At a time when most remodelers are chomping at the bit for jobs to pick up, it might be a good idea to not take your elders for granted. More and more of the 76 million people in America that make up the baby boom generation are starting to think about that big “R” word. Retirement is a word that makes most of us in the kitchen and bath and remodeling business scoff. However with the growing trend of aging in place – choosing to live out your golden years in their own home rather than jet off to a retirement village – there’s a new market on the horizon: The Age In Placers.
Recently, an AARP study reported that 33% of adults ages 45 and up have made changes to their current home to stay there longer. Raising electrical outlets off ground level, selecting lever style handles instead of knobs, and lowering the height of cabinets are all popular kitchen and bath features that help accommodate aging customers according to the National Association of Home Builders.
So how can your business start catering to this new market for potential growth with boomers? To get kitchen design ideas start by touring retirement homes and independent living facilities. Take note of the fixtures and the height at which they’re installed. Ask the staff if they know why certain style fixtures are better for seniors than others. After you have your design notes down you can check fixture and cabinet manufacturer catalogs for product lines that are most likely to accommodate the needs of older homeowners while still looking great.
When you’ve done your research, the next time you’re with a remodeling prospect start asking them for how long they intend to live in the space. Determine their willingness to “future-proof” the remodeling job. If it is a priority for them you’ll be prepared to make solid recommendations. You might even want to prepare marketing literature for your website and showroom about your ability to create designs that help people age comfortably at home.
Has your remodeling business experienced growth in senior friendly kitchens and baths? Do you think your business is able to service this growing market? Let us know in the comments.