Most homeowners, if given the choice and opportunity, would prefer to stay in their homes as they age. Aging in place is an achievable goal with a few adjustments and renovations to the house, which can be accomplished one step at a time. Read on to learn about some of the most common remodels that help homes to continue to meet our needs as we get older.
1. Build out the ground floor
If you don’t already have a ranch-style home that makes it easy to get from the garage to the kitchen to the living room to the bedroom, working with home remodeling contractors to build out the ground floor is a great start. As stairs become more difficult to safely navigate, it may become necessary to bring some of the basic home necessities and amenities to the same level. If you already have much of what you need on the ground floor but want a little more space in the overall footprint of the level, consider bump-outs to expand rooms a little at a time.
2. Make your bathroom accessible
One of the most common and sometimes most extensive remodels for those wishing to age in place is the accessible bathroom remodel. And this remodeling project makes a great deal of sense, as most residential bathroom spaces are not equipped to accommodate a range of users with a range of physical capabilities. When you plan your home remodel, it is important to give due consideration to creating at least one accessible bathroom for your home. This can include a curbless shower enclosure, creating more space for wheelchairs or walkers, grab or support bar installation, and slip-resistant flooring throughout the space.
3. Widen doorways and hallways
Another fundamental remodel when you are looking to remain in your home as you age, is to ensure the doorways and hallways can accommodate any future walking aid you might need. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act recommends creating enough space for a five-foot turning radius for wheelchairs. Additionally, plan to widen doorways to 34 inches in order to accommodate any wheelchair or walking aid.
4. Add a guest space
No matter if you anticipate a health support aid to share your home with you in the future, or if you are just looking forward to more frequent visits from family members as you age, it is probably a good idea to create an ideal guest space. If you’ve moved all your living spaces to the ground floor, your second floor can be reconfigured to house your guests. Or if you do not have a spare room yet, a separate backyard cottage is another option. If your backyard is too steeply sloped for a small addition, consider working with retaining wall contractors to create a level surface and maximize the square footage of your property.