Sunday, March 20, 2016

"Questions That A Consumer Should Ask A Contractor Or AIP Provider"

If you are a consumer that has been considering a remodeling project for your home - kitchen, bathroom, entryway, hallway, carport, patio, bedroom, home office, basement, attic, bonus room, or any other space - you have a few choices on how to proceed.

You might be able to do the work yourself - depending on the complexity of it, how long it will take to complete, and your general skill level and physical ability to handle the job. You might have someone who can help you or do it for you such as one of your children or a neighbor. You might select a handyman - again depending on the size of the job and the various elements involved. A remodeling contractor might be the most appropriate choice for you.

It doesn't matter why you are considering doing the improvement or home modification, but if you are hiring the work to be done, there are a few things to keep in mind. This is even more important if there is an aging-in-place element involved, such as making changes to allow a parent to live with you or making it easier and more pleasant for you to remain in your home in the coming years.

The first thing you should be concerned about when interviewing remodelers, contractors, consultants, or space planners to come into your home and make the improvements you are considering - or to advise you about changes they might recommend - is whether they are CAPS trained and certified. CAPS means that they are a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist and that they have learned specifically how to approach home modifications that address safety and accessibility issues and concerns - even if you are not aware of what you might want or need.

Working with a CAPS-trained remodeling contractor, plumber, carpenter, handyman, designer, consultant, or other professional will give you the peace-of-mind that they are knowledgeable about and sensitive to your needs and issues and will come into your home with the utmost respect for you and your property. They know that you are concerned about the safety and security of both you and your home while they are working with you and will take the necessary steps to insure that you are comfortable with their approach. Of course, they should be insured and licensed as necessary, and you will want to verify this.

In addition to working with someone who is CAPS-trained, find out what type of experience they have in doing the kind of work you (or possibly an occupational therapist that is working with you) you are anticipating. Make sure you feel satisfied that they can accomplish what you envision and that you will get the results you desire.

Do a little research online into their background. Check out their website (nearly every business has a website) and social media profiles to see what they say about their abilities and what their clients say as well.

Choosing a contractor or consultant to help you is a big step. You want to make sure the work is done well and that your money is well spent.

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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.