Home Renovations with Safety and Accessibility in Mind

Renovating your home gives you the chance to make the house work better for you and your family, and the improvements you make can even increase your home’s value. But rather than focusing on aesthetically pleasing renovations only, plan out your renovation projects with a focus on the changes that will also improve your home’s safety and accessibility. Some strategically chosen home renovation projects can ensure that your family can continue to enjoy your home for years or even decades to come.

Prepare for the Long-Term

When planning home renovations, you can maximize your investment by thinking about the long-term needs of your family and how your use of the home will change with time. If you or a relative are planning to stay in your home as you retire, you can start implementing some of the changes that will make it easier and safer to age in place.

If you anticipate welcoming an aging family member into your home, start addressing modifications that make the home more accessible sooner rather than later. Homes with narrow hallways or rooms with limited walking space can be difficult for seniors to navigate, for example, so you may need to either reorganize or renovate these spaces to create wider hallways and doorways. Uneven or loose flooring can also be tripping hazards, so replace worn floors and ensure that the new flooring is flat and even.

To make a home safer for any aging family members, you may need to renovate some commonly precarious areas, like stairways and bathrooms. These areas have a high fall risk and frequently require modification to make them safer. Modifying a bathroom may be as simple as installing handrails and grab bars throughout the space, though larger modifications like installing a walk-in tub can further increase safety. Meanwhile, stairwells may benefit from added handrails, but installing a stairlift can also help an aging family member navigate the space more safely.

Good lighting through your entire house is also incredibly important in helping to prevent falls and accidents for everyone. Take a walk through your home as it is and look for areas that are dimly lit. You may be able to change out lightbulbs for brighter bulbs, add some additional lamps, or install additional overhead lighting to brighten up the spaces.

Implement Smart Home Features

Including smarthome features can make it easier and more convenient to keep your home running efficiently as well, perhaps in more ways than you knew. Home automation options like automated lighting, smart thermostats, and smart door locks, can be operated remotely through devices like phones, tablets, and computers. With a smartphone garage door controller, you can access security features like your garage door through an app as well — that way, if you can’t remember if you closed the garage door before leaving for work, you can close the door by using the app no matter where you are at the time.

Smart home features have plenty of benefits. They’re convenient and can increase your security, since you can arm your home security system from any location and, with smart cameras, can visually check-in and see what’s going on around or inside your home. Smart technology options like thermostats also prevent pipes from freezing, and water leak detectors can alert you to water issues in your home, helping to protect your property, especially if you have older relatives or other family members who could be harmed during an incident.

These devices are also convenient. If the kids forget their keys, you can let them into the house after school without having to drive home. You can turn on the outdoor lights if you realize you’re going to be getting home later than you thought, and if you forget to turn down the thermostat on your way to work, you can do it remotely and save on your heating bill. Even more, if you live with older parents, you can check in on them every now and then to make sure they’re safe.

While smart home features have many benefits, they can be expensive to initially purchase and install. While many of these features offer DIY installation options, if you’re not technologically inclined, be sure to budget for their professional installation during your home renovation project.

Consider Security Renovations

While a smart home renovation can incorporate your home alarm or home security system, there are some additional home security renovations that you may want to include in your renovation budget. Installing quality locks on windows and doors isn’t expensive or difficult, for example, but it can go a long way in deterring thieves, and planting roses or stinging plants directly below your ground-level windows is another helpful safety measure to keep people from peeking too close.

Some homeowners may also feel safer by installing an armored door. This reinforced door increases your home’s protection, but it also offers thermal protection and soundproofing. Depending on your location and the level of security that you need, installing an armored door can be a wise investment.

Remember that the renovations you make to your home don’t just increase its value, but also make your home a safer and more enjoyable place for you and your family. Plan out your renovation carefully to make sure that you can make as many positive changes to your home as possible, while maintaining the homey feel that comes with a safe place to end the day. Good luck!

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