Different Remodels for Different Decades
As we move through life, our needs vary based on our ages and living situations. The homes we have when we’re young adults don’t usually look the same as when children fill them, and they change again as we age into seniors. Here are the most typical remodels for the decades of your adult life.


The biggest decision during this decade is usually whether to keep renting, or to make one of the biggest purchases of your life with a house. Either way, you can remodel, but with certain limitations. Most 20-somethings have limited funds and incomes, so remodeling reflects that, and they tend to shop at places like Ikea instead of Ethan Allen. Designs tend to be trend and contemporary, and set up for entertaining.


Adults are a little more established at this point in their lives, and are at the crossroads of maintaining a childless life or deciding to start a family. If they choose the former, remodels tend to still be social network-based, but with upgrades in quality. But if 30-somethings decide to have children, home remodels will accommodate the new family member with a nursery or children’s rooms, and sturdier furniture.


Now, adults are firmly established in their career and family lives, with little changing. Remodeling projects tend to be more to restore stability to the house, such as replacing windows and doors, or to add value to sell the house. Occasionally, 40-somethings will remodel for aesthetic purposes, but it tends to take on a more functional look.


By the time adults are in their 50s, their children are also adults and have either gone off to college or graduated and gotten their own jobs. For these adults, they usually choose to convert their children’s into studies or spare bedrooms so they can capitalize on the extra space. With childless adults, remodeling projects tend to differ a little as there are no children’s rooms to convert, and they tend to look more like projects done by 40-somethings.


As adults near retirement, they’re a little hesitant to do risky things with their money because they’ll soon be fixing a no- or fixed-income life. Remodels, if done at this stage, are usually “safe” projects that are proven to add value to the home, like new windows or plumbing. Seniors also tend to get scammed more than other adults, as fraudsters will try and sneak in cut-rate side jobs that aren’t legitimate or are poorly performed.


Remodeling projects take on both a small and large scope, as firmly retired seniors downsize into smaller houses, move into assisted living facilities, or trade the house for a condo. These are the bigger areas where their money will go, but remodeling doesn’t stop here. Some of the smaller purchases include outfitting the home to make it safe for seniors, such as installing chair lifts, hand rails, sturdier/no-slip bathrooms, and senior-friendly kitchens. At this age, seniors have to be more careful than ever to avoid scheming contractors, and should vet each one carefully.

For adults in their 80s, 90s and 100s, remodeling projects either tend to look as they did for 70-somethings, or usually don’t occur because they’d be of little value.
Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.