Remodeling the Family Home for an Elder

We remodeled a kitchen a few years ago. The project went exceptionally well and created a long-term client. When it came time to remodel the client’s mother's house, he immediately thought of us and called. His mother's home was the family home growing up. It had the same layout and many of the same fixtures and appliances from all those years ago. Because his mother was now elderly, the son knew he and his sister would need to find some live-in help for their mother soon. In our discussions, we concluded that the house required remodeling in several areas.

Our team at Shirey Home Pro updated the kitchen and upstairs bathroom for better accessibility for both the mother and the future live-in help. We added a live-in space, kitchenette, and full bathroom downstairs for the live-in help.
During the remodel, we came across a few challenges because the home was originally built in 1947. For starters, there was no insulation in any of the walls in the entire home, which is probably why everyone still felt the need to bundle up in the winter. We brought in our insulation specialist to open holes in all the walls to then spray in insulation. They vacuumed out the inadequate attic insulation and blew in a new blanket of R38 insulation. The house is now very comfy and warm!

The next obstacle was old wiring tied to even older wiring throughout the home. Old wires, especially knob and tube, are one of the things we stress to homeowners to not delay in replacing and upgrading. The issue can lead to devastating house fires. After informing our client of the safety concerns and it will improve the home's longevity, they agreed to a complete rewire.

The last major obstacle was replacing much of the radiant heat supply lines that went to the boiler. Finishing off the basement meant pushing the supply lines up into the ceiling, which helped to warm the basement. The old heating unit in the basement was an ornate radiant heater that we could repurpose. To repurpose the old radiant heater, we brought in required] a special team, including a plumber, to help us with this task. In the end, the clients were delighted with the outcome.

Besides the obstacles, it was also imperative for our clients to keep the old charm and feel in the updated home design. Thanks to our fabulous design team/partner, Fitch Design Company, we could do just that, making the home retro but updated. In the upstairs kitchen, the most significant change was moving the fridge to another wall to create a larger working space. In the upstairs bathroom, we made a barrier-free, single-slope shower to help the family and live-in help take care of their mother. The new shower also provided more space in the bathroom.

A half-bath was already in the basement, along with a laundry room, some storage, and the late father's office. We re-envisioned the space to make it more livable. We enlarged the bath to include a tub/shower and ample storage. We relocated the hot water heater to the minimized laundry room. The office became the kitchenette, and, after some engineering, we opened the wall to connect to the living space. The kitchenette included:

  • A butcher block countertop.
  • A large stainless steel sink.
  • Deep green cabinets for storage.
  • A retro fridge similar to the upstairs kitchen.
As you can see in the photos, this remodel brightened up the place and made it a more accessible and enjoyable living space for the entire family. We truly appreciate our clients. They are always a joy to work with, and we are delighted that we could accomplish this project with them. The mother is happy to return to her home!
As a contractor we are proud of our work, and we think you will agree.
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Shirey Home Pro | 14401 Issaquah-Hobart Road SE, Ste 305 | Issaquah, WA 98027
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