Creating Your Forever Home
At DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen, we spend each day working with clients, remodeling bathrooms or doing a kitchen remodel. These are great spaces in your home to update and often result in the biggest rewards in making it visually pleasing, as well as functional. Our designers work with you to ensure your home reflects your personal wishes and meets your family’s lifestyle.
But there’s even more to consider than bathroom and kitchen remodels! If you’re planning to stay in your house for a while, it might be worth thinking about how your home can age alongside you. As the kids move out and maybe an older parent moves in, your needs might change. One day your own needs might change, whether due to mobility issues or lifestyle changes. DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen can help you plan for these eventualities and update your home now to meet these anticipated needs.
What is Aging in Place?
You might have heard the phrase “aging in place” and wondered how that applies to you or your loved ones. Adapting your home so that you can continue to live there as you grow older is called “aging in place.” At DreamMaker, we call this “creating your forever home” because that’s what it is – it’s making decisions now that will allow you and your family to stay in your house even as your family grows and changes over time. Gone are the days when adapting for safety and accessibility meant forfeiting style. Now, smart design with the future in mind looks a lot like open concept spaces with modern trends.
Is That the Same as Universal Design Remodeling?
Not exactly. More than simply aging in place, the concept of a forever home extends to Universal Design Remodeling – the idea that any home can be upgraded to allow for all levels of accessibility. Basically, if you design your home to be accessible for all levels of capability, then you’re set for any eventuality!
What Types of Adaptations Might Need to Be Made?
There’s a wide range of updates you can make to convert your home into your forever home. The adaptations vary depending on the age, health, mobility, etc. of the people living there. According to the CDC, the greatest risk to even the most mobile adults is falling.
To help prevent accidental falls, you can start with these easy fixes:
- Check stair railings and repair any that aren’t secure.
- Remove loose throw rugs.
- Clear out any extra objects that could get in the way.
- Install brighter lightbulbs.
You might also consider installing a ramp or stairlift to make getting up and down the stairs as easy as possible in the future.
Bathroom Remodeling for Your Forever Home
The bathroom is a room we use every day. An experienced bathroom remodeler can help you make practical improvements to this space, while still maintaining aesthetics and keeping your bathroom functional, accessible, and beautiful.
For example, you might want:
- A walk-in bathtub or zero-barrier-entry shower with grab bars and a bench for seating
- A hand-held flexible shower head
- Water controls at an accessible height
- Space under the sinks for easy wheelchair access
- Sliding doors
In a recent bathroom remodeling project we completed for a veteran and his wife, we designed a space that allowed wheelchair access to the shower and sink, ample storage, and maneuverability.
Watch these videos of another roll-in shower project to learn more:
Kitchen Remodeling for Your Forever Home
Like the bathroom, the kitchen is another space we use every day. With a few updates, kitchens can be made universally accessible.
For example, here are a few things you could consider with a kitchen remodel:
- Install additional lighting, particularly recessed lighting under the kitchen cabinets
- Use sliding shelves and doors
- Place water controls at an accessible height
- Open up the floor plan for easier movement
Check out this kitchen remodeling project where we really opened up the space!
Other Areas to Consider for Universal Design Remodeling
In addition to remodeling your bathroom and kitchen, you might also want to work with a certified contractor to:
- Widen hallways for easier wheelchair access
- Widen doorways or transition to sliding doors
- Add more lighting for better visibility
- Install nonskid flooring to help prevent accidental falls
These changes require some work, but having the freedom to easily move around your home is worth it!
Can I Make These Changes Myself?
Universal Design Remodeling is not a DIY project. It’s important to use a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist for these types of upgrades. An experienced professional can predict your needs and make the best recommendations suited to you. You can rely on our team of NAHB-Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists to help!
If you’re considering updating your home, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen would love to help! We can work with you to determine your current and future needs and will develop a custom plan that’s right for you. Our team of experienced designers and contractors will treat you right (check out our Best of Houzz 2018 Customer Service badge) and will make the process fun and tailored to you. You can check out our reviews on Guild Quality, Houzz, and Facebook. We look forward to answering any questions you might have about universal design remodeling.