Remodeling for retirement is often referred to as aging in place design. Aging in place is a relatively new term but what it really refers to is the principles of Universal Design, which have been around for a few decades. McManus Kitchen and Bath are CAPS (certified aging in place) contractors but more importantly we have been incorporating universal design principles into out designs since our inception.
Remodeling For Retirement
What should you consider when remodeling for your new life after retirement? It a deeply personal question and something we’ll explore in detail during our design meetings but hear a few things to consider.
Home Size, Access to Services, Neighborhood Quality
The first thing to really consider is should you stay in your current home or look elsewhere. Would downsizing make sense? Smaller homes are easier to maintain and if you have a lot of equity in your current home the profit from the sale could be used to remodel the new place.
But you also want to consider they value of your current location and neighborhood. Having strong relationships with your neighbors is important as you age and moving to a new location could mean having to develop new relationships all over again.
You also want to consider access to health services, restaurants and shopping etc. It might make more sense to stay in your current home, even if it is a little larger than you need.
If your home is more than 10 years old chances are it was not designed to accommodate people of all ages and abilities. Even newer homes can have accessibility issues. Your doors are most likely not wide enough, there are probably floor height differences throughout the house and the bathrooms are probably too small to accommodate a wheelchair adequately.
Universal design principles (commonly called aging in place today) have been around since the mid seventies but unfortunately not many builders have adopted them, even today.
McManus Kitchen and Bath is certified aging in place contractor (CAPS) and we would be happy to schedule a consult if you would like to evaluate your home.
Similar to accessibility, visibility considers who may visit your home and is your home accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Zero threshold entries, wheelchair ramps, parking, entry lighting and street access are all things to consider.
Making sure your home is easy to maintain is an important consideration as you get ready to retire. Updating the roof and HVAC before you retire is a good idea. You might also want to look at your landscaping and see if any steps could be taken to make it easier to maintain.
In Tallahassee hurricanes are a real issue so consider if any trees should be removed if you should add a backup generator.
Travel and Smart Home Features
If travel is to be part of your retirement plan consider what will happen to your home while you are way. Today there are lots of ‘smart’ features that can be added so you can monitor your home from afar and be alerted if there are any issues like a leaky pipe or package deliveries.
Smart home features are also great to have during everyday use of the home. One of our favorite smart light features is made by Deako.
We never recommend remodeling just for resale, the numbers just don’t add up. But if you you’re remodeling for retirement this is most likely the last time you will remodel your home. Giving some consideration to resale value makes sense.
Want to Learn More?
The first step is to schedule a 15 minute call to discuss your project. If we both agree we are a good choice for your project we will schedule a home visit followed by a showroom visit so we can create your detailed scope of work and Good Better Best estimate.