As adults near their retirement years and face the realities of changing needs– whether it’s due to their grown-up kids coming back, elderly parents moving in or their own physical limitations – most homeowners decide they want to remain independent and in their own homes for as many years as possible. Unfortunately, while Americans’ lifespans are longer, mobility and perfect health doesn’t necessarily go with it. Additionally, most homes are not designed to allow their owners the benefit of “aging in place.”
What is Aging in Place?
To “age in place” is to have a home you can live in as you move through the various stages of life – from raising children to reaching retirement and beyond. However, to age in place, the home must be both comfortable and safe while being equipped to handle most health needs and living situations.
If you think you’ll need some modifications in the future, now is the time to evaluate your living space. The challenge is: can you easily adapt your current home to focus on ease of movement and safety while still keeping the design attractive? This may mean installing handrails to maintain balance or using lever-style doors handles and faucets because it’s easier for someone with a weak grip or painful joints.
Custom Home Builders Filling a Need
Because they fully understand products and design solutions to make living at home more accessible, talk to a custom home builder or remodeler. They have experience in helping consumers know what can and cannot be done to their floor plans. Can hallways be widened, a no-step entry added, or change out a bathtub with a walk-in shower? Are you able to add more windows, move some walls, take out carpet and add wood floors?
Better yet, you may want to build that “Today & Tomorrow Home.”
Remodeling Companies can Help with Conversions
To make your home more adaptable and flexible for a long-term solution (aging in place), there are many more features than those above. Here are some suggestions from experts:
• Remove the steps from the front entry. Add a gradual incline, not a ramp.
• Replace thresholds in doorways. They are tripping hazards and can give wheelchairs trouble.
• Speaking of wheelchairs, hallways and entryways should be built wide enough to accommodate them. Doorways should be three feet wide and hallways at least 4 feet wide.
• A ranch style or single-story home eliminates stair climbing.
• Add grab bars around the bathroom and brighter overhead lights.
• Install light-colored wood or vinyl floors for better visibility and ease of movement.
• Add more and larger windows for better lighting indoors.
• An open concept plan offers more effortless movement and entertaining. Remove unnecessary walls.
Depending on whether you can make these changes, it may be simpler to move to a home that is already designed for today and tomorrow.
Today and Tomorrow Homes
Based in Menomonee Falls and established in 1990, Cobblestone Builders is one of the best custom home builders in southeastern Wisconsin. They construct energy-efficient, yet high-quality homes and condos with excellent craftsmanship and value. Also, because the owners and staff listen to the needs of their customers, they’ve begun to design and build a series of homes they call “Today and Tomorrow Homes.” Allowing homeowners to “age in place,” these homes feature 3-foot-wide doorways, 4-foot-wide hallways, level access into showers and entryways, and so much more.
If you’re interested in touring a Today and Tomorrow Home, make an appointment to see Cobblestone Builders “Liberty V.” See for yourself how a home can be both beautiful and smart.
This lovely courtyard-styled split ranch home offers a total of nearly 3,000 sq. Ft. with an open concept main floor and a finished basement. The house features a no-step entry, an easily accessible and maintenance free deck, four bedrooms, three baths, and a 3-car garage. Because of the large rooms and wide halls, everyone can move easily from room to room, even if they are using a wheelchair or walker.
Cobblestone Builders always includes brand name materials and products along with custom cabinets, quartz countertops, and wood and tile floors. Call today to find out more!