I have met with a significant number of homeowners that are concerned about making their homes accessible for their ever-changing needs as they age. As a specialist in age in place remodeling it has become my mission to create spaces, when remodeling, that ensure clients changing needs will be met through the renovation process. Aging comes with enough complications; the last thing that homeowners need is added complications surrounding their home.
Ranch vs Two Story
We don’t ever think about growing old when we purchase our first homes but often are first homes become are only home. With that being said it is important to note that not every homeowner thinks about the hitches that come with owning a two-story home as you get older. Many older homeowners have decided they want to stay in their two-story home, so it is my job to make it safe for them to access the second floor. Obviously, an elevator can be installed however this can be quite cost prohibitive, upwards of $30,000 to $65,000, along with ongoing maintenance. Another option is the installation of a stair lift, which allows the user to go up and down the stairs using an automatic chair. This is a much more cost-effective option, ranging between $2,500 to $5,500.
Depending on the type of entry way that currently exists the installation of a special ramp that allows access into the home via wheelchair or with walker assistance. Handicap ramps can be designed to match the homes exterior or able to be removed and transported. The actual door entrance as well should be evaluated. A no-step entry way is as important as an entrance without stairs to individuals using devices to assist in maneuvering around.
Wider doors accommodate for the ease of movement using walkers, canes, and wheelchairs. Another element that is helpful is to switch out commonly used doors throughout the home with pocket doors, when able. Pocket doors do not need to swing in or out which allows for accessibility to two users if an individual were to need assistance or if mobility assistance devices were used.
The bathroom and kitchen spaces are the two areas that are of utmost concern when it comes to aging in place. To combat worry from within the bathroom area there are a number of options to present to homeowners from walk-in tubs to built in shower seats. My preference for safety and efficiency is the installation of a walk-in shower with a built-in bench. This however will not satisfy homeowners looking to take a bath. If an actual tub is desired a walk-in tub can be installed. Along with these modifications it is important to add grab bars and a raised toilet to just add to ease of use with-in the space.
Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com. To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.