Remodeling the Nest

Empty-nesters are great candidates for remodeling. Often, it’s something they’ve put off for years because of expenses with children, college tuition, and caring for all generations of family. Making the decision to remodel for empty nesters can open up a world of opportunity and give them reason to stay in their current home. The remodeling effort should consider form and function, as well as cost-effectiveness.

If you’re an empty nester, take into consideration your new lifestyle. Will there be more entertaining? If so, consider opening the kitchen space to make it easy for people to gather there. It will also allow the cook or host to mingle with guests while preparing food. A center island is a great way to include guests, whether they are helping or simply talking. The kitchen has become the heart of the home for both entertaining and convenience, so if yours is dated and tiny, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate. Choose flooring with a non-slip surface, such as wood or vinyl, and also take into consideration the amount of “give” for standing for long periods of time. Ceramic tile is very “un-forgiving” to the legs, feet and back. Always plan for more lighting than you think is necessary – have bright task lighting for work areas and under-counter lighting for ambiance. As we age, our eyes need more light to see the task at hand. Consider cabinetry with roll-out drawers and lower storage space for easy access. Choose appliances that do what you want them to do – if you want the bells and whistles, by all means, seek them out. If you want simple, alert your builder.

Bathroom remodeling for empty nesters should also consider amenities that will last into the “golden years.” Dual sinks with a single lever faucet for ease-of-use and no-step showers are ideal for sharing and safety. Grab bars or a shower seat are also good safety features that don’t have to scream, “Old!” Today’s designs are meant to blend in and be discreet, while at the same time giving the user peace of mind.

The word “empty” in Empty Nesters refers to the number of people in a home, not its functionality, so remodel accordingly.