Greg Shaw of Shaw Builders has also seen a shift in his clients' remodeling desires in recent years, one he agrees often reflects a goal to stay in their homes longer.
It's especially good for resale value to make these improvements now, he
says, and it's a bit easier on the wallet to take remodeling in steps when there's no rush.
For example, widening hallways and removing interior walls not only creates more space now, it makes for easier wheelchair passage later.
And a newly remodeled walk-in tile shower with multiple heads and body-jets will get years of good use before it's easily made more accessible with the addition of handheld bars, so why not add them now?
When the kids leave home and those extra bedrooms and closets become potential new spaces, clients are thinking far enough ahead to rebuild that master suite on the first
"Some people are even putting lower countertops in an area of the kitchen for prepping now, just in case they ever become wheelchair-bound or if they have somebody in their family who already is," says Shaw
"There's just a lot of little practices people are doing to make certain they can live in their home as long as possible."
This eye toward future ease extends to the exterior as well; Shaw
says many are converting to more maintenance-free materials, moving away from natural woods or other materials that require caulking, sanding or re-staining.
And there's a huge push toward energy-efficient practices that save money now and translate to higher resale value later.
"We actually built the first totally energy-efficient net-zero home in southern Wisconsin about seven years ago, and we've been implementing a lot of those practices in our remodeling projects ever since," says Shaw