Planning Your Home For Aging In Place Renovations

In general, society tends to shy away from talking about and planning for the steps necessary as we age.  The hard-cold truth though is that we are all going to get older.  We will start to lose the ability to do as we once did and eventually will need aides in place to assist us with everyday tasks.  Age in place remodeling allows us to be in charge in the changes happening in our homes.  Beginning this process sooner rather than later allows for better planning and helps to create a safer, more usable space that is easy for homeowners of all ages to live in. 

Below is a list of age in place renovation ideas to help get you inspired during your next remodeling project.  It is important to take control of your quality of life while you are still fully in charge to ensure your own personal comfort in your home throughout the aging process.

Age in Place Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Kitchens are a key space in renovating for aging as much of our time is spent in the space.  Elements to consider include:

  • Sinks:  If possible, install a motorized sink that can raise and lower. These are a perfect addition for individuals who are unable to stand for long periods of time or are wheelchair bound.  Increasing the height of a sink can be beneficial as well as it offers support to lean upon for those using the sink in an upright position.  Consider installing a shallow sink with a hands-free faucet element with a pull-out sprayer are beneficial as well. 
  • Cabinets:  Install cabinet hardware that can easily be opened and closed, most often “D” shape pulls work the best.  Cabinets with shelving that is easily pushed in and pulled out is the best suited option for both top and bottom cabinets when remodeling a kitchen for aging in place.
  • Appliances: The installation of universally designed appliances is a major advantage when renovating your kitchen for ease of use for aging homeowners.  To save money, invest in energy saving appliances that are specifically made for easy use of individuals that are aging. 

Age in Place Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Bathrooms are another space within the home that are used daily.  Elements to consider in age in place bathroom renovations include:

  • Space: The less clutter and the more open floor space the better.  If aides such as a wheelchair or cane are needed it is crucial that there is space within the room to move about.
  • Toilets:  A seat extender can be used on a standard toilet height however a taller toilet is the best option.  Install a toilet that can accommodate aging users with limited mobility.  It gets harder to stand up off a toilet the lower the basin is.  Consider adding a budget for improved hygiene.  Toilet paper holders should be installed within easy sitting reach. 
  • Grab Bars: Anytime you can add on support it increases the safety of a room and task ten-fold.  Consider adding grab bars around the toilet and shower.  Grab bars should support upwards of 300 pounds.  Textured grab bars are better than non textured.
  • Bathtubs/Showers: Standard bathtubs are not ideal for aging individuals.  If possible, replace standard tubs with walk-in tubs or a no threshold shower.  It is crucial to offer seating either permanent or temporary, adjustable shower heads with a hand-held option, and a non-slip floor.

Each room in your home from the laundry room to the garage should all be included in planned age in place renovations.  It is important that spaces are uncluttered, free of throw rugs, and made to be as easy to use as possible.  If there is a simpler way to complete everyday tasks make sure it is in place to bring as much ease of living as possible to your home and loved ones.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at

That’s So 2018! Outdated Remodeling Advice You Might Be Following


Few things are as exciting as remodeling your house. Who hasn’t swooned over glass tile, or groovy wallpaper, or some other cool idea for updating your digs? But this doesn’t mean you should buy into every renovation idea that catches your fancy.

The reason: Many seemingly hot trends aren’t as “timeless” as you might think—and same goes for a lot of the advice you might hear on how to make these upgrades happen. So before you sign that punch list, check this list of outdated remodeling tips that may have been fine to follow last year, but are currently on the outs.

Focus on the kitchen

The kitchen is no longer the room where you should be investing all your time and money. According to Sarah Karakaian, interior designer at Nestrs out of Columbus, OH, “Kitchens are important, but do not bring the highest ROI anymore.”

For better resale value today, focus on your outside space.

“Investing in your garage’s curb appeal, like a new door, will help you get more return on investment than your kitchen,” Karakaian says.

Always go for granite counters

Speaking of kitchens, granite has been the gold standard when it comes to countertops for decades, but it’s not the winner that it used to be.

“It was just a matter of time, but granite countertops are becoming old school,” says Robert Taylor, a rehabber in Sacramento, CA.

The reason: “Buyers are looking for lower-maintenance kitchen counters that lack granite’s need for regular sealing,” Taylor explains. “Because quartz is nonporous and harder than granite, it lasts longer.”

Sustainability points also go to this material. “Quartz countertops are recyclable and often include recycled materials,” Taylor adds. (Here’s more on types of countertops and their pros and cons.)

Bright white is best

If you’re a fan of color, it’s finally your time to shine.

“The all-white space is a thing of the past,” says Leah Tuttleman, corporate designer at Re-Bath. However, just because it’s time to tone down the white doesn’t mean it’s completely gone.

“Black and white are classic colors, unlike other colors that come and go. In combination, black and white will forever remain a classic—but it shouldn’t be overdone,” she explains.

This rings particularly true with your tile choices. Those black and white tile designs that have been “in” for decades are finally seeing their way out.

“If you are thinking of doing a renovation, stay away from black and white tiles in kitchens and baths,” adds Chrissy O’Donnell, associate broker with Re/Max West End in Northern Virginia. “Brighter colors are in style now.”

Additions are always a good idea

No one likes to feel crowded—especially in their own home—but that doesn’t mean you should jump right to adding more square footage to your home. In fact, doing so has started to take on a negative vibe.

“In an era where consumers are focused on minimizing carbon footprints, adding oversized master suites and nonessential living areas is outdated,” explains Scott Toal, president of Federal Brace, in Belmont NC.

“Current advice would direct the renovation toward maximizing functional areas that exists within the home and even to repurpose underutilized space to increase the efficiency of the structure,” he explains.

In other words, it’s time to figure out how to work with the space you’ve got.

Finish the basement ‘for the kids’

Don’t panic, finished basements are sill a thing. They’re just serving a different purpose these days.

“The old thought was, finish the basement and put the kids down there. Now basements are much more—man caves, sports bars, or people are adding kitchens and baths to accommodate aging family members moving in,” explains Will Faix, president of the Open Floor Plan in West Chester, PA.

“More and more, the finished basement is sought out by home buyers and will make your home sell for more and faster when the time comes,” Faix adds. But as an adult play space, not just for kids.

Just rip the whole thing out and start over!

You’ve seen it on all the home improvement shows, right? The best part of any renovation is demo day. But be careful where you aim that sledgehammer, because nowadays, salvaging what’s there can be trendy.

“Now the thinking is to conserve the charm and intent of a space, and make more minor improvements,” says Rebecca Rowland, owner of Rebecca Rowland Interiors in Seattle.

“Something like a pink tile, pink toilet, pink tub bathroom can be updated with a great wallpaper and new vanity to feel vintage and filled with character, but with a modern twist that helps it not feel quite so dated.”

Use a loan to pay for fixes

Not too long ago, homeowners wouldn’t blink at the thought of refinancing to pay for renovations. Recent history, however, should make you reconsider.

“Memories from 2008 should instill caution as to how much to borrow, potential for rising interest rates, resale value, and other events that could disrupt your financial situation,” warns designer Susan Serra, president of Susan Serra Associates. “Proceed with caution and second-guess the total cost commitment.”

It’ll be hard to enjoy your freshened space if it puts you in a tough financial situation. Instead, homeowners today have learned the value of saving for a project and finishing it without a mountain of debt.

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Original Date: Feb 5 2019

Written By: Whitney Coy