Moving in with grandma and grandpa: What you need to know about renovating

If you’ve had a discussion with your parents on their future living accommodations and everyone has agreed that you will all share one house together that’s a great first step. But there’s much more work that needs to be done before mom and dad can pack their bags and move into their new home.

What work do you need done?

Depending on your parents’ health, the amount of work you need done can vary. Home renovations can range from small cosmetic changes, such as a fresh coat of paint, or you may need to undertake a larger home renovation, such as reworking a bathroom to fit a barrier free (ADA-compliant) showercomplete with a shower seat. This will likely depend on the health of mom and dad and any personal preferences they have for their living space.

Once you’ve discussed what changes will be made, it’s important to avoid cutting any corners in the process. Whether you plan to make the changes yourself or hire someone else to do them, have proper plans drawn up for what you want done. This way you have a blueprint to follow and you know what you can expect.

Certain products such as accessible kitchen counters, roll-in showers and other shower accessories may be ADA-compliant, which means that it complies with standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act on its design and construction.

For most new construction, you need a develop permit and it’s always important to call your city’s licensing department before you make any changes. If you’re hiring a contractor, they can help you with this process, but it’s also important that you vet whoever you hire, including talking with some their past references and taking a look at some of the work they’ve done.

How will you pay for renovations?

It’s always important to have a budget in place to determine how you plan to complete the work that needs to be done. Whether mom and dad chip in to the cost of renovations or your family handles the costs is up to you to decide. There are provincial and federal tax credits available for accessibility renovations and renovations for low-income seniors, along with grants provided by non-profits. Make sure to crunch the numbers carefully and it’s also good to leave yourself some cushion room before starting any work.

How will renovations affect your family?

You’ll need to consider whether you’re able to stay in your home during the renovations or if your family will need to relocate for a short period of time. Always get an estimate from your contractor as to how long the job will take so you can plan accordingly. Your family should be informed every step of the way since your parents moving in has an impact on their day-to-day.


If you need to retrofit your home, Barrier Free Living can help. For over 15 years, Barrier Free Living has provided accessible products which are tailored to your unique requirements, ensuring your safety while maintaining your level of personal independence, dignity and satisfaction. As North America’s leading distributor of barrier free products for seniors and people with disabilities, Barrier Free Living continues  to deliver excellent service and expert advice. Contact us at 1-877-717 7027.

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