by Michael Flood, New England Building Supply
It actually doesn’t take much to turn a house into an appropriate home for older people. The principles of Universal Design outline a series of modifications that are fast becoming the new standard for construction. These ideas are designed to make buildings more accessible for all users, but the same things that help a disabled person navigate a bathroom will also help an elderly user take a safe shower on a daily basis.
Demand for aging in place projects is big, and you might be surprised that some of the most popular projects are also the simplest. According to a survey by NAHB Remodelers, the projects with the biggest bumps in requests since 2013 are the following:
Better task lighting
Grab bars and railings
Non-slip safety flooring
Widening doorways to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs
These projects aren’t necessarily difficult, and savvy contractors should consider educating clients about Universal Design and providing an aging in place checklist for Boomers to use to plan their living space for the future. Creating packages of services to include the most common remodeling required for aging in place can also make projects more attractive for clients — think of it as a one-stop shop for retiring in the home you already love.
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