A previous client contacted Peerless Improvements for her mother’s upcoming bathroom renovation. She was thrilled to hear about the father-daughter team at Peerless Improvements blending together an individualized occupational therapy consultation and a contractor with years of experience. The master bathroom was large but not functioning well for this aging but active woman. Since she was looking to live in her home independently, Leigh, the occupational therapist, made several recommendations to allow her ease, comfort, and safety when using her master bathroom.
Using the occupational therapy consultation and recommendations, Peer, the contractor, renovated the master bathroom. Many features in the bathroom were changed to accommodate this woman’s desire to age-in-place including a comfort height toilet, low slip coefficient tiles, and easy access sinks, but the shower was the most important feature changed. The threshold was removed to diminish the risk for falls and a new door was installed allowing a larger opening. Grab bars and hand held shower heads were installed to enable this woman to shower herself safely and easily. With the new layout of her master bathroom, this woman is now able to live in her home comfortably and safely no matter what scenarios the future may bring.
Peerless Improvements not only renovates kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and more for the average homeowner, but Peerless Improvements also specializes in home modifications for older adults and people with disabilities. Leigh Ustick is an occupational therapist on the Peerless team who is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS). Along with these specialized services offered for older adults, Peerless Improvements is partnered with the Senior and Caregiver Resource Network (SACRN).
The Senior and Caregiver Resource Network is comprised of a group of professionals who cater to the specific needs of seniors in the community and the people who care for them. If you are looking for a senior service, whether it is financial planning, or home health aides, transportation, or psychological care, SACRN is a non-profit organization that will lead you in the right direction.
Visit the Senior and Caregiver Resource Network website for more information! www.SACRN.org
Before: A family of 3 living in Royal Oak who loves their home wanted to make it function better to fit their active lives. The kitchen opens to the living room at the front of the house which looks great and functions well for this young family when they are entertaining or preparing a weeknight meal and keeping an eye on a little one at the same time. There is a family room at the back of the house which was not being used quite as much due to the lack of functionality and outdated aesthetic.
After: Peerless Improvements came into the home when the family asked to make the family room function better and gain a more updated design. The fireplace in this family room is the obvious focal point. In order to create more storage and keep the fireplace a strong feature of the room, the Peerless Improvements team created custom built in shelves. This updated the exposed brick wall and created space for all the clutter that comes with having a busy family. The door to the backyard was also updated allowing this room to double as a mudroom as well. Now that previously unused family room at the back of the house is a beautifully updated space that functions and flows with the rest of the home.
Before: A family of 4 living in Huntington Woods had used Peerless Improvements for previous home renovation projects. This family unfortunately experienced extreme basement flooding in the heavy rains the area received last summer. Luckily, they knew exactly who to call to get their basement back to usable storage and living space.
After: Due to the nature of this type of flooding, everything needed to be removed from the basement and all surfaces needed to be replaced including flooring, drywall, insulation, and more. All appliances and electrical had to be checked over or replaced in order to make sure the family had a safe, warm, and clean home in which to live. Once the water issue was mitigated, the aesthetic pieces to the puzzle could be addressed. Peerless Improvements made sure that this family got the basement they deserved.
Before: This month’s spotlight renovation was a family in Bloomfield Hills, MI who were the victims of storm damage. A large tree in their yard fell leaving the family with an extensive list of both exterior and interior repairs. Along with the back deck being unusable, the tree had damaged structural beams in the home which weakened the structural integrity and safety of the home.
After: This family came to Peerless Improvements not wanting a renovation, but instead a restoration. They were happy with their home the way it was before the damage had occurred. The Peerless Improvements team was able to creatively match the aesthetics of the home, while restoring the structural integrity. The mangled roofline was replaced with custom fit beams and matching finishing products. The deck was restored to match the previous style and even custom stained to ensure no one would be able to tell damage had ever occurred. This family is now able to love their home again!
Before: This small, ranch-style home is located on a canal in Commerce, MI. It’s beautiful setting was previously the best feature of the property. The layout of rooms functioned when the family first moved in, but now leaves little room for family gathering space, entertaining space, or space to get away from the hustle and bustle of the average home. This 3 person family was about to outgrow their small ranch, so they called Peerless Improvements.
After: Peerless Improvements gathered the wants and needs of the family and designed a beautiful and functional second story addition and first floor renovation for their home. This impressive transformation is seen from the front view of the home where it no longer looks like a small ranch, but now is a beautiful, two story, craftsman style home. The Peerless Improvements crew was able to work creatively which allowed the family to continue living in the home during this large renovation. Now this family in Commerce, MI has a home that meets their growing needs, has grown in value considerably, and has the Peerless Improvements seal of approval!
In 2015, Peerless Improvements will be showcasing some of the work we do during the year with before and after photos as well as a descriptive vignette on each home improvement project. As we provide some examples of our work through the year, it is our hope to inspire the next renovation project in your home!
This year’s showcase will include some amazing transformations of homes including kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and whole home additions. We will provide examples of both exterior and interior work with attention to detail in all cases. Whether the next project focuses on a young family, an older adult, or anywhere in between, you will get a snapshot of what the needs of the client were, and a description of how those needs were met through the renovation work done. Since these are some examples of real clients Peerless Improvements works with through the year, no names or addresses will be shared online.
The 2015 showcase of Peerless Improvements work in home modifications, home restorations, and home renovations are sure to be an exciting addition to our site. Join us each month through 2105 for our newest spotlight home improvement project!
As the year is wrapping up and the holidays are approaching, there may be a lot on your plate. Don’t forget to consider your home goals amidst all your year-end planning. As you did at the beginning of the year, take stock of your home and the renovation dreams you had. Perhaps there are some projects that did not get done this year, and perhaps there were some projects that you had not expected to get done this year. Whatever the case may be, this information will give you a better idea of what projects you have in mind for the upcoming year.
Gift giving can be a huge task towards the end of the year, especially around the holidays. Rather than getting everyone on your list an object-oriented gift, consider getting them the gift that they will use this year and for years to come; a home renovation! A space to entertain might be on your list if your family loves to throw large holiday parties. A bathroom renovation might make a great holiday gift for a wife in need of some alone time, or a garage remodel might make a great gift for the husband who loves working on cars.
However your year is coming to an end, make sure you take some time to enjoy the home renovations you were able to get done this past year and relax. Everyone needs a little time to unwind and enjoy the home in which they live.
Cold weather usually means higher heating bills. This leaves everyone trying to think of ways to cut costs and make their home more energy efficient. The heating/cooling system in your home can only go so far if the heat is escaping from leaky windows and doors. Replacing or repairing windows and doors to keep the heat inside is a great place to start. Other places in the home that easily lose heat are the attic and basement. When you imagine your home as a human body trying to keep warm, you would put shoes and a hat on that body. Similarly, your attic and basement/foundation should be well insulated.
There are some simple ways to ensure increased heat efficiency without renovation as well. Think about areas in your home that are used less frequently. Consider closing the door to those less frequently used rooms and either closing the vents in those rooms, or decreasing the damper on those ducts. This ensures that your furnace will get more heat to the rooms you use more often. Depending on what type of thermostat you have, consider programing different zones (ex. bedrooms vs. living space) to get this same effect. If you cannot program different zones in your home, usually you can program a time schedule (ex. less heat when you are not home) with your thermostat.
Whether it is a renovation or not, make sure your home has the most efficiency possible so you can stay warm and cozy during the winter months.
If your renovation plans include an aging parent, or if you yourself are an older adult looking to stay in your own home, consider a renovation with universal design. One type of renovation that should include universal design is the “mother-in-law suite.” Whether the space is prepared for a mother or father, in-law or not, a comfortable space designed to be functional for an older adult is the priority. With universal design, the function and safety of a space can meet the same aesthetic as the rest of the home.
Another type of renovation that should include universal design is a home modification. As an older adult thinking about the future, consider renovating your home to ensure your comfort and safety as you age. No one can foresee the future, but using the principles of universal design in your home modification will help to provide an environment to best uphold the function and safety of your daily routine while keeping your aesthetic preferences in mind.
The principles of universal design ensure that most everyone can comfortably and easily function in your home. This means that even if you use a walker or wheelchair to get around, even if you have difficulty with grip strength or grasp, even if you aren’t as strong as you used to be, you can still safely enjoy the home in which you live. Make sure you consult the proper professionals for a home modification or “mother-in-law suite.” If possible, ask for a contractor who is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) because these professionals will be most familiar with universal design.