Sunday, February 28, 2016

"Homeowners Or Renters Should Be Encouraged To Make Some Improvements Themselves"

With so many renters and homeowners needing aging-in-place solutions to help them live safely and comfortably in their homes, there literally are more projects to be done than can be started in a timely manner. Therefore, let's suggest, as aging-in-place providers, that the homeowners and renters take care of the smaller jobs that they can manage while we do the larger and more complicated projects.

As business people, we certainly are aware of competition and we want to get as much from the marketplace as possible. We all want to maintain or even grow our market share. That's how we maintain our ability to prosper and stay in business over time. So how does advocating that we give up a portion of our business to homewowners and renters help us?

There are three very simple and practical reasons for recommending that homeowners and renters begin doing some of the aging-in-place remodeling in their homes that normally we would do. First, many projects are relatively small and simple ones to complete. A handyman could be engaged, and a remodeler could do them as part of a larger project, but having renters and owners do them makes logistic sense. As such, it saves them money that they can use on larger projects, and it lets the contractors focus on working on more complex projects.

Second, it allows the owners and renters to make immediate improvements that begin enhancing the safety, appearance, comfort, conveneience, and accessibility of their homes without waiting for work to be scheduled and completed by someone else.

Third, it gets the owners and renters in the remodeling mood and started on the path to more comprehensive solutions. Any procrastination that might have existed will start to fade as they begin the wotk themselves. Then, additional projects can be scheduled and completed to make their homes even safer and more comfortable.  

An example of an item that we should encourage people to complete for themselves is replacing all of their non-lever door handles - both exterior and interior - with lever-style door handles.

This is a safe activity (without any plumbing, electrical, or construction aspects to it) that takes very little know-how or ability. It requires no building permit or post-installation inspection. It's just a matter of choosing a style (for example, straight, curved, decorative, or plain), a finish (for instance, polished, matte, lacquered, anodized, or brushed), and a color (such as, brass, pewter, bronze, brown, black, or silver). Then the existing door knobs or locksets are removed and replaced with the lever-style ones. They use the same holes that have already been drilled.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.