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WASHINGTON, May 15 – The aging population will significantly influence the remodeling industry over the next five years, according to a recent survey of remodelers by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). However, most older Americans have not prepared their homes for life’s inevitable changes. As part of National Home Remodeling Month, NAHB Remodelors[tm] Council offers a basic checklist for homeowners to plan ahead to help make their house a home for a lifetime.

Though the vast majority of older Americans want to “age-in-place,” many homeowners will require special home modifications in order to live safely and independently. “Most who remodel for accessibility only do so after their home becomes too difficult to navigate,” said Remodelors Council Chairman Vince Butler, CGR, CAPS, GMB, a remodeler from Clifton, Va. “With a little foresight, homeowners can enjoy an independent lifestyle without undergoing a difficult and unexpected transition.”

When evaluating your home, Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS) recommend checking to see if it contains the following:

– A master bedroom and bath on the first floor.

– A low or no-threshold entrance to the home with an overhang.

– Lever-style door handles.

– No change in levels on the main floor.

– Bright lighting in all areas.

– A low-maintenance exterior.

– Non-slip flooring at the main entryway.

– An open floor plan, especially in the kitchen/dining area.

– Handrails at all steps.

“People often believe that aging-in-place modifications make your home look like an institution, but it’s the exact opposite,” said Butler. “CAPS trained professionals seamlessly implement these changes into the existing look of the house so that most visitors will not even know their ultimate purpose. Plus, it is simply good design.”

The CAPS designation is the only national program that trains remodelers how to design and implement aging-in-place modifications. To find a certified professional who specializes in aging-in-place remodeling, visit www.nahb.org/caps

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