5 Tips for Safety Childproofing your Home

New parents have a million concerns that range from taking care of their newborn to handling hospital bills and managing work and family life. Still, the number one concern on the mind of every new parent is the safety of their newborn child. The good news is that there is plenty of advice on how to keep young children safe in the home. The bad news is that for many new parents, it can seem like there are too many resources, and it’s hard to know which ones to listen to.

To make this process simple, Handyman Matters has compiled a list of the five most important safety measures every parent needs to take. This is by no means an exclusive list, but it’s a good starting point, and will go a long way towards making your home as child-proof as it can possibly be.

1. Install safety latches on cabinets. Dangerous chemicals and cleaning agents should never be left out in the open since they’re often easy for children to get into and are poisonous. Install safety latches on cabinets that house these chemicals, and if possible, always keep them in a cabinet high enough that prying hands can’t reach.

2. Check for lead paint. Lead poisoning is a serious health risk for adults and children alike. Homes built within the last thirty years don’t run the risk of lead paint, but older houses and apartments should always be checked by a professional.

3. Install childproof outlet covers. The most commonly offered bit of advice for childproofing is installing outlet covers to make sure that young ones don’t stick a finger or other foreign object (like a pencil or a toy) into an outlet. Also, make sure you get outlet covers that are specifically designed to keep children safe, as they’re much more difficult to get off than basic outlet covers.

4. Use anti-scald devices on faucets and shower heads. Many homes, especially older homes, may not have proper precautions installed to keep young children from burning themselves. If you have older plumbing or an older hot water heater, you should seriously consider installing an anti-scalding device in your plumbing. While devices come in DIY, faucet-mounted versions, we strongly recommend having a trained plumber install pipe-mounted versions just downstream of your water heater.

5. Bolt bookshelves and other furniture to the wall. Instructions for self-assembled furniture always caution buyers to bolt the furniture to the walls. When you have young children in the house, this goes double. In fact, even wide and low furniture that normally does not need extra anchoring should be secured. Always make sure that you are using the proper screws, and if at all possible make sure that you secure the anchor bolts to a stud. If you don’t feel comfortable that you can find the studs or secure the bolts and furniture well, make sure you call a professional carpenter or handyman.

For assistance, call 866-FIX-MY-HOME or go enter your zip code above in order to locate a Handyman Matters business near you.

4 Living Room Modifications for Aging Adults

When most people think about accidents that occur with aging, they imagine tripping in a store or falling on a slick sidewalk outside, but according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention a surprising 60% of falls happen at home. Since homes can be a veritable minefield of accidents, home modifications should be made as you age to lower the likelihood of trips and falls and to make your home safer overall.

There are many products out on the market that can make your home safer for an aging adult, such as bathroom bars, motion sensor lighting, and rubber grips to help keep rugs and carpeting in place. But a surprising number of accidents can be avoided through simply arranging the furniture and layout in your home. Here are four quick living room modifications that will make your home safer for elderly friends and family.

1. Re-arrange furniture to allow for a 4-foot diameter for walking spaces. A 4-foot wide walking area will ensure that there’s no bumping into anything and allows plenty of space for the use of a cane or walker.

2. Make sure there are no sharp edges around walking spaces. Sharp edges can be an even bigger danger for someone if they fall, so make sure that furniture is arranged in such a way that sharp corners and edges are flush against the wall or at least out of any walking paths in the room.

3. Move light switches and thermostats for easy reaching. Thermostats, lights, and other types of switches can sometimes be attached too high to a wall. Make sure that they’re easily reachable so that no standing on a chair or a stool is necessary to make an adjustment.

4. Add lighting or railings to areas around stairs and sunken living spaces. Homes that have multi-levels and use a few stairs to reach the living areas can be a hazard for the elderly. Adding bright overhead lighting or additional railings in those areas can decrease the possibility of a fall.

Handyman Matters offers aging in place services to help you and your loved ones remain independent and safe at home. By implementing universal design elements in bathrooms, kitchens and through the house, we can help you transform your home into a living space that functions efficiently for all ages and conditions. Let us perform our 50 point assessment on your home to uncover risks you might be facing. Call Handyman Matters today at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above to find a location in your area.




Choosing the Right Glass Front Door

Adding a front door with glass accents can dramatically change the way your house looks. But which door is the right door for you, and how do you go about choosing one?

Well, to start it helps to know the terminology. A typical glass front door is comprised of four distinct elements: the door itself, which is usually (though not always) made of wood, the glass panels, set in the door and comprised of many different kinds and combinations, and optionally sidelights, the windows on either side of the door, and a transom, a glass portion stretching the width of the door and the sidelights. So what are some things to look for when purchasing a new front door?

Mixing and Matching

The most immediate and obvious consideration when choosing a front door with glass components is the glass itself. Glass panels come in a large variety of shapes, sizes, colors and textures, and will often have matching sidelights and a transom. The first step is to find some options that match your existing house in look and feel.

Options range from clear to stained to frosted glass. They also include the type of setting the glass comes in, with some doors setting the glass directly into the wood and others using beveled lead glass. It may seem like a lot to choose from, but so long as you keep in mind what your house looks like and what you want it to look like, narrowing down your options should be pretty easy.

Private Eyes

One important feature to consider when purchasing a front door with glass elements is that while the glass lets in plenty of sunshine, it also lets passers-by get a glimpse inside your home.

While this isn’t a major concern if the door you’re looking at only has a few small glass panels, it becomes a much bigger issues if you’re considering an option with large, expansive panels and wide sidelights. Some options for alleviating this problem include using window treatments, or to go with glass panels that are frosted, beveled, or are stained.

A glass front door can make your home more inviting and add a touch of elegance in a way that few improvements can. It might seem like a big decision, and in many ways it is, but if you take your time, think about what you want, and consult your local handyman to see what can be done, you’re sure to love the end result. Call Handyman Matters today at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above to find a location near you.


3 Benefits to Performing a Monthly Maintenance Check of your Home

Oftentimes, homeowners don’t see the benefits of a monthly maintenance check until it’s too late and they’re already out time and money. However, having a monthly checklist and having someone complete a quick look over your home is a smart way to make sure everything in your house is running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, it can save you a decent chunk of money by making you aware of potential problems and helping you prevent home repairs and replacements before they happen.

At Handyman Matters, we want to make sure our customers’ homes are safe and not prone to accidents all year round. That’s why we’ve listed out the top 3 benefits to performing a thorough monthly maintenance check of your home.

1. Save money over the long-term

While looking over your property each month and making small repairs and changes can cost you money, the savings compared to having to fix unexpected emergencies can be pretty huge. Many homeowners end up spending thousands of dollars on emergency home repairs when the problem could have been avoided if it had been noticed earlier and taken care of.

2. Saves time and effort

Time is a valuable asset. Working during the week and finding enough time to spend with your family in the evenings and on weekends can be a tricky balancing act. By hiring a handyman or other home expert to look over your home once a month for any maintenance problems, you save a little more time for the more important things in life.

3. Benefits and expertise of a professional

Imagine being able to have a plumber check your home’s water pipes every month to make sure there were no leaks, a roofer check your home’s roofing tiles, and an electrician to make sure there were no loose wires or wiring problems. By having a specialist check your home’s safety and make sure everything is in good shape, you’re leveraging years of quality experience to your benefit.

The experienced craftsmen at Handyman Matters can complete your monthly to-do list to save you time and money. Call us today at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME to schedule your appointment or enter your zip code above to find a Handyman Matters near you.