skip to Main Content

Best Practices

Remodeling your home is a big decision but it also creates the opportunity to add safety, comfort and energy-efficient products and features that add greater enjoyment and savings on monthly utility bills.

When planning your remodel, take the time to evaluate how energy-efficient your current home is. Use NARI’s Energy Efficiency best practices to lead the way.

Another safety related concern is the impact that lead and lead paint may have on you and your family. Ask your contractor company if they understand and follow best practices. Learn more about Lead Safety.

On April 22, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enacted the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP), which requires remodelers working in homes built before 1978 to follow work practices designed to minimize the exposure of residents to lead hazards. The LRRP rule is designed to protect pregnant women and children under 6 from toxic lead exposure by requiring contractors to complete an eight-hour training course outlining lead-safe work practices that contain and minimize lead dust. Those who complete the course must supervise the renovation of pre-1978 homes, and the contracting firm must be a certified firm with the EPA.

Ready to Remodel Your Pre-1978 Home? Be Aware of the Lead Laws!

When you are ready to remodel your pre-1978 home, be sure you know and understand the impact that lead, if detected in your home, may have on your health and in the training that your contractor will need to have. Much like a certificate of insurance that homeowners should require from any contractor performing any work on their home, homeowners in pre-1978 homes must make sure the contractor they hire has the Renovation, Repair and Painting training.

The EPA lead law impacts anyone who works on pre-1978 homes and disturbs more than 6 square ft. inside or 20 sq. ft. outside. All subcontractors or general contractors must adhere to these laws. A certified renovator who has taken the necessary EPA training class will have to be on site at the beginning and at the end of any project where lead is being disturbed. In homes built before 1960, the kitchen and bath walls typically have lead.

Click here for the current list of Kansas City NARI member companies that have completed the training for lead safe practices in pre-1978 homes.

Universal Design is another area of best practice that should be considered. Planning for safety and accessibility will add more to you remodel project regardless of the room but especially for kitchen and bathrooms remodels. Taking the time to consider how universal design could be incorporated might be the different between changes that support accessibility, safety and comfort now versus modifications that may need to be made in the future.

Universal design is about creating accessible spaces for all people, not only to those who wish to age-in-place but also families with special needs and families that are forward thinking.

Universal design is easily incorporated into remodeling projects; in the same way clients choose materials or products, they also customize their living space to fit their current and future needs. Universal design takes thoughtful planning and creative thinking to design spaces for access across entire life span. Elements of universal design are integrated into the overall design becoming virtually invisible.

The 7 Principles of Universal Design

  1. Equitable use—Design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
  2. Flexibility in use—Design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
  3. Simple and intuitive use—use of design is easy to understand regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
  4. Perceptible information—Design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.
  5. Tolerance for error—design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
  6. Low physical effort—design can be used efficiently and comfortably wand with a minimum of fatigue.
  7. Size and space for approach and use—appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of the user’s body size, posture or mobility.

A Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP) goes through extensive training on how to interview clients with an understanding and consideration of their special needs and how to incorporate universal design into remodeling projects.

Click here to find a Universal Design Certified Professional in the Kansas City NARI chapter.