Bath Planet Shower with seat and grab barsIt’s estimated that every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach age 65. What does this have to do with remodeling? A lot. More and more homeowners in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area are finding that their homes were not built with the needs of an aging population in mind. Faced with the decision to invest in home modifications or to leave their homes, more Iowans are choosing to renovate.

With proper planning, many homeowners can maintain an independent lifestyle with home renovation and other assistive technologies. Remodeling solutions for baby boomers early in retirement may be as minor as installing grab bars and using non-slip rugs. However, as time goes by and elderly homeowners develop more serious or chronic health problems, it’s likely that major renovations will become necessary. Just a few projects could include:

  • widening hallways and doorways for wheel chair access
  • installing stair lifts or ramps
  • adding walk-in baths or showers with seating
  • adding first floor bedrooms suites

These major renovations can cost several thousand dollars, depending on the age of the home and the owner’s needs. But, compared to assisted living and nursing home costs, many homeowners find remodeling to be a more affordable option.

Once you decide to renovate, how do you know if your local remodeling contractor is qualified to make your home safe for the long haul? The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in collaboration with Home Innovation Research Labs, NAHB 50+ Housing Council, and AARP, has created a specialized aging-in-place training course for builders and remodelers known as Certified Aging-In-Place Specialists (CAPS).

CAPS building professionals are trained to identify current barriers and anticipate future needs to help homeowners stay in their homes as long as safely possible. The team at Home Town Restyling received its CAPS designation several years ago. Consulting with one of these trained professionals can give you new ideas and open up new options as you plan your retirement living.

As always, anytime you hire a local contractor to work on your home, you need to do your homework. For more tips on how to hire a local contractor, download our FREE Guide, Iowa Contractor Comparison Guide – How to Make Your Remodeling Project a Success for tips on hiring the right local contractor.