Choosing the Right Professional to Help You Stay in Your Home

Tim King, President
North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA)

If you are like most Americans over 45, you want to continue living in your same home and community throughout your maturing years. Baby Boomers’ existing or older homes are often unequipped to meet their needs. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), a third (33%) of 50-plus adults believe they will have to modify their current home to make it safe and accessible to continue to live there as they age.

To help make a smooth transition into this stage of their lives, many Baby Boomers are searching for builders and remodelers who can help turn their home into a more convenient place to live as they age. Homeowners should consider working with a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS). The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in partnership with AARP, developed the CAPS designation. 

Professionals who have earned the CAPS designation are experts in designing and building aesthetically enriching, barrier-free living environments. They have been trained in the unique needs of the older adult population and apply strategies and techniques to provide comprehensive and practical home modification solutions. CAPS professionals help homeowners find aging-in-place solutions that fit their needs and budget. Trained CAPS remodelers and builders understand the unique needs of aging adults without sacrificing the home’s aesthetic value.

While there are various ways CAPS remodelers can help make your home work for you, some of the most common aging-in-place renovations include:

  • Wide doorways. 32-36 inches wide doorways let wheelchairs pass through and make it easy to move large items in and out of your home. 
  • Extra floor space. The space allows homeowners and their guests to feel less cramped. 


  • Floors and bathtubs with non-slip surfaces keep everyone on their feet. Handrails on steps and bathroom grab bars will also help homeowners maneuver easier.

  • No-step entry. No one needs to use stairs to get in and out of the home.

A CAPS Designation Makes a Difference

Aging homeowners looking to renovate need to be able to find a remodeler they can trust completely. A CAPS designee works closely with remodelers and health professionals, such as occupational therapists, who understand the challenges of aging and can provide safe, attractive and accessible modifications to your home.

In addition, CAPS designees pledge to uphold a professional code of ethics and must take continuing education to maintain their designation. They are trained to listen closely to your specific needs and will only push you to add renovations you need.

If you’d like to find a builder or remodeler in your area with a CAPS or other designation, contact the NCBIA.  We are your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic.   So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at or call 440-934-1090.   We also have a job posting board (under the Industry tab).   

Our 24/7 Virtual Parade of Homes!!!  Allows you to look at some of our builders’ new homes and communities on your mobile device or computer at your leisure.  You can also see our remodelers as well.  We know time is our greatest asset and via our NCBIA Virtual Parade of Homes, we save you time looking for a new home or a community that fits your lifestyle.

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