Remodeling ideas

Remodeling ideas to help you age in place | Retirement home

As you think back to your golden years, you may be considering moving to a retirement community or staying in your home. With a variety of home improvement options, staying in your home can be easier and more affordable than ever.

“Baby boomers make up about half of the home improvement market,” says Adam Markley, designer/assistant project manager for the custom homes and renovation division of EGStoltzfus, Lancaster. “Many choose to stay in their current homes and invest in renovation projects that will allow them to ‘age in place’. Many prefer to call it ‘thrive in place’.”

For many baby boomers, he says, the cost of staying in their current home with a few modifications is cheaper than moving to a seniors’ residence.

Keith Petrisek, vice president of Dutch Quality Inc. in Lancaster and current president of the Lancaster County Building Industry Association, says it’s difficult to give a generalized price for renovation projects because costs vary widely depending on the condition of the home and specific needs. and needs.

“A bathroom renovation can cost a few thousand dollars compared to another renovation that can cost tens of thousands depending on the client’s wants, needs and existing home conditions,” he says. “I will say that unless you are downsizing, the costs of selling your home and buying a new home in a similar price range will generally cover the cost of any work needed to make the house suitable for aging in place.. Obviously this may not be the case if someone wants to make major renovations to a house or add more space through additions, which is why I say generally, but renovation of an existing home can usually be done for less than the costs associated with the move.”

If you’re considering remodeling, here are some suggestions from Markley and Petrisek.

Bathroom renovations can include a low-threshold shower with seat and grab bar, as well as additional space to maneuver a walker or wheelchair.


Making a bathroom as safe as possible is the goal of renovations for seniors.

Tripping hazards can be eliminated by installing low shower curbs, curbless showers or walk-in tubs, says Petrisek.

“(Install) shower seats and properly placed grab bars in showers to provide assistance in getting up and down and stability to help prevent falls,” he says.

Adequate lighting is important – not just bright light, which can bother people with vision problems or cataracts, but enough light to properly illuminate the space. And plan extra space in the bathroom layout, if possible, to make it easier to get around with a walker or wheelchair, he says.

“Use floor coverings like natural stone tiles or vinyl, as they are more slip-resistant than porcelain or ceramic tiles with a glossy surface,” he says. “Be aware that bathrooms are places where injuries from slips and falls are most likely due to the introduction of water into a space that includes many hard surfaces. You try to be aware to include everything you can to limit the risk of slips and falls.

Markley also recommends using materials that are easy to clean and low maintenance, and says renovating a bathroom offers a high return on investment.


Converting base cabinets from doors to drawers and replacing knobs with pulls can help in the kitchen.


Kitchens are another area that offers a high return on investment, says Markley.

He suggests an open floor plan to make the space more accessible.

“Maybe widen the doors, make the whole kitchen bigger so it’s easier to move around and function in the space,” he says. “Bigger islands that offer more seating. Lower counters make it easier for the homeowner to sit and work. Increasing kitchen lighting helps illuminate work spaces – this can be done both naturally through larger windows and artificially through things like LED track lighting and lighting under cabinets.

Modifying the drawers is another good idea, says Petrisek.

“Using pantry cabinets that include swing-out or pull-out shelves is ideal,” he says. “Also, base cabinets should have more drawers than doors because they are more easily accessible. …Easy-to-grasp cabinet hardware is always a good idea. Usually this means using cabinet handles rather than cabinet knobs.

Installing rounded corners on countertops can also be a good option, says Petrisek.

“One would be less likely to be injured as badly if he fell and hit a rounded corner rather than falling into a typical 90 degree corner,” he explains. “Again, as with bathrooms, you cannot prevent all injuries from slips and falls, but you do what you can to minimize the chance of this happening and the severity of the injury if it does. occurs.”

Master suite on the first floor

EGStoltzfus is currently making numerous first-floor master suite additions, Markley says, transforming homes with a second-floor master bedroom into one-story living space.

“Projects can include adding extra-wide hallways or doorways and creating easy access to the master bathroom from the bedroom,” he says.

live outside

Petrisek also suggests seniors consider creating an outdoor space to entertain friends and family.

“Projects can include a covered patio or deck, outdoor kitchen, group seating area, or fire pit,” he says.

Three Season/Four Season Room

Bring in the outdoors with this type of addition, suggests Markley.

“Three-season chambers are typically used in the spring, summer, and fall when outside temperatures are milder,” he says. “A four-season room is designed and built to be enjoyed year-round. Incorporating lots of windows into an addition adds plenty of natural light and lets the outdoors in with great exterior views.

smart home technology

“While we don’t yet see many customers installing smart home technology as part of our work, there are many smart home technologies on the market today, and some may be particularly beneficial for babies. boomers,” says Markley. “Voice-activated lighting to more easily illuminate a room/passageway, voice-activated technology to turn on kitchen appliances or lock doors, for example.”


Additions – whether it’s a den, home office, playroom or extra bedroom – provide more flexible space in an existing home and can eliminate the need to use the stairs daily, says Petrisek.

“That includes having a bedroom and a full bathroom available on the first floor,” he says. “If you are building an addition that would be first floor accommodation you should be aware to allow for wider hallways and hallways, hallways 42″ wide versus 36″ can be useful if you need a walker or wheelchair. Also, interior doors should be no less than 32” wide to allow for easier access if you’re using a walker or wheelchair. It’s also a good idea to use door levers instead. only buttons to allow an easier grip. » »

When considering renovating your home, meet with your potential builder to discuss your tastes, demands, and needs, and discuss all the options.

“By remodeling their current home, the homeowner can get exactly what they want – new floor plans/layouts, materials, finishes, fixtures,” says Markley. “They work closely with the design-build team to realize their vision.”