Your house should be able to support your needs. However, as we get older our needs change. Over time, we begin to need things to help with mobility and to keep independence. One of the best things to do is when you remodel your house, to keep in mind what you might need some time in the future.
This could be extra durability so you don’t have to clean, elements that will save money in the long run, or simple upgrades to promote safety. When you remodel your home for future aging considerations, it is called aging in place remodeling. Aging in place remodeling allows you to do the work now in order to be more comfortable later in life.
If you have been looking into the future, contemplate some of these trending aging-in-place remodeling ideas for your home.
Accessibility in Mind
One of the main things to keep in mind when remodeling for the future. There are a lot of accessibility aspects you can implement in your remodeling projects. Trending aspects include adding ADA-compliant grab bars in the bathroom and around the house, installing high toilets, walk-in showers, larger doorways, and ramps instead of steps.
ADA-compliant grab bars are essential for preventing falls and being able to get up if you do fall. You’ll want to install the ADA-compliant grab bars in any place that falls are likely like the bedroom, bathroom, and common walkways.
As we increase in age, we can’t sit and stand easily, especially from low places. Taller toilets make it much easier to accommodate this without changing the look of your space too much.
Additionally, mobility becomes a problem in older age, so implementing walk-in showers, larger doorways, and adding ramps instead of stairs will ensure that if you need mobility devices in the future like wheelchairs or walkers.
Durability and Longevity Projects
Since our homes age with us, thinking about durability and longevity in your remodeling project is essential. If you are remodeling now for your future self, you will want to prevent having a lot of maintenance and things that need replacing in the future.
For instance, traditional asphalt roofs often need to be replaced after 10-20 years and easily get damaged by the weather. Opting to replace your current roof with composite insulated roof panels is one switch that will ensure your project now will hold up for when you don’t want to be shelling out money and energy on getting a roof repaired or replaced. Composite roofs are far more durable to weather and last a lot longer.
Another idea is to update your siding to metal plank siding. Not only will it update the look of your home, but metal plank siding is also durable in any weather environment and is low maintenance siding so it hardly ever has to be replaced. Even if you don’t do these two trending projects, consider durability and longevity in any of your aging-in-place remodelings.
Energy Efficiency to Save Money
As we age, we are often on a limited, set budget because of retirement. It is important to set yourself up to not have high energy expenses in the future. Adding energy-efficient elements during your remodeling process is a current trend that will save you money in the long run. Energy-efficient elements like appliances, vinyl windows, and a new HVAC unit will cut your energy costs and lower your bills.
If you don’t want to replace these large ticket things, something as simple as replacing light bulbs with LED ones and installing window replacement inserts can make a big difference.
Flooring Considerations for Fall Protection
Falls, as we mentioned, are the top concern in aging. Therefore, with aging-in-place remodeling, it is important to consider the flooring for fall protection. Replacing your flooring with vinyl flooring or hardwood makes mobility devices easy and protects against tripping.
Additionally, placing protection in high fall risk areas if you do fall is vital as well. Bedside fall mats can prevent injury and you can choose to put down anti-fatigue mats to protect joints now.
One flooring to avoid is tile because it is hard to clean, tougher to walk on, and makes rolling a wheelchair if you need to in the future difficult.
Once mobility is limited, it is essential to have a space that is convenient to your lifestyle. Some ways to add convenience include lower countertops in the bathroom and kitchen so you could sit if you needed to, a side-by-side fridge versus a fridge with the freezer on the bottom so you don’t have to reach or bend for things, and even simple things such as a countertop microwave so you don’t have to lift dishes over your head as often.
Sam Willis is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. He is a blogger and content writer. Sam is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.