Diane Feffer

Those sprawling ranch homes from the 1980's - just ripe for renovation.  One-story ranch houses appeal to baby boomers who desire to 'age-in-place', living their senior years in their own homes.  Often these homes were constructed with what some term as unsafe building practices.  The sunken living room is such an example.  A design feature that was a 'must have' in past decades, the sunken living room is now seen as a catalyst for slips and falls for today's homeowners.   Raising a sunken living room is a recommended point to start your renovation, says Bruce Graf

Another aspect of renovating a home so it is ready for you to age-in-place and enjoy during your senior years is to widen doorways.   "Back in the 80's, or actually all years before, an average bathroom and closet doorway was 24 inches. That size is now seen as ridiculous as it won't accommodate a person on crutches, much less a wheelchair should that be a necessity for you or a family member,"  says Graf.     

Graf also points out that removing paneling from an older home is one of the cheapest ways to modernize it.  "When you remove paneling and paint the walls, you bring more light into the room, making it appear larger.  Often the process of removing paneling can benefit the homeowner, revealing carpenter ants, termites or other insects which need to be eradicated.  Sometimes these insects are not detected by monthly inspections," says Graf

Fireplaces are statement pieces within a home.  In the video below, you'll see that Graf intends to take a third of the brick off in order to open the wall up leading to the kitchen.  He will then update the fireplace by laying stone veneer over the brick.  This 're-clad' technique is cost-effective because you're not using labor to completely destroy and remove the old brick.  

When working with a home remodeler, be sure and conduct a room-by-room inventory, asking questions to make sure you are maximizing the use of each room.  Do you currently have a dining room that is used as a 'dumping' center?  A current trend is to take dining rooms and re-design these adding Butler Pantries which are usable for everyday living and entertaining guests.  You'll see this and other design plans explored further in the video below which highlights a home being renovated in North Dallas. 

A dated kitchen is one of the more popular rooms to renovate and happens to be one of Graf's favorite remodeling projects.  " The kitchen is where memories are made and families and friends like to gather.  If you look within your home, you'll probably agree that important “Life” decisions are made in the kitchen, concludes Graf.


Bruce has been remodeling homes consistently for over 30 years in the DFW area and has an A+ accreditation with BBB.  

Reach out to  ~ 972-571-6076 ~  

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