10 Reasons to Remodel and Age in Place
By: Barbara Murphy, Designer & Consultant with Neil Kelly Design/Build/Remodeling
When you go to the trouble and expense to build or remodel your home, you should also make it a place where you can live safely and comfortably for the rest of your life. If baby boomers think about aging in place at all, they usually regard it as something they can postpone until much later. That is primarily because they associate these modifications with growing old which this “Peter Pan” generation is sure they can avoid!
There is a better way to think of it though: Aging in place is about creating a home so beautiful, comfortable and expressive of your personality that you never want to leave it. We cannot fight aging – and win – but we can take the steps to make our home the place we want to be.
Everyone has a mental checklist of the things they would like to change about their home – the tub/shower in the bathroom, the unsightly kitchen cabinets, that horrible tile on the entry floor. These are all good reasons to update a home. Why not at the same time make it easier to live in your home?
We have all heard the horror stories about remodeling projects that last forever. The last thing you want to do is wait until a health crisis strikes and it is impossible to remodel properly, if at all. The complexity of the design process can be incredibly time consuming – finding that perfect counter, designing the kitchen work areas to entertain or bake cookies with the grandchildren.
Starting now gives you the luxury to research, interview and select the best design team to help you plan and execute the plan. This is important because you will be spending a lot of time with these people. They are the ones who will translate your vision into reality. It is important that you like, understand and respect one another.
Here are ten of the many things you may want to update and/or include in your project:
1.The lighting plan and fixtures – the right light for every area of your home. That should be ambient, non-glare light for the whole room and task light for working areas.
2.Updated switching and controls.
3.Shelves near entrances – so there is always a place for your keys, glasses, purse and the groceries when you are bringing them home. A shelf on the outside, too – so you have a place for your bags while you are searching for your keys.
4.A beautiful, functional kitchen; maybe with counters at different heights, appliances that are easy to use, and materials that are easy to maintain.
5.A bathroom that feels like a spa; with a shower that does not have a threshold to step over and a hand held shower head to reach wherever you wish.
6.Knee space under the sinks so you can sit while using them if needed.
7.The space for a home elevator.
8.Sufficient, easy to reach storage. Pull out shelves and drawers in every room.
9.Low maintenance materials in the home and the landscaping.
10.Open, bright space that is easy to navigate.
Barbara Murphy is a Designer & Consultant with Neil Kelly Design/Build/Remodeling. She can be reached at:
Office: (503) 335-9296