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5 Home Remodeling Tips

The Home for Life tool integrates design principles that enable aging in place

  • Renderings by RM Design Studio/courtesy Remodeling magazine

    Home for Life: Exterior (Before)

    The house in its pre-renovation state.

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  • Renderings by RM Design Studio/courtesy Remodeling magazine

    Tip #1: Smart Exterior (After)

    Tip #1:  A wrap-around porch provides protection from the weather and generously extends living and community space outdoors. A new, low-threshold entry door and a no-step entry for the interior spaces enables easy access. Upgraded windows, roofing, siding, and trim — all weatherized for better energy efficiency and low maintenance — further boost the home's value.

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  • Renderings by RM Design Studio/courtesy Remodeling magazine

    Kitchen (Before)

    A cramped kitchen gives way to an open, easily navigated remodel.

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  • Renderings by RM Design Studio/courtesy Remodeling magazine

    Tip #2: Useful Kitchen (After)

    Tip #2:  Upgraded and energy-efficient appliances are designed for easy access, while a center island features multiple (and stylish) surface heights and a secondary sink to share cooking duties. Wider openings enhance convenience.

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  • Renderings by RM Design Studio/courtesy Remodeling magazine

    Tip #3: Elevator Access

    The remodeled plan accommodates a residential elevator so that the owners can enjoy a remodeled, second-level master suite for years to come.

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  • Renderings by RM Design Studio/courtesy Remodeling magazine

    Elevator Access

    The lift serves all three floors, including a now-finished basement that features a guest suite, an extensive and convenient laundry room, and access to an outdoor kitchen and fireplace area.

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  • Renderings by RM Design Studio/courtesy Remodeling magazine

    Home for Life: Grade-Level Entry (Before)

    The home's sloping lot allowed the remodeled house to maintain a no-step entry to the basement.

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  • Renderings by RM Design Studio/courtesy Remodeling magazine

    Tip #4: Grade-Level Entry (After)

    The home's sloping lot allowed the remodeled house to maintain a no-step entry to the basement — the primary point of access into the house for the couple — via the carport and detached garage. The entry is also weather-protected by a screened porch above so groceries don't get wet.

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  • Renderings by RM Design Studio/courtesy Remodeling magazine

    Tip #5: Energy Efficiency (Sidewall)

    A cutaway of the home's upgraded sidewall  includes the addition of insulating panels, a weather-resistant barrier, and window flashing behind a new shingle siding panel to guard against water intrusion and boost energy efficiency.

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  • Renderings by RM Design Studio/courtesy Remodeling magazine

    Home for Life: Energy Efficiency (Roof)

    The roof is insulated and air-sealed in the attic floor and weather-protected under a durable new asphalt composition roof.

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The vast majority of boomers — 84 percent — want to stay in their current house during retirement, but only 16 percent have taken any steps to adapt their home for retirement, a new survey by AARP finds. The Home for Life, an online virtual home produced by Remodeling magazine, showcases subtle yet effective universal design principles that enhance convenience, comfort, safety and value while lowering monthly costs and maintenance chores. Here are the top five tips for aging in place in style and with confidence.

Also of interest: With Universal Design, one size fits all.

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