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Aging In Place – Maximizing Comfort

Posted on: July 1, 2016

The remodel for this multi-generational family, involved a sizable addition off the back giving them two bedrooms on the main floor, two on the upper floor, and a sitting room attached to each one.  This will include exploring zoning limitations, details on aging in place, staying within a budget, and maximizing comfort.  In this blog we will be focusing on maximizing comfort when adding a large addition for multi-generational use.

Blending three generations of family into one home brings complexities of comfort on a number of levels: one of the simplest being climate. When Grandma wants her room to be eighty degrees in the middle of Summer and everyone else wants their space to be sixty-eight, how do you handle that?  It was a serious concern.

We had to consider the homes current air conditioning and heating units, and come up with a cost effective way to give everyone the space they desired.  Remember – there were three generations of family to accommodate; Mom and Dad (Lisa and Rusty) upstairs with their two daughters, Grandma and Grandpa (Jim and Grace) in one space on the middle floor, and their other Grandpa (Frank) on the middle floor as well.

After some creative brainstorming we determined that to keep within budget we could do some value engineering and essentially create three zones within the home while keeping within county codes.

In order to do this, we used the existing hydronic heating and separate air conditioning system and a new duct-less split system to supplement separate areas in the home.  This allowed us to maximize the functionality of the already existing systems and add new independently controlled zones.

Having specific requirements Jim and Grace’s bedroom and Heritage Room could be individually controlled and kept warmer than the rest of the home, for their comfort.  Frank, also living on the main floor and given his proximity to the main area of the home was able to keep his room on the common thermostat.  The upstairs floor which sleeps Lisa and Rusty, and their two daughters, has its own controlled space with the new split system.

Adding an addition to a home has a broader spectrum of needs beyond temperature control, and takes into consideration many code requirements i.e. the Model Energy Code.  In a previous story about this family, we wrote about a Family Heritage and their experience remodeling their home while coping with dementia.  The next segment in this series shares their struggle on choosing the best floor plan to fit their needs.

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