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Remodeling for Retirement

Victoria, BC, has a national reputation as the ideal place to retire. With our temperate climate, abundance of indoor and outdoor activities, and selection of support services and shopping centres, it’s hard to imagine a place better suited for life after work.

At MAC Renovations, we’ve worked hard to become Victoria’s first choice for all home construction, providing our customers with excellent options that help them stay in the home they love. Instead of downsizing, many local homeowners are looking at innovative solutions that enable them to stay in their home as long as they want. Universal Design – also known as Aging in Place ­­– is the preferred strategy to create a home that accommodates everyone’s needs today and tomorrow.

Aging in Place

When we’re creating a building plan to incorporate Universal Design into your home, we bring in an occupational therapist to identify the key areas you might face in the years to come. Their medical knowledge, combined with our building expertise, helps us create a plan that ensures you and your family can enjoy your home for as long as possible.

Self-care Activities of Daily Living (ADL) are the tasks and functions regularly completed without assistance. There are six primary ADLs considered in Universal Design: eating, dressing, grooming, showering or bathing, toileting, and functional mobility, and an effective renovation plan should address all of them.

Now You’re Cooking

The kitchen is the heart of the home – it’s where you know exactly where everything is and how it all works. Smart features for your kitchen renovation can ensure it looks great and provides improved accessibility to everyone.

Some of the approaches we’ve used to bring beauty to accessibility include:

  • Improving wheelchair access for washing up by creating an open space (hidden by cabinet fronts) below the sink
  • Installing microwave drawers so you don’t have to reach up to access hot food or drinks
  • Choosing pull-out shelves to make it easier to reach your pots and pans
  • Using pull-down shelves for upper cabinets to bring everything to you
  • Positioning smart appliances built on Universal Design principles
  • Configuring countertops with multiple levels so everyone has a reachable workspace
  • Smart lighting to ensure you can see what you’re doing, wherever you are

Independence with Privacy

The bathroom has always been one of our most private spaces, and there are many things we can do to maintain your independence without sacrificing style: matching your needs with your design preferences. We’ve installed wheelchair-friendly basins; full-height vanities so you don’t have to stoop to use the sink; taller commodes; no-lip, no-slip showers with built-in benches so you can bathe safely and comfortably; and decorative grab bars that are aesthetic instead of industrial.

We look at every step in your typical day and then factor that into the design. This gives us smart but uncommon features – such as moving the shower controls so you can adjust the temperature before you get in, or installing low profile transitions to make it easier to manoeuvre a wheelchair between rooms without help. A little planning today can provide a world of convenience – and  accessibility – down the road.

Painless Passage

When designing a renovation with accessibility in mind, it’s important to plan things to the smallest detail. Doors and hallways should be wide enough for wheelchairs and mobility devices to pass through easily, and doorknobs can be replaced by levers, making them more comfortable to open without sacrificing design. In the kitchen we can install D-shaped handles that are convenient, and pull-out work surfaces that are functional and stylish. Offsetting the drain on a countertop vanity makes it easier for a person in a wheelchair to use the sink, and planning straight runs for stairways makes adding a stair- or platform-lift much easier if and when it’s needed.

Movin’ on Up

For clients with a multi-level home, a private elevator improves access to each level without forgoing style. Lifts can be retrofitted into an existing space, via a closet or unused room, or designed into a renovation, matching your taste and décor while improving access in your home.

Low Maintenance, High Curb Appeal

There are many things that can be done to ensure your outdoor living space looks great with a minimum of maintenance, no matter the season. By choosing composite deck materials over cedar boards, you eliminate the need to repaint or re-stain every few years. The initial cost might be a bit higher, but the durability and ease of use are substantial. Choosing a concrete board product, like Hardie Trim, instead of traditional comb-face to finish your windows is another way to maintain a great look without much effort.

If you like to show off your holiday spirit, we can install permanent LED holiday lights that look good year-round and can be programmed by your smartphone. If the thought of climbing a ladder as an octogenarian is keeping you up at night, you can rest easy and decorate for the holidays with the flick of a switch.

Adapting for the Future

A plan built on Universal Design helps you build in features you might not need today but may require down the road. Most of our Aging in Place renovations are for changes expected in 10 – 15 years, and in many cases, the features can be hidden until they’re needed. Grab bars are a common way to provide support in the bathroom for toileting or showering, so we install additional blocking to allow for a quick and easy installation of grab bars when you feel you need them – not before – and without retiling your bathroom.

We can plan spaces to allow for wheelchair access – entry ramps and wider corridors and doorways – when needed. We include this in the initial design to provide a cohesive, welcoming, and stylish look that fits your life, no matter what stage you’re at.

MAC Renovations – Universal Design at its Best

The goal of every renovation is to ensure the right balance between function and form, and this is true of Universal Design, too. Creating a space that accommodates everyone is what we do best, and we’re looking forward to helping you enjoy your home in Victoria for as long as possible.

While we often think of Universal Design for retirees and parents, it’s also a smart approach to ensure your home is accessible for people with developmental disabilities and special needs.

We’ve become the Island’s preferred team for Universal Design because we take a holistic approach that addresses your current and future needs, creating a plan that looks great today and makes it easier for you to enjoy your home in your golden years.

If you have questions or would like to know how your home can grow with you and your family, please contact us to learn more.