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Many people in America live with disabilities, including mobility disabilities which require them to use a wheelchair, walker, cane, or crutches to get around. While most businesses are aware of ADA guidelines for their stores, some requirements are unfortunately overlooked. In today’s blog, we will be taking a look at how your commercial or residential space could use some improvements in order to be completely ADA compliant. We will be discussing entrance areas, entry doors, and entry door handles, all of which can hinder a person’s access to a building in different ways.

Commercial
If you own a business, you should ensure that your entryway is completely accessible to everyone, including those with mobility disabilities. Those who do not have an ADA compliant entryway are essentially denying customers access based on their physical condition. To ensure that your business’s entryway is 100% ADA compliant, let’s take a look at the entrance area, entry doors, and entry door handles, which are the three main ways that a person with mobility disabilities could be denied entrance.

Entrance Area
For people with disabilities, whether they use a wheelchair, walker, cane, or crutches, to have ADA compliant access to your business, there should be no steps or stairs in front of the doorway. Even one step up could hinder their access. Installing a ramp or creating a second entryway is a great way to eliminate this challenge for people with disabilities and keep your building ADA compliant. If you do have a second entryway available as an option, keep in mind that only one entrance into your building has to be ADA compliant, so the other one can have stairs if you wish. Ramps can be created as a part of your entryway with construction, or you can find an ADA-approved ramp to securely place in front of your door if you have a single step up.

Additionally, ensure that your entrance area is wide enough for people who use wheelchairs to make turns. It can be very awkward for people to have to wheel out of a door backward because there is not enough space to turn around. For more information about ADA compliant accessible entrance for business, check out the official ADA guide for small businesses.

Entry Doors
Once your customers get up to the front door, are the ones with mobility disabilities able to open it easily? The best kind of entry door you could have would be one that opens up automatically. We understand that not every business may not be in a building with this luxury or be able to afford the upgrade to do so. However, there are some other options. As long as your door can stay propped open and is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair (36” wide), your door is ADA compliant. If your door does not open wide enough, consider widening the entrance frame or installing some swinging hinges, which might be enough to help. If you need assistance picking out new door hardware, contact the experts at First Impressions International, and we can come up with the perfect solution to help make your business’s entry door ADA compliant.

Entry Door Handles
Aside from the door itself, certain door handles can be tricky for people to open if they have disabilities. Round doorknobs and thumb latch handles require some twisting strength and force to open the door, which can be an unwanted challenge for a person with disabilities. Instead, consider door handles that are levers or loops. A lever door handle is easy to push, which not only helps people with disabilities but can help people with their hands full and can eliminate hand-to-door contact since people can use their arms or bodies to push the door open. Looped door handles are also a great option since no twisting and turning is involved; you just simply need to push or push the loop to open the door. At First Impressions International, we offer a variety of door handle options, including custom-designed and made decorative door handles that match your business’s logo or style. For assistance picking out ADA-compliant door handles for commercial spaces, contact us today.

Residential
Perhaps you, someone you live with, or someone who visits often has a mobility disability. Consider all of these aforementioned updates for your home as well. Eliminate the challenging staircase and install an accessible ramp for easier front door entry. Ensure that your front entry door can open wide enough to fit a wheelchair or walker, at least 36 inches. And finally, swap out your front door hardware, including the door handle, for easier access. Get rid of your round doorknob and replace it with an easy-to-push-and-open lever handle. When doing this upgrade, consider a custom-made door handle from First Impressions International to tie your house’s style together and add some curb appeal.

ADA Compliant Door Hardware and Custom Door Handles at First Impressions International
At First Impressions International, we offer a variety of door, kitchen, and other house hardware, as well as custom door handle projects. We have worked with residential homes, retail stores, hospitality businesses, and everything in between. Our team is dedicated to finding the perfect solution to help make your commercial building or home ADA compliant, starting with the entrance. Learn more about the products we sell and the services that we offer and then contact First Impressions International today to get started!

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Want in on a little secret? There’s an easy, affordable way to completely update the look of your kitchen! Just by swapping out your cabinet hardware for a new style, material, and/or color, you can completely transform the space. In today’s blog, we are giving you six different ways that you can successfully and tastefully update your kitchen cabinet hardware to add a more personal touch.

Match Styles Throughout the Home
When planning for new cabinet hardware in your kitchen, you’ll want to take into consideration other elements present in your home. Does your home have a more modern, industrial vibe? Or is it more like a log cabin in the woods? It is important to match styles all throughout your home to achieve a cohesive, put-together look. If your stair railings are chrome, replace your cabinet hardware with chrome knobs and pulls. If you live in a historic home, consider decorative, vintage style handles. The possibilities for cabinet hardware are endless, but you can create a cohesive style throughout your home if you try to match styles in multiple rooms.

Mix it Up
Some styles may clash, but others look great together. Consider mixing it up in your kitchen with contrasting colors, materials, and styles of your cabinets and cabinet hardware. If all of your cabinets are dark wood, use a light-colored metal material for your knobs and pulls. If your kitchen backsplash has red tones, try finding gold-colored cabinet hardware. When mixing things up with your cabinet hardware, you want the hardware to stick out but still fit in with the rest of the room. Do your research on which colors, materials, and styles look best together. Try not to create a bland, monotone home where everything is the same exact color or an outlandishly colorful and mismatched home.

Add a Pop of Color
Whether it’s the cabinets or the hardware, adding a pop of color to a room always adds a fun touch. If you go the route of painting your cabinets a new color, consider cabinet hardware that’s also painted, instead of traditional metal or wood. Take into account the other colors that you use throughout your kitchen. If your towels and decorations are all in the blue and green color groups, paint your cabinets navy with a pop of teal for the handles and knobs. Of course, you can always take the more safe route with simple grayscale or natural wood cabinets while still bringing out the color in the hardware.

Use Different Styles for Cabinets and Drawers
From handles to knobs to pulls, there are a few different styles of kitchen cabinet hardware. When updating your kitchen, consider using different styles for your cabinets than for your drawers. Usually, when homeowners do this, they choose to use knobs for the top cabinets and handles or pulls for the drawers. The best way to do this and achieve a cohesive look is to make sure that you’re picking hardware that all use the same materials. Also, try to pick styles that look similar to each other. If you’ve decided on sleek, smooth satin nickel, find hardware for both your cabinets and drawers that fits that criteria rather than picking pulls that are smooth and knobs that are embellished.

Use Decorative Handles
While many people choose plain, monotone hardware, adding decorative handles to your kitchen cabinets is a great way to bring your personality into the room. There are plenty of styles to choose from, too, including embellished metals, frosted glass, hand-painted patterns, even shapes such as animals and symbols. Plus, you can use our last tip and only use decorative handles on your cabinets, while using more plain handles on your drawers so that there’s not too much going on.

Swap Hardware Every Few Years
When you move into a new home, it is definitely a good idea to update your kitchen cabinet hardware to give a fresh look to the space. Otherwise, consider swapping out your hardware every few years. This way, you can keep up with recent trends and the current style that’s present in the rest of your home, and prevent rusty metal or warped wood hardware. You can also utilize our previous tip here too, and you can update just the hardware of the cabinets one year and the drawers the next year!

Keep Things Clean
As goes with anything in your home, especially items that are made of metal-based materials, keeping your cabinet hardware clean is essential. Wiping down the entirety of the hardware once a week with a cleaning product will not only prevent germs from spreading around your home, but will also increase the longevity of the hardware. If you have hardware that is made out of metal, it can rust. And if your hardware is made out of wood, it can mold or warp. Even more, if your hardware is embellished with a bevel design at all, grime can stick to the surface and be much harder to clean once it’s built-up. Add cleaning your cabinet hardware to your list of weekly chores and you will not regret it.

Add Style to Your Kitchen with First Impressions International
At First Impressions International, it’s our goal to make lasting impressions in residential and commercial spaces — that’s why it’s in our name! We offer a variety of cabinet hardware that’s suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, or anywhere else you need it. First Impressions International also takes on custom door handle projects, to really make your front entryway pop. Learn more about our services and products and then contact us today to get started on your custom project!

News

Increasing the curb appeal of your home can add to its market value, and it may make your neighbors happier as well. If you're looking to sell, you can speed the process up by making the property more attractive to potential buyers, and if you're planning on staying for the long run, you can take pride in your home's appearance. These are common problems you should correct or avoid. 


Brown Patches in the Grass

If your lawn is in sorry shape overall, start with a quality fertilizer designed for your region, and make sure to water as required. A well-kept lawn indicates an owner with pride. Once your lawn starts to look better, you may still notice brown patches. If you can easily pull up the sod in those patches, you may be infested with grubs or other pests. Check with your local lawn care or garden supply store for a way to control them.


Cracked or Defaced Pavement

If your asphalt driveway has developed cracks, you can repair them once you clean out the debris. Kill and pull any weeds coming up through the crevices, and then blow out the debris to get good adhesion for your crack filler. Fill the cracks and smooth or level the filler as necessary. Once that's dry, be sure to seal the pavement. Asphalt pavement needs to be sealed every 2 or 3 years to keep it looking good.


Your Front Door Isn't Welcoming

The front door of your home should be a welcoming smile. There are many recommendations for brightening your front entrance, including adding a new coat of paint to the door and an updated set of hardware. However, you can really make it pop with custom glass and classic molding for elegance and refinement. Quality molding for an outdoor application can be purchased in a variety of materials. If the molding you want is available in soft wood such as pine, take the time to coat it with an exterior grade of paint to keep it looking great and weathering the elements.


You Forgot the Windows

You can add greatly to the personality of your house with upgraded windows and shutters. No matter how old your house is, you can personalize it with these additions. Before you start adding shutters, make sure that your windows are in good shape and don't need updating or replacement.


A critical factor in updating the curb appeal of your home is making the exterior as easy to maintain as possible. This will benefit you while you live there, and if you make things convenient for the new owners, you can probably speed up a sale.

News

Moving to a new home is one of the greatest experiences of your life as it represents a fresh beginning for yourself and your family. If you are moving into your first home, it presents you with an opportunity to put roots down in a community. Regardless of whether this is your first, second, or third home, you have to consider what you will keep during the moving process.

How Long Will You Live There?

If you are planning on living in your home for a long time, it may be a good idea to invest in items that will last for as many years as possible. For instance, it may be worthwhile to leave your old couch behind in favor of a new sectional. It could also be worth your while to buy a new kitchen set or riding lawn mower to make yard care easier.

Of course, if you are only staying for a short while, it may not make sense to spend money on items that might not fit in your next place. This may be especially true when new furniture can make your move more expensive.

How Hard Will it Be to Move?

Some things just aren't feasible to move. For instance, a television that weighs 200 pounds may be better suited for the curb instead of your new home. Appliances such as a washer, dryer, or refrigerator may also be better left in your old place instead of hauled to your new home. How hard something is to move increases the cost (and increases the tip, too). Therefore, keeping larger items where they are could make a move less expensive, which could leave more money to invest in new items.

How Large is the Home?

In some cases, bringing that old mattress or couch can be an ideal way to furnish a guest room or office space. If you have a favorite chair or recliner that only like to sit in, you can enjoy it in your basement man cave or in your sewing room without bothering anyone else in the house. That being said, if your home is too small, getting rid of large or cumbersome furniture can free up a lot of space in your new home and you won’t have to move it.

It may seem tempting to bring as little as possible with you to your new home. Although that would make the moving process easier, it could mean leaving behind items that you want or need in your new home. Prior to moving, be sure to spend time developing a moving plan that meets your needs and your budget.

Make your new home feel unique and customized for you with custom made hardware and fixtures! First Impressions is here for just that purpose.

News

Florida Design Magazine

D. DePerro Design, Tuthill Architecture and W.A. Bentz Construction tackled the task of turning a large contemporary dwelling in Fort Lauderdale, Florida into a luxurious home with warm touches. Read the article.