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Steps to renovating for retirement for Australians this 2022

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renovating for retirement

When people think of their impending retirement, the most common topics are having a sizable nest egg and profitable investments they can count on when they no longer have a steady stream of income. However, it is also essential to renovate or remodel your home in preparation for your retirement. Renovating for retirement is something you should start a few years before your actual retirement when you still have disposable income to fund your home renovation.

So, how do you renovate your home to make it fit for your retirement years? Here are some tips on what you need to consider during your home renovation.

Accessibility

Making sure that you can easily get into your home is your priority during your home renovation, and although it may sound grim, you need to make your home accessible to a wheelchair. If your home has steps, you might want to consider adding a ramp to make it wheelchair-accessible. 

You also need to assess the width of your doorways. If they are too narrow, you need to have a contractor widen them to ensure that a wheelchair can pass through easily.

This is also the time to fix broken steps, which might lead to accidental falls. If the steps on your home are too steep, you might want to make it easier to climb.

Don’t hesitate to talk to a professional designer to create a more accessible design so you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re safe in your retirement home.

Bedroom

If your bedroom is on the second floor of your home, you need to consider moving it to the ground floor while renovating for retirement. Although climbing stairs might not be an issue yet, it might be in the future, and you need to be prepared for such an eventuality. Having a bedroom on the ground floor can also help prevent accidental falls resulting in serious injuries. 

If you have a vacant room on the ground floor, renovating for retirement will be easier. You need to ensure that the door to the said room is wide enough for a wheelchair. If the said room doesn’t have an en suite bathroom, it is crucial to construct one. This might require extending the room if there is not enough space for a bathroom.

Another aspect of your bedroom you can improve on is soundproofing. As we get older, sleeping becomes more challenging, and even the slightest sound can disrupt our sleep. Improving the soundproofing capabilities of your bedroom can help you get enough rest every night. To improve soundproofing, you can replace your bedroom windows with double or triple-glazed glass. There is also the option of installing blinds or thick curtains to make your bedroom more soundproof.

This part of your home renovation will be more challenging if you don’t have a spare room on your ground floor. It would be best if you spoke with a home designer or a draftsman about remodelling your ground floor to make way for a new bedroom.

renovating for retirement living room

Safety features

Ensuring your safety during your retirement is a critical part of renovating for retirement, and the bathroom is one area you should concentrate on. It is often wet and slippery, thus prone to accidental slips and falls. 

One way to make it safer is installing grab bars to help steady yourself when using the bathroom. It would be best to consider installing a shower seat in your bathroom. A proper shower seat should be wide enough, so you don’t have to balance when using it.

If possible, you can replace the bathroom flooring with a material that’s non-slip, so you need to avoid smooth tiles. There are bathroom tiles with indentations to provide grip, and they can be an ideal replacement for your old bathroom floor. Another option is to use natural stone for your bathroom floor. Although natural stone is more expensive than tiles, it is ideal for a non-slip bathroom floor. 

Resilient flooring

If you use concrete or tiles throughout your home, you might want to replace them with more resilient options. Concrete and tiles are impact floors, so they push back when you step on them. Although they are durable, they can be tiring to walk on, so you should consider replacing them during your home renovation. 

Wood, cork, vinyl, and linoleum are excellent options for resilient floors. They absorb impact when you walk on them, so they are friendlier to your joints. Vinyl and linoleum are cheaper than wood and cork, so you might want to consider them if you are working on a budget. 

If you can afford to use wood flooring, go for solid wood with a thick wear layer so you can make the most out of your investment. A thick wear layer allows you to sand and refinish the floor after a few years to make your floor look new again.

If replacing the floors on your home is out of the question, you can try placing rugs or carpets in strategic places. A rug or a carpet in areas where you frequent, like the bedroom, living room, and kitchen, can help give your joints some well-deserved rest because they can cushion the impact from the hard floor.

Check out Superdraft’s Inspiration Gallery. We feature flooring brands such as Project Floors and Design, Imagine Floors, Tile Factory Outlet, Choices Flooring, and more.

smart living room

Smart home

Incorporating smart home systems during your home renovation is another option you should explore. Smart home systems utilise technology to make your home more comfortable during retirement. 

One thing we’d recommend is installing a climate control system in your home. This smart home system can help regulate the temperature in your house interior according to the outside temperature. With automatic climate control, you can ensure that you have a comfortable home, whether it’s hot or cold outside. 

Security

Improving the security in your home should be a priority when renovating for retirement, and there are several things you can do to make your house secure. 

You can install an alarm system to help deter criminals from breaking into your home. Most security system providers give out stickers and signs letting potential criminals know that your home has a security system. Some security systems have panic buttons you can use to call for help in cases of emergencies immediately. There are also panic buttons that connect you to medical professionals during emergencies. 

You also have the option of installing a smart lock system to increase security in your home. A smart lock system is more difficult to open unless you have a passcode or a smart key, making your home harder to break into. Some smart door locks have built-in cameras so you can identify who is at your door before opening it. These built-in cameras are also accessible remotely so you can answer your front door while on a grocery run. 

If you don’t want a smart home security system, there are other ways of securing your home. You can install additional locks and deadbolts on your front and back doors. You should also check the locks on your windows and ensure that they click securely in place. 

renovating for retirement kitchen

Efficient kitchen

Since people spend a lot of time in kitchens, you should make your kitchen ready for retirement. If you have high cabinets or shelves, consider moving them lower to make them more accessible. Kitchen cabinets that require you to stand on a chair to reach are not ideal since they can lead to accidents. However, storage options should not be too low that they require you to bend down to reach them. 

You should also ensure that your countertop is just the right height so you can work comfortably. If it is impossible to adjust the height of your kitchen countertop, consider adding a kitchen island of just the right height so you can do your cooking preparations comfortably. 

You can also improve the handles on your kitchen drawers by replacing them with wider ones. Wide handles are easier to grip, so you can open drawers with minimal force. You can also replace your faucet with one that uses a lever because it is easier to operate. 

Improved lighting

A well-lit house makes it safer to move around, so consider improving the lighting in your house while renovating for retirement. Proper lighting can help you avoid accidental bumps or falls that can result in injuries. Walk around your home and locate areas with poor lighting so you can install additional lights.

If you want to improve the lighting conditions in your home but still want to use mood lighting from time to time, consider using dimmable lights. You can brighten or dim these lights depending on your needs, so there’s no need to buy different bulbs.

There are also smart lighting systems that automatically turn on or off your lights during a selected time. This can be useful in ensuring you have a well-lit home, even if you forget to turn on your lights.

Exercise room

Keeping yourself fit during retirement should be a priority because it can help you maintain physical strength. It would be best to consider turning an area in your home into an exercise area. Although going outside to exercise is still preferable, an indoor fitness area can help you stay fit when you cannot leave your home, like during bad weather conditions. 

As for the equipment, it will depend on the type of exercises you want to perform. An elliptical machine is an ideal option for seniors because it can help improve endurance and balance. Elliptical machines are also low impact, making them ideal for those who have arthritis and joint pains. 

Low maintenance garden

A yard or a garden can be vital during your retirement because it gives you space to move around and exercise without leaving your property. Gardening is also an excellent hobby and can help keep you occupied. 

If you have a garden, you can prepare it for your retirement by ensuring that it is low maintenance. You can fill your garden with low maintenance plants that won’t easily die even if you forget to care for them. Popular low-maintenance plants include liriope, cycad, grass tree, and philodendron. 

Although watering your plants can provide you with good exercise, you can also install a sprinkling system to make watering your plants easier on days when you’re too busy or tired. 

You should also consider improving the drainage system of your garden if it quickly accumulates water. Standing water can result in mud which can cause accidental slips. 

renovating for retirement garden
image: lazylawn.co.uk

Conclusion

Your retirement should be filled with days when you can enjoy the fruits of your long years of work. Renovating for retirement is one of the best ways to ensure that you have a comfortable and safe home. If you want to ensure that you have the perfect home for your retirement, then get the assistance of one of Superdraft’s project consultants.

Superdraft’s consultants can help you manage your home renovation project from start to finish. With Superdraft helping you, you can concentrate on your work or business knowing that your home renovation project is in excellent hands.

Our consultants can match you with top-notch home designers and draftsmen that can help design your dream retirement home. If you have a general idea of what you want your retirement home to look like but don’t know where to start, these designers and draftsmen can help transform your visions into wonderful house designs. 

Sign up for Superdraft today! You can get a free quote so you have an idea of how much your retirement home design might cost.  

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