Active Homes is a full service remodeling company that specializes in providing services and products that allows homeowners to live their lives comfortably and safely in their current home for the years to come. Our goal is to create an accessible , comfortable and a safe home that will allow homeowners to enjoy the convenience their own home with out the ” hospital-look” design.
Certified aging in place specialist in Los Angeles
This is a great project and our awesome clients Mr. and Mrs McCrary in Los Angeles.
We created a modern design roll-in, barrier free bathroom shower and accessible kitchen to meet their needs while maintaining a level of stylish elegance.
Active Homes is located in Southern California and is based in Los Angeles.
We welcome all inquiries and offer free consultations and assessments:
Tel: (855) 924-7663
Active Homes was featured in Los Angeles Daily News Home and Garden Year Ender
By Sandra Barrera, Los Angeles Daily News
POSTED: 12/26/14, 12:29 PM PST |
Narrow doors, cramped spaces and steps — three just to get in and out of the house.
Chian-Ian Kuan is planning to target these trouble-spots in a near-future remodel so she can go on living in her postwar Torrance home as she ages, no matter what hurdles her twilight years bring.
“Right now I’m OK, but I want to be able to live here as long as I can and as long as it’s safe,” says Kuan, an effervescent 57-year-old social worker hobbling around her house with a sprained ankle on a recent afternoon while sharing her vision of universal design — attractive, well-thought-out spaces that allow people at all stages of life to comfortably move about the same house.
For seniors, universal design also makes it possible to age in place, which is what a majority of people in the United States want. And the desire to stay put only becomes more prevalent as people grow older.
According to a 2014 AARP report, almost nine in 10 people 65 and older say they want to continue living in their current home and community.
“I just became a lifetime member of the North Torrance Homeowners Association,” says Kuan, who has spent the past year consulting with USC occupational therapy students, architects and designers about retrofitting the home where she single-handedly raised two sons. “The reason I bought this house was because I wanted my sons to go to Torrance schools. Now they’re gone and it’s time for me to remodel the house.”
Built in 1956, it’s one of three designs in R.A. Watt’s Sun Ray Estates designed as affordable housing for soldiers returning from the war. And while it’s changed owners a few times, the single-story house that sits three steps up from the lawn has never once been remodeled.
And there’s the problem — it’s cluttered and in disrepair.
Kuan ticks off a list of improvements that includes replacing all of the windows with energy-efficient models, tearing down the wall dividing the dining area from the kitchen to open up the space, and installing pull-down shelving systems in the kitchen cabinets to make items more accessible.
While she’s got her work cut out for her, she’s not alone.
“Most homes here in Southern California were not built for seniors or the disabled,” says Jeff Guevara, an aging-in-place specialist with Active Homes who is often brought in to install grab bars or modify entire bathrooms for homeowners wanting greater accessibility, including wider doors, curbless showers and floating sinks (without cabinets to get in the way underneath).
Of course, every homeowner has unique needs and likewise costs vary.
Edward and Darlene McCrary spent a decade researching options before deciding to move forward with a kitchen and bath remodel using Guevara, who was brought in to modify the architect’s plans. Their goal was to retain the charm of the traditional-style home in the View Park neighborhood of Los Angeles while making it more accessible to Edward McCrary, a retired El Camino College psychology professor who suffers from lipedema in his legs and uses a walker to get around.
As a result, the walker has made it impossible to maneuver through the small, outdated kitchen where the passionate cook enjoys fixing up short ribs and biscuits for family and friends.
Opening up the space offered a solution.
Guevara and his team knocked down a wall dividing the kitchen from a small breakfast nook to give Edward McCrary room to move.
Today, the spacious kitchen is outfitted with all-new hardwood flooring, cabinets, quartz countertops and a wish list of appliances, including a six-burner range top, double oven and prep sink. In addition, LED lighting and large windows offer plenty of light.
“He got our vision,” Darlene McCrary says. “He specializes in senior needs and that’s what it’s all about.”
Stanley Zimmerman moved his wife into the Beverly Hills home that his parents built in 1947. The 80-something lived there as a child, and he says not much about the house had changed. And so, he hired a construction company in El Segundo to give the home a much-needed update.
The company opened up the kitchen, redid the bathrooms and installed a ramp that winds through the backyard garden, from the garage to the house.
“It’s really delightful,” says Zimmerman, who uses a walker. “It does not look like a handicapped ramp at all. They really got creative.”
Universal design is anything but clinical looking.
Increasingly, several elements are making their way into conventional renovations. Curbless showers are growing in popularity.
“What started out to be something that was accessible for people who had disabilities ended up being something that was a neat and clean look for people who don’t even need it,” says Beth Yuen, a senior project designer. “It allows for planning ahead without having to go back later and remove the bathtub.”
Others are drawn to levered door handles, 36-inch doorways and long, meandering paths through the landscape. Standing at the rear of her house, Kuan envisions entering her house by a garden path that’s wide enough for a wheelchair.
Suddenly she lights up.
If you would like a more complete assessment of your home for livability, enlist the help of a Certified Aging in Place like Active Homes and Call us at 855-924-7663 for a FREE HOME ASSESSMENT to aid you in identifying ways to improve safety in your home and ways you can modify your home to help compensate for any disability you may be experiencing.