Remodeling market benefits from aging population

July 17, 2012 03:45PM

The aging baby boomer population will be the key to a recovery in the remodeling market, Businessweek reported. Citing a Harvard University study, this recovery will be buoyed by contractors working to make improvements in homes so that dwellers can more easily and safely navigate their way through. Referred to as age-in-place retrofits, these jobs should provide “particularly strong” business for the nation’s 650,000 remodelers, the study said, of which two-thirds are individually operated businesses.

However, there is one challenge: having homeowners plan for their own aging. “Most people are hesitant to admit they need to be thinking in this way, so we definitely battle that,” Bill Millholland, the executive vice president of Case Design/Remodeling, told Businessweek.

Alterations would include widened hallways with better lighting, handrails in the shower and around toilets, ramps and even space under sinks for wheelchair access. And for the still-young-at-heart homeowner, the blocking for these installations can be put in place for eventual accommodation. For example, cabinets can be remodeled to help open up sink space for wheelchairs years down the line. [Businessweek] — Christopher Cameron