• Lorey Cavanaugh

Houzz Survey Says Baby Boomers Lead the Remodeling Pack

A low threshold shower with grab bars and built in bench is safe and comfortable for an older user.

A recent report released by Houzz, titled “U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study”, highlights some recent statistics on kitchen design and renovation. While the Houzz study was focused on kitchens, we are also including features of accessible bathroom design as another area of attention for successful aging in place. The report surveyed a total of 1,337 homeowners who have completed a kitchen remodel or addition in the past 12 months, or are planning one, and asked them a total of 60 questions about their experience and preferences. The results included data that specifically pertains to KBDC’s key demographic, the Baby Boomer Generation.

According to Houzz, 52% of renovating homeowners today are 55 or older, and the majority plan to remain in their homes for the next 10 years. With this fact in mind, it is important to address significant questions about the overall accessibility of one’s home. The first issue one might address is maneuverability, how well will you be able to maneuver about your home in the years to come? The second issue to address is accessibility, is your home accessible enough to for you to comfortably age in place? Are bedrooms only accessible by stairs? Is it possible to live on the main level of your home? Are bathrooms handicap accessible, with a walk-in shower, grab bars and wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair? Is the primary storage in your kitchen up high and difficult to reach? If necessary, would you be able to pull up to the kitchen sink in a wheelchair or does base cabinetry block your way? Are your floors slip resistant?

A low, built in microwave is convenient and easy for the seated user.

These are all important questions, and NOW is the time to attend to them, either through a remodel, or adding features to your home that address possible aging needs before it’s too late. Only 9% of participants in the survey expressed that they remodeled their kitchen specifically to adapt to changes in their family/lifestyle, surprisingly low considering that the majority of renovating homeowners are Baby Boomers. Planning ahead now, and renovating for accessibility, will ensure many comfortable, worry-free years ahead.

Accessibility doesn’t need to look institutional. Note the elegant console sink, perfect for a seated user, and attractive grab bar mounted on the wall.

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