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More Home Renovations will be a Sign of Aging Population

27 April 2013

It’s no secret that Canada has an aging population. And even if you didn’t know that by the year 2036 we’ll have 10.4 million people over the age of 65 (it’s currently at 5 million), it’s hard to miss all those many baby boomers walking around. This large group of people is bringing with it all kinds of new trends, as such a large percentage of our population ages at the same time. One of those trends that’s going to be most interesting is that the number of home renovations should soon skyrocket in Canada.

It’s been pretty well-documented now that boomers have no intention of moving out of their family homes and downsizing, like so many thought they would. But with boomers wanting to stay in their own homes as long as possible, and make life as easy on themselves as possible while they’re there, home renos – especially those to make living easier – are something that’s going to be seen a lot in the next coming years.

The goal of these home renos may not be to add more resale to the value, or to completely rebuild the home. Rather, the aging population will become more focused on making their homes more accessible to them, and more adaptable to their new lifestyle. This becomes more important as people get older, as they not only want to continue their independence, but they also spend more and more time in their homes as they get older.

Design options typically include things such as lowering or raising kitchen cabinets; installing wheelchair ramps or elevators; fold-down countertop extensions; lever-style doorknobs and light switches; and converting lower rooms into bedrooms.

These renovations, says Canadian contracting guru, Mike Holmes, are not only important for the Canadian population to think about, but those who will actually be making improvements to their home – even if they’re not going to be making those changes for another 10 or 15 years.

“If you’re already planning to renovate your home,” says Holmes “think about what kind of things would be helpful to you down the road. Talk to a pro about it. Make sure they know what the issues are and that they have a lot of experience retrofitting homes to make them senior friendly.”

He also says that finding contractors who deal with this type of retrofitting shouldn’t be difficult. He says that contractors too, are starting to see this trend, and many of them are becoming specialized in seniors’ issues so they can better serve their customers.

And as always, he says it’s a matter of being proactive, and finding the right person for the job.

“As long as we get the right pros doing what they do best and start thinking ahead, it’s a win-win,” Mike says.

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