Prepping Your Home for Your Retirement

If you’re thinking of retirement, your coworkers and contemporaries are probably thinking of you with admiration and perhaps just a twinge of jealousy. As you prepare for more leisure time, you may also be spending some time thinking about reconnecting with lost passions and establishing new routines, as well as any budget adjustments you’ll make in retirement. It’s also a good time to assess your current home, and how the home needs to be prepared for retirement as well.

As home improvement contractors in Grand Rapids, we can generally say that for most people thinking about retiring, there are a few kinds of modifications to plan:

  1. Major repairs. Major repairs might include a new roof, better insulation, new windows, siding, or a new furnace. If any of your major systems or structures are aging, and are likely candidates for replacement, it can be helpful to budget for these modifications while you are still working. Gathering information from home improvement contractors in Grand Rapids can be a good first step to preparing your home for retirement.
  2. Energy efficiency improvements. Even if your home is fairly new or holding up well, it’s also a good idea to look at whether it meets current energy efficiency standards. Any improvements you make now for energy efficiency, such as sealing up air leaks or adding insulation, could save you a lot on your future energy bills. A good way to start is to schedule a home performance analysis to pinpoint air leaks, inadequate insulation, moisture problems, and more.
  3. Lifestyle/leisure renovations. Perhaps you no longer need the spare bedrooms for the kids, but an art studio, hobby room, or crafting area would be nice. Or maybe your garage would be more suitable for tinkering with the addition of heat. Maybe you would like to enclose a walkway to the garage, or otherwise reduce your shoveling commitment.
  4. Aging in Place. So many Americans plan to stay in their homes in retirement, there is a concept in building trades called “Aging in Place.” The idea is to make a home safer, healthier, and more comfortable by including amenities that can become helpful or necessary as health and mobility decrease. Some improvements normally require a builder’s expertise, such as wider hallways and doorways to accommodate a wheelchair. Other improvements may be possible for the do-it-yourselfer, such as grab bars in the bathroom or handrails on the stairs. Depending on your current health, many of these modifications may be unnecessary for some time. However, if you are planning a large project like a bathroom remodel, you may want to ask the remodeling contractor what features would help with aging in place.

At GreenFIT Homes, we specialize in home performance analysis, as well as major repairs and improvments. A home performance analysis report will give you an idea of what changes are needed to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient, as well as which projects would give you the best return on investment. Contact GreenFIT Homes today to schedule your home performance analysis. It’s the first step to retiring comfortably in your own home.

Photo: Rob Bixby

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