Today, more homeowners are thinking about how their (or a relative’s) needs will change over their lifetime and they are requesting Universal Design features when remodeling and for new home construction. Homes designed for comfort, safety, function and accessibility are appealing to both owners and potential buyers because they are accommodating to people of all ages and abilities. A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) is an expert who provides design-build solutions that incorporate Universal Design concepts.
McClurg's Home Remodeling Blog
The project we selected to showcase this month is a renovation of a Post-World War II ranch home built in the late 1950s. During that era (1952-1963), many ranch and cape style homes were built for returning veterans who received government loans for affordable housing. These tract homes were built with small segregated rooms based on function: cooking, dining, relaxing and sleeping. This type of floor plan no longer meets the needs of many homeowners, nor is it functional for today’s appliances, electronics and furnishings.
Small details count when you are planning to remodel a kitchen. We are seeing a growing interest in “Universal Design” features that make a kitchen stylish, safe and functional for people of all ages and stages of life. Even if you are not planning to live in your home for a long period of time, these features make sense by creating a kitchen that is comfortable for your use and will appeal to a wide range of buyers at resale.
One of today’s most popular trends in bathroom design is a walk-in shower. Why? Most people prefer a shower to a bath and walk-in showers can be installed in almost any bathroom. Part of the appeal of walk-in showers over shower-tub combinations is that they are safer because you don’t have to step over a tub side (which is typically 16 inches high) and they are easier to clean. Accessories can be added for comfort such as seating, grab bars, wall jet sprays, hand-held shower sprays and rainfall showerheads. Walk-in showers can be designed with or without doors.
I’ve been in the residential remodeling business for more than 35 years and have worked with many homeowners as they’ve experienced lifestyle changes. For young homeowners, those changes may be expanding space for a growing family by adding a family room, converting a basement to a playroom or remodeling a kitchen to accommodate more users and gatherings. After the kids leave, empty nesters look to projects they have been putting off, such as remodel a master bedroom suite, or converting that basement playroom into a den or hobby room. When a parent moves in, a home may need to be retrofitted to accommodate all of the occupants. At retirement, additional changes may be needed especially if health issues become a factor.
Topics: Universal Design
The economy and caregiver relationships have created more households where families are sharing a home and expenses. Many young adults are living at home with their parents as they deal with college debt, divorce, single parenthood or unemployment. Parents are moving in with adult children as they cope with the loss of a spouse, health issues related to aging or to lend a helping hand to a young family. Immigration is also a factor in the increasing number of multigenerational households.
Many of our customers have owned the house they’re living in for decades. Over time, lifestyles change. If you purchased your home when your children were young, the kids have left the nest and are returning to visit (or sometimes move back) with young children. You may be living in a multi-generational household shared with a frail parent or older children. If someone in your household is challenged by health issues, your home may require changes to better meet their needs.
Topics: Universal Design
This summer, McClurg Remodeling & Construction Services joined with 12 other local businesses to build a deck for Judy Aguirre, a Baldwinsville mother who suffered a spinal cord injury, which caused paralysis, when she fell in her home.
If you’ve had a child with a broken leg, parents who are experiencing problems with walking or if you have had an injury or surgery which has impeded your mobility, you know that entering and exiting buildings can be a problem. There is nothing more frustrating than being unable to enter or exit your home easily.
Recently I met with a client who wanted to remodel a kitchen. Her house was built in 1958 and the kitchen layout and cabinets were original to the home. She told me it wasn't a practical design. She had to get down on her hands and knees to access the lower cupboards, the work triangle didn't provide for modern appliances, food prep space was scarce, the sink had an old fixture that lacked a spray to clean dishes, and the faucet was too low to fill large pots. When she was preparing meals, she often banged her head on an exhaust hood placed over a cook top on a peninsula.