Heating Solutions That Don’t Require Enlarging Bathrooms
Mike Barnes, of Jud Construction in Muncie, Ind., knows that heating is one of the most important issues when remodeling bathrooms for the elderly or disabled. They can be especially sensitive to cold temperatures, particularly in their lower extremities. In caretaker situations, they also typically require pre-heated bathrooms.
According to Barnes, many consumers are taking advantage of the Americans With Disabilities Act under the Medicaid waiver that enables home owners to receive up to $15,000 to remodel their homes. While a substantial amount of money, it basically is enough to cover essential changes and makes more comprehensive remodeling, such as relocating walls, cost prohibitive.
Because of the limited funding available, to develop cost-effective solutions that address a client’s heating needs usually requires working with the HVAC system.
Move Registers, Ducting and Vents. One of the most common changes remodelers can do is move registers, ducting and vents to create more room for wheelchairs. Sometimes temperature issues also can be solved by relocating forced heat vents, but additional heating options are often necessary.
Install Radiant Floor Heating or Wall-Mounted Heaters. Space — in particular floor space — is of the utmost premium because enlarging a bathroom is usually not an option. To gain floor space, existing bathroom heaters and electric baseboard heaters may have to be removed, especially when the bathroom entry has to be widened.
Barnes suggests two solutions:
- Install a radiant heating system underneath the tile or flooring. This is an ideal solution. Not only does it save valuable space, but the radiant heat from the floor is particularly helpful to those who are extra-sensitive to the cold in their lower extremities.
- Install wall-mounted electric heaters. When radiant heating is too costly a job for the client, a recessed wall-mounted electric heater can be a cost-effective and efficient option that provides enough heat for the client.
Most bathrooms were not designed to provide the proper access and comfort to disabled persons. But creative ideas and careful planning can lead to solutions that will make both the client and remodeler more than satisfied.
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BuilderBooks.com Offers a Variety of Publications for Remodelers
BuilderBooks.com offers a variety of other publications about remodeling. To view or puchase these publications online, click here, or call 800-223-2665 to order.
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The NAHB University of Housing
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Who Will Be the Next Remodelor™ of the Month?
The Remodelor™ of the Month (this link is accessible to Remodelors™ Council members only) award program is underway. Don't miss your opportunity to be named the Remodelor™ of the Month.
The program groups local councils from different states into designated months. There will be two “wild card” months that will allow the council’s members-at-large to participate in the program. A winner will be chosen each month and that winner will then be automatically included in the nominations for the Remodelor™ of the Year award.
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