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Plan For The Future by Remodeling

Plan for the future, consider remodeling by doing a few of these things

Let’s face it: we are all going to get older by the day. Here’s a list of the projects you should plan for to make sure you can keep your dream home when you reach the retirement stage of your life (and maybe even to help you now!

Plan for the future, consider remodeling by doing a few of these things:

Add lighting

Plan for natural light if at all possible, more lamps, recessed lighting and task lighting in the kitchen all make it easier to see what you’re doing, no matter what your age. Lighting gets more important as you get older, so make sure you incorporate more of it into your home.

Add grab bars in creative ways in the bathroom

Today’s grab bars are attractive enough to be mistaken for accent pieces, plus there are grab bars that can be used as towel bars, soap dishes and toilet paper holders, if they are properly installed and anchored. “It doesn’t say accessibility feature,” says David Pekel, president of Pekel Construction & Remodeling in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. One example: a built a bookcase in a client’s bathroom at just the height needed to easily get on and off the toilet.

Replace kitchen cabinets with drawers and pullout shelves 

Drawers and pullouts in kitchens are popular with homeowners of all ages because they make it easier to see and retrieve items without bending down and peering into a dark cabinet. “It brings the contents of the cabinet out into the light rather than you getting into the cabinet,” Pekel says. Glass doors on upper cabinets help you remember what’s in them. When choosing knobs and pulls, move away from the small round knobs and choose something that’s easier to grab.

Make appliances easier to reach

Consider a raised dishwasher, a wall oven, refrigerator drawers or pedestals for your washer and dryer. Look for appliances with smarter, larger and easier-to-read controls, too.

Replace tubs with showers

Pekel says many of his clients are asking for their tubs to be replaced with showers, which is cheaper and easier than doing the reverse. “They just don’t have the time to spend soaking in the tub,” he says. Adding a bench in the shower not only provides a place to sit, it makes it easier for a woman to shave her legs. Hand showers are inexpensive to install and are invaluable if someone prefers staying seated in the shower. Another option is to build a shower with a lower barrier between the shower and the floor or no barrier at all.

Widen doorways

The ideal doorway size is 36 inches, but even a doorway that can’t be widened will give a few inches if you use an offset hinge, which throws the door out of the opening and creates a wider space. Removing the molding around the door can also create more space.

Add front porch railings and other accommodations at the entryway

Helpful features can include a tapered walkway rather than steps, keyless entry, a shelf to put down groceries while you unlock the door and a roof so you don’t get wet if it’s raining. Ramps can be nice, but may be unnecessary- a lot of people don’t end up in wheelchairs after all.

Replace doorknobs with levers

Not only are levers easier to operate, you can operate them with your hips, knees and elbows as well as with your hands, which is convenient if you’re carrying packages, or even a baby.

Install comfort-height toilets. Today’s toilets come in varying heights, and the comfort-height toilets, which are two to three inches higher than traditional toilets, require less bending to sit on. Some people also like a bidet attachment.

Glen Betts
Glen Betts
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4651 Mesa Verde Dr., Greeley, CO 80634

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