Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Knowing How To Work Within A Budget Is a Big Factor In Aging In Place Renovations"

When we speak with someone about making improvements to their home so that they can continue to live in it safely and comfortably - whether there is a special need that should be addressed or not - we need to determine what price range or budget they have in mind.

There are so many ways of approaching aging in place projects - even with the same basic need. We can spend a little or considerably more depending on the extent of the work and the materials that are used. Some jobs are going to be much more extensive and complicated than others. Some are going to be relatively simple - because they don't require much work or because of budgetary constraints.

It would be great to provide a full range of solutions to everyone we encounter, but many people don't need them or aren't interested in having that much work done, don't have time for us to complete such an extensive remodeling, or don't have as large a budget as others.

Depending on our particular business model and what price point and range of solutions we offer, we might be able to supply a very simple solution for someone at a very modest investment. Someone else may invest several times that amount. When the lower end or the higher amount of the range is outside what we typically provide, we can call upon a colleague that we have previously identified to assist them.

Having strategic partners that do smaller jobs than we do (unless this is where we focus our attention) or larger ones (unless this is our mainstay), will enable us to serve everyone in some capacity - either directly or by referring them to a professional colleague that we know that can help them.

Even when fairly extensive repairs seem to be called for, there can be simpler, less expensive ways of approaching them in order to provide a more complete range of solutions and still provide a quality job. By being very aware of products that are available (lighting, flooring, appliances, cabinetry, countertops, and hardware, for instance) we can suggest durable, serviceable solutions for our clients that look nice and fit within their budget. A quality solution doesn't need to be expensive, but when the client wants to invest in a higher end product we can do that as well. 

By being creative and really understanding how people use their homes, we often can suggest solutions that are fairly modest but very effective when people do not have a large budget to work with in making their renovations. There are several ways of approaching a similar result. This is the key to being responsive to our clients and being a good aging in place services provider.

If everyone had the same amount of money to invest in a project or required the same items to be installed with essentially the same finishes and look, it wouldn't take the type of knowledge and creativity to approach the renovations as we need to use. Most jobs would look and feel the same, and there would be a lot of routine to it. The one thing we can say with certainty is that our work is not routine. All solutions, budgets, needs, preferences, desired outcomes, and the length of time the solutions need to cover are different depending on the client and their specific home and ability.
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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, 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. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.