Home Remodeling Tips – Age in Place
One of the hot topics in home remodeling and design is the movement toward being able to age in place. This means that the house is adapted so that older people, people with mobility limitations, and other concerns can comfortably live in the house they’ve always lived in. The movement leans toward universal design, which means that the alterations are useful for people at all stages of live. Simple changes, like switching out door knobs for levers, makes life easier for people who might have arthritis or someone who’s holding a baby.
We’ve got a few ideas for your next home remodel project. These elements will make it easy to age in place and increase the functionality of your home overall.
Hire a Contractor Who Specializes in Aging in Place Home Remodel Projects
Start with the entry to your home. Install lights along the walkway and on the porch so it’s easy to get from the car to the front door. Add hand railings, too. A tapered walkway or ramp rather than steps is another good idea. Building a shelf to set down mail or groceries to unlock the door is another great feature for anybody. You can also consider a smart locks to avoid having to fumble with keys.
Throughout your home. Add lights! An easy change is to increase the wattage of the bulbs you’re using throughout the house. Get fixtures or recessed lighting installed if there are dark areas. Consider your flooring. Is it easy to trip or slip on it? Check into low pile carpet or special tiles designed to reduce slipping. Widen doorways wherever possible. Removing molding can create space. So can installing doors on an offset hinge.
In the kitchen. Consider adding task lighting on the counters to increase visibility. Get rid of throw rugs. Replace cabinets with slide-out shelves and drawers. It’s much easier to find things when you can pull out the shelf into the light. Consider your appliances. Can you get your dishwasher or stove installed higher up, so you don’t have to bend down so far to reach them?
In the bathroom. Add grab bars. You can find attractive bars that fit in with your decor. Make sure they are installed securely. This is a time to hire a professional! Switch out a tub for a shower. The shower should have a very low or no step up. Install a hand-held shower head. Consider a built-in bench, for easy bathing. A comfort-height toilet reduces the amount of bending to sit on.
Smart technology. It’s amazing what you can do with a smartphone these days. We mentioned keyless entry above. You can also install home security and temperature control that is operated on a smartphone or device.
Be sure to talk to a contractor who has experience with doing an age in place remodel. You will get lots of good ideas tailored to your own home and lifestyle!