Choosing the Right Professional to Help You Stay in Your Home
By Mike Croxall
President, Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga
While some home owners may dream about retiring to a tropical island or downsizing to a smaller home, an increasing number prefer to “age in place.” This means they want to continue living in their current home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or limited mobility.
As waves of baby boomers begin to consider this phase of homeownership, many of them are seeking remodelers who specialize in making home modifications that create safer, more convenient living spaces. But many home owners aren’t sure where to find the most qualified person for the job.
So as part of National Designation Month – when Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga and the National Association of Home Builders shine the spotlight on industry professionals who go the extra mile to attain advanced training and achieve specialized designations – we would like to specifically recognize the importance of those who are Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS).
Professionals with the CAPS designation are helping home owners throughout our tri-state area identify practical and comprehensive aging-in-place solutions. Having been trained in the unique needs of older adults, CAPS remodelers and builders are well versed in a wide variety of techniques to enhance a home’s aesthetics, livability and value.
Some of the most common services CAPS designees provide to their clients include widening doors and hallways, installing brighter lighting, adding railings or grab bars to prevent falls, changing floor coverings to add traction to slippery surfaces, and installing ease-of-reach shelfing systems. These improvements, among many others, are often the difference makers that allow home owners to maintain their independence and stay in their current homes.
What makes the CAPS program even more impressive is that its graduates pledge to uphold a strict code of ethics, indicating they operate their business at only the highest level of professionalism. Additionally, the designation means they have committed to build upon their knowledge of the latest aging-in-place strategies by attending continuing education programs. They are also consistently engaged in a variety of community service activities.
Nearly 3,200 remodelers and home builders nationwide hold this esteemed designation, including many here in the Chattanooga region. Additionally, there are several other honorable designations that many of our local builders have achieved to better serve their clients. A few of these distinctions include:
· The Certified Green Professional (CGP) – those who incorporate eco-friendly building principles into their work, without driving up the cost of construction.
· The Certified Graduate Builder (CGB) or Remodeler (CGR) – those who have several years of industry experience and possess advanced skills not only as a talented home builder or remodeler, but also as a trusted business manager.
If you would like to find a builder in your area with the CAPS designation or any of the other highly regarded designations for builders, contact the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at (423) 624-9992 or search an online directory at nahb.org.