We often consider remodeling our homes for purely practical reasons: our family has outgrown the current space, the kitchen is cramped and doesn’t have enough storage, or bathroom fixtures are hopelessly outdated. While all of these reasons to remodel are often pertinent and true, there are also several hidden ways in which remodeling can improve your health, both physical and mental.
Many older homes, particularly those built in relatively humid areas like Chicago, can have poor circulation and ventilation, and they often also have mild mold and mildew issues. This can trigger a number of allergic reactions, from shortness of breath to a cough, a rash, a sore throat, wheezing, a runny or stuffy nose, red and tired eyes, and sinusitis. In some instances, moisture issues can even worsen pre-existing health issues like asthma.
Remodeling gives you a chance to remove all old materials and begin fresh, this time with best construction practices that improve airflow and include appropriate moisture barriers. Bonus: replacing old and poorly fitted windows and doors will also likely lower your heating and cooling bills.
When you remodel your home, you have an opportunity not only to replace faulty systems and update features but also to rethink the entire layout of your home. This can help significantly with physical limitations. For example, if you have a bad knee, relocating your master suite from the second floor to the first floor can be a great way to reduce your daily pain and inflammation. In addition, you can replace hard tiled floors with carpeted floors or softer bamboo floors to improve ankle, knee, and hip pain caused by standing and walking on hard surfaces.
Exercising and diet are both incredibly important to your overall health, but most health experts agree that approximately 75% to 80% of weight loss is controlled by diet, and only 25% to 20% is controlled by exercise. For many Americans with busy lifestyles, eating out or eating on the go has become the norm.
When you remodel your kitchen and create a beautiful, serene, orderly space, you’ll feel much more excited not only about cooking but also about establishing healthy routines that prioritize consistent, sit-down meals. Even something as simple as starting your day with a healthy breakfast at the kitchen island rather than skipping breakfast or snacking all morning will help you form new eating habits.
As a society that highly values productivity, we tend to undervalue the importance of creating spaces that are not only functional but also beautiful and orderly. Yet beauty and order are vital in giving us a peaceful state of mind. Remodeling your home gives you an opportunity to rethink flow and improve storage, which in turn can help you reduce clutter and therefore reduce stress. Well-organized spaces instantaneously increase our sense of peace.
A common reason people don’t entertain family and friends more regularly is that they don’t believe their house can comfortably accommodate dinner guests or overnight company. Remodeling your home to include guest quarters with a private bathroom or even simply to refresh your kitchen, dining room, and living room can dramatically enrich your social life by giving you a space in which you’re proud to entertain.
Whether or not we consciously realize it, there can be anxiety in owning an older home where systems are constantly in need of repair and something always seems to be falling apart. Remodeling your home can increase your peace of mind because you can rest assured in the knowledge that you have a well-built and well-maintained home that will remain a good investment.
Creativity is yet another hallmark of strong emotional and mental health. In fact, scientists believe that learning something new--whether that be taking a dance class or mastering a new language--can slow signs of aging and potentially even delay some diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Remodeling can encourage your creative pursuits by giving you the opportunity to designate a physical space for your favorite hobby whether it’s a sewing room, a woodworking shop, an artist’s studio, or something else, remodeling gives you permission to establish the primacy of healthy habits.
On an even more basic level, remodeling invites us to reframe our mental and emotional attitudes and establish new physical patterns simply because it gives us a fresh start. Any change in our physical environment is an opportunity to create a change in our habits, and what more important place to invest in this than your own home, where you spend the majority of your time?
At Patrick A. Finn, we follow a carefully crafted remodeling process to help our clients transform their homes into beautiful spaces that foster healthy life habits. Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation to discuss your personal remodeling goals!