Parrish Construction

Personalize Your Home to Meet Your Changing Needs

June 14th, 2010 Posted in Aging-in-Place & Handicap Mobility, Building Trends, Design Tips, Green Building Topics, Historic Homes, Landscaping, Timely Home Upgrades
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  • By Larry Parrish- CR, CGR, CAPS, GACP


  • Don’t be moved by age. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), older homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to age-in-place, meaning to live at home safely, independently and comfortably.


  • With Universal Design principals, this has become increasingly easy. You can make your house your home-for-life. The changes needed, often simple and small, are cheaper than moving into assisted living facilities.


  • As one of my clients says: “Ain’t movin’ ‘til they take me out in a pine box”.  As a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), here is my advice on what you need to consider if you feel the same way:

Parrish Construction Bathroom Remodel

Installing grab bars in bathroom showers can ensure safety and prevent falls.

  • Safety:


  1. Lighting, more of it and higher quality; color corrected bulbs help.
  2. Contrast in surface textures and colors to enable you to distinguish between them.
  3. Compact fluorescent bulbs, cooler to the touch and energy efficient
  4. Scald prevention plumbing fixtures.
  5. Non-slip surface treatments in baths and bath rooms
  6. Electronic ignition to replace pilot lights, so you are not kneeling with a match and your reading glasses!


  • Ease of Use:


  1. Look ahead. Update now to prevent having to deal with it when you are less able: new major appliances; re-roof; re-side to prevent regular paint jobs. Low maintenance is your goal.
  2. Shop with a critical eye. When you replace an appliance, look for convenience in cleaning and servicing.
  3. Heights: cabinets can be designed now to be removed later to create an under the counter knee space to accommodate wheel chairs. Raise some appliances, such as dishwashers, to load and unload without stooping.
  4. Put the master bed and bath on the first floor.
  5. A high maintenance yard is like a high-maintenance person. ‘Nuff said (See “Upgrading and Modernizing” below).


  • Independence:


  1. Widen doorways and traffic areas to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs.
  2. Remove levels and steps.
  3. A lever handle puts less demand on your grip than a knob.
  4. Convert space for anticipated live-in help.
  5. Build a network of support: gather around you now (through trusted referrals) the help you need for gardening, heavy house cleaning, shoveling snow, cleaning out gutters, find a good handy man service.
  6. Keyless entries mitigate forgetfulness and afford the ability to change locks easily. They also allow someone to drop in easily and check on you.


  • Upgrading and Modernizing


  • While you are at it…Green Up! Many of these changes also provide an opportunity to increase insulation, improve window quality, and use higher efficiency appliances. Sensitivity to cold increases as we age. (We are all familiar with Grandma’s house being very warm.) Furthermore, utility prices will only continue to rise. Commonly, adding insulation and other energy saving ideas costs only an additional 5%. However, the ROI (return on investment) is usually better than 8% immediately, and in the current energy market, even above that.


  • Use any remodeling opportunity as a Greening Up opportunity as well. You won’t regret it. It will only help in selling your home eventually, too. Xeriscaping is a major boon in at least three ways: your aching back, high water bills and our alpine desert environment. Boulder abounds with xeriscaping experts and many beautiful examples of how gorgeous such landscaping can be.


  • Remember, with a little planning, you can live at home and live well…for many years to come.


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    Xeriscaped Yard by Parrish Construction Boulder, CO

    Xeriscaped, sloped yards require little maintenance and allow ease of access.

    1. 2 Responses to “Personalize Your Home to Meet Your Changing Needs”

    2. By Yamaha on Jul 15, 2010

      Amazing post thank you!

      Sent via Blackberry

    3. By Parrish Construction on Dec 16, 2010

      Look for our upcoming Building Care and Repair service to help you preserve the value of your home and prevent costly future repairs.

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