Don’t Move! Age Right Where You Are

elderly-on-porch-300x225According to a recent CNN report, home renovations for the elderly are on the rise. These types of renovations are the fastest-growing segment of the remodeling industry, said James Lapides of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). NAHB’s recent study concluded that 75 percent of remodeling companies have seen an increase in requests for so-called “aging-in-place” work.

The “Certified Aging in Place” Specialist program, offered by the NAHB Remodelers Council to teach professionals how to modify homes for older adults, has increased in enrollment, according to Lapides. Representatives of NAHB and the AARP created the program in 2002. Over 1,000 participants have learned building techniques and structural awareness for accommodating physical needs. (CNN, “Builders: Home Renovations for Elderly on the Rise”, by Grace Wong)

Statistics Show Elderly Want to Stay in Their Homes:

According to the AARP, 83% of people over 45 own their own homes. A 2003 AARP survey, “These Four Walls,” sampled this group and found that 75% expect to stay there for the rest of their lives. 51% envision making changes so that can happen.

In addition, The National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey of remodelers and learned that:

• 75% reported getting more requests for “aging in place” projects

• 60% had done “aging in place” projects. Of those:

• 43% were for customers aged 45 to 54

• 76% were for customers aged 55 to 64

• 67% were for customers 65 and older

Remodelers reported that clients wanted aging-in-place remodeling because:

• 75% were planning for future needs

• 53% were living with older parents

• 46% had acute, age-related disabilities

• 23% had acute disabilities unrelated to aging

(, “Elegant Remodels Allow ‘Aging in Place’”, by Marilyn Lewis)

A Remodeling Project:

Some Metro D.C. families are bringing older relatives to live with them and extending a part of the house to accommodate that change. Others are making modifications for physical reasons, such as widening doorways for wheelchairs, lowering bathtub walls and adding support bars. Other modifications simply include updating an older home because of wear and tear. However, the going trend is to do it all with style.  Your Metro D.C. remodeling contractor will know how to integrate the practical aspects of aging in place remodeling with attractive design elements .

An example of an accommodating remodeling project occurred in a California backyard. A playhouse was rebuilt to become a livable apartment for one family’s 70 year-old father with Paget’s disease. Building aspects of the apartment include a walk-in shower with no obstructing ledge at the entrance, two-inch-square commercial nonskid tile, lever handles instead of doorknobs and an anti-scald device to keep water temperature even. (, “Elegant Remodels Allow ‘Aging in Place’”, by Marilyn Lewis)
Suggestions for Remodeling:

If you are contemplating a remodeling project, keep the future in mind. You can make simple changes to your Metro D.C. home now for what may be needed many years in the future. Sam Clark, a builder and author of “The Real Goods Independent Builder: Designing & Building a House Your Own Way” and “Remodeling a Kitchen”, provides the following suggestions for changes to make to your home to accommodate the physical bodily changes that occur over time:

• Remodel your Metro D.C. home so that you can live on the ground level if necessary.

• Widen doorways to accommodate wheelchairs.

• Plan the front entry to be as level with the ground as Metro D.C. building codes allow. Eliminate stairs with sloping sidewalks.

• Try to think way ahead. For example, in a bathroom remodel, install reinforcement for grab bars.

• Plan for a lot of storage within the “optimal reach zone” – the space between 20 inches and 44 inches above the floor to a depth of 20 inches away from your body.

• Use drawers instead of cupboards where possible.

• Install lever handles throughout your Metro D.C. home.

• Use hard flooring or choose an attractive, low-pile commercial carpet.

• Place electric outlets higher than usual and switches lower.

• Install a shelf outside the front door so you can put down packages while searching for keys.

Additional tips from the Home Remodelers in Metro D.C. further suggests vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is made to look like real wood and it never needs painting, preventing any hazardous maintenance or painting. Vinyl windows are also suggested; they are easy to clean and energy efficient.

Article Source:

If you are looking for a Metro D.C. & South Florida Remodeling Contractor then please call
703-552-7565 or complete our online request form.

We have worked with Bob Berriz of Berriz Design on 4 different projects over the past 20 years. We have only worked with Bob because he has extraordinary conceptual and design skills and very high standards, is incredibly responsive, creative and full of ideas and options to meet your needs, stays actively engaged throughout implementation, is exceedingly resourceful in solving problems, uses only the highest quality materials, charges a fair and reasonable price, and is totally committed to your full satisfaction with the results.

D & L Lion – McLean, VA

Schedule A