Our homes are a special place full of fond memories—it’s no surprise that we often want to stay there as long as we can. Aging in place uses smart design (from the get-go!) to ensure you can stay comfortable in your home and remain in the community you love for all of life’s seasons. No matter your age, there are some key components to consider when intentionally designing a forever home, and we’re here to help!
6 Tips for Aging in Place:
Eliminating or minimizing steps is one of the most important “steps” you can take in designing an accessible home. Consider your path from garage to entry, sidewalk to front door, back door to patio, etc, eliminating steps in your design whenever possible. Zero-entry living is easiest to achieve when drafting your home plan, be sure to include your architect and builder in this conversation from the start. Retrofitting homes to be zero-entry is also possible by the use of ramps if your home is existing.
Ranch Floor Plans
A ranch floor plan tops the list for long-term house goals! The ability to access your whole home without the worry of climbing a flight of stairs is of high importance, especially if mobility becomes limited. If you plan to be in your home post-retirement we highly recommend a ranch floor plan.
Easily accessible low-entry showers are something to plan for as well. You may even consider shower solutions without a door, with a half wall open entry instead for ultimate accessibility without the bother of opening, closing, and cleaning doors. Handrails, built-in benches, and hand showers are also important options to explore.
Motorized Window Treatments
Opening and closing curtains and blinds can become cumbersome and involve clunky ladders. Plan ahead with motorized options to automate this sometimes double daily chore, at sunrise and sunset. Be sure to include electrical outlets where needed when in the design phase to more easily achieve this goal.
Adding wider doorways to your home in case greater accessibility is needed in the future can bring peace of mind. It’s best to discuss this option with an architect pre-construction, ideally during the design drafting process. Additional space may be needed on the overall floor plan to successfully widen door openings while still allowing sufficient space for trim.
Living a low-maintenance life is liberating. Start by being mindful of square footage needed and steer clear of having too much space to clean and maintain. Be choosy with selections too. Opt for lower-maintenance finishes like brick and stone over siding which more regularly needs to be cleaned, and cement board which requires regular painting. Keep landscaping to a minimum and include a landscape designer in your planning to ensure low-maintenance plant selections are made.
Are you or a family member planning to build or adapt their forever home? Having an experienced designer on your team can help ensure you don’t miss an opportunity to live your best life at home for many years to come. Contact us to get the convo started!
Happy Home, Happy Life