A Baby Boomers’ Guide to Aging in Place

A Baby Boomers’ Guide to Aging in Place
Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem

If you’re one of the millions of American baby boomers approaching their 70s, you may be asking if now is an opportunity to move and downsize to a smaller, more manageable home, or to stay put in your current home and repurpose any extra space vacated by adult children.

The answer depends on your unique circumstances, of course. But for those who decide to stay put — at least for the time being — now is a great time to begin considering which, if any, modifications your home may require to better suit your needs and ensure your safety as you get older.

Rather than waiting until an incident occurs, be proactive about making alterations to your home that will help you avoid potential injury. Likewise, take advantage of a broad spectrum of new technologies that can make your home easier to manage and provide an extra layer of security.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are planning to “age in place.”

Prioritize Your Wish List

Take a good look at the rooms in your house to determine which ones fit your new lifestyle and which ones need some work. Some areas of the home might only need minor changes. Others might need to be repurposed altogether. Take the time to create a general plan and prioritize the items on your list.

Focus on Improving Livability

Many empty nesters hire expert remodelers to adapt their home to make it easier to maintain. Stairs can sometimes become a problem, but moving the master bedroom and the laundry room to the ground floor can be part of a solution. Doing so can give homeowners many more years in the home they love without a sense of urgency to move to a single-story home. Building professionals who have earned the National Association of Home Builders’ Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation have received training on how to build or renovate a home so that the occupants can live in it safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of their age.

Make Use of Technology

Everywhere you look these days, there is new technology. Why not put it to use in your house? Motion sensor light switches can illuminate a room as soon as you enter. They can also be connected with a home security and monitoring system, and could be configured to send help in the event of a fall or other accident. A smart refrigerator will notify you when you’re out of milk, or better yet, place an order to be delivered by your local grocer. A front door camera and microphone will allow you to see who is on your porch, even if you’re not there. If you can dream it up, there is likely a technology solution out there for it.

Expand Your Space

Depending on the age of your home, you may find that, for example, your master bedroom or bath is too small for comfort. Look for opportunities to expand those rooms into adjacent, unused or underutilized spaces. A remodeling professional is the best person to help you determine what your options are to build your dream master bathroom or bedroom. They can also help you find ways to create a more open floorplan that is easier to navigate for those with mobility concerns. Incorporating these changes will not only create a home that suits a changing lifestyle, they also may increase the value of your home when you eventually decide it’s time sell.

For more information on the most effective ways for empty nesters to remodel their home, contact Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem or visit www.hbaws.net.

Trend Alert: Wet Rooms are Today’s Choice for Beautiful Bathrooms

Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem

Trend Alert: Wet Rooms Are Today’s Choice for Beautiful, Usable Bathrooms

Inviting, accommodating and a feast for the eyes—wet rooms are showing up in more and more homes and wowing visitors at new-home showcases. Wet rooms—essentially open-concept or barrier-free bathrooms—are tiled continuously from floor to ceiling and across the floor surface, giving a sleek, unified appearance. The shower is open to the room or enclosed in clear glass, and has no raised threshold to step over. Sinks, countertops and vanities mounted to the walls hover above the unbroken plane of the floor.

The wet room’s uninterrupted sight lines give a feeling of space to even a relatively small room. The continuous floor surface makes for easy cleanup and allows people in wheelchairs or with restricted mobility to move freely.

Here are a few things to consider when designing your wet room:

Express Yourself

The open spaces and abundance of tile that define a wet room invite you to splash on your own creative look.

Whether you choose soothing earth tones and textures, cool minimalist grays, whites and blacks, or whimsical colors and patterns, the wet room creates an eye-catching display.

 

Curbless Shower

Because the entire room is waterproof, your curbless shower also can be completely open to the room, with no enclosure at all. Just be sure there’s enough space to place the toilet and sink where they won’t get splashed by spray from the shower.

Glass enclosures with seamless glass doors are another popular option. They’ll contain water on all sides without impeding the view.

Or sometimes simply a slab partition between the shower and the toilet will do the trick, leaving the front of the shower open to the rest of the room. The slab may be a foot or two short of the ceiling and face the doorway to minimize its effect on the visual flow.

Threshold drains—or grates that are flush with the tile floor—may define the edge of the shower area without interrupting the floor’s flow. Some drains even glow from within, using interior colored or white LED lighting for an extra flair and to help orient a person under the shower’s spray.

Another popular option is adding a place to sit in the shower. A built-in slate ledge, matching or contrasting with the wall tile, a wall-mounted drop-down bench in bamboo or a free-standing teak stool is a handy feature for anyone and contributes to the overall design.

 

Fixtures

Floating vanities, attached to the wall without legs, and floating countertops look great with today’s vessel sinks and minimalist faucets.

In addition to their sleek look, these features also provide sink access for anyone in a wheel chair. Drawers or shelves attached underneath or on each side of the sink provide storage.

 

Professional Installation

To be sure your wet room keeps the water where it’s supposed to be, it’s important that everything be installed just right, and that might require a professional.

Floor grading is key—constructed to slope gently and almost imperceptibly, but effectively, toward drains. Tile must be properly installed and sealed to prevent leaks.

Once it’s done right, your wet room will be easy to use, to clean and to enjoy—a lovely oasis in your home.

 

For more information or to find a contractor or remodeler to help you create your wet room, contact Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem or www.hbaws.net.

Open Floor Plans – Top Pick for Consumers

Open Floor Plans – Top Pick for Consumers

National Homeownership Month
Open Floor Plans Remain a Top Pick for Consumers
Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem

Whether looking for a new home or revamping a current residence, home owners continue to be drawn to the feelings of spaciousness, easy flow and welcoming togetherness evoked by an open floor plan.

Pioneered in the early 20th century, open floor plans remain popular today, according to a recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders. The survey found that 70 percent of buyers want a kitchen-family room area that is either completely or partially open, with 32 percent wanting it completely open.

And owners of existing homes are choosing to open things up, too. Remodelers reported that 40 percent of their projects involve opening existing homes’ main floors by removing interior walls entirely or by using countertops, cut-throughs or archways, rather than full walls, to define separate areas in a more open way.

Main floors with few or no interior walls between areas for cooking, eating, relaxing and entertaining allow cooks to chat with family members or guests, provide easy flow for entertaining and enable parents to keep an eye on children from different areas.

Open floor plans not only maximize space and flow, they optimize natural light. Windows serve more than their immediate area, illuminating the entire space.

With the increasing focus on accessible design, open floor plans meet another of today’s needs— with fewer doorways, they are easier to navigate in a wheelchair or with a stroller.

To find a builder or remodeler visit: http://www.hbaws.net or visit nahb.org.

Perfect Getaway with a She Shed

Perfect Getaway with a She Shed

National Homeownership Month
Create the Perfect Getaway with a She Shed
Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem

We’ve all heard about the growing prevalence of man caves for years, but get ready for a lot more buzz about “she sheds.” A she shed is a free standing building in your home’s backyard – a space where a woman can go to invest time in her hobbies, get some work done, or just relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the home. Sound like a great project to take on? Here are some of the most popular uses for she sheds:

Art and Crafting Studio

The she shed gives you a great opportunity to invest more time and intention in your passions. If you’re an artist, whether professionally or as a hobby, create a space dedicated to your craft. To make the space work, invest in some storage solutions to organize all of your crafting supplies, or finally get that easel you’ve been wanting but didn’t have space for in the main house. If you’re a photographer, you can even look into turning your she shed into a darkroom or photography studio.

 Outdoor Seating

Think about adding a bench or a small table and a couple of chairs in front of your she shed so you can sit with a friend and enjoy some beautiful weather with your favorite beverage. It’ll feel like you’re at a chic cafe but in the comfort of your own backyard. Don’t forget to make sure the furniture and fabrics are weatherproof so you won’t have to worry about dragging it inside whenever it rains or snows.

 Reading Nook

Consider making your she shed a screen-free space. You don’t want to risk it becoming just another place where you go to zone out and stare at the TV. Instead, opt for a dedicated reading space. You can go with a classic window nook, or get a stylish day bed and cover it in throw pillows. Who knows, you might even use it as a place to sneak in an afternoon nap. Finish it off with a free-standing bookcase or mount some quick and easy shelves on the wall to hold all those books you’ve been wanting to read.

Exercise or Office Space

If your passion is yoga, pilates, or weight lifting, you can turn your she shed into a space where you can blast your favorite music in a dedicated work-out space. Or, if you’re looking for a place to hunker down and focus on work, your she shed could become an office where you can go to write, brainstorm, make phone calls, or whatever else your professional life requires.

At the end of the day, your special space should be a reflection of you – a place where you love to spend time, whether it’s relaxing, creating, or getting work done. Have fun with it and make it into something that enhances your life.

To find a professional who can help you create your perfect she shed, contact Home Builders Association of  Winston-Salem 336.768.5942.

Top Design Trends for 2019

Top Design Trends for 2019

National Homeownership Month

Top Design Trends for 2019

At the beginning of each year, the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) recognizes dozens of new projects from this past year that showcased the best in home and community design, interior design and remodeling.

Whether your looking for inspiration for your next home renovation or you’re ready to start browsing for a new home, here are a few of the top design trends you’ll see in 2019.

Black window frames. Do you prefer a sleek and distinctive look for your home? Black window frames are the answer. The bold color choice has a modern appeal and frames are available in every price point.

The ceiling as the fifth wall of design. Ceilings will not be ignored this year. Statement ceilings transform rooms into bigger and brighter living spaces. Creative textures, colors and lighting can bring this seemingly blank canvas to life.

Creative integration of outdoor spaces. Small outdoor spots no longer limit design capabilities. Cozy and appealing outdoor living areas can be integrated into homes in even the narrowest lots. You’ll see expert design, carefully selected features and furniture create exciting indoor-outdoor spaces.

Delineation of spaces through mixed materials. Designers are shaking things up in 2019 with a variety of textured elements to elevate the style of a home. Homes will have better defined spaces, both outdoor and in, with mixed materials like stone or brick.

Indoor/outdoor connections. Easy physical and visual connections with outdoor spaces is enticing and generates an abundance of nature light and ventilation. The seamless flow of indoor and outdoor space is a trend gaining momentum each year.

Mid-century modern and modern farmhouse. Bringing out a home’s original character is a style that is sweeping the nation. Mid-century modern homes have a warm and inviting living space with large windows and open design concepts. The popular modern farmhouse incorporates natural wood beams, large sinks and barn doors.

Multigenerational living. Overall, this trend is about creating a home to accommodate multiple generations living under one roof. Floor plans and design elements allow for all household members to gather comfortably in living spaces. You’ll notice suites and transition spaces capable of quickly transforming into bedrooms.

Stairs as a focal piece. Known more for utility in a home rather than design, stairs are taking a life of their own. Homes this year will have stairs with fine detailing, unique materials and one-of-a-kind designs. Stairs and rails are available in an array of styles and are suitable for any budget.

For more information about the latest designs to enhance your home or to find a builder in your area to create the new home of your dreams, contact Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem 336.768.5942.

Small Homes with Big Value

Small Homes with Big Value

National Homeownership Month

Small Homes with Big Value

Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem

 Not all homebuyers are looking for a house with a massive floor plan – and a massive price tag. In fact, a wide variety of lifestyle changes are motivating many home owners to downsize to something more manageable. And, many first-time buyers are seeking something other than the traditional “starter” home.

Their reasons may vary, but their goals remain consistent: find a home that fits well, maximizes space and offers value. Home builders recognize the home-efficiency needs of today’s buyers, which is why an increasing number of them are finding innovative ways to deliver big value in a small(er) package.

To those who think buying a smaller home means sacrificing quality amenities, they might not know about what many refer to as the “jewel box home.” Ranging between 650-2,500 square feet, jewel box homes are generally smaller than the average single-family home, and built with high-quality materials and custom finishes tailored to the owner’s preferences.

Such homes are most appealing to newlyweds, single professionals, empty nesters or retirees – anyone with a less-is-more mentality who wants to live in a custom, yet relatively affordable home.

Every area within a jewel box home is designed with a purpose – sometimes more than one – to augment efficiency. The designs typically rely on blurring the lines between the indoors and outdoors by incorporating large sliding glass doors that open seamlessly to exterior dining and entertaining areas.

Other design elements that create space include the use of bright, chrome-brushed finishes, pocket and barn doors, dramatic lighting, floating shelves, abundant windows and continuous flooring throughout. Functionality is often enhanced with kitchen islands that double as dining tables, creative storage spaces beneath stairs and purposeful cabinetry and built-ins.

Yet still, for some, “small” isn’t small enough. A few years ago, many thought the “tiny house movement” was a passing trend, but some extreme minimalist home buyers still view tiny homes as a viable option because of their small impact on the environment and on their checkbooks.

Costing a fraction of the price of a typical single-family home, these diminutive dwellings are also a fraction of the size, often ranging between 100 and 400 square feet. Those who tend to be the most interested in tiny houses are millennials (between the ages of 25 and 34), particularly the ones who dislike home maintenance almost as much as they do the idea of a long-term mortgage.

For most people, the appeal of a simplified life in a tiny house won’t be enough to forfeit a good amount of their personal space, or outweigh the inevitable climb up a ladder each night to sleep in a loft. But home-buyer intrigue in the “tiny” concept continues to spur micro-living-inspired efficiencies within larger, more mainstream home designs.

For more information about innovative home designs that fit modern lifestyles, contact Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem 336.768.5942.