Blog for Building Materials Companies

Aging In Place A Building Materials Opportunity

  |  Posted in New Product

Aging In Place A Building Materials Opportunity

It’s a fact that people change as they get older. Eventually, their bodies start giving out and they can’t quite get around like they used to in the past. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that people are not able to stay in their homes as long as they would like. This creates an opportunity for building materials manufacturers to help these people while growing their sales.

In order for this to happen, manufacturers, architects, builders and contractors must supply the plans and materials for the housing needs as people age. According to Kim Slowey, there are definite challenges to this process, but also some interesting opportunities to consider. Be sure to consider the following needs that people will have as they age.

Mobility One of the biggest things that people need when they are getting older is the increased ability to move around in their own home. While there are scooters that can help get them from one place to another with ease, there are also changes that will be necessary in their home.

For example, you should take notice that these types of homeowners will require ramps and wider door frames to travel through their home and yards.  Creating new and more efficient designs for these types of items is a sales opportunity.

There are also people who don’t need a scooter but still maybe can’t reach as high or need different kinds of assistance.  How can you redesign your products to meet their needs and grow your sales?

Bathroom  Using the bathroom is probably one of the most important areas in a home that may need adjustment as a person ages. You should take special note of this room of the house when you are considering products to offer people as they grow older. Bathrooms should be large enough to accommodate a wheelchair or a scooter. They should also give the homeowner plenty of room to maneuver while they are in the bathroom.

Showers that accommodate a wheelchair may also be preferable. Also, adding bars and lifts to help the person use the toilet is another factor to keep in mind. Lowering the counter of the sink is another way to help a home be more efficient for an older homeowner.

Kitchen  In the kitchen, you can also find areas that require remodeling for an older person. For example, they may need countertops to be lowered and appliances to be more functional for a wheelchair. Adding shelving that is lower to the floor is also something that can be helpful for these types of individuals.

One of the downsides of remodeling a kitchen for a person who is unable to reach high areas is that lower countertops will quickly become cluttered. To accommodate this concern, consider offering lazy Susan’s or shelves that slide out.

Final Thoughts Finally, make sure you take into consideration all the portions of a home. You can help make a home more elderly friendly by taking a look at their flooring options. Floors that are super slick when they become wet, thick carpets or surfaces that are irregular can make it more difficult for the homeowner. This may create opportunities for products like hardwood flooring; that is sturdy and solid under their feet.

There are also opportunities for other products like doors, windows, fireplaces, HVAC, thermostats, security and many other products.

These are just a few of the things that building materials manufacturers should keep in mind when considering products for people as they grow older.  With more and more people reaching retirement age, now is the time to begin the process of developing products to meet the needs of these types of homeowners.  There are opportunities in new homes, remodeling, condos, townhouses and multifamily.

To learn more about how you can grow your sales in this and other areas,  contact us today.

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Thanks for the following comments. I’d like to hear your feedback and suggestions.

“Yes! This is such a huge conversation in the design community, especially for plumbing manufacturers – bath and kitchen design.”
Melissa Lopez

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About The Author

I am the leading sales growth consultant in the building materials industry, I identify the blind spots that enable building materials companies to grow their sales and retain more customers.  As I am not an ad agency, my recommendations are focused on your sales growth and not my future income.

My mission is to help building materials companies be the preferred supplier of their customers and to turn those customers into their best salespeople. Contact me to discuss your situation.