SOSS Door Hardware

  • What Seniors Look for When Touring Retirement Communities

    12019402_sRetirement is still a fairly young practice in the grand scheme of history. With so many leaving the workforce, choosing a place to spend the latter years is becoming more and more grueling. Elderly individuals with options are finding sub par living arrangements and a genuine lack of amenities.

    Largely due to the low supply and high demand of communities, designers are now considering the desires the vast amounts of baby-boomers who are ready to enjoy the golden years. Their requests are unique to any other group, due to a mix of aging concerns along with a yearning for resort style living.

    But what are the most important things retirees are looking for? Let’s take a look.

    Friends (Active Community)

    There is such a stigma on retirement communities as being full of crotchety old people who stay in their homes or rooms complaining about the weather. The sad part is that those retiring are afraid that the rumors are true (and sometimes can be).

    Not because there aren’t people who want to connect, but the space isn’t set up for elderly interaction.

    To give potential residents what they want, provide large (indoor and outdoor) multipurpose spaces with plenty of “coffee table” style seating to promote conversation.

    Luxury

    While there are high end retirement communities available for the affluent, you’ll be hard pressed to find the average post work individual who wants to live in a community without a few bells and whistles.

    Nice furniture, quality seating, and ornate trim are a good start. Activities will also be included in their scrutiny. Ensuring designated and high quality areas for eating, socializing and gaming will be looked over in detail.

    Practical Medical Options

    While their fun may just be getting started, you’ll find this aging community very self aware in terms of potential needs down the road. A great medical facility will go a long way in convincing them to join you, but other design features will seal the deal.

    Accessibility problems plague the majority of the elderly population. Making the entire facility accessible without losing style is a challenge, but one that will increase the number of residents at a premium rate.

    Think of things like wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, large elevators, and other choices that will make aging easier for all community members. Another large concern is a person’s ability to live unassisted for as long as possible. To help with this, use specialty hardware and appliances that are less cumbersome for anyone without full use of their body.

    SOSS Door Hardware has invented an ADA compliant entry system that can be opened by almost all disabled or low mobility individuals. It’s called the UltraLatch and requires no wrist rotation in order to access a secured door. Click here to find a dealer near you.

  • Fixed Invisible Hinges vs. Adjustable Hinges

    A controversy in the door hardware industry argues that adjustable invisible hinges are superior because they can be adjusted as needed. We disagree. We have put together a video that explains the issue for our customers and anyone else debating the purchase of adjustable hinges. Watch this before you make your decision.

     

  • 3 Ways to Give your Kitchen a Wow Factor

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    The kitchen in your home can be a place of community, family, and memories. Although, many people hate even going to their fridge for a snack, let alone cooking a meal and enjoying it with friends. We understand.

    But your negative feelings don’t have to continue, and you don’t necessarily have to crank out $20k to go from boring to something you love. Small changes can turn your kitchen into a room that makes you say…Wow!

    To help on your journey to a better cookery we’ve come up with three things you should consider to make the space pop.

    1. Make A Statement

    Your kitchen wasn’t made for fashion, it was made for cooking and storing food. That’s a necessary part of your life, but not exactly glamorous. You’ll have to help the space along in order to enjoy it. Here are a couple of ways to make a statement:

    Feature Wall: They’re not just for your living room anymore. You can paint one wall a wild, but elegant color and leave the rest with just a fresh coat of normal. This step alone could make a huge difference in your mood when walking into the room.

    Back splash: Adding a colorful or patterned back to your stove or under your cabinets could create a stylish new look that improves the entire look of your kitchen. Try a unique, yet cool pattern (like chevron) or a unique spin on a favorite like subway tiles with a strong color.

    2. Lose the Hardware

    One of the most stylish statements in the modern era can be created by using clean smooth lines. Traditional kitchen hardware and cabinets are bulky at best and tacky at worst.

    By using invisible hinges on cabinets, you can create a seamless line of beauty. Not only will it be sleek and “wow” worthy, it will be durable too. Our SOSS invisible hinges last for decades due to their quality construction.

    3. Change It from Top to Bottom

    No. We’re not suggesting to rip your kitchen down to the studs and start over. We are literally suggesting changing your ceiling and floors (aka the top and bottom).

    The ceilings are usually just a white or textured space that is begging for some color. You can paint it to make it match the rest of the room, or go the extra mile and use fashionable ceiling tiles to make a very wow statement.

    With your floors, it can be tricky. They may be beautiful, but if you are looking for a room that has loads of color you can make some inexpensive (yet drastic changes). Painting wood floors in bright accent colors with a different design will make people take notice. Try something really fun like a zig zag or square patterns to really show off.

    Now, it’s time for you to take an honest look at your kitchen and load up the charm and style until you say WOW!

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  • Why SOSS Doesn't Offer "Adjustable" Hinges

    SOSS-Hinge-2Door hardware isn’t something we take lightly. We enjoy meeting the needs of our customers with quality AND innovation.

    However, there are times that innovations just aren’t good enough to meet the incredibly high standards we place on our products. When innovation is necessary and makes sense we are on board and come up with and utilize everything at our disposal to meet those needs with new solutions.

    It’s this innovation that led us to create the UltraLatch, a product that allows those with limited mobility to open doors without any turning motion.

    Why Not Adjustable?

    This is a common question people ask if they aren’t in the door hardware industry. Having an “adjustable” hinge sounds so innovative and cutting edge in terms of design, but is it really? It really comes down to 2 basic questions you should ask yourself. Why? And How? Why would I need to adjust an invisible adjustable and how do you make an invisible hinge “adjustable”.

    Why

    The most common reason cited for why you need an adjustable hinge is because once a building settles the door may get out of alignment and need adjusting. What most people don’t know is that commercial buildings don’t settle. It is part of the building codes. If a building settles something is wrong and you may have larger problems to deal with.

    How

    If a building is not supposed to settle and well-built structures don’t settle what else can cause a door to get out of alignment and sag? The most common answer is the hinges themselves are actually wearing out and failing. As the metal wears against the metal from opening and closing a door it will wear.

    With adjustable hinges that wear is applied on the weakest part of the door, which is generally the adjustment screws. Imagine the weight of a 200 pound door opening and closing all day long and the weight being focused on a couple of adjustment screws. It stands to reason that this very design element will wear quickly and cause a door to actually begin to sag. That sagging will require that you “adjust” your door to bring it back into alignment. So the very design feature of these hinges the “adjustability” is one of the reasons the door actually needs to be adjusting. Talk about job security! You create a feature that fixes a problem that didn’t exist before you created the “feature” you are trying to sell.
    The SOSS Difference

    What makes SOSS Invisible Hinges different is the design of our hinges has been around for over a 100 years. Some of our hinges are still in building opening and closing doors over 70 years later without a hint of needing to be adjusted.

    The “secret” is our hinges stack up on solid metal plates and it is these stacks of metal that hold the weight of door – not tiny adjustment screws. We don’t create adjustable hinges because our hinges don’t require adjusting. Never did. Never will.

    We have a full line of hinges to choose from, and a list of dealers if you would like to know more.

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  • 4 Forgotten Updates in a Remodel Project

    36951391_sRemodels can be a stressful time. While most homeowners find the process worthwhile in terms of return on investment and re-sale value, it’s still a process that can be tough to bear. It could be the time, not being able to utilize the area, or wondering which updates to put more money into.

     

    After all is said and done, there are bound to be a few things that you say, “I wish we would have done that.”

    To help you consider these commonly passed over updates we’ve written our top 4 choices.

    Security System

    Many people who remodel forget to add or simply choose not to use a home security system. There are many benefits to these systems in general, but installing one during a remodel helps you choose a location that would be harder for an intruder to find and “cut”. It would also make it easy to place panels where you would like that makes them less of an eye sore.

    Key Stat: 25% of home intruders cut the phone lines or wiring in order to avoid security alarms.

    Powered Pantry

    Many remodels include a pantry. They are so common due to the rise in popularity of cooking in large remodeled kitchens. However, many homeowners are also following the trend of having clean and open counter space.

    The counters are being cleared off leaving many appliances to be semi permanently left in (you guessed it) the pantry. Powering your pantry with electrical outlets will allow you to use common appliances without them being seen.

    Extra Step: You could go the extra mile and hide your pantry as well by making the door seamlessly attach to your wall with invisible hinges (or even use a hidden door).

    Go Greener

    Aesthetics and home value are usually the two most important reasons to remodel a home, but while it’s all torn apart you can take time to build it up with more energy efficiency. Wire the roof for a future solar install, add skylights for more natural sun, and change out older appliances.

    Make Room for Supplies

    Everyone knows what a broom closet is, but too often mops, brooms, and vacuums end up in a corner or closet where they aren’t welcome. Setting aside a couple feet of floor space next to your laundry or mud room will keep commonly used cleaning supplies out of the way. They’ll still be easily accessible to make your home look good, but won’t hang out for all to see.

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  • Creating the Ultimate Spa Feel in Your Bathroom

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    The bathroom of your home is where you get ready, it’s where you get clean, and where you may start or end your day. It’s function typically far outweighs its design, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

    It can be a retreat.

    Turning your place of preparation in to a space for relaxation doesn’t have to include costly remodels or expensive new appliances either. There are some subtle, yet effective changes that can bring the spa into your bathroom. A spa treats you to a sensory experience and your bathroom should too. Here are some of our favorite ways to excite your senses.

    Sight

    Walking into your bathroom begins with your eyes. Typically, you see it first and this can start your journey into the spa. Key areas to consider include softening the light with a dimmer or plugin lamp. These options make it more soothing to the eye before and during your trip and are way better than the harsh light of most bathroom fixtures. Changing light fixtures to a softer more natural feel is the best long lasting option and not as expensive as most may think.

    Smell

    Now that you’re inside, the next sense to be inundated with relaxation is smell. Botanical scents help relax many, but it’s all about your preference here. Try to make it as natural as possible with reed diffusers or even fresh flowers. Plugins and other tools can work, but may detract from the look and feel of your new spa.

    Hearing

    Now that you’re inside and the door is shut, it’s time to hear the sounds of the spa. Music can help, but make sure it’s relaxing. The most important aspect of hearing isn’t so much what you hear, it’s what you don’t hear. Kids, TV’s, and spouses can often break into your retreat. You can avoid this by using music, scheduling your spa time, or (if you’re hardcore) sound proof the walls for maximum retreat feel.

    Touch

    The keywords in the touch category are soft and smooth. You’ve laid eyes on your spa, smelled the sweet scents, heard beautiful sounds (and not heard loud ones). The only thing left is to feel it. You can surround yourself with soft towels and robes for starters. Gather some of the most eccentric and soothing soaps around to take it up another level.

    For a look that takes the spa to the next level, try using invisible hinges to create smooth lines for your cabinets and doors. Your seamless look will be easy on the eyes and on the touch. Our hinges are made from the highest quality materials and are perfect to create a beautiful bathroom where you can truly retreat. Find a dealer today.

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  • 5 Kitchen Updates to Skyrocket Your Home's Value

    45169185_sEveryone knows that updating a home’s kitchen is one of the best (if not the best) way to increase the value of that property. Although, as with most things in life, there are some things that work better than others.

    So, what are some of the things to do in your kitchen that offers the best bang for the buck?

    Great question, and it’s the one we hope to answer with our five high return on investment (ROI) updates.

    1. Pantry

    One of the most common problems in the kitchens of existing homes is the lack of pantry space. Many homes don’t even have a pantry! If you’ve watched a home show or two, you may have noticed that potential buyers clamor over a well thought out and sizeable space for dry goods. This storage space not only adds value; it could end up being one of the primary selling points for your home.

    2. Extra Eating Space

    Not so much in the form of an eat in kitchen. Think of it as bonus space for feeding the kids in the morning with a breakfast nook. Or perhaps a high counter with a couple of stools to continue the conversation with friends after dinner. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a place for large meals, but enough space to feel intimate and not crowded. No one wants to eat in the dining room for lunch, and once you’re done eating; guests usually vacate to other areas.

    3. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting

    The reason kitchens are so important to a home’s value is due to their uses being expanded. Years ago, the cookery was used to prepare food, that’s it. Now, it’s for homework, friends, dinner, lunch, business, you name it. That being said, people like primary living spaces that have a lot of light. If you can go natural, even better. Just make sure there’s enough and it fits the room and creates a warm feel.

    4. Ridiculous Amounts of Storage

    Not just cabinets, although they are a category all their own. The pantry (mentioned earlier) will go a long way, but adding extra space and maybe even utilizing space saving fixtures. Something like a chandelier that also holds pots and pans, or a fashionable magnetic knife holder and spice rack. The extra space will always get used and makes the room super appealing to home shoppers.

    5. Luxury Cabinets

    If there is a most important update, it would be the cabinets. Buyers wonder if there are enough cabinets immediately upon entering every kitchen they see. Not only that, but if the cabinets have updates like soft closing and if they maximize space usage. The sale price of your house will be directly impacted by new cabinets if they look stunning and function well.

    One of the best ways to ensure a look that stands out among the rest is to use invisible cabinet hinges. These hinges are some of the best quality you can find, and will last as long as the cabinets (actually longer if allowed). SOSS has made invisible hinges since 1903 and help some of the highest value properties in the world look even better.

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  • 7 New Products That Are Helping Seniors

    17699363_sThere are many kinds of disabilities, so there are many different kinds of assistance technology that has been created by companies. A number of these companies focus on how they can add value, creating adaptive devices to help improve the lives of their customers.

    We’ve rounded up 7 new products that are truly helping the disabled, from audio books to doorknobs that have no knobs, so let’s take a look at how they can transform your life.

    Audiobooks

    Audio books may not have been created especially for people with disabilities, but their contribution here is huge! If you think about the difference between listening to Audio books and Braille reading tools, you can easily understand why we have to put them on this list.

    Many elderly and visually impaired people have lost the joy that once came with reading books and other materials. Audio books let you experience the stories and information you’ve been missing and that you may not be able to get otherwise.

    Lightweight Transfer Board

    Transfer boards provide a smooth and stable flat surface between level areas. They are very light and small, and can be used by someone who is able to position the board and slide over or can be used by a caregiver to avoid lifting the user.

    Being able to move where we want is something most of us take for granted. That is why this product is invaluable to the individuals that need it.

    Type Aids

    This product enters our list because of the possibilities it gives for people with limited hand skills. From working to using social media, we all know how typing is part of most people’s day-to-day lives, therefore type aids are the perfect tools for helping to accurately press keys and facilitate the user’s job.

    Cane Holder for Walkers/ Wheelchairs

    This is a simple double-clip cane holder. However, do not underestimate its help! It can keep the user’s cane handy whenever they may need it, and they can snap onto the user’s walker or wheelchair.

    Tub Grab Bars

    I know this might not sound like a new product and it isn't. But as technology evolves, you can find different types of grab bars with different attributes, allowing people with disabilities to enjoy daily life without additional assistance.

    Today it is possible to find multi-handle tub bars with compact design, ideal for use at home or while traveling. This aspect is essential because it improves the user’s independence of the caregiver.

    Reaching Aids

    Reaching Aids are just simple tools that help individuals grab things difficult to reach. You can find several models online or in medical supply stores such as reaching aids that hold shavers, razors, sponges, and even help apply ointment to the user’s body.

    UltraLatch Doorknobs

    A doorknob that has no knobs! A perfect way for opening doors without using your hands, twisting your wrist or bending; benefiting anyone with limited hand skills or special needs. The SOSS UltraLatch is an example of a simple but powerful solution, not only in ease of use, but also to help avoid possible accidents.

    To get more great ideas about senior living please download our free senior living design guide.

  • 10 Ways To Put a Secret Room In Your Home

    28968655_sThere are many functions of having a hidden room in your house. From having a place to keep your valuable things to being able to stay focused without any distraction, a secret room is a wonderful solution. Further, secret rooms are becoming popular as safe rooms for protection of your family.

    Secret rooms can only fulfill their purpose if they are well hidden and very discreet. No one can suspect about its existence, or its function will be ruined. The key to obtaining a successfully hidden place is your creativeness. The more you use your imagination and adapt your home, the more options you will have for creating a secret space.

    Below you will find a list of 10 creative ways to design a secret room in your home:

    Wine Cabinets
    A wine cabinet is used for storing and organizing wine bottles, but it can be a very useful way to hide your wine cellar full of your favorite vintages. Install an invisible hinge on your cabinet and you will have your very own secret cellar.

    Bookshelves
    The same thing can be done with a bookshelf inside your home library. You only need to choose one bookshelf to hide a different room with your favorite and rare books. The perfect idea for having a secret room in your home is installing a SOSS Invisible Hinge into your bookshelf and use it as a passageway. Your secret door will be completely inconspicuous with this hinge.

    Towel Cabinets
    Using a Towel Cabinet inside your bathroom is another creative way to hide a room or a sauna for example. If you always dreamed of having a sauna, why not have a private one?

    Stairway Rooms
    If you have kids, a great idea for creating a secret room is to build under a stairway in your home. Building a small, themed playroom for your children is a way to fire their imagination and keep them playing and learning.

    Toy Shelves
    In case you don't have stairs at your house don't worry, you will probably have a toy shelf that you can also use as a passageway to a secret room. Your children will love a small passageway that they can crawl through to a room that's only for them.

    Paintings
    One painting of a reasonable size can also be an original way to hide a secret room. No one will suspect the existence of your private space.

    Mirrors
    Door size mirrors are fairly easy to come by. You can attach the mirror to the wall using SOSS invisible hinges so it can be used as a portal to a secret room that you use to keep your jewelry and valuable objects safe.

    Tall Dressers
    A tall dresser with a false bottom is an unusual and practical way to keep a secret room well hidden for life. Large old-fashioned wardrobes with fake backs or bottoms are also wonderful for this purpose.

    Fireplaces
    A fake fireplace is a great alternative if you want to ensure that no one will ever discover your secret room. Some are built to where the entire mantle moves and other just utilize a fake fireplace insert.

    Rock Walls
    Rock Walls that are well designed can be a successful way to hide a passageway to your secret room. Keep in mind the importance of the Invisible Hinge by SOSS here too. Otherwise, your secret room will be quickly exposed.

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  • 4 Ways To Help Family Members Delay Assisted Living

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    One of the hardest decisions we may face during our lifetime is whether to help our family members remain in their home or to consider the move into an assisted living home. In some cases assisted living may be necessary and unavoidable.

    However, there are a few options that may help delay the move to assisted living and should not be overlooked. Here are 4 simple changes that you can make that may make it possible for someone to stay in their home independently.

    Exercise

    A necessary condition for delaying assisted living is to be healthy. Of course, elderly people need to be aware of their changing limits, but appropriate exercise can be a major factor in keeping them happy and living healthy in their home. Gentle walks might be the most common recommendation here, and it's the perfect activity to enjoy with your family.

    Remove Clutter

    Having fewer things around the house will mean less dust, less cleaning, more space, and a big decrease in the probability of accidents. The key thing to achieve this is to simplify, and removing clutter will help a lot.

    How can you help here?

    Make sure all walk ways are clear and there are no unnecessary items on the floor. Clear off counters to lessen the likelihood of something being knocked off. After this, sort through anything that needs to thrown away or sold. Selling or donating any extra furniture or items can be both a fun and productive way of reducing clutter.

    Adapting Your Home

    Together with removing clutter, changing a few key features in your home can reduce risks and increase confidence in the elderly. Here is a short list of things you might want to consider when retrofitting your home.

    Providing Or Improving Access To Rooms
    By installing a stair lift, widening doorways and installing ramps to avoid using steps you can help your loved one gain access to areas of their own home that may not have been possible before.

    Changing Door Knobs
    The UltraLatch door knob made by SOSS is a very comfortable fully ADA compliant and easy to use door handle. In fact, the UltraLatch allows its user to open doors with only half an inch of movement, benefiting anyone with limited hand movement or special needs.

    Changing Things To Proper Heights
    We all know using adjustable beds or chairs are of great benefit. However you can also adjust the heights of light switches, door handles, and electrical outlets making them more accessible.

    Learning a New Skill

    Studies show that we need to use our brain, to delay losing some of our mental capabilities. There is a wide range of skills that you can learn, from learning a new language to how to use a smartphone.

    Ideally, it should involve some physical movement or change in environment. This can simply be trying a different walking path at new park. Whatever changes you can help your loved one make will help delay assisted living and increase their quality of life.

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