Aging-in-Place Remodeling Grows

More remodeling clients are planning ahead and opting to alter their homes for aging-in-place, according to recent data gathered by the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodelers. Seventy percent of remodelers surveyed reported making universal design home modifications, a significant bump from 60 percent in 2006.

“Homeowners are asking for remodeling improvements to make their homes more comfortable as they age because they don’t want to move or lose independence,” said NAHB Remodelers chairman, Greg Miedema, CGR, CGB, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Tucson, Ariz. “These modifications can make a home more stylish and convenient for the aging population.”

The aging-in-place modifications most frequently purchased by homeowners, according to remodelers, include:

  • Adding grab bars (78 percent)
  • Installing higher toilets (71 percent)
  • Upgrading to a curb-less shower (60 percent)
  • Widening doorways (57 percent)
  • Constructing ramps or lower thresholds (45 percent)
  • Enhancing lighting and task lighting (45 percent)

NAHB’s survey also found that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of aging-in-place options, with remodelers saying that 84 percent of homeowners have at least some knowledge of universal design solutions. Seventy-four percent of remodelers also note an increase in requests for these types of features.

While remodelers say the bulk of jobs for aging-in-place come from clients age 55 and older, a growing number of consumers are not requesting aging-in-place remodeling solely for themselves. Often such improvements address age-related disabilities of visiting older relatives, or modifications to make it easier for parents to share living space with grown children. Seventy percent of homeowners started remodeling projects for aging-in-place because they were planning ahead for such future needs.

Green Building

CGP Numbers Grow

More than 2,725 builders, remodelers and other home building industry professionals have now achieved the Certified Green Professional designation, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The NAHB designation is awarded after the successful completion of 24 hours of classroom instruction on green building techniques and business practices, two years’ industry experience, a commitment to continuing education and adherence to the CGP code of ethics.

NARI

Officers Elected for 2009-2010

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) has named immediate past president Renée Rewiski, of Remodeling News magazine in Ramsey, N.J., as its chairman of the board and elevated William E. Carter, CR, CKBR, of William E. Carter Company in Sacramento, Calif., to the office of president.

Carter assumed the role of president after serving in the capacity of vice president for the past year. An active national leader, he has been an officer since 2005, and prior to that was the regional vice president for Region 7.

The remaining officers include: first vice president, Paul Zuch, CR, of Capital Improvements in Allen, Texas; second vice president, Michael Hydeck, CR, CKBR, of Hydeck & Mackay Builders Inc. in Telford, Pa.; third vice president, Dean Herriges, CR, CKBR, of Urban Herriges & Sons Inc. in Mukwonago, Wis.; and secretary/treasurer, Fred Spaulding, CKBR, of Quality Home Improvements Inc. in Kingwood, Texas.

Kitchen Survey

Lack of Ventilation Knowledge

Homeowners are less knowledgeable about current ventilation products than they are about other kitchen appliances, according to a new survey conducted among kitchen designers.

The nationwide survey, conducted by luxury appliance manufacturer Thermador in conjunction with the National Kitchen & Bath Association, polled 573 kitchen designers in an effort to gain insights into the building industry’s awareness of the latest appliance design trends, according to Thermador.

The survey revealed that nearly 90 percent of the kitchen designers surveyed reported that their clients either “always” or “usually” rely on their professional recommendations when it comes to addressing ventilation needs. In addition, 86 percent of the designers questioned said their clients are “less knowledgeable” about ventilation compared to other kitchen appliances.

The survey found that 47 percent of the kitchen designers polled rate performance and odor removal as the most important factor to consider when selecting ventilation, while only 13 percent perceive that their clients feel the same way. More than half (52 percent) of the surveyed designers feel their clients rate design as their top purchasing decision.

The majority (46 percent) of the surveyed designers said they are using wall hoods most often in their kitchen projects, followed by custom inserts (28 percent), chimney hoods (18 percent), downdrafts (4 percent) and island hoods (3 percent).

Incentives

Pennsylvania to Fund Sustainability

Pennsylvania’s $25 million High Performance Building program will provide grants and loans to families and businesses constructing or renovating buildings that meet standards that measure a building’s overall sustainability.

Funds are available to anyone building or renovating a primary residence and to businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees.

Loans up to $100,000 are available for residential projects and up to $2 million for small businesses. Grants are not to exceed $500,000, or 10 percent, of total eligible costs, whichever is less. Applicants may apply for a grant or a loan, but not both.

Kitchen Cabinets

St. Charles Expands Network

St. Charles Cabinetry has signed on 21 dealers in 15 states across the United States as the steel-cabinet manufacturer attempts to build a nationwide dealer network, the company announced. Key dealer locations include Southern California, Florida, Chicago and the Southwest part of the United States, said Jim Gregory, general manager of St. Charles Cabinetry, a division of Viking Range Corp. of Greenwood, Miss.

The St. Charles line of frameless, full-overlay cabinetry is available in brushed stainless steel and 23 colors of powder-coated, cold-rolled steel. Made of high recycled content, the line is manufactured at Viking’s production facilities in Mississippi.

Green Products

NAHB Seal of Approval

The NAHB Research Center recently introduced the “Green Approved” product seal of approval, a program by which manufacturers can provide third-party evidence that their green products meet the criteria for recognition in homes certified to the American National Standards Institute’s National Green Building Standard.

These reports — available from a link on the new standard scoring tool at www.nahbgreen.org — are designed to facilitate the selection and specification of products as well as the approval of possible points by verifiers who have been accredited by the NAHB Research Center.

NKBA

Alliance with ServiceMagic

ServiceMagic.com and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) announced that the two organizations have formed a strategic alliance that allows NKBA members to reach more consumers by gaining access to ServiceMagic.com’s targeted lead platform. They choose specific projects and zip codes to connect with homeowners in need of their services.

NKBA members will receive volume discounts and a waiver of ServiceMagic.com’s standard enrollment fee, which is used to cover the costs of the 10-point screening. With more than 5 million consumer requests expected in 2009, ServiceMagic also offers the NKBA expanded consumer reach and awareness.

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