spaces to put additional breakers needed to distribute the power for the project. You will also need to know the total capacity of the existing panel, i.e. 100, 200 or 400 amps.

The answer to these two important question by a licensed electrical contractor will allow you to be aware of whether or not additional electrical capacity is needed to install amenities such as walk-in tubs, radiant (short term) heat or more power for larger heating and air conditioning plus adequate lighting and location of GFI outlets. A licensed electrical contractor is a must.

Block #3 is Plumbing

Make certain that the existing plumbing is adequate for your addition or remodeling project. A licensed plumbing contractor will need to inspect the water supply to the existing home for the correct size and pressure. They can use a cable equipped with a small camera to inspect the condition of your existing sewer, main stack, and proper vent through the roof. They will also use their knowledge to help design the new layout of the accessible bathroom. It may include roll-in shower or walk-in bathtub, new vanity, and accessible toilet. The plumber will know the qualification and correct heights, widths, minimum and maximum dimensions for accessibility. Replacing drains, adjusting plumbing connections, and ensuring adequate capacity for water; are all a part of planning for the modification. A simple inspection of the existing plumbing system by a licensed plumbing contractor may uncover something that might sink the whole project.

Leave it to the Pros

A licensed heating, plumbing and electrical contractor has the expertise to support the changes necessary and can provide a proposal, including estimated costs, that will enable the work to be done quickly and professionally without a great deal of difficulty for you. Additionally, a licensed mechanical contractors will have the knowledge of the necessary permits as well as adequate insurance to protect you throughout this process.

Spend Wisely

Finally, real estate brokers indicate that the money spent to provide a fully accessible bathroom will have a 100% return on your investment should you decide to sell the property. That makes the accessible bathroom renovation the most cost-effective any other project you may undertake to upgrade the property.

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About the Author

Tom BillsTom Bills is a Realtor/Broker with TBillshomes.com as well as the President of T. Bills Construction Co. since 1979. Tom is dedicated to helping people with buying, selling, or remodeling their homes and properties in the best way possible for each familie's unique needs. Read more about Why Tom and his wife Barb started In-LawSuite here. Find him on Facebook and TwitterView all posts by Tom Bills →

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