Thursday, December 8, 2016

"This Time Of Year Underscores The Need For Remodeling"

The month of December - being full of holiday celebrations, houses full of friends and relatives, and being so close to the end of the year - is not the ideal time to make major renovations in clients' homes. Nevertheless, this is the perfect time for them to realize that changes are necessary are need top be scheduled with us.

As aging-in-place professionals, we are dedicated to helping people adapt and modify their living space to make it safer and more comfortable for the foreseeable future and to allow them to remain living in the homes they love. We also are interested in them having the type of home that is accessible and enjoyable for their friends, relatives, and visitors to use.

As people invite people into their homes over the holidays - for an event or to stay for a few days - and entertain their guests, they likely are becoming aware that entrances, steps, walkways, storage locations, the kitchen, the bath, hallways, and other ares of the home are presenting significant challenges for them in how their guests use their home.

While we may have talked with them in the past about rectifying such issues in their homes, the deficiencies didn't connect with them like they are right now. It can be in several other aspects of their homes as well, such as lighting, electrical outlets, appliances, prep space in the kitchen, showering areas, seating areas, sleeping accommodations, play areas, and eating locations. We certainly can deal with these issues - especially now that they are more aware of how they are affecting how people enjoy being in, staying in, and using their home.

At this time of year, people appreciate the home they have and begin focusing on what it would take a t a future date to improve it before this time next year - to eliminate and avoid so of the crowding, storage, or general access issues they are facing now.

They realize that their home generally serves them well and that it would take a significant investment to replace the home they have now for the money they have invested in it. It would take a significant amount to duplicate or just come close to the footage and features they already have, and the homesite size likely would be much smaller. Finding a home they like in a neighborhood similar to what they enjoy now would be difficult as well. Therefore, they are committed to remaining where they are, and this helps us to design a renovation program that makes sense to them and helps them create a home that is more serviceable and functional than the way it is currently.

People also become acutely aware of storage issues at this time of years - for the huge amount of stuff that they have retained over the years and for all of the seasonal items they use to decorate their homes. Then they also can appreciate how modernizing their kitchen or hall bath, upgrading appliances, redoing the flooring, adding or replacing lighting, widening doorways and hallways, or other projects would make their home more enjoyable for their guests. This work can be discussed now but not seriously entertained until after the first of the year.

There are many visitability, accessibility, and other remodeling tasks that we can undertake. The work can be as large or as simple as our business model suggest and according to the budgetary needs of potential clients. This is a great season for enjoying it with friends and for determining how homes can be better when this time rolls around again next time.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, C.E.A.C., 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.