There’s an increasing trend in homebuilding that can’t be ignored — homeowners who want to be able to age-in-place in their homes. In order to meet demand, there are a few things builders can bring to the table when their customers need a home in which they can truly settle down.
Universal Home Design and Aging in Place
There’s a growing demand for forever homes today. More people want to be able to age in place (in their own homes) without having to move from their living situation into a safer environment. There’s also been a rise in the number of multigenerational households since the pandemic, with a range of people — often from the same family — living under one roof.
These homes need to be built to meet the needs of growing families and aging households, and universal design principles provide solutions for that. “Universal design, also called barrier-free design, focuses on making the house safe and accessible for everyone, regardless of age, physical ability, or stature,” according to PBS HomeTime reports.
That can include design elements like grab bars or wider doorways, “but universal design goes far beyond that while remaining largely invisible to the casual observer,” says PBS. “In fact, applying universal design concepts such as wider doors and hallways makes a house feel more spacious.”
Many homeowners might take remodeling their homes into their own hands, but experts in the industry are predicting continued growth for professional remodelers. In a recent interview, Todd Tomalek from John Burns Real Estate Consulting Group said, “We think pro remodeling is going to continue to grow hand over fist, but people are going to do a hybrid project where it's a pro remodel, but they will do a DIY for a portion of the project because it's so expensive and so difficult to get the project done.”
Helping Homeowners Plan for the Long Run
Builders can help homeowners by planning their remodel or new build with long-term goals in mind. There are also some guidelines builders can use to help homeowners build a successful forever home, and using the principles of aging-in-place can help. Work with customers to prioritize the following in their design:
The products you work with should be as easy-to-maintain as possible for homeowners. Products like wood, for example, might require refinishing or replacing over the years, which homeowners might not have the time, budget, or physicality for.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to skimp on style. Dealers like Talbert offer builders and homeowners high-quality and affordable solutions for a forever home.
Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors
All homeowners should aim for high-performance windows and doors to prevent air infiltration and heat transfer in the home’s building envelope. Updated windows and doors can make a significant improvement to the heating and cooling costs of a home over the long run and will keep the home more comfortable.
Besides wider entryways and hallways, installing easy-to-use doors and windows can make getting around the home easier for elderly homeowners. Elements that make the home safer for people with mobility issues might need to be installed, like grab bars in the shower or a walk-in tub. Including more access to the outdoors in the home design also makes the home more enjoyable for homeowners.
Strong, Durable Protection
Builders can help homeowners find the most reliable, durable products for their interior and exterior designs. Many different types of exterior siding can bring style to their design, but some materials offer longer-term solutions, like fiber cement or steel.
Long Term Investments
Investing in these materials can be a challenge for homeowners, but there’s a payoff. “While significant home modifications can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, emphasizing that these investments translate into higher home values can help rationalize the initial dollar amount,” says Amy Moneypenny for HomeCare. So, if the homeowner ever does decide to sell the property, the upgrades increase the resale value.
By offering your homeowners energy-efficient, durable products that fit their personality and budget, you can help them build the forever home of their dreams. And if it does come time to sell the home, they know their home has a high value — a win-win for homeowners.
Build With Confidence
Aging-in-place isn’t just a trend. It’s been a hot topic in construction for the last few years, but especially during the pandemic. “The spotlight has been on seniors throughout the coronavirus pandemic — how to care for them and how to keep them safe,” writes Nancy Clanton for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Momentum is needed on the topic because all of the country’s 74 million baby boomers will be 65 or older by 2030.”
Here at Talbert, we have a vast offering of products and services that fit the needs of every home design, whether the homeowner is aging in place or remodeling a multigenerational home. To provide our builder customers with guaranteed solutions for their clients, we carry products and brands we’re proud of. We also work closely with clients to ensure on-time delivery and supply. Check out more of our products and discover the Talbert Difference.