HomeSmart   - Home Adaptations for Independent Living
RSS Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts

Long Term Care: When to Plan and How to Pay
Benefits of Hiring an Accessibility Specialist
Current Trends in Senior Housing
Universal Design & Aging in Place
Product Spotlight: Flip A Grip

Most Popular Posts

The In-Law Suite
Trends in Housing: Part 2 The Tiny House
Tub to walk-in shower conversion
Managing Stairs: The Stair Lift
Modifying Narrow Doorways


Fixing To Stay
Homes for a Lifetime
Other Resources
Product Spotlight
Project Files
Questions & Answers
powered by

For Boomers & Their Aging Parents

Accessibility Modifications vs. Home Value

We can talk about universal design and show picture upon picture of upscale new products designed for aging-in-place, but the fact that the question, “Won’t accessibility modifications decrease the value of my home?” continues to be asked, tells me that we’re not yet done with the conversation.
Simply put, accessibility modifications that are poorly done will definitely decrease the value of your home.  On the other hand, accessibility modifications grounded in good design will increase its value.  Like all home renovations, if a project is done well it will appeal to others.  If not, it will become a negative when you try to sell your home. The determination of a home’s value is not a science but rather an art that combines an objective comparison of size and features to other homes in the neighborhood, with a subjective evaluation of any extra amenities that might set your home apart from the others.  
So why are modifications directed at making a home safer and more comfortable for its occupants given such a bum rap?  I think that part of the problem is the perception that accessibility modifications will look institutional.  Until quite recently, most people’s exposure to walk-in showers, grab bars, and ramps came through visits to family in nursing homes or hospitals.  Certainly the majority of builders have not included these features in their model homes, nor do we see interior design magazines focusing on ways to handle accessibility modifications.  We’re left thinking that anything other than the current trend in home design is a negative.  It’s ridiculous, really, that we’re forced to modify our homes to accommodate aging rather than have our homes built with a view to the long term.  If architects and builders had given any thought to an aging population, they might not have designed and built so many step down showers, step up entrances, 28” doorways or 5’ x 8’ bathrooms – all features that are difficult to maneuver as we age and become more infirm.
We can probably all agree that updated kitchens and baths add value to a home so let’s look at some common accessibility modifications to those two rooms to assess how these modifications might affect home value.
Since most adults encounter problems maneuvering into a bathtub as they get older, the most common accessibility modification for those who want to age in place is to replace the tub with a shower, preferably one that is “curb-less”.  A curb-less shower has no step or curb separating it from the rest of the bathroom floor but rather is at the exact same level as the rest of the bathroom.  The shower floor is imperceptibly pitched to a center drain and often additional trench drains are set along the edge of the shower floor to deter any water from the shower running into the bathroom.  When consideration is given to the design of a curb-less shower, it becomes an enhancement to any bathroom and a pleasure for everyone to use.   
The kitchen is another area of the home often requiring modification for accessibility as most standard kitchens are not well designed for someone in a wheelchair or using a walker.  To allow for everyone to use a kitchen comfortably, there should be counters of varying heights, easy to reach top shelves and pull out bottom shelves, front control appliances that can be used while seated, non-slip flooring, and contrasting edged counters.  Below is a picture of a kitchen specifically designed for all ages and abilities (universal design). There is nothing in this kitchen to detract from home value.  In fact, it's just the opposite - most people see a very functional yet beautifully renovated kitchen.   
The important thing to note is that while accessibility modifications are done to accommodate those with disabilities, when well thought out and well designed the results are attractive and usable for all.   When
you think about it, if you design a home that everyone can use comfortably, no matter their abilities or disabilities, you’ve opened up the market of those who would be interested in purchasing your home.  And there’s nothing negative about that.
Susan Luxenberg
HomeSmart LLC

16 Comments to Accessibility Modifications vs. Home Value:

Comments RSS
Metal Buildings British Columb on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 6:36 AM
Nice home renovation post and it is important to have good modification ideas.
Reply to comment
house cleaning seattle on Thursday, March 14, 2013 6:09 AM
Thanks for taking this opportunity to talk about this, I feel fervently about this and I enjoy learning about this topic. Please, as you gain facts, please update this blog with more information. I have found it enormously useful.......

Buy Toronto Home on Monday, April 8, 2013 1:56 AM
Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together about "Home renovation"! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. Regards.
Reply to comment
Canadian Made Furniture on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 2:15 AM
This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Very informative post thanks for share this with us I highly appreciate you for this information. Thanks for sharing it.

Quick Property Sale in London on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:51 AM
Great piece of writing about the home renovation, I really liked the way you highlighted some really important and significant points. Thanks so much, I appreciate your work.
Reply to comment

Quick Property Sale in London on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:53 AM
I agree with each and every conclusions made on this topic regarding the home values. It is really very informative. Thanks for sharing.
Reply to comment

Custom renovation Ottawa on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 3:14 AM
All the things Accessibility Modifications vs. Home Value are really connected with each other. As modification is done with quality your home value will also increase. I am so happy to read about it in this blog. Thanks
Reply to comment
double glazing nottingham on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 12:19 AM
Fantastic blog shared by you!at this time i also think to repair my house and your post really useful for me keep it up.!!!!!!!!!

kensington square on Saturday, November 23, 2013 3:10 AM
People buying house will expect to see a rise in home improvement value, so it is really important to provide all facilities at home to get sold.This is the main thing everyone should understand to work on.Nice post!
Reply to comment

new homes in Irvine on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 7:07 PM
I agree with each and every conclusions made on Accessibility Modifications vs. Home Value. It is really very informative. Thanks for sharing.
Reply to comment

Huntington Beach homes for sale on Friday, February 7, 2014 5:23 PM
I was looking for something like Accessibility Modifications vs. Home Value blogs ,Thank you for posting the great content……I found it quiet interesting, hopefully you will keep posting such blogs…
Reply to comment

immobilienmakler münchen on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 5:43 AM
Nice post !! This post is really very informative and useful post for everyone,
Reply to comment

vacate cleaning brisbane on Friday, April 11, 2014 5:06 AM
I really like to read this blog and am impressed with the blog which is really very informative and educative .
Reply to comment

end of lease cleaning alice springs on Thursday, April 17, 2014 5:57 AM
The topic is not really new but your writing make it interesting . It is simple and extremely fresh. You presented everything beautifully. hope to get more posts in future..thanks
Reply to comment

Aaron on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 4:57 AM
I found this highly interesting and appreciate your efforts.
Reply to comment

home buyer katy on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 2:06 PM
i just took a look at your internet site along with My spouse and i think it is really interesting along with beneficial.
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website provided by  Vistaprint
provided by Vistaprint