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5921 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2012 5:58 PM by greenjoe RSS
New Member 4 posts since
Feb 24, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 27, 2012 12:33 AM

To install or not install Bathtub Safety Bars?

We have a return renter who is asking us to install bathtub safety bars.  While we see the benefit to a large group of people out there, we are not certain we want to install permanent safety bars.  We believe that they may hurt the resale of the house in the future.  We are also concerned with the liability of both the permanent and the suction cup style if either fail and someone is injured.  Has anyone come across a similar situation?

  • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
    Jul 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 11:23 AM (in response to sparky)
    Re: To install or not install Bathtub Safety Bars?

    Some thoughts about safety bars: 

     

    The population is growing older and you are likely to encounter more guests that will ask about issues such as number and height of exterior and interior stairs, tub versus shower, floorplan (especially on multi-floor homes) and other features of a home that are important to more mature guests and guests with disabilities.

     

    I am often asked about such issues by families vacationing with grandparents or older relatives. 

     

    Several years ago I was asked to install an exterior handrail by a returning guest and we installed it thinking it could be useful to others who might have similar issues climbing the (five) stairs into our home.  These guests have returned every year for over ten years. 

     

    Safety bars in the bathroom should be seen as a thoughtful accommodation for guests and could be an attractive feature to a large segment of the rental market.  Is your rental geared toward famlies, couples, or young adults?  If your market is predominanty young and active they could see safety bars as unattractive, I suppose.  I think families would view safety features positively. 

     

    I don't think the presence of safety bars would detract from resale value, but if you or a realtor handling your property think so  it is easy enough to remove them at that time.

     

    If you decide to install safety bars be certain to follow guidelines for securing them properly and placing them in the appropriate position and height. 

  • stjvilla Active Contributor 624 posts since
    May 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 8:44 AM (in response to sparky)
    Re: To install or not install Bathtub Safety Bars?

    This is a good question and one that we haven't seen discussed.  If we had bath tubs, we would certainly install bars.  (In the tropics, tubs aren't as common because of the need to conserve water and we have only large walk-in showers.)  There are some very attractive safety bars that look like towel bars but sturdier.  It isn't only older people who can benefit from adding safety bars: we had a younger guest lose his balance and grab a towel bar, pulling it out of the wall.  Maybe we need one in each of our shower areas!

     

    Agree with thaxterlane to make sure they are in the right position to be secure and functional or to have them installed professionally.  I don't see that having one in each tub area would hurt resale of the home.

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,350 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Mar 27, 2012 11:05 AM (in response to stjvilla)
      Re: To install or not install Bathtub Safety Bars?

      From personal experience I can tell you that there are several clamp on bathtub rails that work very well ( and can be removed  when not needed).  I had one for when my late mother would visit, and it was a godsend ( and very safe). You don't want the  bar type-- these are tall, and clamp onto the tubs's edges. You can find them at most medical supply companies.

       

      Grab bars that mount to the wall, as others have said, do need to be installed by someone who knows what they are doing.  They have to go into wall studs, etc.

  • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
    Aug 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 2:41 PM (in response to sparky)
    Re: To install or not install Bathtub Safety Bars?

    In public places and commercial rental establishments, there is no question about the laws detailed in the The American Disabilities Act. The question is, to what extent are our private homes --that we rent to "the public"-- subject to any of the ADA laws? To what extent are we required to make our homes  "more accessible" to anyone wanting to rent our homes...whether they be seniors and/or the disabled? Questions for an attorney, no doubt.

     

    Personally, when I started renting, I considered whether hand grabs would 'uglify' the bathroom -- but I also considered what a law suit against me would cost. In any case, I decided to turn this into a positive and think of it as an asset to have bath and shower hand grabs professionally installed for the safety of my guests.  I searched online and discovered that there are choices for decor in different styles, materials and colors to choose from -- some even more high-end in look and others more clinical in appearance. At least there is a choice so if you have a very high-end designed bathroom you can find stylish ones while upgrading the safety factor. So, six years ago, I had the hand grabs installed in my bath and even in my "slip-free" walk-in stone shower because I was concerned that someone could/would lose balance --- it could happen to anyone at any age. I chose some in brushed metal and they match the other fixtures. I mention the safety aspect in my "orientation" I send out to inquirers.  My guests are small children to seniors and a personal injury of any one of them could be devastating to them, and I'd probably end up with an injury law suit {devasting for me}. I had them affixed professionally considering the codes for height and length. Now, I'll be redesigning the bathroom in July and I'm finding some more elegant looking hand grabs that I will change over to.  Here's a few to consider that look nice: http://www.grab-bar.com/pg/elegant-design-grab-bars .

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,350 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Mar 27, 2012 3:05 PM (in response to anja)
      Re: To install or not install Bathtub Safety Bars?

      According to my legal advisor, (check with your own), private rental homes are not required to be ADA compliant.  I always let my guests know, if they mention special needs, that we are NOT handicap accessible. I'm  thinking I should mention  this in my ads.

       

      If your home is completely in compliance with ADA that would be a great marketing tool to mention at the top of your advertisment!

       

      Just make sure your enitre home is in complete compliance ( wider doorways, wheel chair accessible sinks, appliances,  ramps to elevated levels of your home and lawn areas, etc.)  .

       

      Our home is one level ,that I mention in my ads (Many in my neighborhood are 2 story. or highly elevated) However, there are 7 steps into my home.  I've actually gained a few rentals because of this.

       

      One thing I need to clarify surrounds the Assistance Dog matter. Establishments ( dining, etc) are required to allow assistance dogs.  Of course, these animals are better trained and behaved than MANY people!   We allow pets, so it's not a big deal for us, but it's a great topic.

       

      I'd love to see a Forum topic dedicated to  the topic of ADA, or handicap accessibility. !

      Deb j

      • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
        Aug 9, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Mar 27, 2012 4:18 PM (in response to msdebj)
        Re: To install or not install Bathtub Safety Bars?

        I agree msdebj...it's a great topic for discussion.   My place is not ADA compliant and I'm not planning to become so -- there are enough other places in my area were physically challenged guests could choose to stay that are alread ADA compliant, e.g. hotels and inns. The expense involved to re-construct one's private home to become compliant is very considerble....I have no aspiration to do that.

         

        But, I do have bath hand grabs.  They are a simple, inexpensive way to make the bathroom {said to be a dangerous room in any house} less risky for people.

        • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
          Jul 27, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Mar 27, 2012 4:53 PM (in response to anja)
          Re: To install or not install Bathtub Safety Bars?

          I do not have any plans to become ADA compliant, although our primary home was designed with  the possibility of a grandparent (or two) needing to stay as they grew older or needed care.  We have easy access from the exterior, a first floor bed and bath off an open kitchen and family room area.  My late father did live with us for several years and for some of those years he used a walker and, later, a wheelchair.  It was quite an education.  We made adjustments and additions where needed.  

           

          But, back to the topic - I do believe it is good to respond to reasonable guests' needs and also anticipate safety issues whenever possible.  An added handrail; safety bars in the bathroom; additional lighting at entrances, exits and stairs; electronics and appliances with  easily read controls (I need these!), carpets on wood and/tile floors to prevent slipping are just a few ways to increase the comfort and safety of your guests.  Many such accommodations are inexpensive and simple.  And, as someone already pointed out, many of these features will make the house safer for all guests, not just the elderly or infirm.

          • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
            Aug 9, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Mar 28, 2012 12:12 AM (in response to thaxterlane)
            Re: To install or not install Bathtub Safety Bars?

            I think you gave a sensible response, thaxtelane. I agree entirely with your points 'on the topic'. We have strangers in our homes...and family/friends.  I've had to put in additional sensor lighting outdoors, change flooring to slip-free, level very uneven garden stepping stones, replacing tiles that were slippery are some  of the easy changes I made immediately after purchasing my place. There were so many accidents that I considered were just waiting to happen.  I was the first {only and last} person to slip on wet tiles {these were the wrong tiles previous owners used} ...didn't injure myself but someone else could have.  I knew when I slid on  my back that I had to do something to prevent it happening again.

  • greenjoe New Member 13 posts since
    Mar 30, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 7, 2012 5:58 PM (in response to sparky)
    Re: To install or not install Bathtub Safety Bars?

    When I remodeled the bathrooms in my vacation rental, my goal was to make them more stylish AND SAFER. I found grab bars that not only matched the finishes I was using, but also performed a dual function.

     

    I installed one in a bathtub area that doubles as a shelf for shampoo and soap. See this link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Moen-LR2356DBN-18-Inch-Brushed-Nickel/dp/B004TSYJSI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333839256&sr=8-1

     

    I also installed a combo toilet paper holder/grab bar. See this link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Moen-LR2352DBN-Toilet-Holder-Brushed/dp/B004TSUA6S/ref=sr_1_fkmr3_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333839256&sr=8-1-fkmr3

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