One of the reasons that home remodeling is on the rise is that baby boomers are retiring at an accelerating rate and more of them are choosing to stay in their homes for a longer period of time.
Historically, homeowners over the age of 55 account for about 30% of home improvement spending. However, due to recent trends, they now account for nearly 50% of all home improvement spending.
Our experience is that many boomers don’t understand the importance of aging-in-place (also commonly referred to as Accessible or Universal) remodeling.
An accessible home generally refers to a home with a no-step entry and a bedroom and full bath on the home’s entry level. Aging in Place means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level.
While a 55 year old may not be thinking of a time in the future where she may require accessible features, it’s a good idea to be aware of them now if you’re planning to make any improvements to your home.
Adding Value v. Adding Accessibility
The traditional paradigm is that homeowners tend to remodel their homes for aesthetic reasons and also hopefully to add value to their home. However, if you’re 60 years old and you plan to stay in your home for the remainder of your life, you may not be as concerned about resale value. But, you can now make a strong argument that adding accessible features does add value to a home, resulting in the best of both worlds.
Demand for Accessibility Will Outstrip Supply
In the Northeast, where new home construction is not as robust as in other parts of the country, experts predict that there will be a shortage of homes with accessible features over the next decade. This is great news for remodelers, as many existing homes will need to be transformed into accessible homes. Equally as important, age-appropriate homeowners would be well served to begin thinking about their future homes today.
How Do You Know What You Need?
If you’re more of the DIY type when it comes to home remodeling, you can find plenty of tips and ideas on websites such as Houzz and Remodeling Magazine. If you’re not the DIY type, make sure you do your research before hiring a remodeling contractor. Ideally, you want to work with a company that has experience in accessible design and remodeling and who also has a consultative approach to designing and building a project.
One of the many benefits of working with Design Build Planners is that we spend the time with you from the very beginning to get to know you, learn about your lifestyle, and gain an understanding of the plans you have for your project and your home. We are then able to develop custom solutions just for you.
What Is Aging-In-Place Design?
Also commonly referred to as Accessible Design or Universal Design, Aging-In-Place refers to designing your home so it can be used by the widest range of people, specifically people who may have health or mobility challenges. An Aging-In-Place approach to remodeling can provide you with the freedom and dignity of staying in your home longer, rather than moving to an assisted living facility or senior community.
Because every home and every homeowner is different, there is no strict definition of what Universal Design includes. Accessible home features include:
- Grab bars
- Barrier-free shower entries
- Ramps or zero-step home entries
- Wider doors
- Wall-mounted sinks with knee room
- Pull out work surfaces in kitchens
- ADA appliances
- And more…
Let Design Build Planners Help You Age In Place
We are project designers who will consult with you to design and layout the perfect home for you to age in place. Whether you are looking to add accessible features right now or you just want the option to add them down the road, we will develop your project to fit your lifestyle goals.
The first step in our process is an in-depth consultation where we guide you through our proprietary profile checklist that paints a picture of your lifestyle and home use. After going through this together, our team uses our construction knowledge and design creativity to develop a space that is perfect for you and your family, while respecting your budget and overall project investment.
To get started, simply schedule a complimentary consultation with Design Build Planners today. We look forward to helping you stay in your home longer.