Don't Fall this Fall! - On the House

Don’t Fall this Fall!

By on August 29, 2020
Don't fall this fall

 From sliding on leaves to slipping in the tub, we’ve got you covered for all the updates this Fall!

Our Interview with Sean Watkins

Sean is an old friend that we met many yards ago at a National Hardware Show. He approached us with his invention… It was an electrical plug cover with a built in night-light called SnapPower that was so easy to install it was a winner! 

Now Sean has a new product that just launched on KickStarter 

called the SnapPower Connect light: Linkable, motion activated pathway lighting…that installs in seconds. Transform the way you light your home at night! 

Standalone Mode 

The ConnectLight can be standalone night-light, or it can be connect to others to create a network of night-lightsinside your home. All you have to do is flip a switch. The Stanalone Mode the Connect light turns only itself on when motion is detected. 

Connect Mode  

When one ConnectLight detects motion it instantly turn on both itself and other Connect Lights inside your home  

Sleep Mode 

When the Connect Light detects motion in a bedroom it stays off, but still tuens on other ConnectLights in your home 

Customize your ConnectLights to fit your lifestyle: 

Zone Control 

Create multiple connected zones to have different areas of your home light up separately. 

Time Control  

Chose how long your ConnectLights stay on once the stop detecting motion: 15 seconds, 1 minute, or 5 minutes 

Brightness Control  

Chose the amount of light that’s best for you: bright, dim or sleep mode 

 Installs in seconds; no need to punch holes in walls or run wires, the SnapPower prong technology does all the work for you. 

Remove the cover plate 

Snap on the screw in the ConnectLight. 

No batteries no wires – installs in seconds 

 

The Ups and Downs of Staircase Renovation 

Giving your home’s stairs a makeover can be a great way to change up the look of your home and increase property value! Finding new ways to spruce up your home doesn’t always have to cost a lot or be difficult to achieve. There are dozens of ways to change the look of your wood stairs, which can be a fun project to add to other home renovations or to act as a standalone DIY project.  

Removing carpet provides a quick stair remodel.   

Get rid of old carpet and/or carpet runners and try a fresh look instead. Don’t cover up the beautiful wood hiding under old, ugly carpet. It’s outdated and can look worn and tacky. If you already have finished wood stairs underneath the carpet runners, let those beautiful wood stair planks shine. Sand, if needed, condition the wood, add a stain and finish! This can be a quick and easy DIY for your wood stairs for just about any experience level.  

If you don’t have wood stairs that have beautiful wood hiding under the carpet, you might have to replace the stair treads and risers with a new wood that is worthy of showcasing in your home. Oak is a great wood to work with and can be easily stained dark or light depending on the look you hope to achieve. 

Paint!  

One of the quickest and cheapest stair remodels you can do is to simply paint them.  You wouldn’t think painting wood stairs would always be something to consider, but if you know your way with a paintbrush (or wouldn’t mind hiring a professional), picking a trendy paint color to go along with the rest of your home remodel can be a fun way to change up the aesthetic of your home and your wood stairs. You can also add a fun, geometric design to the stair risers. This added feature can be creative and add a unique touch to your wood stairs. Are you an artist? Or know someone who is? Change your wood stairs into a masterpiece with painted art on the stair risers. This can be a fun and unique look to add to your staircase.  

Even if you aren’t an artist, you can still add art to your wood stairs. Vinyl strips can be made and designed with any look in mind to add to the front of your stair risers. Add some words of motivation, a famous work of art or an eye-catching design! 

Change out the rail posts and balustrade or banister on your wood stairs. 

This can be a simple fix, although if you don’t have much experience with DIY home projects, it might be a good idea to enlist some professional help on this one to ensure your staircase remains properly installed for safety purposes. Changing up the look of your wood stairs can be as simple as picking a new railing design or switching out the posts for something a little different. For example, adding in iron balusters with a wood tread and riser can be a fun, modern look for your staircase. 

Change out the newel post. 

Again, this project might be a little much for those new to DIY, but changing the newel post on your wood stairs can really change the entire look – for the better. Consider adding a bigger post, or going smaller for a more sleek look. Make sure the post you choose matches the rest of the banister and posts. Keeping the look cohesive will ensure your project looks professional and attractive. 

 

Is it Better to Rake or Leave Leaves? 

Ahhh, raking the leaves, an age-old fall tradition all of us could really do without.  

Most people rake their leaves because they were taught that leaves suffocate a lawn. That’s usually not the case, unless you have a ton of leaves or you have a bed of leaves covered by mounds of snow all winter. Then you have a chance of growing snow mold, which is a pink or gray fungal disease that can attack your grass — yick. So yes, you can leave the leaves. But there are other alternatives to raking that might be better for your lawn and for the environment. 

Instead of raking the leaves, wait until they’re good and crunchy (ripe for jumping into), and then mow the leaves into little pieces. Then, you can just leave them! The leaves will serve as mulch and will protect the soil around your trees, shrubs, or garden. Research done at Michigan State actually shows that leaving the leaves on your yard in such a manner not only does your lawn no harm; it can actually impede weed growth. 

Another option you have is to compost your leaves, but you simply can’t rake up all your leaves into a big pile and expect them to compost themselves. Composting requires regular turning of the leaves as well as the right amount of moisture.  

You should consider both of these options, especially if your town doesn’t offer leaf composting as part of its leaf removal program. You definitely don’t want all those perfectly good leaves to end up in the landfill, where the only thing they can nourish is a few pizza boxes and soda cans. And leaves in the landfill are actually worse than you think because, believe it or not, leaves in landfills can generate harmful gases. 

 

Everything You Need to Know About Built In Bookcases 

Built-in bookcases are often the anchors of a room. Unlike furniturethat can be moved in and out of a space, these as-is elements are an integral, immobile part of your home—plus, they lend character to andset the tone for the feel of the room. 

Starting from scratch? Consider your shelves’ height. 

When building your built-in bookcasesfrom the ground up, carefully consider how big you want them to be. The two major details to nail down before you determine their final height? Identify how you plan to use the bookcase and measure the total distance between the room’s floor and ceiling. If the shelves are mostlyfor holding decorative piecesin a room with a vaulted ceiling, you could make the bookcase taller than 80 inches knowing that you’ll need to use a step ladder when you’re ready to redecorate (which won’t happen often). However, if you’re going to fill the shelves with books, movies, and board games in a basement playroom, you’ll want shelves that are easily accessible. In that case, bookshelves that are 72 to 80 inches tall will make them most functional. 

Consider function over time 

Will your built-ins serve as a type ofmedia center? Gaming devices andentertainment componentsrequire deeper shelves than books or décor, so you’ll need to measure accordingly. Better yet, opt for adjustable shelving, as your needs will change overtime. Families may need to store big toys in a built-in bookcase when their kids are small. Later, shelves can be closer together for Lego displays. And eventually Mom will get to use the space to swap out art pieces. If you’re sticking with stationary shelves, 24 inches is the maximum space you want between shelves unless you’re planning to put something very specific on each level. 

Build bookcases into blank nooks and crannies. 

You can tuck a built-in bookcase almost anywhere. Any nook or indent in the wall is an opportunity to make it more functional with a built-in. Consider outfitting the space under a staircase with shelves or repurpose an old closet into a recessed built-in.  

Revamp old built-ins with paint 

The best and worst thing about a built-in bookcase is that it will be a major part of the room’s design forever. And if yours are outdated, they can make the entire space feel drab. To remedy this pain point,to better paint them to reflect your home’s current style. t 

In a child’s room go bold with your color choice. The more color the better. Children’s roomsare a great place to play with bright shades. Pairneutral wallswith red shelves and a desk for a look that’s as high-energy as your kid.” 

Consider mixing mediums. 

Another easy update? Back the shelves with grass cloth,wallpaper, or vintage mirrors.  

 

Make Your Bathroom Safer 

Taking bathroom safety seriously could prevent a bad fall or injury. Water and slippery surfaces make your bathroom one of the most dangerous rooms in your home. Use these tips to minimize risks and increase bathroom safety. 

According to the National Safety Council, more than 200,000 people are injured in their bathroom each year—and those are just the ones who report. When you consider all the slippery surfaces, the scalding water, and the hazards related to drowning and electrical shock, the bathroom is probably the most dangerous room in your house. 

You can’t eliminate the risks completely, but you can make your bathroom safer. Follow these guidelines from members of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the National Safety Council, and the Center for Injury Research and Policy. 

Get a Grip  

In a room with splashing water, good traction underfoot is a must. Don’t install slick, glossy tiles on bathroom floors. Grout lines increase traction, so smallerfloor tileis usually best, especially inside a shower. There are also larger stone or ceramicfloor tilesthat are designed with a little extra grit, making them a safe option for bathroom floors. 

Outside the shower, any rug you use should have a rubberized, slip-resistant backing.  

A fall might still happen, so don’t choose shower fixtures with sharp edges or points that would cause a serious gash if you fell against them. Choose rounded corners on countertops and other components. Also look for rounded, oversize hooks designed especially for bathroom use. 

Grab Bars 

Installing grab bars in the shower and next to the bathtub is a good idea for everyone, but it’s especially important for adults 65 and older. A bar by the toilet helps anyone who has difficulty standing. Grab bars no longer have to look institutional. They come in every possible finish and look, from chrome to oil-rubbed bronze. Not convinced you need grab bars? If you’re remodeling and plan to stay in your home for a number of years, consider installing the necessary blocking in the wall, and keep a record of the location, so it’s easy to add the bars later. 

Don’t Get Burned 

Manywater heatersare set to 140 degrees, a temperature that can burn delicate skin in seconds. You can reduce the risk of burns by setting the water heater to 120 degrees. If you’re building or remodeling, the NKBA suggests installing an antiscald valve for your tub and shower. The valves come in two types: thermostatic (which sense temperature) and pressure-balanced (which sense pressure changes). 

Thermostatic valves tend to be pricey, but they’re required for many high-volume luxury shower systems. If you can’t open the wall to change the valve, consider an antiscald device that can be inserted between your showerhead and the pipe neck behind it. A pressure-balancing valve will improve matters further by preventing sudden fluctuations in water temperature when someone turns on the dishwasher or flushes a toilet. 

Lavatory faucets with a motion sensor can prevent scalding because the water temperature is preset to a safe level. This convenient fixture keeps you and your family from spreading germs when washing hands because the water can be turned on without touching anything. 

A bonus with motion-sensing faucets is that there is little risk of an overflow. You’ll never have to worry about your 5-year-old (or forgetful spouse) leaving the faucet running all day and flooding the bathroom. 

Bath Safety  

If you’re planning a new shower, make sure the controls are easy to reach, from both inside and outside the water stream. You should be able to adjust the temperature before you get drenched. 

Include a shower bench—not just so users can sit, but so they won’t teeter while shaving a leg. 

Minimizing the threshold into the shower is an important part of creating a barrier-free bathroom. You don’t have to have a large, walk-in shower to get one with a low curb. Look for a shower pan that sits flush with the floor, making it easy to step inside. 

If there isglass enclosing the shower, it must be shatterproof, and the door should open outward, so if you slip or faint, your limp or injured body won’t be an obstacle that prevents help from reaching you. 

Considering a new tub? A platform design is safer than traditional step-over designs. You can enter the tub by sitting on the platform, swinging your legs over, and slowly lowering yourself—instead of hurdling the edge. Although steps leading to a whirlpool tub or sunken shower look dramatic, they can cause a fall. If steps are necessary, equip them with handrails and a slip-resistant surface. 

For additional safety with a whirlpool tub, the NKBA recommends installing an emergency shutoff. It should be easy to reach from inside and outside the tub 

Kid Considerations 

If you have small children (or if they visit), lock away medications and cleaning supplies, and install safety devices, such as toilet locks and tub-spout pads. Above all, never leave a small child unattended in the bath or shower. Injury experts recommend that you not use a baby bath seat, because they don’t prevent drowning. Children can drown within minutes in even 1-2 inches of water. Their skin is more sensitive to burns than an adults’ skin, and their center of gravity is higher, so they topple easily, and their faces or heads usually take the brunt of impact. 

Add a Separate Shower 

Most accidents occur when people are climbing in and out of a bathtub. If you can do with a shower instead of a tub (or if you have enough room for a separate tub and shower),a walk-in showerwithout a threshold will reduce the risk of falling. To make your shower safer, equip it with grab bars, a bench, and storage alcoves that eliminate the need to reach far or stoop. Shower doors should be made of laminated glass with a plastic interlayer; tempered glass; or an approved, shatter-resistant plastic. No lighting fixtures, electrical outlets, or switches should be within reach of a person in a tub or shower.

Add Universal Comfort  

Many universal design features that make a bath wheelchair-accessible can also make it safer and more comfortable for everyone. 

A toilet with an 18-inch seat height matches the height of an average dining chairso many adults prefer it. A handheld shower with an adjustable height makes it easier to shower if you’re on crutches or seated. It’s also a nice feature if you’re short or just want to keep your hair dry. 

Wheelchair accessibility also means the bathroom won’t be cramped. Doorways must be at least 32 inches wide, although the NKBA recommends they be 36 inches wide. Including a pocket door instead of a standard swinging door is a space-saver and makes a bathroom safer. Swinging a door open can be difficult for individuals with mobility challenges. Pocket doors also reduce the risk of accidents—including head injuries, stubbed toes, and pinched fingers—from frequent opening and closing in a high-traffic bathroom. 

Roomy aisles and the 60-inch-diameter space necessary for turning a wheelchair around offer a welcoming expanse of open floor space that anyone would enjoy. 

 

Ugliest Concrete Surface in America Sweepstakes 

Everyone loves a giveaway. If you have the ugliest concrete surface in America you can get a chance to be one of three winners in our latest sweepstakes…

The Ugliest Concrete Surfaces in America Sweepstakes

Winners will be chosen at random to receive cash prizes and a Daich Coatings on-line shopping spree.

First Place

$500 VISA® Gift Card and $500 shopping spree on Daich Coatings Online Store.
Total value $1,000.00

Second Place

$250 VISA® Gift Card and $250 shopping spree on Daich Coatings Online Store.
Total value $500.00

Third Place

$100 VISA® Gift Card and $100 shopping spree on Daich Coatings Online Store.
Total value $200.00

The sweepstakes ended at 11:59 p.m. EST on Saturday, August 22, 2020.

 

Mentioned Links 

 

A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming! 

Thank you to our Technical Support: 

  • Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer  
  • Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer  
  • Sam Reed – Associate Producer  
  • Rico Figliolini – Digital Master 

 

Thank you for tuning in to Don’t fall this Fall! And check in next week for more cool tips! 

“Don’t Fall this fall” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired August 28, 2020. 

Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here. 

About Samantha Reed

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