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Aging-in-Place Remodeling: Creating a Home for Every Stage of Life

April 26th, 2024 | 4 min read

By Aaron King

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Are you or a loved one considering remodeling your home to accommodate aging in place but don’t know where to start?

Many homeowners face the challenge of making their homes safe and accessible as they or their family members age. Lack of guidance and understanding could lead to expensive and dangerous mistakes.

At Custom Built, we've helped many homeowners navigate aging-in-place remodeling for over 15 years.

In this article, you'll learn about what to know when planning an aging-in-place remodel:

  1. Assess Your Home
  2. Focus on Accessibility and Safety
  3. Create Comfortable Convenience
  4. Consult Professional Guidance
  5. Ensure Compliance with Regulations
  6. Plan Early for the Future

1. Assess Your Home

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If your goal is to ensure long-term accessibility in your home, engaging a CAPS-certified remodeling company to evaluate your home is an excellent initial step.

Obtaining a professional assessment early on helps plan an effective aging-in-place remodel. These assessments typically involve the contractor visiting your home, conducting a thorough walkthrough, taking measurements, and capturing photos to provide the most suitable recommendations for updates. 

Here are a few ways you to ensure you get the most out of your home assessment: 

  • Schedule an assessment with a CAPS Specialist early in your planning process.
  • Provide the assessor with detailed information about your mobility challenges and future needs.
  • Discuss your budget and timeline during the assessment to align expectations and plan.
  • Be open to suggestions and ask questions to understand each recommendation.

2. Focus on Accessibility and Safety

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No matter what kind of aging-in-place remodel you pursue, it's essential to focus on elements that will encourage safe, everyday usage.

Accessibility features such as ramps, wider doorways, and slip-resistant surfaces enhance mobility and safety.

Here are a few suggested home updates that will assist with accessibility and safety:

  • Install sturdy support systems like grab bars and railings to assist with movement.
  • Make sure in-home ramps have the right slope and access to bathrooms and bedrooms.
  • Check and maintain accessibility features to keep them working.
  • Consider installing motorized lifts or stairlifts for multi-story homes.
  • Choose lever-style door handles and faucets for easier use, especially for those with limited hand mobility.
  • To prevent slipping, use non-slip mats or rugs in places that tend to get wet, such as bathrooms, decks, and kitchens.
  • Opt for showers without or with low thresholds to avoid tripping hazards and make wheelchair access easier.
  • Install good lighting throughout the home to improve visibility and prevent falls. We recommend motion-activated lighting!
  • Explore smart home technology options to make daily tasks more accessible.

3. Create Comfortable Convenience

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Aging-in-place remodeling aims to make your home comfortable and inviting for you as you grow older. Each change should help you feel more independent and connected to your home. The ultimate goal is to ensure you can move around your house easily and without feeling restricted.

Here is how your aging-in-place remodel can create a comfortable and convenient environment:

  • Choose ergonomic fixtures, appliances, and furniture that are easy to use and maintain.
  • Let in plenty of natural light and fresh air to make your home feel welcoming and bright.
  • Use universal design principles to make your living space comfortable and welcoming.
  • Choose décor and furniture that suits your style and needs. This ensures it remains functional and easy to navigate.

4. Consult Professional Guidance

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Working with a certified professional ensures the correct installation of all features. Sub-par workmanship can cause accidents and expensive corrections. Hiring an expert who knows the rules for handicap-accessible features will ensure they meet safety standards.

Here are a few strategies for researching and hiring a reliable contractor:

  • Look for CAPS-certified contractors to find the right fit for your project.
  • Request references and portfolios from potential contractors. This will assess their experience and expertise in aging-in-place remodeling.
  • Review contracts to ensure all details, including scope of work, timeline, and payment terms, are defined.
  • Stay in touch with your contractor during the project to handle any questions or adjustments that arise.

5. Ensure Compliance with Regulations

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Compliance with regulations ensures a safe living space that meets your needs. Handicap accessibility features must adhere to specific height, width, and support regulations. Installing features like countertops and sink heights enhances usability and comfort.

Here’s how you can ensure your remodel follows all rules and regulations:

  • Review and update your home's accessibility features to follow evolving regulations and standards.
  • Collaborate with a knowledgeable contractor to create changes that meet or exceed legal requirements.
  • Hire a contractor who gets the necessary permits and inspections. This will avoid legal issues and ensure the safety of your home.

6. Plan Early for the Future

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It's essential to plan your budget for aging-in-place renovations. This means figuring out how much you'll need to spend on modifications. Starting the assessment process early allows you to explore options and determine the best action.

Here is how you can plan for your future remodel:

  • Plan for future needs and changes in mobility by including flexible design features.
  • Start planning and scheduling your project early. This allows ample assessment, design development, and construction time.
  • Develop a realistic budget for your aging-in-place remodeling project. This includes materials, labor, permits, and contingencies costs.

Next Steps to Remodeling Your Home for Aging-in-Place

Ensuring a safe and accessible home as you age is vital for independence and peace of mind. Yet, without clear guidance and understanding, you might feel lost and unsure how to start.

In this article, you learned more about what to consider for your aging-in-place remodel.

At Custom Built, we've been assisting homeowners in their aging-in-place remodels for over 15 years.

Ready to embark on your aging-in-place remodeling journey? Contact our CAPS-certified professionals to transform your home into an accessible space.

aging in place remodeling caps certified services custom built michiganNow that you know more about what you should know about aging-in-place remodeling, let’s explore how to build an addition for aging-in-place, tips for upgrading your kitchen for the golden years, and the top home modifications for your project:

Aaron King

Aaron has been in the building industry his entire life. He worked in his family’s housing business growing up in Dewitt, MI, and for nearly 40 years, built homes in the Mid-Michigan area. He has also worked with the Greater Lansing Home Builder’s Association since he was 18 years old.