There’s on old carpenter’s saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” The idea is that if you measure carefully and then cut, you can save a lot of time (and materials) by having something that is done properly the first time. Andrea Tannenbaum, founder Dynamic-Living.com and AdaptMy.com, recommends a similar saying for aging in place building or remodeling: “plan twice, do once.”
“Think through what features you would like to have for your home. Make a list and prioritize the list so the most important ones are first. You know, the features with the biggest bang for the buck. Then set your list aside. Now think through what changes life could bring before you get to build or remodel again. This includes the good and not so good possibilities: a wedding, a car accident, a birth, an older relative moving in, a diagnosis, a change in your financial status.
“Now you need to think about the impact these potential life changes would have on your original list of projects. Does it change what the overall design might be? Would you include different features? Does it change the priority?
“This kind of exercise can even affect whether it makes sense to remodel or build. You might even discover it would be better to move. Maybe a few smaller changes, like rearranging the main living space and adding some accessible storage, could provide really important benefits and mean that a move or remodel isn’t really what’s needed at all.
“Sometimes it is really easy to fall in love with the idea of the project like a remodel or move and not really stop to ask yourself (or those on the journey with you) if what you are planning is what will be right for you in the long run. So, plan twice, and be more assured that the changes you make will really make you happy!”