October 7, 2015

As baby boomers enter retirement, they may think about updating their homes. See what projects they’re most likely to tackle.

Every day, roughly 10,000 baby boomers become eligible for retirement, and with this entrance into a new stage of life, various issues begin to surface. Besides healthcare and financial issues, another area often addressed by this age group is the home-improvement project. At this point in their lives, baby boomers may begin to look at their homes and think about projects they may want to tackle.

According to U.S. News and World Report, baby boomers make up a much larger portion of homeownership than younger generations, such as the millennials, and therefore, are a greater driver of the home-improvement market. They’re also likely to spend more money on their projects, rely less on credit cards to finance them and turn to professionals for both advice and labor.

One of the key components retirees will consider is aging in place. As homeowners age, they tend to undertake remodeling projects to make their homes safer, such as installing grab bars and taller toilets in the bathroom, as well as pullout drawers and shelves in the kitchen.

Not surprising, another primary interest is the appearance of the home, which includes not only aging-in-place components, but also upgrading of other basic features. The American Institute of Architects notes that in addition to kitchen and bath remodels, interest in additions and alterations has risen, as have requests for custom or luxury homes. Some areas of interest include outdoor living spaces, better transitions between indoors and outdoors, as well as open layouts.

Functionality is also important and often this includes improving energy efficiency. Embracing smart-home technology is one way aging homeowners are dealing with this issue. Although baby boomers on the whole have not been huge adopters of smartphones, they do use multiple devices, such as tablets and desktops, which can operate different smart-home platforms.

One thing that’s not particularly of interest for this generation is the resale value of their home. Unless home-improvement projects involve making things safer, easier or more convenient, they’re probably not going to be on their to-do lists.

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