AARP reports that 77.6 million aging baby boomers are planning retirement and figuring out where they will live out their lives. Every day for the next 10 years, 10,000 U.S. boomers will celebrate their 65th birthday.
Studies compiled by the National Association of Homebuilders find more than 70 percent of boomers remain in the home they own on their 65th birthday, if they have a bedroom on the first floor. Locally, older two-story homes in urban San Diego present significant challenges because they are built on small lots.
According to Steve Lusk of Lusk Custom Design and Construction, adding an elevator to an existing home is a solution growing in popularity. Independence, economics, preservation of property tax base, convenience and love of neighborhood are primary reasons for boomers to stay put.
Lusk recalls planning and building a lovely two-bedroom, two-bath apartment over four garages for his mother to live out her years at home, saying, "Since the primary entrance was up a flight of stairs, it was necessary to include an elevator from the garage to the apartment above. Creeping age and stairs simply don't mix. Long-term, my wife and I knew during the planning stage (we were 55, then) that we would likely retire there as well. That's the true meaning of aging in place.
"Today, we are marketing and advertising turnkey design and construction services to make existing two-story homes accessible for boomers not wanting to relocate. While adding an elevator, it's also a good opportunity to retrofit door openings, bath and kitchen facilities using universal design and user friendly products.
"Our residential elevator design and construction services combine the homeowner's elevator choice, plans, building permit, construction of the liftway and installation of the elevator itself. We focus on fixed-price, full-service home elevator additions with seamless planning and execution."