Renovation Tips for an Age-in-Place Smart Home
A house is more than walls, roofing, and appliances — those are just the requirements to make a building. A house is where you raise your kids, where you cook breakfast on the weekends, where you celebrate holidays with your family. It’s a place where you can sit in contentment, growing old with the ones you love, living your life in it day by day.
For most Americans, buying a house is not a temporary investment. Once you find the right house for you and your family, you’d like to live in it for the rest of your life. However, growing old presents challenges to this plan. Health issues, including healthcare needs, mobility limitations, and disease and illness care can make it difficult to stay in the same house as you age. Fortunately, the age of smart homes can optimize your house to fit your needs and allow you to grow old in your own home.
Fixing Up Your Home
For many, the most challenging part of renovating your home is keeping the financial aspect in check. Even if you have money to spend on such a project, it can be all too easy to overspend and ruin your budget. For that reason, it is important to set a budget, make a plan, and stick to it as much as you can.
Setting a Budget
If you do need to borrow money for your renovations, you have several options to choose from. One of them is peer-to-peer lending, which you can do through companies that offer contracts. More home improvement loan options include home equity loans, lines of credit, and personal home improvement loans.
Each type of loan has its benefits and drawbacks, so look into each option carefully before you commit. Depending on your ability to pay your loans back, make sure to only borrow what you can reasonably afford to pay back.
Making a Plan
While you are drafting out your home improvement budget, make a list of the improvements in order of importance. Make sure to put smart home technology that will help you live comfortably in your home at the top of the list, and then put your nonessential wishes in descending order.
Also, keep in mind the value of your house and don’t make renovations that can decrease the value of your home. Only make improvements that you know you can handle. Some DIY projects can be done by any home owner, but others can end up costing you too much money for a poor job.
Creating Functional Spaces
The whole point of making age-in-place renovations is to make your house functional for you to live with. Perhaps a good first step is a health evaluation. You can talk to your doctor about your current health what health problems you might encounter in the future. From there, you can get started on making bigger decisions and getting the renovation process started.
Declutter and Downsize
The first physical task you should tackle is decluttering and downsizing. If you have lived in the same house for many years, then you might have a lot of extra stuff lying around. Whether it’s boxes in your garage, clothes that you never wear, or unnecessary furniture, get rid of anything you don’t use.
It might be difficult to get rid of some of your personal items that you’ve acquired over the years, but doing so will truly make your house more functional. The benefits of decluttering and downsizing include making your space easier to clean, less house work to take care of, and your home feeling more peaceful.
Healthcare Smart Tech
Once you have cleared out some of your older, nonessential belongings, you can start looking at smart home technology that will allow you to comfortably age in your own home. According to Arizona State University, advancements in smart tech health allow the following to be possible:
- Monitoring trends in vital organs
- Detecting unstable physiological status
- Providing medical management
- Enhancing patient safety
Getting smart devices that can cater to your specific healthcare needs is essential for keeping your home livable as you age. As stated in the report by ASU, any devices or apps that encourage healthy behaviors, analyze your lifestyle, remind you about medication and doctor’s instructions, record your activity and diet, are helpful assets for your health.
ASU recommends appliances and devices that monitor your health, such as those from FitBit and Garmin, that are wearable trackers as well as wellness apps. Additionally, you should consider using apps that help you with disease management, such as Dosecast and MediSafe, which actively monitor any diseases you might have.
Get New Furniture
Getting new furniture will also be important for making your home suitable for yourself. For example, if you have smaller rooms, make sure to get furniture that lets you walk around comfortably without tripping. You furniture should also be tall enough so that it is easier to get up, and stable enough to support you without getting knocked over. The last thing you want are physical injuries caused by inconvenient furniture.
Invest in Your Kitchen
The kitchen makes up a big portion of a house’s worth because it is a central room in the house. You should update your kitchen if you currently are having trouble maneuvering around it. Some possible ideas for remodeling your kitchen include replacing the cabinets so that they are at a height that allows you to comfortably reach everything, replacing your sink so that it is a good depth, and getting a faucet that is easy to turn on and extends to a comfortable position.
Remodeling your kitchen is a large task, and will require its own plan if you intend to make large-scale renovations. You can check out step-by-step tips for remodeling your kitchen to make sure you get a high-quality job done on it.
The bathroom is another room that you will want to optimize for ease of use. The most important detail to keep in mind is the shower. If you currently have a tub, you should replace it with either a shower, or a tub that has a door. This will help you avoid tripping or falling in the shower. Besides that, think about sink height and storage use. You might want to add in a medicine cabinet to keep your medication safe and organized.
Rethinking Your Landscape
Lastly, you’ll want to take a look at your landscaping. Yards and gardens can take a lot of work to maintain, so do what you can to make it easier on yourself. A great change you can make is to get rid of your lawn. Not only will that remove the need to mow, water, and feed the lawn, but it is better for the environment and will lower your bills.
When renovating, you should consider future needs. Even if you are currently in good health, think to the future. It is better to make these kinds of renovations early on, and then you don’t have to worry about having to make extensive renovations when you are older. Using smart home technology, decluttering, and working to make your house accessible will make it more possible for you to age in place in the comfort of your home.