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What is Aging in Place?

What is Aging in Place?

Aging with Grace:
Preparing For Your Future Quality of Life

Aging in PlaceThe “forever home” phrase is one that brings about a vision of comfort, ease and enjoyment. A place to finally sit back and enjoy family, friends and the fruits of your labor. Between envisioning the celebrations and gatherings to come, we oftentimes overlook how our homes will serve our day-to-day life. As we age, our mobility and accessibility needs change. Is your home equipped with the conveniences to support your imagined quality of life for the next 20 years? If you’re considering a remodel, strategic planning and purposeful design selections can make future lifestyle adjustments easy as you age. Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) are interior designers who have completed additional educational courses focusing on design elements that allow you to continue living independently as you age.

Compiled by a few of our home remodeling experts, here are a few Aging in Place elements suggested for consideration by Sea Pointe Construction’s team of knowledgeable, Certified Aging in Place Specialists.

The Big Picture

Focusing first inside the home, start by having a CAPS professional assess your floor plan. Is your master bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor? Single story living eliminates the hassle of climbing stairs, ideal for those suffering from arthritic hip, knee or foot pain. Consider creating a space on the first story that can be used as a guest bedroom now, while providing an option to create a master bedroom and bathroom alternative for the future. A home designer can offer conversion options or help you determine the best approach to building additional square footage onto your home.

Included in her initial assessment of a home’s floor plan, CAPS Designer Lisa Greiner, values her Aging in Place education as framework for individualized design.

“The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) identifies minimum width requirements for hallways, doorways and walkways intended for Aging in Place allowing for wheelchairs or other mobility options. Rather than simply satisfying these requirements, I take a client’s lifestyle into great consideration and use the NAHB specifications as a guideline. You should always design for the continued enjoyment of everyday living. Your home should be functional, assessable and most importantly comfortable!”

Shifting outside, Certified Aging in Place design is about minimizing maintenance while increasing ease of accessibility in your home. Oftentimes overlooked, the landscape and outdoor living areas that may surround your home are no exception. As supported by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), self-sustaining shrubbery and a low-maintenance vinyl or brick facade are beautiful, no-hassle options for maintaining curb appeal.

Aging in Place Bathrooms

Aging in Place has become synonymous with accessible bathrooms, and rightfully so! According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people over the age of 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom. Moreover, research shows that the number of injuries sustained between the ages of 65 and 75 more than doubles between the ages of 75 and 85. Ultimately peaking within the 85+ age group, bathroom injuries are easily reduced with thoughtful Aging in Place design.

What may seem like a non-issue now, the ease with which you step in and out of a shower area may change with age. When possible, a curbless shower can solve accessibility concerns without sacrificing style. For areas that call for balance support, especially in the shower and around a bathtub, grab bars offer secondary stabilization and are now offered in a variety of fashionable options. As you age, vision issues can impair one’s depth perception. Consider using different colored flooring materials where there is a step or change in floor level. In the shower, an adjustable or handheld showerhead offers comfort and safety allowing for one to be seated or standing.

While selecting your design materials, be mindful of textures. With an understanding of the differences in tile materials and fishiness, professional design guidance from a Certified Aging in Place Specialist is invaluable to making slip-resistant selections. Similarly, mindful decisions should be made when selecting plumbing and lighting fixtures. Various toilet heights are available as well as touch faucets making everyday use easy and stress-free. A proper lighting plan is also an important design element that should be considered, including general room lighting and task lighting.

Whether you’re planning for the next three years or fifteen years, designing with the future in mind deserves serious consideration. Kitchen and bath designers who have an Aging in Place education will expertly guide you through the remodeling process, adding style and safety to your “forever home” vision.

How to Legally Convert a Garage into a Usable Room

How to Legally Convert a Garage into a Usable Room

Garage Conversion Orange CountyFor homeowners who feel like they could use a little more elbow room, converting a garage into living space may seem like the easiest, cheapest way to add an extra room onto their house. When remodeling in Orange County especially, it may not seem like a big deal to leave your car parked in the driveway year-round to gain some extra space. However, converting your garage properly involves a lot more work than simply installing some drywall and carpeting, and doing it the wrong way can be an expensive headache.

City building permits are required for most types of construction in California, and garage conversions are no exception. But permits are just the first step. The intended use for your converted garage space will outline the building requirements you’ll be expected to abide by. Outlined below are the most important factors and requirements to consider when converting your garage to either a bedroom or general living space.

Converting a Garage into a Living Space

In a garage to general living space conversion, having the space’s existing electrical wiring evaluated should be towards the top of your list. Firstly, it is possible that the electrical wiring no longer meets building code which would require the rewiring work of a licensed electrician. Secondly, the standards set by the California Energy Commission’s “Title 24 – Building Energy Efficiency” will determine an acceptable lighting plan. This is easy with a professionals help.

While evaluating the existing state of the garage intended for conversion, it’s equally important to note whether or not there is a step between the garage floor and your homes existing living space. Such a step is most often found in attached garage units. According to the California construction building codes, in a garage conversion where this type of step exists, the garage floor will need to be filled in and raised to meet the height of your homes floor height.

Converting a Garage into a Bedroom

Converting a garage to a bedroom space oftentimes entails many more building regulations and standards. While exploring your conversion possibilities, consider that Orange County homes are required to have a certain number of covered off-street parking spaces based upon a home’s square footage and/or number of bedrooms. Meaning that part of your garage conversion project will be adding an on-site parking space.

Along with the general living space electrical compliances outlined above, complying with the required “egress” building code is imperative. Egress is creating a means of evacuation or escape should there be a fire or other life-threatening emergency. Egress is determined by the square footage and relevant location of a space. This will be enforced by your city’s building inspector.

While illegal garage conversions are all too common, you should avoid the temptation to ask forgiveness instead of permission when contemplating such a project. If you’re caught by the city, as many homeowners are, fines for unpermitted work can double or triple what you would have paid in original permit fees, and the process of retroactively obtaining permits is likely to be more trouble than having the proper inspections during construction. You may be required to open up walls to allow the inspector to view any electrical or plumbing work. In some cases, the city may require you to convert the space back to a garage. Even if the city doesn’t find out, an unpermitted garage conversion may deter potential buyers should you try to sell your home.

When you’ve confirmed that you can obtain a permit for your desired conversion, then keep in mind that you will need to make some major changes in order to make a space meant to store cars into a comfortable, attractive living area. Think electrical, insulation, drywall, heating and/or air conditioning, additional windows and/or doors—you not only need to meet your city’s building requirements, but you also want to make sure that your conversion blends with the overall look of your house. This will ensure that your conversion adds to the value and beauty of your home instead of detracting from it.

If you’re looking to add some space to your home, the assistance of an experienced remodeling company is invaluable in helping you plan and construct in the best possible way. Contact the experts at Sea Pointe Construction today to explore the possibilities.

A Bathroom Remodel Delivers Amazing Value

A Bathroom Remodel Delivers Amazing Value

Bathroom RemodelMany homeowners look for ways to add value and design into their homes without having to spend a major fortune or embark on a total home remodeling adventure. A bathroom remodel may just be the perfect way to combine increased home value with a modest investment cost. Then there is of course the added bonus of enjoying your new bathroom oasis for yourself!

Anyone will tell you that investing in a great kitchen or bathroom, is money well spent. They are the two rooms in a home that will increase the value and prestige of your home every time. The great thing about a bathroom remodel is that they are typically much smaller and less involved than a kitchen remodel. This means that even if you splurge on some gorgeous high-end finishes, the overall cost isn’t going to be exorbitant.

Planning Your Bathroom Remodel

Like any other home remodeling project, planning is key. Our design specialists will start by asking you a few important questions:

  • How many people will be using this bathroom? What size will it need to be?
  • Will this be a guest bath? A kid’s bathroom? A master bath?
  • What is your design taste like? Don’t worry – we can show you many designs and examples beforehand to help you choose!
  • How much time do you spend in the bathroom?
  • Is this the home you plan to retire and grow old in?
  • Do you want to re-sell your home in the near future?
  • Do you have any medical issues that you’ll need to account for in the design?
  • Do you need more storage or space?

We would love to help you bring your vision to life! Being able to identify exactly what you need … and want … is the first step in creating the bathroom of your dreams. This is where a great construction company and design team comes into play. They can help you find your own unique style, identify the right materials and must-haves for your space, and provide you with ideas that you never even thought of; towel warmers, steam showers, heated floors, a television or a fabulous fireplace to name just a few.

Design Materials Worth a Second Look

Design Materials Worth a Second Look

Sea Pointe Design ElementsWhen planning any type of home remodel, it all comes down to design. There are certain design elements that will always evoke luxury and style; who hasn’t swooned over a fabulous marble or granite countertop at one time or another? Admired an exotic tigerwood hardwood floor or coveted unique architectural craftmanship in a home? We all have!

These types of design elements are MEANT to be admired. However, beautiful and luxurious design isn’t limited to only a few select materials. With today’s modern technology we are seeing some newcomers that are working hard to steal the show!

Quartz Reigns Supreme

It took a while for quartz countertops to make their way into the kitchen. The lack of color and finish variety was a major drawback for many homeowners. However, quartz is now easily and readily available in a wide range of colors and patterns, making it a highly sought-after product for high-end kitchen countertops. Quartz is anti-microbial, a breeze to maintain, extremely hardy and can last virtually forever.

Flooring Options

Hardwood floors are still the most popular choice when remodeling a home, but close on its heels is ceramic tile. No, we are not talking about your mom’s ceramic tile from back in the 80’s, but modern gorgeous ceramic that doesn’t even look like ceramic tile.

Thanks to technology, you can get ceramic tiles that look exactly like hardwood flooring, but with a material that is easier to maintain. In addition to wood, ceramic tiles can be designed to resemble a range of other materials as well, including natural stone. Even the surface texture is changed to mimic these materials. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to ceramic tile options, from unique patterns to countless sizes, we see why ceramic is becoming so popular.

We hope these newcomers will help inspire your own ideas for your home renovation. From functionality to aesthetics, today’s modern homes are the ultimate in luxury, and we can help make this a reality for you and your family.

The importance of Project Planning When Remodeling

The importance of Project Planning When Remodeling

KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER

Sea Pointe ConstructionProject Planning for home remodel believes that attention to details and meticulous planning are essential to a successful design and residential remodel. Accounting for specific construction logistics before starting a project is something the Sea Pointe Construction team prides ourselves on. This extra effort is also what keeps a project on schedule and within budget. The same careful planning and consideration applies to homeowners thinking about a residential remodel. We find that prioritizing a remodel according to the following factors help homeowners though decisions that affect cost, lead time and aesthetic.

Needs vs. Wants

First, we advise homeowners to call out those areas of the home where they would like to see the most change versus those spaces that can do without a major modification. In other words, what spaces are fine with a “remove and replace” style remodel, and what spaces need a reworked space plan? Itemizing your remodel in such a way will help to keep you focused on results. It is easy to get caught up in all the “pretty & fun” elements of home remodeling, but a prioritized list will help to keep a project’s scope of work realistic.

Timeline

Everyone craves instant gratification but before ripping out your kitchen, be sure you have all plans and materials for your kitchen remodel ready to go! This is especially important when working with specialty design materials which may have longer lead times, such as tile or cabinets. Sea Pointe Construction schedules demolition days in accordance with material delivery dates.  Not planning accordingly will lead to unnecessary stress and an unexpectedly long project. Although you may be eager to get the job done in record time, do not start until all your ducks are in a row.

Design

The Sea Pointe Construction design team understands that clients are eager to jump into the design phase. After all, material selection and color renderings are arguably the most exciting part of any home remodel. However; before spending time with your designer in our showroom, we advise clients to research design styles and elements on websites such as Houzz and Pinterest. Being prepared with a broad design aesthetic helps your designer to understand your style. This can save time during design, moving your construction start date up on the calendar.