Monday, 29 June 2015

Remodeling For Your Retirement: 4 Essential Preparations You Need to Know

Are you an average American homeowner? If so, you are in your mid-30s and retirement is a long way off. It’s not something you think about when you plan to remodel your home. But remodeling is not something you can afford to do every few years. The sooner you start thinking about it the better. If you are approaching your 60s, the urgency is much greater.

Observing Homes of Seniors to Get Ideas

This doesn’t mean visiting a retirement home. Drop in and spend some time with the seniors you know. Talk to them about the challenges they face in their homes due to structural features which if available would make life much easier for them. Not everything may appeal to you nor may be right for you, but the more ideas you get the better prepared you will be. You don’t have to incorporate everything immediately. Making provision for it is enough. For example, remodeling a staircase with the option of installing a stair lift at a later date will make installation easier when it needs to be done. 

Understanding “Universal Design”

The term Universal Design refers to the concept of a home that is safe for, attractive  and comfortable to people of all ages. This includes: maximizing the number of bedrooms on the ground floor so that climbing is reduced;making wide doorways that make wheelchair access easier; fixing easy-to-reach switches and outlets; providing multi-level kitchen counters and so on. These are features that everyone will becomfortable with, not just the elderly.

Building Safer Bathrooms

Bathrooms are a major danger area for the elderly. Many homes usually have smaller bathrooms and these can be difficult for the elderly to use. Making bathrooms bigger may not be possible. But the layout can be designed to provide the following safety features: maximum possible open floor space for easier access to wheel chair or walker users; location of the tub and toilet convenient for fixing grab bars later. Floors with the highest non-slip factor will be safe for everyone, especially seniors.

Living Downstairs

If you have a 2 story home, you are not going to abandon the upper floor. But you could think of moving the master bedroom downstairs. Remove thresholds to reduce the chances of tripping and make wheelchair access easier. There’s no need to install a ramp to your front porch now, but keeping provision for putting one in later makes sense. Make the steps at the front entrance smaller, easier to use. It is something everyone will appreciate right now.

These are just a few things that can make your home more comfortable and safer for you in your senior years. There is much more you can think about and many more options available. It would be a good idea to have your home remodeling done by a contractor specializing in design-build remodeling.

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