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Aging in Place Remodeling Checklist

Written by Marc Guberti

Marc Guberti is a Certified Personal Finance Counselor who has been a finance freelance writer
for five years. He has covered personal finance, investing, banking, credit cards, business
financing, and other topics.
Marc’s work has appeared in US News & World Report, USA Today, Investor Place, and other
publications. He graduated from Fordham University with a finance degree and resides in
Scarsdale, New York.
When he’s not writing, Marc enjoys spending time with the family and watching movies with
them (mostly from the 1930s and 40s). Marc is an avid runner who aims to run over 100
marathons in his lifetime.

Updated January 23, 2024​

4 min. read​

aging in place remodeling

Many homeowners want to stay in their own homes for the rest of their lives. Seniors don’t want to move or go to a nursing home when they get older. As you get older, you’ll need more out of your home. Older homeowners may need a home that accommodates mobility issues and other conditions. Aging in place remodeling enhances a property’s functionality to match the challenges homeowners face as they get older.

The right remodeling checklist minimizes the risks of slips and falls. You don’t want to get financing only to realize you forgot key rooms. Knowing what you need ensures you only approach a lender once instead of several times for the same project. We’ll discuss reasons to consider an aging in place remodel and share some best practices to make your home accessible at any age.

What is Aging in Place Remodeling?

Aging in place remodeling improves a home’s accessibility and functionality. As people get older, it becomes more challenging to perform basic functions such as staying balanced and walking up a flight of stairs. In addition, some baby boomers are considering life in the future and want to take safety precautions. Handrails and ramps aid older adults in navigating their homes. You can install features like these in your home in advance, so they’re available in case you need them. 

An aging in place remodel is similar to preparing a will. No one wants to think about losing their balance or dying and leaving their assets with selected heirs. Establishing a will before you die removes several complexities from your heirs’ lives without you. An aging in place remodel helps you stay in your home instead of having to live in a nursing home.

Reasons To Remodel Your House

Home modifications offer several perks. It’s an investment in your home that can improve your life and help your heirs. We have outlined some of them below.

  • Safety: As people get older, their abilities may decline. Family members may become more prone to slipping in the bathroom or falling down the stairs. A remodel minimizes the likelihood of these scenarios and provides a safer environment.
  • Comfort: Every homeowner wants to feel comfortable in their home. If you fear walking up the stairs, you may feel restricted in your home. An effective remodel can provide more support so you don’t fall.
  • Convenience: Some people need to use wheelchairs as they get older. Situating yourself in the bathtub or walking over a step to get in the shower suddenly becomes burdensome. Some baths and showers accommodate wheelchair users and are easy to access. Having these in your home makes it easier to stay put instead of moving to another location.
  • Accessibility: Older people may have difficulty walking up the stairs and accessing different parts of their homes. An aging in place remodel improves accessibility across your house. A certified aging contractor can make adjustments that help an older parent feel comfortable in your home.
  • Functionality: A remodel can improve functionality as you get older. Some kitchens include a seated work area so you can prepare food even if you are in a wheelchair. You may not need this feature now, but it’s better to have this set up now than when it’s the only way to use your kitchen.
  • Value Increase: Remodeling your home increases its value. People will pay more money for a safe home with significant functionality and perks. An increased home valuation can help you secure a higher home equity loan or sell at a higher price if you decide to move out. You can also pass the home to your heirs and let them sell it at a higher price. Home improvement costs will increase your cost basis. If you decide to sell your home, you’ll owe less to the government.

Aging in Place Remodeling Checklist

Are you considering an aging in place remodeling? A home improvement loan can help, but it’s best to get enough money the first time. You can use this checklist to account for various expenses.

  • Bathroom Safety Upgrades: These safety upgrades can make the bathtub and shower more accessible. Walk-in tubs and appropriately sized toilets are some measures that boost bathroom safety.
  • Kitchen Modifications: The kitchen gets a lot of activity in many households. You may want to consider lowering some of the countertops so you can sit while preparing the food. 
  • Widen Doorways/Hallways: Small doorways and hallways may not present a challenge right now. However, it’s difficult to squeeze a wheelchair into these tight spaces.
  • Change Door Knobs and Faucets: Make them easier to grip and turn. You may not have as much strength to turn a tight knob or faucet as you get older.
  • Install Grab Bars & Handrails: Having something to grab while walking can minimize the likelihood of a fall. If you slip, grab bars and handrails can reduce the severity of the injury. They also make more parts of your home feel accessible.
  • Replace Flooring: Smooth flooring may look nice, but it’s also slippery. Tiled flooring and carpeting provide more traction. Calculate your floor’s current square footage to determine how many materials you need and the total cost.
  • Install Ramps, Chair Lift, or Elevator: These features help you get up and down the stairs. You may not need them, but it’s better to have these features in place now before you have to use them.
  • Adjust Countertops & Shelving: Your current setup may not be ideal for the mobility impaired. You can adjust countertops and shelving so you can access plates and glasses without standing up.
  • Invest in Assistive Technology: Smart technology can provide several functions within your home. You can adjust the temperature and turn off the lights with voice commands. Assistive technology will continue to evolve and give you many choices for an aging in place remodel.
  • Electrical, Lighting, Safety, and Security: Regularly check in on these parts of your home. You should address any issues now before you get older and retire from work.  

How to Fund Your Aging in Place Remodel

An aging in place remodel offers several advantages. You can live in your home for the rest of your life and always feel comfortable in it. However, some people want to do a remodel but don’t have enough funds. These homeowners may reach out to lenders and consider risky loans. Some people turn to construction loans, but they have high interest rates and short terms, and you don’t get access to your funds right away. Every homeowner should have a more straightforward path to financing a renovation.

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