For some seniors, there is nothing more appealing than the idea of living at home during retirement. This is a place where you’ve spent many years, setting down roots and making lifelong memories. There’s a sense of comfort and familiarity that abounds in this environment.
However, your home in Federal Way may require some upgrades in order for you to safely, conveniently and comfortably age in place during your golden years. This can involve a variety of tasks, depending on the current layout and condition of your residence.
Cost to Remodel a House for Seniors
In general, you will want to remodel with a universal design, which in the construction industry refers to creating physical environments that can be used by people of all ages and abilities to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
Your residential design for aging in place can be as unique as your personal circumstances and lifestyle. You may already have certain medical and health needs to accommodate, or you could simply want to plan ahead for scenarios that could potentially occur. You or your loved one may currently be in perfect health, but it doesn’t hurt to think about the possibility of limited vision, motor skills or mobility. Even if you never end up needing to use a cane, walker or wheelchair, you may have older friends and neighbors who do. If they come to visit, you want your space to be comfortable and accommodating for them.
When you picture a home to grow old in, you may already have a clear vision of what that looks like for you. Or you could be just starting to plan a residential remodel with a universal design. Either way, here are a few common aging-in-place remodeling projects to consider, as well as their average costs in Federal Way:
1. Bathroom Remodeling
When it comes to successfully aging in place, bathrooms tend to be the biggest challenge. By nature, bathrooms are full of hard surfaces that get slippery when wet and sharp edges. Standard toilets, bathtubs, showers and vanities can all be awkward and uncomfortable for seniors to use. Plus, a compact layout can be difficult to navigate with a walker or wheelchair. A bathroom remodel for seniors that includes a universal design costs an average of $40,000 in Federal Way. At this level, you can update an existing 5-by-7-foot space with a wider, wheelchair-accessible doorway; flat-panel electrical switches that are accessible at sitting level; a comfort height toilet; and a curb-less, walk-in shower. However, the price for a bathroom remodel can range from about $15,000 to $60,000 if you expand or minimize the scope of work.
2. Kitchen Remodeling
The kitchen can be another trouble spot. If you are giving your kitchen in Federal Way a universal design, you’ll probably want to adjust the height of the countertops, install a shallower sink and a lever tap, and ensure there is adequate storage that can be accessed without reaching too high or standing on a stool. Other features to consider include a raised dishwasher, a microwave built into a base drawer, a multi-leveled island, and plenty of clearance for a wheelchair or walker. Cork flooring is a nice addition because it cushions tired feet and provides a softer landing if you trip or fall. The cost to remodel your kitchen with aging-in-place elements is likely to run between $15,000 to $30,000.
3. Widening Doorways and Hallways
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s a good idea to have doorways that are at least 32 inches wide if you want easy access throughout your house. The price for widening doorways varies significantly depending on the type of door you’re replacing, whether your contractor needs to move plumbing or electrical wiring, and other factors. Typically, it costs between $300 to $2,500 to widen a doorway. You can also plan to spend about $800 to $1,4000 to increase the width of a hallway in your Federal Way home. When structural elements are involved—such as removing or rebuilding cabinets, changing electrical components, moving doors, or taking out light switches—the cost can range between $30,000 to $40,000 to widen a hallway by even 1 foot.
4. Installing a Ramp or Elevator
If you’re hoping to remain in a home with multiple levels or a raised porch or deck, you may need to invest in an exterior ramp and an elevator or stair lift inside. The cost for a permanent ramp in Federal Way is about $1,000 to $2,000, or $100 to $250 per linear foot, when you have a professional doing the installation. Putting in a stair lift costs an average of $8,000, while redesigning your home to install an elevator is a major investment of about $25,000 to $35,000.
5. Putting in Nonslip Flooring
Falls are a major cause of injury for older adults in Washington State. One way to reduce slipping and falling in your bathroom, kitchen or entryway is to install a new flooring with a non slip surface. Rubber safety flooring is a popular option for seniors living at home. Rubber tile flooring averages $10 per square foot total, while pour-in-place rubber flooring is about $16 per square foot—or $2,300 total for a standard-sized room.
6. Replacing Windows for Ease of Use
Another way to optimize your Federal Way home for aging in place is to ensure all the windows can be easily opened and closed with minimal exertion. For example, casement windows, which open by turning a crank, can be easier to operate if you or your loved one struggle with postural or mobility issues. Sliding windows, which are opened by pushing the sash to the side, are a good fit if you have difficulty with fine motor skills. It also helps if the windows are placed closer to the ground in case you need to make an emergency exit from your house. The average cost to replace a window is about $500, although various factors contribute to the exact price.
Comfortable Accommodations in a Retirement Community
Retrofitting your home in Federal Way with a universal design that supports aging in place is a big investment. It also doesn’t minimize your other regular housing-related expenses, such as insurance, taxes, utilities and upkeep. Another more cost-effective option is to transition to a retirement community that is already set up with senior-friendly housing. At Village Green Retirement Community, you not only have access to safe and comfortable accommodations that supply all the needed modifications with a staff to support you, but your monthly payment encompasses a variety of additional services and amenities to help simplify and enrich your life.
For this considering remodeling to age in place, but still reviewing all the options, take a look at our cottages. Village Green cottages offer the independent lifestyle seniors are looking for with all the aging-in-place remodeling already done and an easy transition into any extra needed support and care for the future.