Posts Tagged aging-in-place

Five Ways to Implement Universal Design in Your Home

Whether you’re raising a young family or beginning to enjoy an empty nest, the design of your home should meet your changing needs. Families looking to customize their homes to suit their lifestyles both now and in the future can easily implement universal design techniques.

Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design at a later point in time. Universal design enhances traditional design by incorporating elements that offer comfort, convenience and ease of use.

Multigenerational families and first-time home owners alike will appreciate the often simple and inexpensive changes that make homes livable for all household members, regardless of age or ability. Homes with universal design are more user-friendly, require lower maintenance and complement an easy-living lifestyle.

Here are five ways to implement universal design in your home:

  1. Widen your doorways and hallways to accommodate strollers or relatives who might use a wheelchair. This allows everyone and everything to move more easily in and out of the house, and from room to room. Experts recommend 36-inch wide doors and 42-inch wide halls and stairways.
  2. Build a stepless porch entry that will increase access and convenience without compromising aesthetics.
  3. Install non-slip surfaces on floors and bathtubs to help everyone stay sturdy on their feet
  4. Install handrails on steps and grab bars in bathrooms to provide more support for household members of all ages. 
  5. Use lever door handles. This easy-grip hardware allows family members and guests to more effortlessly open and close doors. Plus, you can switch out your faucet and drawer handles with C-shape or D-shape hardware for even greater ease of use.

Home building and remodeling professionals who have earned the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) or Graduate Master Remodeler (GMR) designations have received training on how to build or renovate a home so that the occupants can live in the home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of their age or ability level. They have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically pleasing, barrier-free living environments.  Chuck Miller is a Graduate Master Builder (GMB). a Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR), and a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS).

You can find more information on Universal Design and Aging-In-Place, including our video “Make You House a Home for a Lifetime”, on the Aging-In-Place page on our website.

Contact us at (208) 229-2553 or by emailing [email protected] to schedule a preliminary design consultation to discuss your project.

Posted in: Aging-In-Place, Remodeling, Universal Design

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Desire for New Amenities Remains Top Reason to Remodel

According to remodelers polled in National Association of Home Builder’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI), the number one reason customers remodeled their homes in 2014 was a “desire for better/newer amenities.” On a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1 indicates never or almost never, and 5 is very often), the average rating on desire for newer amenities was 4.4 in 2014.

In second place with an average rating of 4.2 was a “Need to repair/replace old components”. A “desire for more space,” another fairly traditional reason, came in third with an average rating of 3.8; “To avoid moving or buying another home” was fourth at 3.3.

Desire to be able to age in place” (3.0), “increasing the value of the home as an investment” (2.8), and “energy efficiency/environmental concerns” (2.6) while significant factors in the remodeling market, were less powerful than the simple desire for new things and need to replace old things.

Do you fall into any of these categories? If so, Chuck Miller Construction Inc. can assist you. Contact us at (208) 229-2553 or by email to [email protected]

Posted in: energy-efficient remodeling, green remodeling, Remodeling

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May is National Remodeling Month

Did you know that May is National Remodeling Month?  Since the downturn in new residential construction that began in 2007, the media has been focusing on the number of new starts as the key indicator of the health of the residential construction industry.  But focusing on the number of starts ignores an increasingly important component of residential construction – remodeling.

Not only is May National Remodeling Month but, according to David Crowe, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders, depending upon how you measure it, remodeling has taken over first place in total residential construction expenditures.

There are two measures of remodeling activity.  The U.S. Census Bureau measure or residential construction spending only counts improvements to owner-occupied homes.  In January 2010, that component accounted for 48% of all residential construction spending.  Prior to the recent mid-decade construction boom, improvements to owner-occupied homes accounted for approximately 25% of all new-residential construction spending.  During the boom, it fell to 21%.  But improvements to owner-occupied homes have exceeded new-single family construction value since February 2009.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis which measures the U.S. Gross Domestic Product includes within its residential construction spending accounts for residential remodeling of rental, vacant, and second homes in addition to owner-occupied homes. In 2008, this broader measure of residential improvement expenditures accounted for 42% of all residential construction,  In 2009, it is expected to top 50%. Prior to the mid-decade construction boom, this broader measure of residential improvement expenditures averaged around 30% of all residential construction spending.  It fell to 25%.  But improvements to owner-occupied homes have exceeded new-single family construction value since February 2009.

Professional remodeling activities are concentrated in the 85 million homes that are 25 years old and older.  About one-fifth of the owners of these homes spent and average of $11,400 on professional remodeling in 2007.

There are two primary drivers – the energy tax credits and the Baby-Boomers who are choosing to remain in their existing homes.

Improvement to increase the energy-efficiency of your home and remodeling for Aging-in-Place to allow you to live in your home independently regardless of age or ability are two of our specialties.  To learn more, visit our website

 Chuck Miller GMB   CGB   CGP  MIRM   CMP   MCSP   CSP

President / Builder – Chuck Miller Construction Inc.

(208) 229-2553  (208) 571-0755

[email protected]

Posted in: Remodeling

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