To meet the growing demand for Aging in Place remodeling, the National Association of Home Builders has created an advanced training program to provide contractors with the knowledge and expertise to meet these needs. Those who complete the training receive the designation of Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and they are able to advise you on a wide variety of issues that most general contractors cannot. Think of it as a Master’s Degree in remodeling homes for Seniors.

Through the use of universal design principles, CAPS professionals can work with you to create a safe, comfortable and more independent life in your home; both now and for the future. But, it doesn’t stop with addressing design. CAPS professionals are trained in common Senior remodeling projects and costs, accessibility issues, product recommendations, codes and standards, and the process and resources needed to provide a complete Aging in Place solution.

How to Find a CAPS Specialist

Fewer than 4% of contractors and remodelers serving Talbot County are CAPS Certified. While more and more are making the effort to gain this knowledge and earn the CAPS designation, the supply remains limited. For an up-to-date list of CAPS Specialists serving Talbot County feel free to call 410-443-2369.

Keep in mind that when you hire a CAPS Specialist, you are hiring expertise and a service rather than a product. Each CAPS professional has their own “personality” and will approach your project in a different way.

It is important to know that using a CAPS Specialist doesn’t have to add cost to your project. Contractor and remodeler rates vary, but it is a competitive field so you should think of the investment they made in learning how to better meet your needs as their own internal cost of doing business.

When it comes to budgeting for your project, you should be aware that your renovations may very well qualify for Maryland State Grants (see page 83), Medicare, Medicaid and Veteran’s reimbursement. A CAPS certified contractor should be able to help you with this as well.

Only a very small percentage of contractors are CAPS trained in all aspects of senior remodeling. Just as you would go to a dentist for a toothache rather than your family doctor, Aging in Place remodeling is a specialty that requires specialized skills. If you end up using a contractor or remodeler who isn’t well-versed in the latest Aging in Place knowledge you may find yourself paying for their learning curve, or, even worse, paying for their mistakes.

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