Resources and Professionals
Q: We've lived in our home for 30 years and want to live here for another 30! Our kitchen hasn't been renovated for some time and we want to open it up and make it a real living space. Can you give us a few tips on what to include?
A: Good for you! Opening up a cramped kitchen will make it more spacious and ergonomically sound and much more enjoyable to spend time in with family and friends. Here are three key design features to include for lifelong needs:
- Roomy 48" aisles (good for multiple cooks, mobility aides, baby carriages).
- Multiple-height countertops for standing and seated use.
- A place to dine (at the island, countertop, or table).
For more information, see "Love Your Kitchen — for Life" in our Home Improvement section.
Q: How can I find the right contractor?
A: Find a reliable contractor by following AARP's seven steps. Also, check aarp.org/caps for trusted contractors, and ask friends for references.
Many occupational therapists are trained certified aging-in-place specialists (CAPS) too. Builders and remodelers often work with professionals like these to ensure the designs they execute for their clients will be the most comfortable and ergonomic. Learn more about occupational therapists at aota.org.
Q: Is there an appliance finish that holds its value best for resale?
A: Ask a local realtor, who will know about the value trends in your area. If you don't plan to move for a while, don't worry about it and get something that will work best for you!
Q: Should we add a dishwasher in our small kitchen for resale purposes?
A: Ask a local realtor about how this might affect the value of your home.
There are a variety of resources available to research products. Some are free, such as customer reviews posted on Amazon, Lowes and Home Depot websites. Others, such as designers, architects and remodeler sites, may require a fee for service. We have also included in this document the handout from the webinar listing several additional websites that provide valuable information as you consider a project for your kitchen.