“Timing is everything.”
This saying has many applications including how and when you time a remodel. Many factors contribute to your timing including money, work and family circumstances.
But there is one type of remodeling where I feel clients wait too long even when the above factors are covered; aging-in-place remodels. Don’t stop reading if you think you’re too young to start thinking about aging-in-place because you are exactly who should be reading further.
Anyone who is living in a home they are thinking of updating or remodeling should consider Universal Design features. These features make everyone’s lives easier no matter your age. And can be extremely useful when friends or family who may need these features are visiting.
If you are changing a door why not make it big enough for a wheelchair to fit through or to move large items through, like a new fridge or king size bed.
If you are thinking of remodeling or adding a bathroom why not add blocking behind the walls for future grab bars or a spa-like zero threshold (walk-in) shower so that when the time comes that you can no longer step over a threshold due to an injury or permanent disability, you don’t have to remodel again or worse, move!
Now you may think you are young-ish and don’t need to plan for these things now and they will never happen to you anyway, but I bet you have health insurance ‘just-in-case’. I bet you have a 401K or some sort of retirement plan for when you grow old. I mean we all hope to grow old, right? Because the alternative to growing old is really no fun! (hint: it involves moving out feet first)
Now, let’s stop and think about someone else for a moment. Do we want our family and friends to visit us? And do we want them to be comfortable when they do? If you answered ‘no’ then your friends and family probably already know this and won’t risk stopping by. But if you answered ‘yes’ think about how they will approach your home from the street, in inclement weather, or where they will sit once inside and if they would be able to use your bathroom easily.
If you currently own a home and are thinking of remodeling and/or aging-in-place, don’t wait until circumstances force you to remodel, start planning now with a designer who knows how to incorporate these items into your plans, so when you need them, they are already there. Timing really is everything!!