April 15, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — More remodeling clients are planning ahead and opting to alter their homes for aging-in-place, according to recent data gathered by the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodelers. Seventy percent of remodelers surveyed reported making universal design home modifications, a significant bump from 60 percent in 2006.
“Home owners are asking for remodeling improvements to make their homes more comfortable as they age because they don’t want to move or lose independence,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Greg Miedema, CGR, CGB, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Tucson, Ariz. “These modifications can make a home more stylish and convenient for the aging population.”
The aging-in-place modifications most frequently purchased by homeowners, according to remodelers, include:
• Adding grab bars (78 percent)
• Installing higher toilets (71 percent)
• Upgrading to a curb-less shower (60 percent)
• Widening doorways (57 percent)
• Constructing ramps or lower thresholds (45 percent)
• Enhancing lighting and task lighting (45 percent)
NAHB’s survey also found that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of aging-in-place options, with remodelers saying that 84 percent of homeowners have at least some knowledge of universal design solutions. Seventy-four percent of remodelers also note an increase in requests for these types of features.
While remodelers say the bulk of jobs for aging-in-place come from clients age 55 and older, a growing number of consumers are not requesting aging-in-place remodeling solely for themselves. Often such improvements address age-related disabilities of visiting older relatives, or modifications to make it easier for parents to share living space with grown children. Seventy percent of homeowners started remodeling projects for aging-in-place because they were planning ahead for such future needs.
For more information about aging-in-place remodeling, visit www.nahb.org/aginginplace