The homebuilding and remodeling industries across the country are responding to the needs of an aging population, and particularly in Hawaii, which ranks eighth in the nation with 16 percent of the residents over 65. Homeworks Construction President Jim Byxbee — who is also a past president of the Building Industry Association — said that a large percentage of the homes the company has built or remodeled in recent years incorporate features that support “aging-in-place.”

“Some of the basic modifications we incorporate in a home where the owners plan to ‘agein-place’ are hallways wider than the standard three feet and all the way up to 5 feet in some cases, and broad doorways, which of course mandate bigger doors; double front doors not only are practical, but also an attractive design feature,” Byxbee said. “There’s an increasing demand for floor plans with two master bedroom suites, particularly in a multi-level home, the objective being to provide residents with an option to move to the lower level if they can no longer negotiate stairs. We will sometimes design a closet that can be converted into an elevator shaft if the family anticipates a mobility problem.

“When it comes to interior finishes, there are many ways to make a bathroom more age-friendly, including elevating vanities, sinks, and toilets a few inches above the standard height. Showers in homes designed for aging-in-place should be equipped with grab bars and seats, even though these accessories currently may not be needed.”


Byxbee noted that Homeworks has been voted “Best Kitchen and Bath Designer,” as well as Best Builder, by the readers of Hawaii Home + Remodeling magazine and has won multiple design awards in the BIA Hawaii Renaissance competition.

“We invite anyone who has questions about making a home more age-friendly to call us during our Build New Or ReDo radio show, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on KHVH Radio (521-8383), or email your questions to and we’ll answer them on the air,” Byxbee added.

Aging-in-place and multigenerational home design will be featured topics at the next Build

New Or ReDo seminar, March 7, 6-8 p.m. at the Homeworks Showroom at 2111 S. Beretania St. Call 955-2777 for reservations.

contact // 955-2777