With millions of baby boomers reaching and breaching retirement age, concerns of healthcare, safety, and longevity permeate many conversations between couples and families living in a home that's been in the family for decades. Over time, the home becomes a lifeline between family members where the kids and grandkids can come home to be with everyone to celebrate.
However, the natural process of aging does throw some roadblocks in the way of living safely at home instead of living in an assisted care facility. No matter whether a family can afford a high-quality assisted living facility, just about everyone would rather live at home in his or her twilight years rather than in a nursing home or assisted care facility.
Recent Technology to Help Seniors
In recent news articles published by Aging in Place Technology, many new entries into the market feature assistance for caregivers and children who need to take care of elderly adults. One interesting option features a service that helps family keep an eye on a family member who might be living alone at home.
The mobile-enabled device lets caregivers know if the stove was left on or if the resident has left their home or taken medications. How many stories have recently been published about elderly citizens leaving their homes and getting lost? One recent story featured a 92-year-old WWII veteran who disappeared from his home in New York and somehow ended up in Las Vegas!
Considerations for Aging in Place
Through the CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) program from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), there are several ways to make physical changes in the home to improve safety, as well as design decisions that reduce potential hazards for the elderly.
NAHB offers several recommendations for coming up with a design plan to improve safety in the home.
For example, one of the major changes that should be made (and which doesn't cost a penny) is rearranging furniture and pathways in the home to reduce obstacles that could cause a fall. As you may be aware, falls among older adults are exceptionally common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Another change is looking at all of the flooring in the home. Are there area rugs that have tassels that might cause a trip or fall? Do the rugs slip and slide across the floors when stepped on? Are certain floors in the home slippery and best covered with wall-to-wall carpet? Answering these questions will help you figure out what changes must be made to create a haven in the home.
Obtaining Funding for Aging in Place
Whether you're looking to make radical changes to the home or are simply interested in some conveniences that will help someone with limited mobility keep safe, there are several projects to accommodate different budgets, as well as organizations that help provide assistance.
The following organizations offer further information on Aging in Place:
Do You Want to Work with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist?
Are you worried about an elderly loved one living alone? Do you want to make changes to improve the mobility options within your home? Contact Gettum Associates for a Free Consultation or give us a call at 1-317-542-3853.
Gettum Associates, Inc. of Greenwood, Indiana recently garnered a nomination from the Indy A-List, which is a voter-supported listing of the best businesses in and around Indianapolis.
From the organizers of the Indy A-List:
"The Indy A-List is a contest featuring more than 4,852 local businesses competing to be named best. YOUR votes determine the outcome."
In a recent interview and podcast on Remodelers on the Rise, Vice President Jason Gettum revealed that his dedication and enthusiasm for the remodeling industry started early, when he started helping his father on job sites.
According to Jason, one of the most important features of a strong business is honesty with customers and confidence in the end result. When asked about the most exciting part of the remodeling business, Jason said:
"When people like their neighborhood, like their school, like their neighbors and they see that it's possible for them to modify their house, avoid the stress of moving and make it fit what they need. I think it's a pretty exciting thing to do."
Gettum Associates and its dedicated contractors are no strangers to accolades and awards. In 2012, James Gettum received a 40 Under 40 Award from "Professional Remodeling Magazine."
Gettum Associates also offers customers the strength of a Better Business Bureau A+ rated business. In 2000, Gettum Associates, Inc. was inducted into the BIG 50 Hall of Fame as listed in "Remodeling Magazine."
Gettum Associates, Inc. offers remodeling services for any part of your home. Whether your kitchen is faded and outdated and could use an update or your bathroom isn't the enjoyable paradise you know it can be, Gettum offers exceptional remodeling services.
With a stellar reputation built upon years of exceptional work, repeat customers, and glowing recommendations, Gettum Associates, Inc. prides itself on attention to detail and customer satisfaction.
Of their projects, the professionals at Gettum say:
"Each of Gettum’s remodeling projects is designed to blend seamlessly with the original structure, avoiding that “added on look”. They work individually with each customer to create a project that fits their budget, preferences and lifestyle."
Gettum Associates, Inc. also offers clients a free guide on choosing a contractor for a new remodeling project, as well as free consultations.
What are people saying right now on the A-List about Gettum Associates?
"They are a wonderful company to work with! Very trustworthy!"
"These guys are the best! Finished out our basement and we love it! Great people who do great work!"
"They always leave the job site completely clean at the end of each day and they show up when they said they would!"
Visit the Indy A-List to cast your vote! Voting started today, June 09 at 8:00 AM!
In this month's Remodelers on the Rise, Jason Gettum shares his company's approach to the honesty and integrity that influences each remodeling project by the company. In fact, when asked about what quote for success he would apply to his work with Gettum Associates, Jason said:
"Work Smarter, Not Harder."
The remodeling industry presents exciting challenges that require creative solutions and dedication to seeing complex projects to the end. A lifelong member of the home renovation industry, Jason and the other members of Gettum Associates, Inc. have spent decades refining their company's model for success.
When asked what was important to Gettum's long history and success, Jason said:
"I don't get discouraged easily. It has helped me out with a lot of business and personal struggles. The ability to persevere is a great trait that I believe I got from my father. But, I don't quit. I don't give up easily."
"I fight through it. I figure out a way to make it happen."
This enthusiasm for getting the best out of every project is why so many customers offer glowing reviews and repeat business to the professionals at Gettum.
Here's one of the interesting exchanges in this month's Remodelers on the Rise between co-hosts Kyle Hunt and Ryan Paul Adams, and Jason Gettum:
Ryan: So let's talk a little bit about a success quote that you live by. And really try to break it down to us how you might apply that to your life and your remodeling business.
Jason: I have always, especially in the past 5 to 6 years lived by the motto, "work smarter not harder." And you know, it's a very cliché saying, but it's very true. You could chase people all day long for business. But if you don't know what you are looking for, you're missing the mark.
Of their services, the renovation specialists at Gettum say:
As members of the Better Business Bureau and the Builder's Association of Indianapolis (BAGI), we adhere to ethical business practices and abide by standards set forth by BAGI so there are clear expectations between us and you.
Dedication to each client is what lands Gettum on "best of" lists year in and year out. In 2013, Gettum landed in the top five on "The Indy A-List" and they're up for more accolades on this year's A-List.
Want to know how you can choose the best contractor for your home remodeling project? Check out Gettum's free guide on selecting a contractor! You'll learn how to figure out whether a remodeler is reputable and how to avoid paying too much for your home improvement project.
Are you interested in getting a free quote on your Indianapolis-area home renovation project? Contact Gettum Associates today for information on a free consultation or call 317.542.3853.
The exterior color of your home may influence how your visitors feel when they approach your house, and changing the color of your home may provide a needed refresher to its appearance. When updating a major part of your home's exterior, such as the siding, roof, or doors, you'll need to have conversations on colors and whether your home might benefit from an update on hue or shade.
Choosing a Roofing Color
The roof of your home keeps its occupants safe from inclement weather and protects the family's possessions, and it also creates a statement based upon what type of roofing is chosen, as well as the color. You'll likely want to choose a roofing material that will last a long time, but you'll also need to consider a new color.
Consider that the color of your roofing shingles might help you save on energy bills during seasonal highs and lows. Not only can the roof keep your attic at an appropriate temperature, but shingles may also help to reflect or absorb sunlight, which helps cool or warm the home.
Generally speaking, exterior paint colors:
- Lightly colored shingles help reflect the sun's rays and will keep your home cool during hot summers, which may reduce the stress put upon the home's air conditioner.
- Darkly colored shingles will absorb the sun's warmth and are terrific for homes in cold climates where heating bills tend to skyrocket in the winter.
You'll also need to make sure your roof color complements the rest of your home's colors. Interior design blogger Maria Killam
recommends the following for your roof's color:
1. For the average, traditional house, stay away from an overtly coloured roof.
2. If the style of your home does not dictate choosing a colour choose a dark neutral.
3. If you have a stone or brick house that will never change colour, that's when your roof colour should be very carefully chosen.
Deciding Upon Exterior Paint Color
No matter the material used for your home (even brick), you'll need to think about color. While it's perfectly acceptable to refurbish your home's exterior with new siding and a color that matches exactly the old color of your home, there's no harm in exploring new color options. "Better Homes and Gardens" offers some terrific advice
on figuring out what might look good on your home:
"As you prepare to choose colors for an exterior painting project, tour neighborhoods and note which colors catch your eye. Pay particular attention to homes that are similar in architectural style to your own."
One of the primary things to consider when choosing your home's exterior colors is how the color will appear on the side of a large house instead of on a small color swatch or inside a paint store. Note that colors tend to look brighter when they're outside on a house instead of under the display lights of a store.
Tip: Consider painting a few large pieces of poster-board and attaching them to the exterior of your home. A large-scale representation of a color will give you a much better idea of how that color will look on your home than a speck of paint on a little card from a paint store.
Get Advice On Your New Home Exterior Today!
Are you thinking of remodeling or expanding your Indianapolis area home? Contact Gettum Associates for a Free Consultation
or give us a call at 317-542-3853
Perhaps you've got a little one on the way or your mother-in-law needs to move into your home, but you're facing some difficult space issues that might make the addition of another person into the household a tight squeeze. Do you need to build an addition to the home, or can you renovate to find more space?
Packing the family up to move to a larger home might not be realistic for a variety of reasons. The cost of a new home, a family's current location, and the family history in a present residence might make thoughts of a new house unattractive. Fortunately, several options exist for finding extra space in the home.
Finding More Space: Rearranging and Renovating the Home
Build a Home Addition By Looking Up
Adding another bedroom is a common goal for renovation in the home, but getting an extra bedroom doesn't always mean that you need to add an entire addition onto the home. If your home has an attic, one option is to finish the attic and turn it into a bedroom. "This Old House" offers some important advice
on whether your attic might be suitable for such a conversion:
Follow the "rule of 7s": Enforcement varies, but codes typically say that at least half of a finished attic must be at least 7 feet high, and that this area must be a minimum of 7 feet wide and 70 square feet. A contractor or a local building official can help you assess how the rule will apply to your attic and how modifications like dormers can resolve height shortcomings.
According to an article on CNN Money
, one issue that some homeowners experience is a lack of space after the kids move out. Once the kids graduate from college or start their own lives in another home, a renovation might include getting a bigger bedroom and spacing things out. Sometimes all it takes is the removal of a wall to create a large, comfortable master bedroom. Your contractor will be able to tell you whether this option is viable structurally, but CNN also notes:
"You always want to keep your bedroom count on par with the neighborhood," says Horen. "So, in a four-bedroom house area, dropping to three may not be a good idea. But in a predominantly two-bedroom neighborhood, you'd still be way ahead of the Joneses."
Adding More Space: Building an Addition or Extending the House
The prospect of a home addition tends to be a fairly costly endeavor whether the addition is a major extension of the home or a subtle expansion of square footage. The pros at Bob Vila's website
have some key advice for deciding upon an addition or renovation project:
You need to decide whether the task consists of adding new space, improving existing space, or simply putting unused space to use.
Remember that adding space to your home through an addition will still require some remodeling of your present space. Perhaps you intend to push the wall of the kitchen out into the backyard by several feet. The project will require some work to remodel the kitchen for the expansion.
Get Advice On Your Expansion or Renovation
Are you thinking of remodeling or expanding your Indianapolis area home? Contact Gettum Associates for a Free Consultation
or give us a call at 317-542-3853.
Let’s face it. Remodeling is a bit like “child birth”. Initially there’s some fear, some anxiety and yes… a little discomfort during the process. But just as these memories vanish when a mother looks into the eyes of her newborn, homeowners forget the normal trials and tribulations of remodeling once their newly “reborn” home emerges.
You can actually enjoy the remodeling process if you just follow two simple principals: #1-Be prepared and #2-have the right attitude.
Being prepared includes recognizing that a professional job with professional results requires a professional. Be sure you select a full service design/build remodeling contractor who handles, and is responsible for, the whole project-start to finish. You should be sure that they have a full time staff and are present on site throughout the process. It’s their job to manage the project, not yours; that’s what you pay them for.
Make sure you have a clear, detailed and guaranteed cost contract, a complete scope of work and full specifications before ANYTHING starts. Most horror stories involve misunderstandings involving these basic things.
Another thing that will ensure a project will run smoothly is to have a “pre-construction” conference with your contractor prior to work beginning. Great communication makes for great projects. At this meeting, go through your contract and specs once again and be sure everyone is on the same page. Even little things like work hours, bathroom availability, and talks about “who chases fluffy if she gets out” are important discussions to have.
Your contractor should also warn you to remove personal items from the work area and even to take down things hanging on the other side of the walls in the work area, just to be sure. An initial schedule, and basic understanding of what to expect and when, will go miles toward helping you prepare for those times that sinks, ovens and dishwashers won’t be available to you.
Hint: unless you have the luxury of a second kitchen or plans were included for a temporary kitchen in the basement, start to stock pile coupons for pizza delivery and Chinese right now.
But the most important part of surviving any home remodel is simply having the right attitude.
Have realistic expectations. If you expect to say “Driver, MOVE THAT BUS” in seven days, you are going to be disappointed. That is not reality. Reality is, if you did your homework in selecting a professional design/build remodeling contractor, the “birthing pains” involved in your “re-born home” will all be worth it.
You can learn more about Gettum Associates remodeling process by checking out our 3 Step Remodeling Process Here.
The Remodeling Budget Conversation – From a Contractor’s Perspective
The subject of budget can be perceived as a hard conversation to have with your remodeling contractor. It is only natural to be a little apprehensive in revealing your real budget number. For instance, you are afraid that if you say your budget is $25,000, the contractor will spend the full amount – when you could have gotten what you wanted for less.
While we certainly can appreciate your standpoint, the truth is that when you work with a reputable contractor, they aren’t out to gouge you. They want to give you the best product they can within your budget. After all, contractors rely on repeat and referral business. If they don’t make you feel like you got value for your investment, they quickly find themselves out of work – and out of business.
Here are a few thoughts we’d like to share to help you get more comfortable with the remodeling budget conversation.
Any remodeling firm you are considering should have a process that involves an initial consultation. Here, they’ll ask you many questions about the project you are considering, visit your home, offer some options and will eventually ask you what budget you have in mind.
From our perspective, it is important that you are open and candid with us about your budget. This is the only way we can provide you with options that fit your needs – and budget. Certainly, we can offer the Rolls-Royce version, but if your budget is more in line with Ford, we want to learn that early on in the process. Like all reputable contractors, we aren’t out to spend the entire amount you’ve allotted for your project. Instead, we are eager to provide you with a few options – within your budget – for your consideration.
For example, if you have a budget in mind to remodel your kitchen, but it is a bit tight, we may be able to provide some ideas you hadn’t thought of. This could involve refinishing some of the existing elements, such as floors or cabinets, instead of replacing them. Conversely, if spending just a little bit more will allow you to upgrade finishes, we want to propose those options, too. We simply want to provide you with all the information you need to make a decision you’ll be pleased with.
Another thought: If you aren’t comfortable with a particular contractor, for whatever reason, this is probably not the right contractor for you. You must feel comfortable around them – after all, you are letting them on your property and oftentimes inside your home. If you aren’t connecting with a contractor and can’t be honest about your budget, then simply move on to another company.
Finally, we recognize that everyone has a budget for their remodeling project. Even if you don’t know precisely how much things cost, you do have a figure in your head of what you are willing to spend. Sharing this early in the process can save you aggravation and project delays, and ultimately get you closer to seeing your project come to fruition.
Learn more about our design/build process.
Creating Curb Appeal|Top 9 Tips for Attracting Home buyers
What's the first thing that buyer's see? It's not your flooring. It's not your bathroom. It's not even your kitchen or living room. No, the first thing they see is the outside of your house. If your curb appeal isn't very appealing, then it's time to get to work.
Put On Your Buyer's Hat
When you walk around your home, you're probably used to seeing things a certain way. This is only natural - it is your house after all. But, buyers like seeing things their way. This usually means that they like to see a "picture perfect" house.
No one wants to feel like they're buying someone else's memories, problems, or idiosyncrasies. That means that you should spend some time with a pen and a notepad walking around your home with a buyer's hat on. Note anything that looks "off." For example, if there are cracks in the sidewalk that have been there for 10 years, what can you do to fix them?
If the picket fence is missing a few pickets, it's time to get on that. What about your driveway? It's got some uneven spots that you've learned to drive around. Your buyers won't be as understanding as you are. Fix that stuff.
Take A Look At The Roof
Your roof is something that buyers do look at, even if you've forgotten about it. Are the shingles starting to butterfly? How old is the roof? If it's really old, you might need to replace it. If it just needs some cleaning, then clean it. If you need roofing repair or replacement in the Indianapolis area, give Gettum Home Exteriors a call!
Make Your Numbers Shine
Dirty, faced, or broken house numbers are a sort of bad omen. If your house numbers don't look so hot, consider cleaning them, repainting them, or replacing them. You'll be surprised at just how much of a difference this makes.
Get a Second Opinion
Hire a real estate agent from a place like Agent Harvest to help you get your house in order before you go full-bore. Real estate agents know what it takes to sell a house. Ask for their honest opinion. Often, they can pick up on things you missed.
Pressure Wash All The Things
Take a pressure-washer to that deck, and the side of your house. It'll improve the selling price by making the place look "fresh."
Bushes, plants, and even trees can make the home look more inviting. Plant trees, shrubs, or even put a few potted plants by the front door - they're very welcoming.
Here Comes The Sun
Open up the drapes and let the sun in. Buyers are attracted to that sort of thing. It makes sense if you think about it. You don't like walking into a dark house, do you?
Paint The Trim
Paint costs about $25/gal. Spend a few bucks and give the front door and the trim a fresh coat of paint.
Take Glamor Shots Of The House
Most buyers these days start their search online, so taking good shots of your home is one of the more important things you can do. After you've made the house look beautiful, capture it with an artistic photo - only, you don't want the photo to look too staged or photoshopped. Make sure that the light outside is nice and bright, and that you're not trying to take a photo of the home behind trees or shrubs. Pay attention to the surrounding landscape and try to incorporate anything of significant detail.
For example, if you have shrubs or trees that add to the feel of the property, but won't get in the way of the shot, include those in the photo.
About the author:
Arthur Young has a strategic eye for real estate. He greatly enjoys helping homeowners buy and sell in today's housing market.
Tips for a deck addition
Decks have long been considered a "friendly" project for the weekend, do-it-yourself capable homeowner. However, there are a few things you should be aware of when planning your next deck addition for your backyard living space.
First and foremost, be sure to contact your local building department and ask if permits are required for deck construction. This can vary from location to location, so a quick phone call can help save you a potential hassle down the road. In some cases, the requirement of a building permit and the inspections required to fulfill the permit, can be peace of mind in knowing your deck is constructed safely.
Deck construction tips
The ledger board connection is a critical component of any safe, long-lasting deck: Unfortunately, there have been many reported injuries and even deaths resulting from inadequate attachment of the deck to the house or building. Nails simply are not a good answer when making this connection. Nails can pull out of the band joist when the deck is under load and can cause sudden, catastrophic collapse. Lag screws or lag bolts provide more protection against fastener pull-out. If your going through brick or other masonry, you should definitely hire a professional.
Dig and pour new deck post footings per code: Depending on your local area, the depth of your footings could vary. A quick call to your local building department can answer that question. As well, the size of your footings can depend on the design of your deck structure. Not only should you take into account the size of the deck support posts as well as the size of the deck, you may consider taking into account any future additions, such as a screeen porch on top of your deck. Doing a little oversizing now can save a possible huge pain later.
Make sure the joists are sized correctly: Undersized deck joists, at the very least, will make for a bouncy deck. Even joists that are sized for a specific span may make for a squishy-feeling deck if they are at the end of their allowable span. To alleviate this potential problem, you can install a built-up beam to break up the distance of the span or you can increase the size of the joist. Either way, a little extra time or money or both will pay for itself in the long run.
Plan for railings: In many cases, if your deck is a given height off the grade or ground, you may be required to install railings. There are many design options for railings, however they all need to adhere to the building code. The building code dictates the overall height of the railing, as well as the spacing between balusters or spindles.
Think about grass and weed control: If you do not intend on installing lattice, or closing off the bottom of the deck at all you may want to think ahead. When grade falls dramatically and the outter edge of the deck is above grade, grasses and weeds can get enough light to grow. Not only can this be unsightly, it can also trap moisture on the underside of the wood by blocking airflow, leading to premature rot and decay. A little advance planning and a small investment can eliminate this problem. First, treat vegative growth with a broad spectrum weed and grass killer. Then, cover the ground underneath the deck area with black plastic film. Finally, cover over the black plastic with pea gravel or other stone material. Your weed problems are, for the most part, gone!
Building a multi-level deck? Multi-level decks can be very dramatic and beautiful. However, they can pose a safety threat. Adding deck lighting can help in illuminating steps up or steps down from different deck platform elevations. Consult with a trusted electrical contractor in your area before construction.
What is your comfort level in deck maintenance? There are many different options when it comes to decking. Materials vary widely in when it comes to looks as well as costs. Wood options, such as pressure-treated decking and cedar decking are usually cheaper than synthetic or composites such as Trex or Azek brand decking. As with any material selection, there are pros and cons. Be sure to compare each product and make the choice that is right for you and your budget. And take note that every decking product choice requires some degree of maintenance to achieve longetivty and good looks. Whether it be power washing, staining or sealing natural wood or scrubbing and washing a syntetic or composite.
Thinking about a deck or porch addition? Do you have the time and patience to deal with permits, inspections and construction? Give a professional remodel contractor a call and relax! Gettum Associates, Inc has been remodeling homes since 1987 and our in-house design can help plan and construct your backyard project.
Call today, (317) 888-5681 or click below:
Rental Property Do’s and Don’ts
The unsteady housing market in the United States has opened up new entrepreneurial opportunities in the rental market for many people who were once closed off from purchasing property at all. According to the National Multi-Housing Council (NMHC), about one-third of United States households live in rental properties, which means there is definitely money to be made as a rental property owner. The question is, are you up for the challenge?
Just as with anything worthwhile, there is a huge learning curve for anyone interested in delving into the world of rental properties. Here are some general tips and linked resources on where to find information on the subject of rental properties and the law, what to look for when selecting units for purchase, and how you can be sure that you’re within the law when choosing the right tenants.
Before you even begin your search for rental properties, educate yourself in the relevant areas of law surrounding renters and your rental property responsibilities. Is this an obvious tip? Sure, but do you know where to look for reputable tips and advice on how to enter the rental property market, and what to do once you get there?
The laws related to owning rental property are complex and cover everything from who’s responsible for car accidents on your property to how to legally evict a tenant. So, the importance of obtaining your information from official sources, such as federal and state governmental housing agencies, cannot be overstated. When you decide to become a landlord, your actions immediately fall under a new set of state and federal laws. If you follow advice from an untrustworthy source, you set yourself up for potential liability related claims on subjects including discrimination, wrongful eviction, and property repairs.
Where to Buy
If you’ve just started your search for rental properties, you already know that there are seemingly endless purchase opportunities available to you. So, how do you know where to begin? The internet offers a lot of advice on this subject, but, again, be cautious about which site you turn to for advice. Here are a few quick tips from the pros:
If you will be a hands-on landlord, look for properties that offer a relatively easy commute for you. As the owner, it will be your responsibility to handle inspections and repairs, and you’ll need to get them done in a timely manner.
Once you’ve closed on a property and are ready to rent it out, it’s time to find the perfect tenants. Here’s where it gets especially tricky for rental property owners who have decided not to hire property managers, but will be handling the screening process themselves. You have spent a lot of time and money on your new rental property, so it’s imperative that you properly screen applicants to find quality tenants who will take care of your investment. It’s just as important, though, that you follow the federal fair housing laws, and not inadvertently discriminate against a potential tenant. Keep in mind that, over and above federal law, some states establish their own housing laws that include protection for groups that aren’t covered under federal law.
Buying and renting out investment properties is a big endeavor for anyone, especially first time landlords. The key components of the process include educating yourself on the laws (both federal and state), determining the best areas to purchase property, and finding responsible tenants. If you cover all of your bases right, your new business venture could end up reaping rewards for you for years to come.