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Life Events Trigger Boomer Remodeling in U.S.
Oct 27, 2006
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A majority of U.S. consumers 50 and older want to stay in their current homes for the foreseeable future and plan improvements or a remodel during that time, according to a new report sponsored by home improvement retailer The Home Depot and conducted by Focalyst.

The study results releases today show that life events common to the 50-plus population – such as retirement, the birth of a grandchild, caring for an elderly parent, an adult child moving home - often trigger projects to improve home comfort and functionality, in anticipation of spending more time at home enjoying hobbies and entertaining friends and family.

The study gathered data from more than 30,000 consumers from the baby boom generation and older. The retailer said it sponsored the study to gain insight into the housing preferences and home improvement needs among this audience of more than 125 million Americans.

"This is a dynamic consumer group with a wide range of interests and needs, and we want to enable them to make the most of their home regardless of life stage," said Roger Adams, the retailer's chief marketing officer and senior vice president of marketing. "We offer the products, services and know-how they need to create an intergenerational living space that welcomes family members of all ages and abilities."

Key Findings for Boomer Consumers

  • 60 percent expect to live in their current residence during the next 5 years
  • 65 percent plan to remodel or improve their homes
  • 42 percent of home improvement projects will be done by outside contractors
  • 77 percent believe how their home looks is an important part of who they are
  • 73 percent say the kitchen is their most important room for them

    Remodeling Recommendations for Boomers

    The retailer makes these recommendations to help make a Boomer home stylish as well as safe and comfortable.

    In the kitchen:
  • elevated dishwashers reduce stooping or bending
  • under-cabinet task lighting brightens countertops, lessening eyestrain
  • pull-down shelving removes effort from pantry access
  • slide-out drawers eliminate the need to twist or bend to access pots and pans
  • D-shaped cabinet and drawer handles are easier to grasp
  • anti-scald devices reduce the risk of hot water burns for everyone
  • 36-inch countertop height reduces back strain and promotes easier access
  • adjustable countertops offer added flexibility and convenience of access
  • softer, natural flooring reduces back and foot strain for periods of standing

    In the bath:
  • motion-sensing faucets are ideal for those with arthritis
  • sinks and vanities should be placed at a comfortable height
  • lever handles on faucets and doors make it easier at any age
  • smooth counter edges prevent bumps and bruises
  • strategically placed grab bars in the shower reduce fall risk
  • 17-inch toilet height offers maximum ease and comfort
  • bath and shower chairs add extra comfort and convenience

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