Sunday, March 19, 2017

"The Great Thing About Home Modifications Is That There Are So Many Possibilities"

When we think of home modifications, general remodeling, or even aging in place renovations for a specific need, a few ideas might come to mind because they often are used as solutions. However, the great thing about our business is that there are no constants - no consistent way of approaching the many challenges we face.

There are some commonly attempted projects such as a new roof or shingle replacement, widening doorways, increasing the width of a hallway, adding grab or safety bars in the bathroom, or installing hard surface flooring. Nevertheless, within this brief list of potential projects, we can see how there are dozens of different way of approaching something - including the scope of the job, the amount it costs, the materials and finished selected, the brands, the general appearance, and the desired outcome. All of these affect how the job is undertaken, and this is why no two jobs are ever alike - similar possibly but not alike.

There are just so many ways to approach an issue that it keeps our jobs quite interesting and let's us design custom solutions that are specific for our clients and their needs. Even when two adjacent homes that were built at roughly the same time by the same builder will need different treatments because they are occupied by different people.

This is why solutions can't be prepackaged, inventoried, published in a catalog, or carried with us in our vehicle to deliver to a client's home because we typically use such a solution. Whatever we select to recommend to a client and to ultimately create and install must fit several criteria such as what the client requires, their budget or price point, what the home has already, the age of the home and how easily it may or may not accommodate the changes that envisioned, and our business model as to how comfortable we are in offering this approach or serving this type of client.

Some home modifications are going to be done without any medical need being present. Still, there are many color and design choices, finishes, pricing, and desired outcomes that will factor into what is selected and how long the project takes to complete.

Whether done for general remodeling purposes of to accommodate someone with mobility concerns, replacing flooring can involve many different types of products, colors, finishes, and styles. Having someone tell us that they need a new floor installed could mean many things until we go further to learn what they are thinking of, why they are leaning in this direction, if they are open to other ideas, how they use their space, how durable they want the product to be, and how soon they want the work completed. How much they intend to invest is always an important item to address, but sometimes it is not dominant factor in choosing a design.

It doesn't matter how large or how small the proposed work is or if we are going to be doing all of it ourselves or using others to help us complete the job, there are so many ways to look at a proposed renovation and then to suggest ways to accomplish it. This is what keeps our business fresh and exciting. There is always something new to do - even though it might be similar to an approach we have used already. Of course, each client and their needs, life experiences, and expectations are going to be different also, so appealing to what they want and need will keep what we do exciting and varied. 

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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.