Making them safe for now and down the line
There’s no doubting the charm of old apartments and homes, but what most them are lacking is a quality very essential in build today: accessibility. We’ve seen an uptick in renovators specifically requesting door levers instead of knobs, higher toilets, and safety bars—all features of accessible spaces. These four bathroom renovations, all completed by Sweeten general contractors, highlight how to update older spaces to make them more comfortable and secure.
Elaine’s classic Brooklyn brownstone with multiple floors was designed long before accessibility was a consideration. To plan for a future where she might be limited to a one-floor living situation, she decided to update a bathroom (that hadn’t been renovated since the ‘80s) on the parlor floor, where there’s also a kitchen. The bathtub was replaced with a walk-in shower including a handicap bar and handheld shower. It also has a stone-effect floor to help prevent slipping.
Two subpar bathrooms are definitely not better than one great one. Debbie helped her father move out of his two-story home into a co-op in the Bronx that was more safe and accessible for using his wheelchair or walker. The bathrooms, however, were not working for his needs. After matching with a Sweeten general contractor, it was decided the bathrooms would be combined into a single bathroom with a low-curbed shower, a shower seat, and safety bars.
Sisters in Queens came to Sweeten to turn an unused room into an entirely new bathroom on the first floor of the home for their mother. The space had to be demolished, reframed, and equipped for plumbing, and afterward, the family worked together to choose fixtures and make design decisions. A completely curbless shower is large enough to fit a shower chair and makes for an easier entry. The toilet measures in at 17-inches high, aligning with ADA-compliant standards.
When Marie and John moved back to their native New York City, they decide to buy a home that could accommodate large family gatherings in addition to being an “aging-in-place” oasis. Their Sweeten architect focused on choosing materials and design elements that were easy to maintain throughout the home, from heat-resistant countertops in the kitchen to large-scale bath tiles that required less grout in the bathroom. Replacing the bathtub for a walk-in shower was high on the list of priorities too.
Renovating a bathroom? Here’s what you could spend on materials, labor, and permits for your remodel.
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