(NewsUSA) - With the vast majority of the 10,000 or so baby boomers turning 65 every day for the next 15 years wanting to remain in their current residence as long as possible, "aging in place" may hinge on how well outfitted for health, safety and comfort their homes are.
"You need to plan for reduced eyesight, poorer balance, diminished flexibility and less energy for upkeep," designer and home improvement expert Vicki Payne. "Making upgrades now to accommodate changing needs can make the difference between staying in your home or having to move."
On the inside, common age-in-place renovations include no-slip floors, bathrooms with grab bars and curb-less tiled showers, upgraded lighting, wider doors, levers instead of knobs, drawers instead of cabinets and higher electrical outlets.
On the outside, automatic lights and well-trimmed shrubs, no- or low-step entryways, and wide, textured, non-slip sidewalks can improve safety, and durable, low maintenance cladding like vinyl siding can reduce upkeep.
"For boomers' peace of mind and quality of life, vinyl siding is an ideal solution," Payne said. "It withstands sun, heat, cold and strong winds, never needs painting or re-caulking, and it only requires periodic cleaning with a garden hose, soft-bristle brush and a bucket of soapy water. In addition, insulated siding can save energy costs, improve comfort by preventing drafts and reduce noise."
And because vinyl siding does not absorb water, and its rainscreening design does not trap water behind the siding, a vinyl-sided home is less susceptible to water damage and the serious issues it can cause -- not an insignificant consideration, according to a study by home remodeling and design website Houzz.com.
The study said one in five homeowners perceive their home as having a negative impact on health, with Baby Boomers and Gen X'rs being the most critical of their homes' environment; nearly half said preventing health problems and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are motivating factors for home renovation. Homeowners who rated their homes as healthy were more likely to have made upgrades in the past 12 months.
"Homeowners are recognizing that their homes can have considerable impact on their well-being -- physical, psychological and economic," Payne said. "Retirees don't want surprises. That's why materials selection is an important part of any renovation, and partly why vinyl siding has been the number-one choice in exterior cladding for the last 20 years."
The NAHB Remodelers of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in collaboration with Home Innovation Research Labs, NAHB 50+ Housing Council and AARP, developed the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) program to work with boomers who will soon require home modifications. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects and health care professionals. More information can be found at www.nahb.org.
To learn more about vinyl siding, visit at www.vinylsiding.org.
(NewsUSA) - NewsusaInfographic - Según la Federación Nacional de Minoristas, el consumo en Estados Unidos ha ido aumentando de manera constante para el Día del Amor y la Amistad y la entrega de regalos no se detiene en la compra para esa otra persona significativa. La gente está comprando regalos para los amigos, la familia y demás. JCPenney ofrece algunas grandes ideas para la ocasión a través de varias categorías de regalos.
(NewsUSA) - Worried that you'll soon be paying more for your homeowners insurance? That's a lot more reasonable a concern than, say, Gwyneth Paltrow fretting about the burdens of being famous.
In fact, in some states premiums have risen so dramatically -- Texas being Exhibit A, with recent hikes of as much as 14.9 percent -- that they've become a hot political issue. So what triggers a rate increase? Well, if you understand that a lot of it involves actuarial calculations -- insurance companies' need, as it's been described, to "collect enough money and pay only a few claims in order to make a profit after business expenses" -- you'll at least have a shot, in some cases, of avoiding the hit.
Read on for some of the biggest warning signs of an impending rate increase.
* Filing a claim. Consider your suspicions more or less confirmed. According to a recently released report by InsuranceQuotes.com, putting in for even one claim results in an average hike of 9 percent nationwide and as much as an average of 32 percent in Wyoming.
"Even a denied claim can cause your premium to go up," says senior analyst Laura Adams.
And don't even ask what kind of spike you're looking at should you file a second claim. (Okay, an average of 20 percent, per the report, with Michigan policyholders particularly soaked for as much as 71 percent.)
* Improper roof care. You've undoubtedly heard how your home's "curb appeal" can determine whether prospective buyers flock to (or run from) your residence without even exiting their cars. Well, insurance adjusters can -- and do -- perform "drive-bys" of their own. And their main concern is how well your roof is performing.
If it looks in bad shape, insurers can jack up your rate or cancel your policy entirely. "Insurance carriers would prefer not to cover a home when a roof looks like it's about to fail," says one expert.
If, on the other hand, the same adjuster sees that you've got a snappy new roof, your rate may actually decrease.
Prefer the latter scenario? Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, says to check out the Timberline collection of shingles from GAF (www.gaf.com) -- North America's largest roofing manufacturer -- since those shingles have the advantage of being "rugged, good-looking, and affordable" all at the same time.
* Change in circumstances. Has your once-cozy suburban neighborhood ballooned in size? Not good, but consider yourself toast if the actuaries spot a pattern -- and they will -- of your neighbors having recently filed any of those dreaded claims.