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A new business set to formally launch in January aims to capitalize on the growing need for aging-in-place products and solutions by creating a comprehensive service to “senior-proof” an entire home.

Remodel Direct will be about more than products, some of which it will manufacture under private label and some of which will come from name brands. It also intends to build a network of licensed dealers who will get extensive training, leads, assessment tools, a scheduling system, proprietary software, displays, and a website. There also will be a showroom, company-owned store, and training center, all at the firm’s headquarters near Chicago.

Remodel Direct president Rick Hirschhaut
Rick Hirschhaut, president, Remodel Direct

Remodel Direct intends to become the name that’s nationally known for providing the 55-plus generation with a one-stop solution to help people be safe and independent. “We saw an opportunity to build a brand that makes sense to consumers,” says Rick Hirschhaut, the firm’s co-founder and company president.

Hirschhaut, sales director Jim Eldredge, and marketing director Dave Wilson told Remodeling in an interview that they aim to make Remodel Direct—and by extension, its licensees—a trusted adviser that can help homeowners with refurbishments that will enable them to age in place safely. Hirschhaut noted that the third-leading cause of death among people age 65 and over is falls, many of which could be avoided if a smart remodeler can install the right products.

“We’re all in denial” that homes can be a hazard to the elderly, Hirschhaut says. “The home they love is filled with red flags, danger spots.”

In a LinkedIn article published Dec. 14, Hirschhaut said he's looking for licensees. Anyone who signs up will get an exclusive territory in exchange for the leads, software, and services. They also get four days’ worth of training from Remodel Direct on aging-in-place principles, plus another two days of training solely on the stairlift system that Remodel Direct will market.

Walkin Tub to be offered by Remodel Direct
An example of a walk-in tub that Remodel Direct will produce under private label and then sell to its licensees.

The licensing fee will vary based on the market’s size. Licensees must buy their products from Remodel Direct, which intends to make most of its revenue from product sales. Hirschhaut estimated about 60% to 70% of the sales will involve bath products, 20% will involve stair systems, and the final 10% will be “what I think is the cool stuff”—items like lighted closet rods and easy-to-grasp door handles.

Purchasing will be done online and shipped to the licensee via common carrier. Some products will come direct from the manufacturer.

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